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“Don’t Be Slow to Save a Loris”—Announcing Loris Awareness Week

Direct you to where you might find an Asian lorisine at the zoo?  “Not a chance,” I would say—at least that’s what I used to say—until I was introduced to one as a professional zoo keeper. As a kid, enamored with zoos and zoo animals, I was impressed with charismatic megafauna and utterly unimpressed with…

Shedd Aquarium Participates in Beluga Conservation Research Program

Greetings, NewsWatch readers: this is Tim Binder, the Vice President of Collection Planning at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. For many years, I’ve been involved with beluga whale conservation research in the field and here at home. Today I’d like to invite you to join me on a research expedition to the shores of Alaska. Beluga…

Rare Snakes Restored to Illinois Prairie Preserve

Eighteen smooth green snakes bred in captivity were released into the northern Illinois prairie a few dozen miles from Chicago today.

Bay Area Zoos & Sonoma State University to Release Western Pond Turtles

The Oakland Zoo will release 44 western or Pacific pond turtles today as part of a “Headstart” program for the imperiled aquatic chelonians, which once ranged from Baja, California to Washington state. As part of a 5 year collaborative surrogate rearing program, zoo keepers at the San Francisco and Oakland zoos have worked with herpetologists…

Is the “Hype” on Swine Flu for the Birds or People or All of the Above?

Contributing Editor Jordan Schaul looks at the “hype” surrounding the recent epidemic of swine flu, its ecology, and nomenclature system, and the perception concerning emerging influenza strains in the context of domestic and exotic animal species. As a zoo aficionado, and professional, I’m always concerned that novel strains of influenza—those infecting people, but of animal…

A Week Dedicated to the Keepers of the Kingdom

For most patrons of zoological parks, an opportunity to meet a zoo keeper far surpasses a chance to meet the zoo director, the zoo curator and even the zoo veterinarian. In fact, “Meet the Keeper” presentations are often touted as being more popular than up close and personal encounters with the zoo animals. Zoo and…

Remembering the Ghost Bear & Rescuing the Moon Bears

Her photo is one of two that hangs above my desk. I am haunted to this day, only a month since the incident, but I know I will be haunted for the rest of my life. I let her down somehow—the world let her down. The two pictures that hang behind my desk are of …

A Tribute to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch on World Oceans Day

In celebration of World Oceans Day Contributing Editor Dr. Jordan Schaul explores some of the conservation initiatives of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Center for the Future of Oceans, including the highly successful Seafood Watch program. As I drove home today along the Turnagain Arm estuary—a branch of Cook Inlet—I listened to the Alaska Fisheries report…

World Oceans Day To Be Celebrated By Aquariums And Zoos Worldwide

Aquariums and zoos around the world will be celebrating World Oceans Day on June 8th with quite a splash. In celebration of both the beauty of the oceans and their significant role in sustaining life on Earth, these living institutions will host a number of festivities to highlight the critical role marine waters play in…

Survey Says Zoo & Aquarium Visitors Poised to Combat Climate Change

The jury is out. Zoos and aquariums are poised to make a big impact on the environmental education front, and particularly with respect to climate change literacy. Information from a new study suggests that zoos cater to a demographic of individuals who care about the planet and their concern is linked to the connection the…

Beware of Buffalo Chips: Bison Covertly Translocated for Restoration to the West

A covert operation to move 64 disease-free, purebred bison from Yellowstone National Park to Fort Peck, Montana–a distance of 500 miles–was achieved this week almost without incident. Two animals died. A yearling died en route and another animal suffered a fatal goring before the trip. It happens. I can say that as mediocre bison wrangler.…

Capacity Building, Coffee, & Conservation Through the Woodland Park Zoo

I thought that Australia’s Cape York Peninsula was a far away place.  It certainly is as remote a place as I have ever been.  However, Conservation International and Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo have found a location not far from the tip of Cape York to the northeast in Oceania that is very rich in biodiversity…

A Critical Look at the Future of Zoos–An Interview with David Hancocks

Contributing Editor and zoo advocate Jordan Schaul interviews renowned zoo architect and noted Zoo Director Emeritus David Hancocks on the future of zoos. David directed the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, and Australia’s Werribee Open Range Zoo–a member of the Zoo Victoria’s conglomerate of captive wildlife facilities, which…

St. Louis Zoo & Polar Bears International are Spearheading an Effort to Bring Arctic Polar Bears to US Facilities

Contributing Editor Jordan Schaul discusses some zoo-related news concerning the future of polar bears in zoos in the lower 48–a week after the world celebrated International Polar Bear Day (February 27th). Seven or so AZA-accredited zoos are poised to either replace expired polar bears or exhibit them for the first time. About 45 AZA facilities…

Bringing Back Bison–Brings Back Biodiversity

Bringing back the wood bison is not just about the restoration of a charismatic mega-vertebrate.  Indeed, the wood bison–the larger of the two subspecies of the American bison–is a magnificent beast and reintroducing the subspecies is a heck of an achievement. But its return to Wild Alaska signifies much more. I’m privileged to be able to…