Friday, October 31, 2008
NC Zoo photo, title and quote by ucumari. [RJ Reynolds Forest Aviary]
Zero Hour Was Yesterday
"The North Carolina Zoo has named Curator of Birds Ken Reininger as the park’s new general curator. Reininger replaces Steve Miller who resigned in July to return to his native Ohio.
"Reininger has served as curator of birds for the N.C. Zoo since 1993. As general curator, he will oversee the zoo division in charge of animal care, acquisition and exhibit. He has been serving as acting general curator since Miller’s departure.
"Reininger holds a bachelor's of science degree in multiple sciences and did graduate work in environmental sciences and forestry at the State University of New York. He has been in the zoo profession since 1975, starting as a zookeeper. He previously held the position of Curator of Birds/Reptiles/Amphibians/Fishes and Invertebrates for 10 years at the Burnet Park Zoo in Syracuse, New York.
"Reininger has served for many years on the steering committees for several avian conservation and science programs for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). He has also served on the AZA's Animal Welfare Committee, Conservation Endowment Fund grant selection committee and Wildlife Conservation Management Committee."
Ken is dedicated to conservation and volunteers to recycle the NC Zoo's many fluorescent light tubes.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
If You Ran the Zoo
A landscape plan is being created by horticulturist Max Moore. Giraffes will be fed by paying visitors from a wood deck. Landscaping will make it fit better into the overall NC Zoo, which has a greater dollar investment in its plant collection than it has in animal purchases.
He Won't Commit
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
How'd We Live W/out It?
"State" dollars purchased the unit for use in the public-and-privately-funded Frederic Moir Hanes M.D. Veterinary Medical Hospital.
Four fringe-eared oryx arrive tomorrow. Two bison cows (pregnant, we hope), Friday.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Pound, Pulverize & Partake of Pumpkins
By tradition, elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas will enrich their day and give Zoo visitors a Halloween treat as real and papier mache pumpkins are torn asunder.
Elephants - 9 a.m.
Chimps - 9:30 a.m.
Gorillas - 10 a.m.
"According to zookeepers, the pumpkins provide both mental and physical stimulation for the animals, allowing them to manipulate the giant vegetables and experience their taste and smell." [NC Zoo media release, 10/28/08, 1:36 p.m.]
Use Herring as Bait...
The Milwaukee Zoo's polar bear Zero is the "fish", a large crane is the "pole", and a big cage filled with apples, peanut butter and herring is the "lure" as Plan B is put into effect to try to return Zero to his exhibit.
"The 1,100-pound polar bear fell into the moat Oct. 13 but was uninjured. So far, he's turned up his nose at other treats used to try and entice him to climb steps back into his yard."
Monday, October 27, 2008
From an NC Zoo media release by Rod Hackney: "expected to arrive this week are: three male red wolves from the Henson Robinson Zoo, Springfield, IL; two female bison from The Wilds in Cumberland, OH; four female fringe-eared oryx, also from The Wilds; and eight snakes and a lizard representing eight different species from facilities in New Mexico and Arizona.
"According to Zoo Curator of Mammals Terry Webb, the three wolves are being transferred as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. The N.C. Zoo has since 1993 participated in the Red Wolf SSP which has partnered AZA institutions with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) in an effort to save North America’s most endangered species of canid (member of the dog family). The largest wild population of red wolves, a total of about 120 animals, is managed by the USFWS in a five-county area near North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
"The new bison and oryx are part of a zoo effort to augment current herd numbers and exhibit needs in the North American Prairie and African Plains exhibits, Webb said. Native to the arid savanna areas of Somalia and eastern Africa, the fringe-eared oryx is a striking antelope with long, straight horns that draws its name from the distinctive tufts of long black hairs on its ears. Although related to the gemsbok, another oryx previously exhibited in the zoo’s 40-acre African Plains habitat, the new arrivals will be the first of their species at the N.C. Zoo.
"According to John Groves, curator of reptiles and amphibians, the zoo will also be receiving nine new reptiles in the coming week, including black-necked garter snakes, Western hog nose snakes, banded rock rattlesnakes, tiger rattlesnakes and a banded gecko. All are slated for exhibit in the zoo’s Sonora Desert exhibit and were obtained from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ., and a private collector in New Mexico.
"It will be at least a month before the public will see any of the new acquisitions as all new animals arriving at the zoo must go through a mandatory 30-day quarantine before being placed on exhibit."
Labels: banded gecko, banded rock rattlesnake, black-necked garter snake, fringe-eared oryx, gembok, John Groves, NC Zoo, red wolf, Rod Hackney, snake, Terry Webb, tiger rattlesnake, western hog nose snake
Building a Better Polar Bear Trap
He fell off exhibit October 13, unhurt, but has not walked back up onto his exhibit, which he did (after many days) when he did something similar many years ago.
