This past April in the San Diego Zoo’s Ituri Forest habitat, African spotted-necked otter Pori gave birth to a new baby girl we’ve named Lila. Along with the excitement of this birth, we were also a little apprehensive about how mom would treat her older daughter, Mugo. Our experience with spotted-necked otters in the past prepared us for the possibility of Mugo being expelled from the group when the new baby and mom joined them.
Archive for the 'Animal Stories' Category
I’m so excited to finally bring you news about Condor #134, a.k.a. “Harry”! You may recall the adult male condor that was discovered on the floor of the Grand Canyon last May. The bird was very sick and near death due to lead poisoning, but swift action and cooperation between Phoenix Zoo veterinarians, Wild Animal Park veterinarians, and the Park’s bird department lead to a life-saving transfusion (see Valerie’s blog, Harry the Condor’s Progress). As I left the story some months ago, he was on his way to a complete recovery, but not completely “out of the woods” yet. There have been many inquiries since about his progress, so here’s the continuation of Harry’s story….
I just returned a few minutes ago from San Diego’s City Hall with an official proclamation, signed by Deputy Mayor Toni Atkins, that commends the San Diego Zoo for its conservation efforts to save the Earth’s precious great ape species and to inform the public about their plight! November 5 through 13, 2005, has been proclaimed “Great Ape Awareness Week” in San Diego. Some of the “whereas” points include the fact that all great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans are critically threatened by human activities, including illegal and legal logging, mining, destruction of habitat for palm oil farming, and poaching for the bushmeat trade. Experts estimate that due to these pressures, most of the great apes could be lost forever to extinction within the next 10 years.
It’s heartbreaking to write that title, to read reports from scientists in the field witnessing the widespread habitat destruction of the gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and orangutan forests and the poaching of these amazing creatures for the illegal trade of their meat for food (called bushmeat, which is the most significant threat to African wildlife), and to see orphaned babies whose parents have been killed. One of our own researchers working in Cameroon, Africa is monitoring a bushmeat market every week, and has seen thousands of animals up for sale.