Endangered Pond Turtles Released to the Wild

Western pond turtles

Endangered western pond turtles about to be released to the wild. Photo credits: Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife released over a hundred endangered western pond turtles to their native habitat in an effort to restore the population.

Western pond turtles once commonly inhabited the western coast of the United States. But several threats, including predation by the non-native bullfrog, disease, and habitat loss, put them on the bring of extinction since the early 90s.

In 1991, the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project was established. Each year, recovery workers monitor adult female western pond turtles during the nesting season. They protect nesting sites with wire cages to prevent predators from eating the eggs. Then in the fall, the eggs and hatchlings are transported to the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos where they can grow in safety.

“We return the turtles to their homes every summer once they reach a suitable size of about 2 ounces, a safeguard against the large mouths of bullfrogs,” explained Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, Woodland Park Zoo’s reptile curator.

Western pond turtle being released

Over a hundred western pond turtles were released to the wild by the Woodland Park Zoo and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Photo by Kirsten Pisto.

For more photos, see the Woodland Park Zoo’s blog.

Bonobo Baby Face!

Memphis Zoo keeper Sandi Shoemaker captured this moment with Mobali, a three-month-old baby bonobo.

Bonobo baby up close

Closeup of baby Mobali, a bonobo at the Memphis Zoo. Photo by Sandi Shoemaker / Memphis Zoo.

Learn more about Mobali’s birth on our blog. You can also learn more about bonobos at our bonobo facts article.

Endangered Zebra Born at Busch Gardens

Grevy's zebra and mother.

A newborn Grevy’s zebra foal with its mother at Busch Gardens. Photo by Busch Gardens.

An endangered Grevy’s zebra was born on August 5th at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Within an hour of is birth, the little foal was able to stand on its own and nurse from its mother Brooke.

In the wild, Grevy’s zebras inhabit Kenya and Ethiopia. The population of Grevy’s zebra has declined by more than 50 percent in the last 18 years, and they are the only species of zebra that are listed as endangered by IUCN Red List.

See more photos of the Grevy’s zebra below. For more information, see the Busch Gardens website.

Baby Grevy's zebra and mother

Photo by Busch Gardens.

Grevy's zebra calf and mother

Photo by Busch Gardens.

Collaborating to Save Tigers

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Woodland Park Zoo has joined forces with Panthera to continue the battle to save tigers in the wild. The group will focus on saving tigers in Malaysia, where habitat loss and poachers have decimated the population. The ten year project will provide hands-on training and financial assistance to help save these tigers.

Learn more about Woodland Park Zoo here.

Learn more about Panthera.

Yellow-Backed Duiker Born at Memphis Zoo

Photo Credit: Provided Courtesy of Memphis Zoo, photographer: Sara Taylor

Photo Credit: Provided Courtesy of Memphis Zoo, photographer: Sara Taylor

June 28th saw the birth of Chester, a yellow-backed duiker, at the Memphis Zoo. Duikers are a species of antelope found in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yellow-backed duikers are the largest and most abundant of all duiker species. They are threatened with extinction due to hunting for food and habitat loss.

Visit the Memphis Zoo website.

Francois’ Langur Baby at the Lincoln Park Zoo

A bright orange baby monkey was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on July 11. Although born with vivid orange fur, this type of monkey, called a Francois’ langur, will gradually turn black after 3-6 months.

Francois langur baby

“Pumpkin is a great mom, and she has been bonding well with her new infant,” said Lead Keeper of Primates Bonnie Jacobs, who is also the vice coordinator of the Francois’ langur Species Survival Program (SSP). “The other three females in the group have already started helping out.”

Francois’ langurs rely on alloparenting, in which other females in the family take turns caring for the offspring. The other females benefit from the experience when they become mothers in the future.

Busch Gardens Celebrates International Tiger Day

Endangered Malayan Tiger Cubs and Mom on Jungala Habitat

International Tiger Day takes place on July 29th, and Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida will be celebrating all weekend. In addition to discussions on tigers, feedings, and face painting, proceeds from the tigress and cubs plush toys sold in the Tiger Lodge gift shop in the Jungala area will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. On exhibit will be the endangered Malayan tiger cubs pictured.

Endangered Malayan Tiger Cubs and Mom on Jungala Habitat 2

Visit Busch Gardens.

Read about Siberian Tigers at Animal Fact Guide.

Baby Bonobo is a Boy!

The Memphis Zoo announced the baby bonobo born on Mother’s Day is a boy! His name is Mobali. Here are photos of the celebration.

Bonobo

The bonobos open up a box of treats to celebrate. Photo by Laura Horn, Graphic Designer at Memphis Zoo.

Bonobo

It’s a boy! Photo by Laura Horn, Graphic Designer at Memphis Zoo.

Bonobo and baby

A quiet moment for mama and baby Mobali. Photo by Laura Horn, Graphic Designer at Memphis Zoo.

To learn more about bonobos, see our Bonobo Facts page.

Toronto Zoo Breeds Critically Endangered Toad

Puerto Rican crested toad

Photo of an adult Puerto Rican crested toad by Jan P. Zegarra, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tadpoles prepared for shipment to Puerto Rico. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

Tadpoles prepared for shipment to Puerto Rico. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

The conservation team at the Toronto Zoo successfully bred the critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad.  They shipped 26,000 tadpoles to Puerto Rico to be released into the wild.

“This is a very proud moment for our conservation team as it not only represents release of an endangered species but we also followed recommendations given to the Species Survival Plan which led to successfully breeding toads from the north and south of Puerto Rico,” said Bob Johnson, Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians.

“Traditionally, researchers have always kept and bred the north and south toads separately. This time, on the recommendation of Canadian research geneticist Kaela Beauclerc from Trent University, we are able to increase the genetic makeup of the resulting offspring”, explains Johnson.

Tadpoles

Approximately 26,000 tadpoles were successfully bred by the conservation team. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

Baby Bonobo at Memphis Zoo

Bonobo and baby

Bonobo baby with mom Kiri. Photo credit: Laura Horn, Memphis Zoo.

A baby bonobo was born at the Memphis Zoo on May 12 to parents Kiri and Mofana. The sex of the baby is still not known, but zoo staff will determine the gender in the coming weeks.

According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “This is a species that needs a lot of help, so every birth is significant. Bonobos are still very rare in the wild and in captivity. They are a high conservation priority, and Mo and Kiri are a good genetic match.”

In the wild, bonobos inhabit the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Currently, the IUCN has categorized bonobos as endangered. Civil war in the Congo has hugely impacted bonobo society, fragmenting their population to isolated pockets and limiting their genetic diversity.

To learn more about bonobos, see our bonobo facts article.