Wounded Swan Gets Second Chance

In Grantsburg, Wisconsin, a hunter came across a tagged trumpeter swan who was suffering from two gunshot wounds.  Locals who were familiar with the swan (tagged 88F) and his mate managed to capture the injured swan and bring him to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota in Roseville.

After 10 days of treatment, the swan grew strong and healthy, and WRCMN volunteers released 88F back into the Grantsburg wildlife area.

But his mate was nowhere to be found.

A few weeks later,  88F was sighted in Hudson, Wisconsin, 60 miles south of where he’d been released!  Swimming alongside him was his lifetime mate.  They had reunited at their wintering site.

Trumpeter swans are native to the United States and Canada. It is illegal to hunt trumpeter swans in the US because they are federally protected.

For more information about 88F, see:

TwinCities.com Pioneer Press
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

Smoking Chimpanzee Taken in by Wildlife Sanctuary

Omega - smoking chimpanzee

Omega, a 12-year-old chimpanzee who was living at a private zoo in Lebanon and entertaining visitors by smoking cigarettes, will go to a wildlife sanctuary in Sao Paolo, Brazil on Monday.  At the sanctuary, Omega will have the opportunity to live a more enriched life, interacting with other chimpanzees.

This will be a big contrast to the life he has known.  When Omega was young, he lived at a restaurant and was trained to smoke cigarettes and interact with customers.  At the zoo in Lebanon, zoo patrons would toss cigarette butts into his 430 square foot (40 square meter) cage, and Omega would pick them up to smoke.

Lebanon has no animal rights regulations.  Animals Lebanon, the group that rescued Omega from the zoo, has been advocating that Lebanon join the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and adopt laws that protect primates.

For more information, see:

Animals Lebanon
Associated Press

Sea Turtle Hatchlings Enter Gulf Waters

Sea turtle hatchlings

Photo: Alabama Convention and Visitors Bureau

Seventy-three loggerhead sea turtles hatched at an Alabama beach Wednesday and entered the waters into the northern Gulf of Mexico.

For the past two months, scientists have deemed the Gulf of Mexico unsafe for sea turtle hatchlings due to BP’s catastrophic oil spill.  They have transported 28,000 eggs from Alabama and Panhandle beaches to Florida’s Atlantic coast.  After incubation at a Kennedy Space Center facility, the hatchlings were released into the Atlantic at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

However, after further examination of the Gulf waters, scientists have determined the northern Gulf of Mexico is now safe for sea turtles.

According to Dianne Ingram of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “It was a good decision based on the best information we can get. It was more risky to ship them to Florida than it was to let them go straight into the water.”

The group of loggerhead hatchlings that entered the Gulf Wednesday was the first batch in Alabama allowed to enter their native waters.

For more information: AL.com.

SeaWorld Cares for Orphaned Baby Manatee

SeaWorld rehabilitation experts have been working around the clock tending to a baby manatee orphan.  Every three hours, the 3.5-foot, 41-pound marine mammal is bottle-fed with a nutrient-rich formula. Every other day, the animal care specialists weigh the manatee and monitor her progress. Although her condition remains guarded, park veterinarians hope to eventually release her back into the wild.

The manatee, just weeks old, was rescued from the waters of Daytona Beach, Florida and transported to SeaWorld by the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In the wild, all three species of manatee are considered threatened by the IUCN Redlist. The Florida manatee subspecies is considered endangered.  Threats include habitat destruction, red tide, and boating accidents.

Baby manatee orphan at SeaWorld

SeaWorld animal care specialist Jeff Braso bottle-feeds a baby manatee, Tuesday, July 27, at SeaWorld’s Rescue & Rehabilitation Center in Orlando, Fla. The park’s animal staff has been providing 24-hour care for the animal since she was orphaned by her mother in Daytona Beach, Fla. on July 24, 2010. (Photo by SeaWorld Orlando)

Gorilla Reunion

Kwibi is a ten year old lowland gorilla who has spent the last five years of his life living in the forests of Gabon. The first five years of his life he spent being raised by Damian Aspinall at a wild animal park in England. In this incredible video we join Damian as he searches for his old friend.

SeaWorld Rehabilitates Chilly Turtles

Aquarist rehabilitating green sea turtle.

SeaWorld aquarist Jenny Albert covers up a “cold stunned” endangered green turtle to keep the animal warm at SeaWorld’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

Many green sea turtles have been adversely affected by the Arctic blast that has swept over most of the U.S.  recently. Two dozen “cold-stunned” green sea turtles have been taken in by SeaWorld’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Orlando, Florida, where they are treating the endangered turtles with heat lamps, blankets, and warm fluids.

To learn more about green sea turtles, read Animal Fact Guide’s article: Green Turtle.

Black-footed Ferrets Reintroduced

black-footed-ferret09062Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada is now the home of 34 endangered black-footed ferrets. On Friday evening scientists and conservationists released the animals into the park in an effort to reintroduce them to their natural habitat.

The ferrets were nearly extinct until 1981, when a colony was found in Wyoming. This group was used to increase the population. Scientists and zoos from Canada and the United States worked together to breed and reintroduce the black-footed ferret.

After several years of effort, the ferrets were ready for release into the wild.

For more, visit CBCNews.

Reforestation Project in Borneo

Watch a very enlightening talk by Willie Smits of the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation about the reforestation project in Samboja Lestari, an area in Borneo devoid of fertility and viability in 2004 which is now a sustainable living environment for people, orangutans, and other wildlife.

For more information:
Samboja Lestari Page on Orangutan Outreach Website
BOS Samboja Lestari Create Rainforest Site

To learn more about Bornean orangutans, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Bornean Orangutan.

Eaglet Gets Chance to Live in the Wild

The Philadeplia Zoo recently welcomed an eaglet. While the eaglet’s parents are unable to live in the wild, their baby will not be raised in the confines of the zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo and the Pennsylvania Game Commission worked together to bring the eaglet out of the zoo and back into the wild. The baby was placed in a nest with two other eaglets in an undisclosed location north of Philadelphia. This is the second time the zoo and game commission have placed a captive born eaglet in the wild.

For more information visit Philly.com

Rare Frogs Airlifted to European Zoos

Fifty mountain chicken frogs, rare amphibians native to the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Montserrat, have been airlifted to three European zoos when news spread that the mountain chicken frog population was succumbing to a deadly fungal disease called chytridiomycosis. The frogs are now housed in captive breeding units at the London Zoological Society, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, and the Parken Zoo in Sweden.

Although they are called mountain chicken frogs, the large frogs actually live in the lowlands. Before their population was decimated by disease, they were eaten by locals; their flesh tastes similar to chicken.

For more info: Zoo and Aquarium Visitor