Training Lions to be Good PatientsVeterinary care for wild animals usually means sedating the animal, caging it, and quick treatment, at least according to nature documentaries we've seen. But for animals in zoos, shooting a dart gun at a lion or tiger just because it needs a dental exam, a vaccine, or a pedicure is out of the question. The animals at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute receive top notch care that includes all those things, so a more humane system was worked out. The animals are trained to participate in their own care! Of the six African lions at the zoo, three are considered geriatric cases at more than 15 years old, longer than they would have lived in the wild. They need some extra care from the staff. The lions have all participated in the voluntary training, since the rewards are their favorite food treats. The staff, who always stay behind a protective fence or other barrier, teach the lions to present a body part when prompted. This spring, keepers noticed 18-year-old Naba chewing funny, so they prompted her to open her mouth for them as she'd been trained. They took pictures to give to the veterinary dentist, who diagnosed her problems from the images and later pulled three of Naba's teeth. The same training allowed the staff to check her mouth during her recovery. The lions are so well trained that all six lined up with their hips pressed against the fence to receive COVID vaccines. But this training is not limited to big cats. The zoo also uses this training with elephants and gorillas. The training not only allows animals to show the doctor where it hurts, but also allows for nail clipping and other maintenance, while keeping staff staff members safe and trauma at a minimum. Both links from the Smithsonian have more videos showing how their animals learn to be good patients. -via Metafilter​#lion #gorilla #elephant #zoo #veterinarycare   
Lion with Bangs May Have Given Himself a HaircutWe’ve all been there before. You go in for a haircut, the result comes out different from your imagination, and now you have to spend the next few weeks sporting an embarrassing ‘do. The same predicament doesn’t apply only to humans.Hang Hang, a white lion from Guangzhou Zoo, has been going viral for his unusually blunt-cut mane. The “bangs” gives him a rather comical appearance that people are questioning whether his caretaker intentionally gave him the cut. This has been denied by the zoo’s staff, who said that high humidity in Guangzhou could be responsible for causing his mane to hang down that way. They also suspected that Hang Hang’s own grooming routine could be the cause of his peculiar hairstyle.No matter the cause, his new lock has earned Hang Hang tons of new fans. Image: 我跑不动了​#haircut #lion #badhairday #bangs #zoo #mane #whitelion
Orangutan "Explains" Zoo Rules to Social Media InfluencerZoos put barriers between people and animals for good reason, and a "keep out" sign is for your own good. Nineteen-year-old Hasanal Arifin paid no heed to the forbidden zone in front of the orangutan cage at Kasang Kulim Zoo in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. In fact, he waited until staff was at lunch before jumping the fence to get close to the orangutan in order to get a video. While the orang was still behind bars, Arifin had entered his territory and made the ape feel threatened. He grabbed Arifin by the shirt and then by the leg. Another man leaped into action to separate the two, but it wasn't easy. The orangutan came very close to biting Arifin's toes off!So Arifin went viral, which was what he wanted, but at what cost? Zoo staff threw him out and had to calm the orang down. They remind the public that forbidden zones are there for a reason. Arafin is being shamed on social media for putting himself and others in danger. If he had been hurt, it would have most likely been the orangutan who would have to pay. #orangutan #zoo #zooincident
A Baby Boom at the Louisville ZooBabies are spring up all over at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky! On May 19, the zoo welcomed the birth of three Canada lynx kittens to mother Matilda and father Sitka. The kittens are doing well and will be in seclusion until late June. Also in May, a Bennett’s wallaby named Alexa gave birth to four joeys. She's carrying three of them in her pouch, where they normally stay for nine months or so. One male joey left the pouch early (too crowded?) and is being cared for by zoo staff.But there's more! In April, a harbor seal named Tonie gave birth to her first seal pup at the Louisville Zoo. Azizi, a Hartman's mountain zebra, delivered a female foal on May 13. The foal is already on display to the public.
Naughty Chimp got a Spanking After Throwing Rock at Zoo VisitorsSpotting any human behavior in animals is a surprising but sometimes endearing sight — ranging from cats being lazy, to crows holding grudges, all the way to African wild dogs holding democratic votes for their next hunt.How about parental discipline... with a stick?A nine-second video clip uploaded on Weibo showed a young chimpanzee who casually hung out with its family in a zoo enclosure before it unexpectedly threw a rock towards one of the nearby human visitors.