Now a large "trap" (a crate with his favorite treats inside) has been lowered into the moat. Will he go for it? Zoo Director Chuck Wikenhauser says "we're pretty confident that he's going to do it, maybe not today, but maybe within the next couple days, he won't be able to resist it.""
Fire Closes One NC Zoo Entrance
The East Side Vol Fire Dept. was notified and responded very quickly, but the bus was engulfed in flames on its arrival and destroyed. (Another bus, parked two feet away, was saved but does have cosmetic damage.)
The Fire Marshall is investigating but it appears to have been a mechancial/electrical problem.
Until the destroyed bus is towed, the Africa parking lot and Africa entrance at the Zoo will be closed to the public. The Zoo hopes to receive clearance to move it this week.
"The 2nd shift Ranger saved the zoo a lot of money and potential property damage. He just happened to start his rounds in that direction. Given that there is only one Ranger in the Park on 2nd shift, and most rounds take over an hour, had he not caught the fire when he did it could have been several minutes later and a much larger fire with more damage to lots of zoo areas. East Side Fire Dept did a remarkable job...", according to NC Zoo visitor services officer Karen Auman.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"Fiber Optic" Polar Bear Hair
Calls of the Wild
Reminded me of what I find to be an improvement we made with the NC Zoo Society phones. A recent change in our system had left us with new music being played while callers were on hold which I found to be jarring and not especially pleasant.
If you must spend a moment on two on hold now you hear the callings of birds.
Zoo Road Show
All seemed impressed with the NC Zoo-and-Society-backed project and its programs involving, mainly, rare ducks, geese and swans. Lesser flamingo breeding has been recently added to the mix.
The Board also got a quick look at the original Sylvan Heights Waterfowl breeding center.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Zero Still Checkin' It Out
Friday, October 24, 2008
Kingfisher with Electric Beak!
More on Les
"Schobert also served as the chimpanzee studbook coordinator for North America while he was curator of the North Carolina zoo. Starting in 1989 he oversaw the project that involved collecting genealogies, medical histories and other data on some 300 captive chimpanzees in the U.S.
""I have a great deal of respect for his commitment to the chimpanzee as a species and his concern for individual animals," primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall said when Schobert began the study."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Zero's Still in Moat
Les is Gone
""Les was a visionary," said Catherine Doyle of In Defense of Animals, a nonprofit animal welfare group. "He was not against animals living in captivity, but he had a mission, to improve living conditions for them."
"Schobert's main interest was primates. As general curator of animals at the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro starting in 1978, he took an interest in the plight of a chimp named Ham, a minor celebrity among zoo animals. Ham had been launched into space by NASA in 1961..."
Ham spent his final years at the NC Zoo, dying of a heart attack in 1983.
Frogs are Croaking
Monday, October 20, 2008
Eighth Grade Winner
Sixth Grade Winner
Zero Hour Hasn't Arrived
The 18 year-old fell off exhibit last week and has not yet chosen to walk up the stairway that will take him back on his habitat.
Collective memory now seems to have decided that it was a full 15 years ago that Zero did the same sort of thing.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The following is copied from the AAZV website:
"The current selection philosophy for the award is: "The Emil Dolensek Award is an honor presented to a past or present member of the AAZV in appreciation for exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife reflecting Emil Dolensek's commitment to these purposes. Emil was in the prime of his life and his career, and this award recognizes similar individuals that have advanced the profession and served to link the related disciplines of zoo and wildlife medicine.""
Saturday, October 18, 2008
An NC Zoo-rescued polar bear, Willy has been feeling his advanced age rather recently. So glad ucumari has found him to be feeling better most recently.
The take down!
Update on Zero
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel now reports that Plan B could involve anesthesia and a crane or simply a ladder (there is a theory he might prefer to climb out by ladder than by the already available stairs). The Zoo is in no hurry, as they are closely watching the situation and Zero has walked out (by stairs) after more days than these on his last fall, many years ago.
Anesthesia is always risky.
Da Tiny Boy
Beluga Whales & Polar Bears, You Betcha!
"It was the second slap [to Gov. Palin] from the federal government this year. She has asked federal courts to overturn an Interior Department decision declaring polar bears threatened..." [AP]
The government listed the whales yesterday, "rejecting Palin's argument that it lacked scientific evidence to do so." [AP]
Friday, October 17, 2008
Near "Green" Perfection
The Proximity Hotel has been awarded LEED Platinum status, the top level for energy efficiency and environmental impact, by the U.S. Green Building Council. It and its restaurant (Print Works Bistro) are the first hotel and restaurant to be certified LEED Platinum.
Proximity uses 33% less water and 41% less energy than traditional hotels.
