animals

The Jacksonville Zoo hopes its gorilla Kambuka will soon become a first-time mom. But Kambuka’s journey to motherhood has been complicated by the recent discovery that she’s deaf.  

Jacksonville Zoo veterinarian Dr. Yousuf Jafarey said there is often tension between Kambuka and the other gorillas because she doesn’t hear social cues. He said helping Kambuka overcome socialization problems within her gorilla family is an important step to having a baby.

For a girl growing up on a one-lane dirt road in a Connecticut town, it seemed the only way to look was up.

But Nancy Miorelli was nearsighted, so although she spent most days outside until dinnertime, she couldn't see the birds flying above her head.

"So I guess that left things that were crawling on the ground," the 27-year-old entomologist says.

Yep, bugs. But poor eyesight isn't the reason she puts herself in what others might feel is nightmarish proximity to bugs these days.

A green sea turtle in Thailand that drew international sympathy when it emerged that she had consumed nearly 1,000 coins thrown into her pool has died.

The turtle nicknamed Omsin, the Thai word for "piggy bank," had an hours-long emergency surgery to remove the coins earlier this month. But she never woke up from a second emergency surgery.

This frog really lights up a room.

The South American polka dot tree frog initially appears unremarkable. But researchers in Argentina recently got a huge surprise when they shone an ultraviolet light on it, revealing that the creature is actually fluorescent and glows bright blue-green.

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Leo Hornak

Fifteen years ago, the center of London was densely populated — not just with people, but also with birds. Particularly pigeons.

Huge flocks of them would fill the capital's parks and squares. But something has changed. The pigeons are gone. One reason for the pigeon decline can be seen in Trafalgar Square at 7 a.m. every weekday. 

Fitness tracking is all the rage right now. If you want to, you can monitor your heart rate, count your footsteps and calories burned, and even monitor your sleep patterns, all by using devices that can fit around your wrist or in your pocket. But that's if you're human. Fresno Chaffee Zoo, in Fresno, Calif., is taking fitness tracking to a mammoth new level — part of a national project to guard the health and happiness of zoo elephants.

'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan Dies In China

Dec 30, 2016

In the final days of a year that has become known for a number of celebrity deaths, 2016 struck again. The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported this week that what is thought to be the world's oldest male panda has died in China at the age of 31 — around 100 in human years.

Vampire bats are thirsty creatures. And they drink only one beverage: mammalian blood.

Each night, they hop on the ground, crawl up to an unsuspecting victim and latch onto its ankle.

Then the little critters use razor-sharp incisors to slice a deep, tiny wound into a victim's skin. As blood flows out of the wound, the bat laps it up — about a tablespoon per bite.

Most of the time, these bites are harmless – if not a bit uncomfortable. But if the bat carries rabies, a quick nip can be deadly.

Lizards are expected to be hard hit by climate change — and a new study suggests it might be even worse for some lizards than scientists thought.

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Carlos Jasso/Reuters

Venezuelans are suffering in many ways right now.

A severe economic crisis in the country has led to massive inflation and major shortages of food, medicine, and other essentials.

Like the people, zoo animals are also going hungry, says Marlene Sifontes, a union leader for the National Park Institute Inparques Project.

"The story of the animals at Caricuao [Zoo in Caracas] is a metaphor for Venezuelan suffering," she said.

Paul Leary

09/29/15 - Tuesday’s Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition about . . .  pet care.

Researchers say sea turtles rebounded from a slump last year to deliver one of the strongest summer nesting seasons on record on beaches from the Carolinas to Florida.

Bob DeGross, National Park Service / Bugwood.org

 

On Wednesday and Thursday, biologists from around South Florida gathered at the Long Key Nature Center in Davie for the annual Everglades Invasive Species Summit.

Armadillos May Be Behind Increase In Florida Leprosy Cases

Jul 22, 2015
Nathan Rupert / Flickr

A high number of leprosy cases have been appearing in Florida. The possible culprit: armadillos. 

This year, nine cases have been reported in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health. The state usually gets about two to 12 cases a year. 

In light of the spike in reported leprosy cases, wildlife officials recommend people wear gloves when handling any animals.

Zoo Miami Hosts Exotic Pet Amnesty Day

Mar 4, 2015
Lisann Ramos

This coming Saturday, March 7, is Exotic Pet Amnesty Day at Zoo Miami. There you can give up your exotic pet for adoption or adopt one if you have the proper permits.

On that day, owners turn their exotic pets over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The goal is to provide owners with a place to send their pets once they can no longer take care of them.

Ashley Taylor is the exotic pet amnesty coordinator with the commission.  

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