Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to one and all! Enjoy these holiday videos I created which include some of the most bizarre Christmas displays you will ever see! Hopefully I can make it out to the Columbus Zoo lights this year. Be prepared for new updates soon!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Funny Talking Animals - Walk On The Wild Side

I recently discovered this BBC series which is absolutely hilarious! Walk On The Wild Side is a brand new comedy series that seeks to provide a long overdue forum for the views and opinions of the animal kingdom. It's a world of hip hop-loving badgers, dieting pandas and a marmot called Alan.Meet the Not-Very-Scary-Sharks, the Scratching Badgers, the DIY Orang Utan, the Vultures Flying School and a Marmot called Alan. They all come together in this new show which combines the comedy talents of Jason Manford and friends together with some jaw-dropping natural history footage. It's time to take a Walk On The Wild Side!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How do zoos do with their animals when the weather gets cold?

Have you ever wondered what a zoo does with its animals when the weather gets exceptionally cold? As you may know, Florida is currently experiencing very cold weather these past two weeks, and Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are certainly aware that this may be really stressful for their animals. They've taken many precautions to protect their many animals. Here's a video that shows how they really take care of them:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Animal Kingdom to add Australia?

A recent post over at The Disney Blog has reported that Disney has begun the process of construction on a new Australian themed land within its Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida. The author of the blog claims "Australia is the first step in realizing the final vision of Disney's Animal Kingdom. The park currently lacks any aquatic/sea-life exhibits. So picture a Great Barrier Reef exhibit and a Killer Whale and/or Dolphin show. DAK does have a few Kangaroo, but a larger Marsupial exhibit would be a great addition." Is this Disney's answer to Sea World? We will see these plans fully realized? Personally, I would like to see more big rides with real animal encounters. What do you think? Is the Australian expansion rumor at Animal Kingdom fact or fiction?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interested in a career in zoo exhibit design?

If you're interested in a career in design zoo exhibits then you might be interested to check out The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization which runs a professional zoo design website and distributes s newsletter. This site provides exciting and specific information on various zoo exhibits from around the globe. The latest featured project is Realm of the Giants at Dierenpark Amersfoort Zoo, an exhibit for a group of up to ten Asian elephants. Elements of reversed landscape immersion, an abundance of tree trunks and plants indoors and outdoors create high complexity in a relatively limited space. Read more from Zoolex.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Georgia Aquarium sequencing the whale shark genome

Georgia Aquarium is sequencing the whale shark genome. This is cutting-edge research because understanding what makes the largest species of a group special provides a reference point for broadening our scientific knowledge of many other aquatic animals (scientists call these comparative analyses). This will allow us to ask and answer questions including: what piece of the DNA makes a whale shark unique, how is it different from other sharks, how are sharks different from other vertebrates including us, and what genes are associated with its unusual size and eating behaviors. Currently our partners at the Emory University Core DNA Sequencing Facility and Roche454 have helped us secure more funds to continue this project. It is our hope that with a few additional gifts and continued support from our partners we will be able to complete our major sequencing efforts in the new year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Endangered Animals: Key Deer

The Key Deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) is an endangered species of deer that lives only in the Florida Keys. It is a subspecies of the  White-tailed deer found in abundance throughout the rest of America. Conservation efforts include the establishment of the National Key Deer Refuge, which consists of approximately 8,500 acres on Big Pine, No Name Key and several smaller uninhabited islands. Dusk is the best time of day to see the Key Deer.Try turning left (South) on the first road when you get to Big Pine Key. You can't miss it due to all of the warning signs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sad News for the Columbus and Cincinnati Zoos

Fluffy, a gigantic and gentle reticulated python at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, died last night due to an apparent tumor.  The eighteen-year-old snake was 24-feet-long and 300-pounds and held the title of longest snake by Guinness World Records.

Also, our deepest condolences go out to the Cincinnati Zoo for the loss of their baby Indian rhino yesterday. Our thoughts are with you

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Orca calf born at SeaWorld Orlando

Good news out of Sea World this week after the bad news of the recent death. SeaWorld Orlando's newest addition — a 7-foot-long, 350-pound baby killer whale — is in good physical shape and showing signs of strength hours after its birth, the theme park says. Katina, a 34-year-old female, gave birth to her seventh calf Saturday night at 7:28 p.m. It's the circle of life baby! Read the full story here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 8 Cheetah

It's the never ending updates! This sub-saharan and northern Iran animal is the fastest land mammal in the world, capable of reaching a top speed of 70 miles per hour for a short period of time. Only about 10,00 remain left in the wild. The cheetahs are definitely one of the highlights of visiting the Wilds on your safari adventure.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 7 African Wild Dogs

The updates are endless! This is part 7 of our journey to the Wilds of Cumberland, Ohio. Today we look at one of the three species of carnivores that call the Wilds home, the African Wild Dog. Originally found in Southern, eastern, and central Africa, these pack oriented animals have a strong social structure which aids them in hunting for prey in the wild. There success rate is supposedly 80% (where you come up with that I don't know. Would be interesting to see the sample size on that data). Habitat loss (of course) has been their major cause of decline to a population of about 5000.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 6 Giraffe

There are three subspecies of giraffe's represented at the Wilds: Masai, reticulated, and Rothchild's. Masai have leafy shaped  spotting patterns. These creatures are found on the continent of Africa. here you can see them among the trees.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 5 Przewalski's Wild Horse

This endangered species of wild horses is originally from Europe and Asia. The Przewalski's Wild Horse actually went extinct in the wild but has recently been reintroduced and is making a nice comeback. A good sized herd is located at the Wilds and you should get nice and close to them!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 4 Persian Onagers

Continuing with our virtual tour of the Wilds, our tour bus has arrived at the home of the Persian Onagers. These endangered creatures from Iran are on of six sub species of wild ass that were once common across the Asian continent.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Small ape triggers tiger escape at Miami's Jungle Island

A 500-pound Bengal tiger leapt over a tall fence, dozens of frantic visitors ran for their lives, and park workers labored to lure the predatory animal back into a holding cage. A day after the frenzy, it became increasingly clear that a small ape had triggered the unusual sequence of events at the Watson Island animal park.

Read the full article here. Wow, how does this even happen? Luckily, no one was injured or hurt. Anybody have a video of the event?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 3 Bactrian Camels

Moving on with our tour, at the next stop we find the Bactrian Camels (camelus bactrianus), an endangered species from Mongolia. You can tell they are Bactrian camels because they have two humps just like the letter B! Do you know what is inside of those two humps? If you guessed water, sorry, that is incorrect and a common misconception. The two large humps store fat which allows the camel to survive long periods of time without food or water. There are less than a thousand of these animals left in the wild due to habitat loss and hunting. If you visit the Wilds, chances are you'll see these camels up close. They often like to scratch themselves on the tour buses. Stay tuned for the next stop on our tour!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 2

One of the first animals species we got to see up close at the Wilds was the Greater One-Horned Asian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis). Their current status in the wild is endangered due to human encroachment and poaching. They are found in the countries of Bhutan, India, and Nepal. "Unlike the white rhino, this one-horned species is mostly solitary, except when a female is raising her young. Their prehensile (adapted to grasp) upper lip allows them to pick up a grass stem or other food item and bring it to their mouth." Stay tuned for part 3 and, of course, the upcoming video.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pictures from the Wilds: Part 1

In the coming weeks I plan on sharing all of my wonderful pictures and videos of the Wilds in southern, starting with part one today. These are a few views of the park from the visitor center. It gives you an idea of how vast (and green!) the area is. You can also catch a peek of one of the safari transport buses.