It also recycled 87% of its construction debris and provided natural lighting to 97% of occupied spaces.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Say It Ain't So!
Now I read that a Milwaukee bear has fallen safely into that net and has not yet walked back up the stairs provided for it to make its own way back to the exhibit.
It seems this bear did a similar thing many years ago and took over a week to make that walk back upstairs.
Milwaukee Zoo Director Chuck Wikenhauser, who I congratulated/sympathized with in September on his repeat hosting of a national conference of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, hopes Zero learned from the earlier experience and will return to exhibit sooner this time.
An update on this story revealed that the bear is still off exhibit and Zoo visitation is well up as friends of the Zoo and bear come to encourage him upstairs.
Da Boys & Da Bears
Earlier I found the two new black bears enjoying a small portion of their sizable, "North Woods" habitat. They were active, but not best watched from the visitor overlook. I got better looks at them from the visitor walkway (between that overlook and the stairs up to the "Great Plains" [bison and elk]), as well as from that stairway.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What Are the Odds?
At the Streamside exhibit, a copperhead yawned.
I said, to a mother and teen son, "Even snakes yawn."
She responded that her son had just been bit by a copperhead earlier in the week.
The son was quite healthy.
No one in NC has died from a copperhead bite to my recent knowledge.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Da Boys: On Exhibit
Who's Bashing Which?
But golden lion tamarins are also listed as "bashers". Let's make sure these little guys (20 oz.) don't end up "bashees".
They Ain't Mongeese
Raised in groups in which various females give birth at about the same time, banded mongooses end up in an adult/youngster partnership only after the young are old enough to venture away from "the nest".
While you might think that the "parent" picks the child in this process; a new study seems to reveal that it is the other way around. After making the selection, the mongoose pups "then establish and jealously defend a territorial zone of about a yard radius around their adult "escort." Other pups that venture too close are chased away."
The passive "parent" is "dropped" once the pup feels self-sufficient, it appears.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Elephants Check Into Hotel
Teething - Still the Pits
Scotty, Louisville Zoo's, African elephant youngster has recently met that milestone, when a tooth just breaks through. (Tusks are big elephant incisors; elephants usually go through six sets of molars in a lifetime.)
something happenin' here
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wilhelm More Active
Willy has been showing his age, and the poor treatment he received in a traveling circus before he came here, in recent months...looking uncomfortable and showing some "raw spots".
Notices are up at his exhibit which explain the age and ailments, as well as the circus history. He "has his good days and his bad days, but we feel privileged to have provided him a good home to live out his days," it says.
The Zoo's veterinary staff and keepers "constantly monitor his health, treat his medical conditions and do everything in the their power to keep him comfortable."
I posted in August about good progress on the African elephant introduction here at the NC Zoo.
Now side by side introductions of the elephants have begun, with the goal of getting six or all seven on exhibit at once.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Gorilla's Animal Kingdom
The Zoo's larger 'gators are still found in their longtime exhibit, shared with the alligator snapping turtle.
Another Good Idea
W.O.W. What a Good Idea!
Behind that Rock...a Giraffe!
As that continues, just the female will be on exhibit this weekend. Interim general curator Ken Reininger recommends that if at first you do not see her Saturday or Sunday you wait a little while. "She stands at the gate looking at the boys," Ken notes, referring to a spot hidden behind large, artificial rocks near the Forest Edge exhibit's lower viewing area.
Tort Leaves Again
The two, female Aldabra tortoises he joined in kidZone here this season will be leaving next week.
Big & Growing
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Critical Habitat for Polar Bears
The Department listed the polar bears as threatened by global warming in May. It did not then designate any critical habitat for protection, however.
"At that time, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said the listing disappointed her and she was concerned that federal actions would "threaten the viable, productive and environmentally responsible oil and gas industry along Alaska's North Slope.""
In August, Alaska and the Governor sued the Bush administration's Secretary of Interior to reverse his decision on polar bears saying that scientific "predictions about summer sea ice were unreliable."
Monday, October 06, 2008
and as our dance ended, he dipped me!
Goodall on Frog Crisis
Dr. Jane Goodall spoke of the rapid loss of frogs, toads and salamanders at Adelaide Zoo recently and she will do so again when she addresses the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in Australia soon.
The NC Zoo director, David M. Jones, plans to be in attendance.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Big? Brave? Foolish? (You Choose)
Great weather this year. Clear and the lower 80's for the same two days last year.
Labels: NC Zoo
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Hey Sarah, talk to the paw!
towards the light
"A Moment in Thought"
Comings & Goings
That's a Big 'Gator!
That is getting toward the upper end of the weight curve for the species. An impressive size.
Find it at the Cypress Swamp, near the covered visitor viewing center.