Xiao Liwu is the San Diego Zoo’s 4-month-old panda cub. All the activity and excitement of his latest examination make him a little sleepy. Take a look!
A baby two-toed sloth was born at the National Aquarium, and you have the opportunity to name him/her!
Watch a video below of the little one here:
The National Wildlife Federation is offering events in cities throughout the US this fall where kids can get up close and personal with wildlife. Their Hike and Seek event features a 1-2 mile nature hike and scavenger hunt. Activity stations along the way feature live animals, wildlife experts, and crafts.
To learn more, visit the NWF’s Hike and Seek website.
Millions of bats have died from a disease called white-nose syndrome. When bats are hibernating in the winter, a white fungus covers their noses, wings, ears and tails. Bats with the disease display unusual behavior such as flying outside in the winter and clustering near the entrance of a cave. This leads bats to starve to death from excess activity or to freeze to death. The disease was first documented 2006 in eastern New York and has spread to other eastern U.S. states and Canadian provinces since then.
Currently, conservationists are attacking the problem from multiple angles, including treating the infection or developing a vaccine. But The Nature Conservancy is taking a different approach. They have built an artificial cave in Tennessee hoping to lure bats from a nearby natural cave that displays early signs of white-nose syndrome. If they are successful in attracting tenants, they will be able to control the disease in their cave by cleaning it every summer. In a natural cave, they cannot spray or hose it down without destroying the other natural organisms that thrive in that environment. Building a man-made cave specifically for bats allows for a safe, disease-free shelter for the bats every winter without disrupting the flora and fauna of the natural cave.
We don’t have much context for this, but this video appeared on our radar today and it’s adorable.
Did you know you don’t have to be human to be an environmentalist? Specially-trained dogs from the group Conservation Canines have been assisting scientists protect endangered species since 1997.
With their highly sophisticated sense of smell paired with their insatiable urge to play (their reward at the end of the day), dogs can track scat, or animal droppings, from miles away. Once located, the scientists can analyze the scat for genetic, physiological, and dietary information. This provides clues to the animal’s behavior and environment which helps conservationists determine the best way to protect it.
The dogs, which are adopted from animal shelters and then trained by the crew at Conservation Canines, track scat from a variety of endangered animals. The list includes tigers, orcas, fishers, spotted owls, bears, wolves, caribou, giant armadillos, giant anteaters, pumas, jaguars, and Pacific pocket mice.
Watch a video below about Tucker, a black labrador mix who specializes in tracking orca scat. This is a tricky task because he must catch the scent over open water, the scat can move around and/or sink in the water, and he must provide signals to his human coworkers so they can steer the boat in the correct direction.
To learn more, see:
Watch the video below which chronicles the birth of two endangered Cuban crocodiles at the National Zoo.
On June 23, Ratu, a rare Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia, gave birth to a healthy male calf who weighs between 60 and 70 pounds.
“We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf and are cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation. “The little guy is absolutely adorable, and none of us has been able to stop smiling since the moment we were sure he was alive and healthy. We have been waiting for this moment since the sanctuary was built in 1998. The International Rhino Foundation is honored to play an important role in protecting rhinos. We are hopeful the Sumatran rhino population will thrive once again.”
Ratu had miscarried two calves prior to this pregnancy, but this time, sanctuary staff gave her a hormone supplement that prevented her from miscarrying again. (Read all our posts about Ratu here.)
With fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos living in Indonesia and Malaysia, this birth is a significant step in preserving the population. They face threats such as continuing loss of their tropical forest habitat and hunting.
For more information, see the International Rhino Foundation website.
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.
Animal 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.
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.