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Showing posts from November, 2007

Bushbaby Brothers

The bushbabies born on November 1 received an exam today to determine their overall health and get weights. They are growing and putting on pounds (well, grams actually!) and appear to be males (it's a little tough to tell as this age!). Mama bushbaby is a good mother, is very protective but allowed the Animal Health staff to quickly examine the little fellows without too m uch fuss. Although they may resemble something from "Gremlins", they are quite gentle. Photos by Ryan Hawk.

Khali goes to Washington

Our female sloth bear has pulled up stakes and is headed to Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan ( SSP ) breeding program. Khali was the mother of two male cubs born here nearly three years ago. SSP programs make recommendations for the breeding of endangered species in zoos in order to maintain genetically healthy and diverse zoo populations. At National Zoo she will be introduced to a new male and hopefully will produce more cubs in this species of bear hailing from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka . These unusual bears are known for their long, bushy coats, white chest crescent and their incredibly long tongues which they use for slurping up insects and honey from the crevasses of logs. If you're in D.C., stop by the National Zoo to see their new sloth bear exhibit and to visit Khali . Photo by Dale Unruh

Senior (animal) citizens

The Seattle Times published a very informative article last Sunday (November 25) about "animal senior citizens" here at the zoo. Most people don't realize that many animals in zoos are geriatric, far outliving the "average" lifespan that they would in the wild. This is due to many factors including the simple fact they do not have predators, but also due to the advance veterinary medicine practiced in zoos. Older animals are still prone to many of the same things that humans are afflicted with: arthritis, cancers, et al, but with wildlife medicine constantly changing and evolving, they are leading fuller, active lives. Veterinary medicine practiced in zoos also often leads to advances in procedures, treatments and medicines that are used to help animals in the wild. Check out the article and learn more about geriatric animal care:

Turkey Toss at the Zoo - Saturday, November 17, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

The animals at the zoo get the opportunity to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with the Turkey Toss begin held this coming Saturday, November 17. Carnivorous critters will receive turkeys--some whole, others get choice bits--are a part of the zookeepers’ ongoing efforts to help enrich the lives of the zoo’s animals, promote natural animal behavior, keep animals mentally and physically stimulated and provide added enjoyment for zoo visitors. A full schedule of each animal to receive turkey treats will be posted at zoo gates. Photo by Ryan Hawk.

Author of The Zookeeper's Wife to speak at Benaroya

Author Diane Ackerman will be speaking at Benaroya Hall on November 19 . You may recognize her name as the author of the best-selling book, The Zookeeper's Wife, an amazing true tale tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds. It's an amazing story of the people whose love of animals carried through to help save hundreds from certain death. Diane Ackerman - a Guggenheim Fellow, Lavan Poetry Prize winner, and recipient of the John Burroughs Nature Award - brings poetry to science and science to poetry. The author of the lyrical nonfiction bestseller A Natural History of the Senses and An Alchemy of Mind, a poetics of the brain based on recent neuroscience, she has also written Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire and nature books for children. Seattle Arts & Lectures

Bushbabies born!

Two new bushbabies (also called lesser galagos) were born in the zoo's Night Exhibit on November 1. The lesser galago is one of the smallest primates, about the size of a squirrel and weighing in at less than half an ounce. Despite their size, they can be exceptionally vocal, producing loud, shrill cries surprisingly like those of a human baby. The plaintive cries and "cute" appearance may account for the name "bush baby." The lesser galago and its larger cousin, the greater galago, are both arboreal and nocturnal in their habits and are found in the woodlands of East Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The tiny babies will probably not be visible for sometime as they are nurtured by their mother. (Photo by Helen Shewman)