Oakland Zoo Cares for Rescued Tiger Cub

Rescued female tiger receiving extended care at the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital; Photo Credit Oakland Zoo

A rescued female tiger cub is receiving extended care at the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

The Oakland Zoo is caring for and treating a female tiger cub rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The cub was rescued from a private facility where she had sustained multiple bone fractures due to malnutrition. Because the bone fractures hadn’t been treated properly at the facility, some had healed at abnormal angles.

Now in the zoo’s care, the cub was examined and given nutritional supplements and pain medication. Once her bones build up enough calcium, zoo veterinarians and surgeons will determine the next stage of treatment in her healing journey.

“Seeing this young tiger enduring such obvious suffering is extremely difficult…no animal should experience life in this way. We are grateful to serve in a role that gives her hope for brighter days ahead”, says Nik Dehejia, CEO of Oakland Zoo.

For more information, visit the Oakland Zoo website.

Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Ryan Sadler, Senior Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, examining a CT scan of the rescued tiger; Photo Credit Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital staff performing a thorough examination of the rescued tiger. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Ryan Sadler, Senior Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, examining a CT scan of the rescued tiger. Photo Credit Oakland Zoo.

Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Ryan Sadler, Senior Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, examining a CT scan of the rescued tiger. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

PHOTOS: Baby Monkeys at San Diego Zoo

Baby squirrel monkeys at San Diego Zoo

Baby squirrel monkeys at the San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Lots of monkeying around happening at the San Diego Zoo these days! The zoo is celebrating the birth of four baby monkeys: two squirrel monkeys – one born Nov. 27 and one born Nov. 28, a Schmidt’ red-tailed monkey born Nov. 11, and a DeBrazza’s monkey born Oct. 28.

The babies and mamas are doing well, and guests to the zoo can now view them in their habitats.

For more information, visit the San Diego Zoo website.

Baby red-tailed monkey and mama at the San Diego Zoo.

Baby Schmidt’s red-tailed monkey and mama at the San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Baby red-tailed monkey at the San Diego Zoo.

Baby Schmidt’s red-tailed monkey at the San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Baby DeBrazza’s monkey and mama at the San Diego Zoo

Baby DeBrazza’s monkey and mama at the San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Scientific Breakthrough for Critically Endangered Starfish Recovery

Sunflower starfish

The sunflower sea star is now critically endangered due to a mysterious illness called sea star wasting syndrome. But researchers have made a breakthrough for their recovery. Photo credit: Marco Mazza/Courtesy of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

A mysterious disease called sea star wasting syndrome decimated 95% of the sunflower sea star population in 2013. Since then scientists have been working to learn more about the disease and figure out ways to save the sunflower sea star from extinction.

For the first time, researchers with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s reproductive sciences team, in collaboration with Sunflower Star Laboratory and Dr. Jason Hodin, senior scientist at Friday Harbor Laboratories were able to hatch dozens of baby sunflower sea stars using cryopreservation technology.

Cryopreservation is the process by which live tissues and cells are frozen in order to keep them for an extended amount of time. In this case, the researchers successfully froze sunflower sea star sperm, thawed it and fertilized eggs that developed into larvae.

According to Nicole Ravida, laboratory manager for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance,  “Cryopreservation is one method reproductive scientists can contribute to the preservation of gene diversity in sunflower sea star populations.”

The researchers believe maintaining gene diversity is the best way for sea stars to adapt to future stressors.

To learn more about this scientific sea star breakthrough, visit the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance website.

To learn more about starfish, read our Starfish article.

Seeing Double: Two Baby Giraffes Born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia is doubly pleased to announce the birth of two baby giraffes- born just one week apart!

The first calf has been named Zuberi, which means “strong” in Swahili. He was born in the exhibit around noon on August 8.

Giraffe calf and his mother at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo courtesy of Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

According to zookeeper Pascale Benoit, “It was a smooth delivery and was followed by a number of giraffes in the herd getting up close to meet the new calf within moments of its arrival. They were a great support for experienced mother, Asmara, helping her to lick her new calf and encouraging him to stand.”

The second calf arrived on August 15 in the middle of the night. He has been named Kibo, which means “the highest”.

Baby giraffe at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo courtesy of Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“Both pairs of mother and calf are doing very well, and have integrated nicely back into
the herd,” Pascale said.

