San Diego Zoo Blog Archives

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Jungle all the Way

Posted at 3:08 pm December 8, 2010 by Matt Steele

Guest blogger Kellian Adams is the institutional mastermind for SCVNGR.

Note: Anyone can play our Jungle Bells scavenger hunt, but we recommend playing with the SCVNGR mobile phone app!

I love my job, and I especially love it when I get to work with great organizations like the San Diego Zoo and fun events like Jungle Bells, taking place December 11 to January 2.  I work as the “institutional mastermind” (ie: museums specialist) for a very cool mobile gaming company called SCVNGR.

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Behind-the-Scenes with Birds

Posted at 11:44 am December 8, 2010 by Kimberly Carroll

Eurasian eagle owl Einstein poses with a trainer.

The Inside Look: Festival of Flight bird tours were a wild and wonderful way to see the San Diego Zoo in action last month. I am an educator who leads behind-the-scenes adventures at the Zoo. Our bird tour experiences were so unique this year that I was as excited as the guests to experience our special animal interactions! The Zoo’s bird collection is incredible and includes almost 400 species and subspecies, which comes to about 3,500 individual birds. During our special tours, we got to spend some time with our feathered friends and meet the keepers who keep them happy, healthy, and entertained.

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300 Pandas

Posted at 10:31 am December 8, 2010 by Suzanne Hall

This summer, panda conservation efforts reached a major milestone: the population of pandas in zoos and breeding facilities reached 300 individuals. This goal number, one set years ago by a group of international scientists, is believed to be the point at which the captive population will be a self-sustaining entity capable of acting as a buffer against whatever difficulties might be experienced by the wild members of the species. Three hundred individuals should provide the panda with the resilience to survive even if the wild population disappears.

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X-ray Results for Ibis

Posted at 9:53 am December 7, 2010 by Steve Culver

The Madagascar crested ibis at the Zoo's hospital.

Diagnostic imaging (radiography) is one of many diagnostic tools used on a daily basis at the San Diego Zoo’s Jennings Veterinary Hospital. X rays enable veterinarians to see what is going on inside our Zoo patients; now and again, the diagnosis is obvious.

Many of the Zoo’s mammals and birds spend time foraging and exploring their environment. Items such as sticks and leaves can provide entertainment as well as the raw materials for bedding and nests. Other items such as glass and metal can be very harmful to our Zoo animals. Metal can contain elements such as zinc and lead, which can be toxic to animals if not removed. Some aquatic birds fall victim to this after ingesting a coin from a “wishing well-like” pond. Others find the shining objects in terrestrial areas of their exhibits; our Madagascar crested ibis was one such bird.

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Polar Bears: What December Brings

Posted at 5:18 pm December 6, 2010 by JoAnne Simerson

A young male polar bear is trapped in ice slush.

I’ve just returned from my annual trip to Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, to work with Polar Bears International. This was my 10th year of doing so, and, as many of you know, I have seen dramatic changes in the environment and animals that live there in just this decade. This year has provided the shortest ice season in recorded time: the polar bears lost a full nine weeks of hunting time. The water and air temperatures for November and December continue to be above normal, delaying the formation of ice again this year. The polar bears have been hunting during low tide and have been fortunate to occasionally find harbor seals resting among the rocks. The bears must be vigilant that they return to the shore before the tide rushes in.

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Hollywood Christmas Parade

Posted at 1:34 pm December 6, 2010 by admin

Jan Seeley rode in the Safari Park “float” in the Hollywood Christmas Parade after winning our Facebook contest. Jan has been a frequenter and loyal fan of the Safari Park since it opened and even did her rehab for her double knee replacement surgery by walking through the Park regularly.

On November 23rd I received a Facebook message from Matt Steele, the Social Media Planner for the San Diego Zoo. A few days earlier I had entered a contest on the San Diego Zoo’s facebook to tell why I would like to ride shotgun in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s entry at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. I read some of the other entries and thought they sounded much better than mine, so I didn’t give it much thought after that.

I was so surprised when I received the message giving me the particulars for the Parade, and that I would be riding in the cab of the Photo Caravan truck. I had to read it twice before I realized I had actually won! What a wonderful surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

China Trip Diary: Part 3

Posted at 11:11 am December 6, 2010 by Gaylene Thomas

Giant pandas Su Lin and Zhen Zhen moved to Wolong, China on September 24, 2010. Gaylene accompanied them on their journey and is sharing the trip with us through blog installments. Be sure to read China Trip Diary: Part 2.

I have decided that flying with a giant panda is the way to go! Fifteen hours go by very quickly when you have a two incredible pandas to visit with and take care of. Zhen Zhen and Su Lin were troupers throughout the journey. The “What ifs” and worries of what might happen were subdued by the natural behaviors these two young pandas demonstrated in conditions far from routine. The dedicated daily care given to Su Lin and Zhen Zhen, combined with the wonderful travel training efforts provided by the keepers, set this journey up to be a success!

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Spotted Bundle of Fur

Posted at 3:58 pm December 3, 2010 by Sandy Craig

Well, you’ve probably seen him by now, our newest, fuzziest addition to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Animal Care Center! Say hello to Kiburi, our 19-day-old cheetah cub. His mother, Makena, who was hand raised herself, gave birth to two cubs in the late afternoon on November 14, 2010. (Read about Makena’s ultrasound procedure in New View of Cheetah Conservation). Unfortunately, one cub died a few hours after birth, and keepers had to intervene when Makena began showing signs of abandoning her remaining cub. He was brought to the Animal Care Center, where he immediately nursed a warm bottle for nursery keepers; soon after this, he began to purr. His weight at birth was less than a pound at 451 grams!

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Park Elephant Update

Posted at 9:05 am December 3, 2010 by Curtis Lehman

Have you been checking out the construction of our yard project, connecting the two large elephant yards at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park? Currently, our African elephant herd lives in one yard, and adult male Msholo lives in the other yard. It will, I hope, be completed very soon!

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Training Camel Tuya

Posted at 4:53 pm December 2, 2010 by Laura Weiner

Zookeepers get very attached to our animals. We provide their daily care and for some, so much more. Tuya, our young Bactrian camel, needed much more. We provided it happily, and because of this she has grown to be about 500 pounds at almost 9 months of age (see previous post, Baby Camel: Accepted). Along with the happiness always comes the day when the animal has to make a journey to another zoo. Tuya’s father, Mongo, will be staying with us. This means that Tuya will need to be sent away to be part of a breeding herd.

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