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Entries in Zoo (6)

Thursday
Jul042013

Bald Eagle Missing from Baton Rouge Zoo

Credit: BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- A bald eagle that zoo officials thought couldn’t fly surprised everyone when it was spooked during a routine maintenance session and flew toward  his mesh enclosure with enough force to create a hole and escape, according to the zoo.

The unnamed male bald eagle came to the zoo about a year ago after wildlife rehabilitators found it injured and with broken bones.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife determined that it could not be re-released into the wild and needed a permanent home, according to Kaki Heiligenthal, the director of marketing for the Baton Rouge Zoo.

She said the zoo believed the eagle was unflighted, or had limited flight capabilities, until it became startled and took off.

“When he ran into the mesh at the top of the exhibit, it was hard enough to create a hole,” Heiligenthal told ABC News on Thursday. “It turns out he could fly a little bit better than we had originally anticipated and just took off and kept going.”

The eagle escaped on Wednesday morning. Zoo officials have been searching for it ever since and have asked  for the public’s help in locating the bird.

“We are actively searching,” Heiligenthal said. “We’ve been fielding a bunch of phone calls from people in the area who have seen birds that they believe to be the eagle and we’re recording all of those and looking into the ones that seem most likely.”

The zoo staff is searching the zoo grounds as well as the surrounding parks and neighborhoods. Heiligenthal said that eagles naturally gravitate toward high places.

“Eagles are not notoriously aggressive, but if someone tried to grab him or something, certainly he could become defensive,” she said. “The best thing to do would be to keep him within sight and give the zoo a call so we can send out the proper personnel to come collect him.

“It’s been a little over 24 hours, but we’re still very hopeful that we’ll find him,” Heiligenthal said.

The zoo is asking that anyone who may spot the eagle call it at (225) 775-3877.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar042013

Zoo Workers Step in to Mother Abandoned Baby Gorilla

File Photo (Hemera/Thinkstock)(CINCINNATI) -- Workers at the Cincinnati Zoo have taken on a new role: surrogate mommy.

An infant gorilla was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, on Jan. 29. Her mother rejected her. She was flown to Cincinnati, where two gorilla mothers were available as surrogates.

But before Gladys can be left in their care, a cast of zookeepers will have to step in and teach Gladys how to be a gorilla.

“Gorillas are not a lot different than people in that they have their own language and rules of etiquette,” Ron Evans, primate team leader for the Cincinnati Zoo, told ABC News.  “They have to start learning these rules from the day they are born.”

This kind of surrogacy is practiced with several species of apes, including chimpanzees and orangutans.

A rotation of three are already wearing black hair vests,  grunting, grooming and walking on their knuckles around her. Once Gladys is strong enough, they’ll don black hair vests and carry her around, just as a biological mother would do.

Gorillas are carried by their mothers for their first 18 months, and only weaned at about three years.

“There are good moms and bad moms, just like humans,” said Ron Magill of the Miami Metro Zoo. “Sometimes new moms will reject their babies.”

Now the baby gorilla is being raised by six human surrogates who will tend to her around the clock.

They don’t want any one surrogate to get too close, because that could create attachment issues once Gladys is sent to live with her gorilla surrogates.

The workers give her daily checkups and participate in activities  such as Tummy Time to strengthen her neck muscles, and practice gripping.

The interaction is intended to prepare Gladys for her new ride — on the back of an adoptive gorilla mother at the zoo — as well as prepare her to join the rest of the troop.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May032012

Fake Giraffe Escapes Boston Zoo

David Kamerman/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- To the shock of patrons at The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston Wednesday morning, a giraffe broke free from its pen, sparking an emergency response from employees who rushed to corral the animal with weapons drawn.

Possibly more shocking to onlookers: the giraffe wasn't real, but an employee in an animal costume, the Boston Globe reports.

The event -- similar to a rhino "escape" from a Japanese zoo that became a viral video -- was meant to test the zoo's emergency preparedness.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

Gorilla Reported At Large in Alabama

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Authorities in Alabama are on the hunt for at least one gorilla after reports surfaced that the animal was spotted near a store in rural Newbern, Ala.

The Hale County Sheriff’s Office said the town’s volunteer fire department and police have been searching for the gorilla since the sighting was reported over the weekend, according to local affiliate ABC33/40.

Newbern is a town of around 220 people in Hale County, approximately 50 miles south of Tuscaloosa.

Authorities say they are not sure how many gorillas they are searching for.

One sighting was said to have been made by a child, while another person reported seeing what may have been a bear.  The sightings have not been confirmed by home video or surveillance video, 33/40 reports.

The closest zoo to Newbern is located nearly 100 miles away in Birmingham, Ala.  Officials at the Birmingham Zoo confirmed to ABC News on Monday that the zoo’s sole gorilla, 16-year-old Cenzoo, is present and accounted for.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec312011

Monkey Banana Sam Snatched From San Francisco Zoo

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A monkey-hunt is underway in the San Francisco area after someone stole a tiny squirrel monkey from the city’s zoo.

The black and orange monkey, named Banana Sam, was reported missing from his enclosure by zoo employees Friday morning. Zoo officials quickly found signs of a break-in: two holes cut in the wire mesh cage and the chain on the perimeter fence cut.

“The one hole is fairly small and its right by where their nest box is that they sleep in at night. The other hole on the other panel is fairly large — a small person could certainly go in,” said Corinne Macdonald, the curator of primates at the San Francisco Zoo.

Now, the search is on for Banana Sam, who is one foot tall and weighs only two pounds. At 17 years old, Sam is considered elderly by monkey standards and he requires special food to survive.

A private donor has put up $5,000 for Banana Sam’s safe return.

Squirrel monkeys are often sold on the black market and used for medical research or kept as exotic pets.

As one San Francisco cop said, if your friend, relative, neighbor or acquaintance suddenly has a pet monkey they didn’t have the day before, please call 9-1-1.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May092011

Leopard Mauls 7-Year-Old Boy on School Trip

John Foxx/Stockbyte(WICHITA, Kan.) -- A child on a school field trip to a Wichita zoo was mauled by a leopard after the child got too close to the big cat's enclosure and was grabbed by the animal.

Two visitors who saw the attack jumped over the railing around the animal's cage and kicked the leopard in the head until it released the seven-year-old boy.

The first-grader had apparently climbed over the railing and approached the cat's thin metal mesh enclosure. The cat sprang.

"This little boy was facing away from the cage and the leopard had his head...in his paws, and it was trying to bite through the wire," said Stephanie Terribilini, a zoo visitor who witnessed the mauling.

John Delgado jumped in to save the boy.

He was "just somebody's kid," Delgado said. "I couldn't let that happen. It was sad."

The boy is listed in fair condition. He suffered deep scratches on his face and neck as a result of the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio