Snapping Turtle Crittercam

Greg Marshall, inventor of the Crittercam (a camera that attaches to animals to record their activity from their perspective) came to Connecticut to work with Mystic Aquarium turtle expert Dr. Tobias Landberg.  Together they figured out a safe and secure method to attach the Crittercam to a snapping turtle’s shell.  They released the turtle into the wild and will be able to learn about its habits and movements in the water.

The Mystic Aquarium has used the Crittercam before on beluga whales.

We Bought a Zoo DVD and Book Giveaway

We Bought a Zoo DVD and BookAnimal Fact Guide is giving away two prize packs containing the DVD, We Bought a Zoo, and the novel it was based on!

The story follows Benjamin Mee (played by Matt Damon), a Los Angeles newspaper columnist and adventure writer who, as a single father, faces the challenges of raising his two young children.

Hoping that a fresh start and a new life will restore their family spirit, Mee quits his job and buys an old rural house outside the city with a unique bonus feature: a zoo named the Rosemoor Animal Park, where dozens of animals reside under the care of head zookeeper Kelly Foster (played by Scarlett Johansson) and her dedicated team.

With no experience, limited time and a shoestring budget, Mee sets out with the support of his family and the local community to reopen the zoo. Now, Benjamin is no longer reporting an adventure story; he’s living it in his own backyard.

Scene from We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon

Scene from We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon

For a chance to win one of two DVD/book bundles, comment below by April 2, 2012, 11:59pm EST with the answer to this question:

If you bought a zoo, which animal would you most like to have in it and why?

Be sure to include your email address, so we can contact the winners for their mailing address. Note: This contest is open to people in the U.S. and Canada only. No P.O. boxes.

Amur Tiger Cubs at Toledo Zoo

Two Amur (or Siberian) tiger cubs and mother Marta went on display at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. The cubs were born on September 26, 2011.

Amur tigers are the largest subspecies of tiger, averaging  about 3.3 m (11 ft.) in length, with a tail measuring 1 m (3 ft.). Adult male tigers can weigh up to 320 kg (700 lb.), while female tigers are significantly smaller, weighing up to 180 kg (400 lb.).

To learn more about Amur tigers, see Animal Fact Guide’s article Siberian Tiger.

To learn more about the Amur tiger cubs, see

Dog Shows on Nat Geo WILD

Cesar Milan and bulldog

Cesar stands alongside Hugo with a picturesque California palm tree backdrop. Hugo, an English Bulldog, has aggressive tendencies that Cesar hope to help. (Photo by: MPH - Emery/Sumner Joint Ventures)

Nat Geo WILD has two shows all about dogs premiering on January 7th.

The Dog Whisperer follows Cesar Milan as he tries to neutralize tense situations between dogs. In the first episode (starting at 8pm ET/PT), two Jack Russell terriers named Ruby and Jinx have lived together for years but have begun fighting aggressively every time they are anywhere near each other. In the second episode (starting at 9pm ET/PT), Cesar travels to Santa Barbara to meet Hugo, a 3-year-old bulldog with a major mean streak.

Watch a clip below of Hugo the bulldog after Cesar has worked with him.

Philly Undercover
is a new six-part series in which the PSPCA’s undercover police team works to eliminate dogfighting and protect all animals from abuse and neglect. In a sneak preview on January 7 at 10pm ET/PT, a covert surveillance operation with the PSPCA undercover team leads to one of the biggest dogfighting busts in Philadelphia’s history — 14 suspects are arrested, and several horribly neglected, abused and injured dogs are rescued. In the second episode on Monday, January 9 at 9pm ET/PT (the show’s regular night and time), the team rescues 41 dogs from five properties across Philadelphia.

Rare White Kiwi Hatched in New Zealand Sanctuary

The Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre in New Zealand welcomed a rare baby bird on Sunday.  The white kiwi chick, named Mauriora – meaning “sustained life” in Maori -  is the second of its kind to be born in captivity.  The first white kiwi born in captivity hatched in May and is name Manukura.

The two white kiwis are North Island brown kiwi who carry a rare white gene. They are not albinos.

Baby Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed a male baby Coquerel’s sifaka on November 12 and named him Nero. At birth, the baby lemur weighed 94 grams, about the weight of a deck of cards. According to Meredith Wagoner, mammal collection and conservation manager, “Sifaka are born with sparse hair and resemble tiny gremlins, however their white hair soon grows in, and they begin to resemble their parents.”

In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka inhabit the island of Madagascar. They are endangered as a result of habitat loss from deforestation. Sifaka are different from other lemurs in the way they hop through treetops in an upright posture using only their hind legs. They propel themselves on the ground by side-hopping on their hind legs.

To learn more, see the Maryland Zoo website.

Baby Okapi at Bronx Zoo

Visitors to the Bronx Zoo can now see a 5-month-old okapi calf!  Okapis are distinctive animals that look like a cross between a zebra and horse but are actually more closely related to giraffes.  Okapi babies are unique in that they do not defecate for 4-8 weeks after birth. This is a natural defense that reduces any scents that may draw predators near while the baby is vulnerable.

New Babies at Busch Gardens

Watch as a sable antelope takes her first steps just minutes after being born:

Although the first steps can be a little shaky, it only takes 3-5 days for sable antelope babies to be able to run as fast as the herd.

Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed another new addition: a baby Cape buffalo! Cape buffaloes are extremely social; members of the same group will stay in direct contact with each other and will often sleep with their heads resting on one another.

Cape buffalo baby and mother

At birth, this baby Cape buffalo weighed 45 pounds. Full-grown Cape buffaloes can weigh up to 2000 pounds!

Baby Cape buffalo and mother

Photos and video by Matt Marriott/Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.