Two giraffe calves

Photo courtesy of Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Learn more about giraffes at our giraffe facts article.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Three cheetah cubs were born to their mother, Kyan late last year at the Taronga Western Plains zoo in Australia.  They are currently out of the view of the public and spending time with their mother. The zoo plans to unveil them to the public in March of this year.

Giraffes Now Vulnerable of Extinction

Giraffe

Film still from “Last of the Longnecks.” Courtesy of Iniosante Studios.

The IUCN has recently reclassified giraffes from a species of least concern to one vulnerable of extinction. Giraffe populations in Africa have declined 40% since 1985. All nine subspecies of giraffe are officially in trouble.

Iniosante Studios has spent the last three years documenting the situation in their film, “Last of the Longnecks,” which has helped bring global awareness to the plight of giraffes and instigated a reclassification by the IUCN. To obtain accurate figures for the IUCN, more than a dozen researchers combed the savannas in trucks, wandered trails on foot, flown in aircraft, and studied remote cameras.

“We’ve been working alongside the researchers in our film for the past three years to sound the alarm,” said Ashley Scott Davison, the film’s director. “Until recently, few people were even aware of the situation facing giraffes. This reclassification by the IUCN is pivotal to get the public to take action for our planet’s tallest animal.”

Watch a trailer of “Last of the Longnecks” below:

To learn more, see the website for “Last of the Longnecks.”

To learn more about giraffes, read our giraffe facts article.

Chilean Flamingo Chicks Thrive at Chicago Zoo

Chilean Flamingo chickThe animal care staff at Lincoln Park Zoo successfully hand-reared 5 Chilean flamingo chicks that had hatched between September 11-28, 2015.

Now on view at the zoo’s Waterfowl Lagoon, the grey and fuzzy chicks weigh around 2-3 kg, roughly 30 times their weight since hatch.

“These chicks are a true testament to the dedicated animal care staff here at Lincoln Park Zoo,” said Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds. “We’re excited to share the chicks with our visitors and to learn from these chicks to further our knowledge of the species.”

When the flamingos hatched, animal care staff collected shell fragments for DNA testing. This is a non-invasive way to determine the sex of the birds. The tests revealed that two of the chicks are male and three are female.

In the wild, Chilean flamingos live in large flocks in Peru, Brazil and Argentina. Like all flamingos, the Chilean species has pink plumage – or feathers – but are born with white-grey plumage and show the full iconic coloration at around 2-years-old. Chilean flamingos have the ability to tolerate extreme conditions, which makes them well suited for Chicago’s harsh winters.

Learn more at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

33 Rescued Circus Lions Prepare for African Voyage

Lion

Coco the former circus lion was microchipped by ADI in preparation for his trip to his African forever home. Photo by Animal Defenders International.

In December, twenty-four African lions rescued from circuses in Peru and nine lions from a Colombian circus will board the biggest airlift of its kind, heading to a forever home in Africa. Rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI), these former circus lions will live at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo province, South Africa.

To prepare for the journey, all the lions were microchipped at ADI’s rescue center near Lima, Peru. Two of the lions were given dental surgery.

Lion receiving dental surgery.

An ADI vet performs dental surgery. Photo by Animal Defenders International.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “The lions don’t know that their lives are going to change forever – from years of suffering in circuses, they will live in natural bush enclosures under the African sun. This is like a person applying for a visa for the trip of a lifetime.”

“It is a long and complicated process to move large numbers of wild animals across international borders, especially in an operation involving three countries. We are grateful for the collaboration of officials in Peru, Colombia and South Africa to make this happen for these lions. It can only lead to stronger animal protection law enforcement in future.”

If you would like to help ADI fund Operation Spirit of Freedom, visit their website.

Learn more African lion facts at our lion article.

Scientists Finally Discover What Sound the Giraffe Makes

GiraffeCow goes moo. Frog goes croak. Giraffe goes…. hmm?

Zookeepers have always assumed giraffes were fairly silent creatures, with the occasional snort thrown in. The assumption was that their long necks restricted their ability to make sounds, and also that being noisy would attract predators.

But researchers from the University of Vienna challenged this assumption. After recording and studying 938 hours of giraffe sounds over an eight year period, the scientists have discovered that in fact giraffes do make sounds. They make low-pitched humming sounds at night.

Learn more about giraffe sounds and the new research at Wired.com.

Discover more giraffe facts at our giraffe article.