Cheetahs in captivity still want to run and chase things, so the caretakers at Oregon Zoo made a custom-built a catapult that launches balls from one end of the cheetah habitat to the other. The cheetahs get a treat when they fetch a ball. Read the rest
The International Garden municipal park in Cairo, Egypt is under scrutiny after Mahmoud Sarhan, 18, visited the zoo and noticed that the "zebras" looked very much like donkeys painted with stripes. His photos of the bizarre beasts went viral yet Garden Project director Mohammed Sultan insists that the "The zebra is real and not painted."
Sarhan said several things about the animal stood out and made him suspicious. The black paint had melted on the donkey's face and the ears didn't look like the right size for a zebra, he said.
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When zookeepers at the Toronto Zoo euthanized Betty, the zoo's 16-year-old baboon-troop matriarch, it touched off a vicious war of succession among the troops female members that saw them mutilating one another in savage combat -- the war was finally settled when zookeepers implanted the warring baboons with estrogen-releasing implants that reduced the viciousness of the fighting. Read the rest
My pal John Curley, the multitalented bassist in the Afghan Whigs and Plastic Ants, took this incredible photo of Harapan the Sumatran rhinoceros at the excellent Cincinnati Zoo. Sadly, Sumatran rhinos are one of the world's most endangered animals with around 100 left on Earth. John says:
Harry is friendly, good-natured and adored by everyone at the zoo. He loves bananas and quiet walks on the beach at sunset (I'm kidding about that last part). Thanks to @mdcurley my amazing wife, for the unique opportunity to see this rare and beautiful creature up close.
Sumatran Rhino Project (Cincinnati Zoo)
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Painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, are some of the most successful large predators. They are more effective than the other large, African carnivores—lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas—when it comes to hunting.
Unfortunately, that hasn't saved the species from decline, and it is now listed as an endangered species. Many zoos and other conservation organizations are working to save the painted dog.
So when a litter of painted dog pups was born at the Oklahoma Zoo, it was cause for excitement. Sadly, things didn't look good for the pups when Xena, their young mother, proved ineffective at caring for and feeding them.
That's when Lily the golden retriever, a retired rescue dog, saved the day. She adopted the pups of her wild cousin and is doing a bang-up job as a foster mom.
Here's another video of the adorableness.
[Via Zooborns.] Read the rest
HEADLINE CORRECTED BASED ON NEW INFORMATION, SEE UPDATE BELOW:
A man dressed as a gorilla at a Tenerife, Spain zoo who was participating in a drill was mistakenly shot with a dart containing a massive dose of tranquilizer. Apparently, the vet who fired the shot wasn't aware that it was a drill. From the zoo's statement:
“Loro Parque simulated the escape of an animal from its enclosure in the gorilla park.
“As part of the simulation, which took place in the security zone of the area and was attended only by authorised personnel, they set off the emergency alarm.
“Once they had carried out the various procedures, one keeper in the wild mammals team was accidentally struck by the medical tranquiliser that vets use in these instances.
“As a result, emergency services were called and he was taken to hospital.”
"Zoo employee shot in error while dressed as a gorilla" (Irish Examiner)
UPDATE: The Zoo tells the The Telegraph that the employee shot with the tranquilizer was not wearing a gorilla suit. Read the rest
I have this great teenage memory of standing next to my father at the Baltimore aquarium, as we both attempted to stridently ignore the gigantic walrus penis that was flopped out right in front of us. I assume a lot of people have similar zoo memories. But, if Lisa Britton has her way, children of the future will at least have some interesting facts to go along with the familial awkwardness. She's the new "birds and bees consultant" at England's Chessington World of Adventures zoo. Her job: Explain copulating animals to kids (and help their parents get past the deer-in-the-headlights response). The Guardian has a short profile. Read the rest
Why is this owl on a scale? Because of science.
Tracking the growth of captive animals isn't just about making sure the captive animals are well taken care of. It's also an important part of understanding animal life cycles and how life in captivity differs from life in the wild. Data on millions of animals is stored in the Zoological Information Management System—a database used by zookeepers, aquarium officials, and researchers. In order to have that database, though, zoos and aquariums must do annual inventories of their charges—measuring height and weight, and recording data on details like egg-laying patterns. And this is where the cute comes in.
The Guardian has a slideshow of images taken last week during the London Zoo's animal inventory. If you've ever wanted to see somebody stretch a tape measure around a penguin's chubby belly, or coo over meerkats climbing around a scale, this is your chance.
See the rest of the photos Read the rest