Endangered Black Rhino Baby is Named KyivRampant poaching has reduced the world population of eastern black rhinoceros down to around 800. Hence, whenever a new calf is born, it’s such an important milestone.Recently this Czech zoo celebrated that milestone. The little one was born in the Dvur Kralove zoo on March 4 and promptly named Kyiv. The name was given in honor of the people of Ukraine who are currently defending their country from invasion. It’s suited given the rhino too is fighting its species’ extinction by being born. From the time Dvur Kralove zoo first received a black rhino in 1971, 47 have been born in their park. Many of them are now spread in zoos all around the world, but nine have been released back to their African habitats.Image: Petr David Josek/AP#rhino #BlackRhino #Kyiv #zoo
Dobby, the First Baby Aardvark Born at the Zoo, is Named After the Elf in Harry PotterFor the first time in 90 years, Chester Zoo in Upton-by-Chester, Chester, UK welcomed the birth of a baby aardvark.The baby girl was born overnight last January 4th to 8-year-old mom Oni and 6-year-old dad Koos. When it was born, it had big droopy ears, wrinkled skin that lacked hair, and huge claws. Zookeepers at Chester Zoo gave the baby aardvark a fitting nickname—Dobby, the beloved house elf from Harry Potter.Check out some photos of Dobby below.
The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida Restarts Rhino Encounter ProgramAfter a 3 year hiatus, the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida has reintroduced the Rhino Encounter experience. In 2019, a 2-year-old girl was hurt when she slipped through the Rhino Encounter exhibit's bars by mistake. Her mother, whose arms were hurt was also transported to the hospital for treatment at the time. The tiny girl was rescued in a matter of seconds, but she did suffer some injuries. This event caused management to halt the Rhino encounter. Now the Brevard Zoo is giving the Rhino Encounter a second chance. Management at the zoo has made some adjustments to the experience in hopes of improving the safety. As a result, the age requirement has been altered, the netting around the steel bars has been inserted, and some safety procedures have been established. A few days a week, the zoo is now available for visitors to observe the rhinos up close and personal. In addition, guests must be at least 7 years old to participate in the activity. Photos by: Brevard Zoo #Zoo #Brevard #Rhino #Restart #Florida
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Washington Gives People an Inside Look at Some of Their Animals for Halloween​There are many symbols of the Halloween season, including bones, skulls, skeletons, and the like. Radiographs or X-rays of the animals from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium represent such Halloween vibes, as the skeletons of these animals give us an “inside” look of the Zoo’s animals. Dr. Karen Wolf, the Zoo’s head veterinarian, regularly takes these X-rays for the animals’ health check-ups.
400 Koalas at the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital to be given Chlamydia VaccineA Chlamydia vaccine is to be given to 400 koalas at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Queensland. Australian researchers say that this vaccine could have a significant role in the long-term survival of the species.The single-dose jab vaccine is to be given to the koalas to help them fight against Chlamydia pecorum, the sexually transmitted bacterium responsible for infertility and blindness in koalas. Moreover, Koala chlamydia can result in conjunctivitis and painful fluid-filled reproductive cysts in females. “Animals can literally cry when urinating, it hurts them that much,” said Peter Timms, a professor of microbiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast.Timms and his colleagues, who developed the protein-based vaccine over a decade, had previously tested the vaccine on 250 koalas. He said, “We know that the vaccine is safe. It causes no problems at all.”The researchers hope that the vaccine will improve the survival and reproduction of koalas, especially those in south-east Queensland and New South Wales where half of the koala populations are affected by chlamydia. In addition, a wider rollout to Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre, RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, and other wild populations in Queensland is planned within a few months.Image:Benjamint444/Wikipedia#koalas #vaccine #chlamydia #zoo
Name the Toledo Zoo's Snow Leopard Cubs! The Toledo Zoo welcomed two new snow leopard cubs, a male and a female, on June 3rd. Now four months old, the cubs are on display to the public along with their parents, Greta and Shishir. But they don't have their own names yet, and the zoo is turning to the public to decide what they will be.
Cute Baby Southern White Rhino Takes its First Steps into the Outside WorldSouthern white rhinos are the second largest land mammals on Earth and are quite formidable, but their cubs are some of the cutest things you’ll ever see.Meet Nandi, the baby rhino who took her first breath of life at the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on August 21st. For the first couple of weeks, Nandi stayed closely with her mom Tuli at the indoor area of their enclosure, taking her time and getting used to her big and rubbery feet. On September 6th, zookeepers felt that it was finally time for Nandi to take her first venture into the outside world and meet the rest of the herd (also called a “crash”) as well as explore the other parts of their 18-acre enclosure. This cute and healthy baby rhino is celebrated as an addition to the European Endangered species breeding program. Southern white rhinos are considered to be a threatened species, with only around 10,000 of them left remaining in the wild.Images & videos: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo#SouthernWhiteRhino #zoo #ZSLWhipsnadeZoo #endangered #threatenedspecies