News and Events North America

A 50 Year Elephant Sized Party at the Oregon Zoo

Packy the Elephant is Turning 50 Years Old on April 14

By Hova Najarian

Portland, OR - Put on your elephant ears and get ready to party! Packy the elephant is turning 50 years old April 14, and the zoo is celebrating Oregon’s most beloved elephant with a birthday bash featuring music, games and cake. The party is free with zoo admission and runs 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday, April 14.

In 1962, Packy became the first elephant to be born in North America in 44 years, and he’s held a special spot in his fans’ hearts ever since. Packy’s birth also helped scientists better understand elephants — his mother’s pregnancy established the length of elephant gestation, for example — and opened the door to a new era in elephant welfare.


Heal the Bay is Expanding the Concept of Earth Day to Earth Month

Heal the Bay is Hosting Several Volunteer Events that Will Draw Thousands of Participants on Earth Day

By Matthew King

Santa Monica, CA - Environmental group Heal the Bay announced today that it is expanding the concept of Earth Day to Earth Month, participating in nearly 50 events countywide throughout the month of April.

The Santa Monica-based nonprofit has designed a series of outreach programs for schools, businesses and community organizations looking to protect and improve our neighborhoods, coastal waters, rivers, creeks and beaches.


Learn Nature Photography at Akron Zoo

Learn the Tips and Tricks of Nature Photography at Akron Zoo

By David Barnhardt

Akron, OH - The Akron Zoo welcomes children and adults to start snapping photos this summer of their favorite animals, landscapes or exhibits for the zoo’s annual Shutterbug Photo Contest running April 1 through September 30, 2012. To help all aspiring photographers, the zoo will be holding its 4th annual Dodd Camera Photography Workshop April 14, 2012 from 10 a.m. – noon. The workshop will be taught by photography professionals from Dodd Camera. Space is limited and people must register for the workshop.

The workshop will include tips and tricks of nature photography, in-the-field training and guidance, as well as a question and answer period. Visitors will get a chance to walk around the zoo with their instructors and take photos. Registration is $20 and includes the workshop, parking and admission to the zoo for the entire day. Anyone interested can register at www.akronzoo.org or by calling (330) 375-2550 ext. 7231. 


Queens Zoo is Holding its Annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza

The Stars of Egg-Stravaganza are Queen Zoo’s Flemish Giant Rabbits

By Barbara Russo

Flushing, N.Y. - The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo is holding its annual Egg–Stravaganza event on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s line-up of fun includes real rabbit encounters, spring-themed games, egg hunts, and more.

As to be expected, the stars of Egg-Stravaganza are the zoo’s Flemish giant rabbits: Olivia, Ruby and Herman. Visitors will have an opportunity to take a picture with one of these large and likeable lagomorphs, each weighing close to 20 pounds. Flemish giants are one of the largest and most docile breeds of domestic rabbits.

Other animals getting into the spirit of spring on the farm include sheep, goats, llamas, and many more.


T-Rex is One of the 16 Life-Like Animatronic Creatures in the NC Zoo

Visit Dinosaur Species in a Deep-Forest Exhibit at NC Zoo

By Tom Gillespie

Asheboro, NC - The North Carolina Zoo will begin its 9 a.m.-5 p.m. summer hours Saturday, March 31, when the park's ride and entertainment locations officially open to the public. These include: the zoo's 36-foot Endangered Species Carousel; the Acacia Station Giraffe Deck, where visitors can get eye-to-eye with giraffes; and Dino 4-D theater, an exciting 4-D adventure that takes visitors to Dino Island to save the T-Rex.

Saturday will also mark the opening of the park's new Dinosaurs exhibit, fifteen, life-like, animatronic creatures representing more than a dozen dinosaur species in a deep-forest exhibit created just for this first-time, temporary attraction at the zoo.


Virginia Aquarium has Completed 104 Winter Wildlife Boat Trips with Nearly 7500 Guests

The Virginia Aquarium Dolphin Watching Boat Trip Season Begins April 7

By Joan Barns

Virginia Beach, VA - Most years the Virginia Aquarium Winter Wildlife Boat Trips end mid-March. But this exceptional year of whale sightings deserves a longer season, so trips have been extended through April 1. Last week’s record-breaking high temperatures didn’t seem to bother the boat passengers or whales even though whales were sighted on 60% of the trips. Recently, some guests are getting the added bonus of seeing dolphins. To date, the Aquarium has completed 104 Winter Wildlife Boat Trips with nearly 7500 guests.

The Virginia Aquarium offers two-hour Winter Wildlife Boat Trips. Guests will find a heated cabin as well as outdoor seating on both the upper and lower decks of the 65-foot catamaran Rudee Whaler or Rudee Flipper. They can sip a hot or cold beverage as they cruise along with knowledgeable Virginia Aquarium educators and scan the horizon looking for birds, harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and whales.


A 2-Month-Old, Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros Runs Wild at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Charlees is the 61st Greater One-Horned Rhino Born at the Safari Park Since 1975

By Yadira Galindo

Escondido, CA - After a weekend of rain, blue skies finally made an appearance, just in time for the debut of a 2-month-old, greater one-horned rhinoceros at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The female calf named Charlees, Hindi for Charlie, was born on Jan. 20 to first-time mother, Alta. The pair spent the first two months in a boma where Charlees could bond with her mother before the calf could meet the remainder of the seven-member, greater one-horned rhino herd.


South Carolina Aquarium Gains National Attention With an Appearance on Fox & Friends

South Carolina Aquarium Campaigns Against Sea Litter on Fox and Friends

By Rudy Socha

Folly Beach, SC - South Carolina Aquarium staff members appeared on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends Weekend remote with Rick Reichmuth at Folly Beach, SC last Sunday March, 11th.  The aquarium staff delivered a message to the nation about the impact litter has on our environment.

Here are the behind the scenes photos taken by Susan Gregory as Rick Reichmuth broadcasted his weather remote from Folly Beach, SC on Sunday March 11, 2012. During the second half hour throughout the Fox and Friends Weekend show he focused on Wounded Nature – Working Veterans’ mission of cleaning up rural beaches and providing initial employment opportunities for veterans. A special thank you is extended to the South Carolina Aquarium and Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin for helping to make this such a great educational broadcasting event.
http://woundednature.org/behind-the-scenes-with-fox-and-friends-at-folly-beach/


Cola Wars Impact on Marine Life

Impact of Coca-Cola and Pepsi Increasing Beverage Sales

By Rudy Socha

Charleston, SC - Four things to know about wild marine birds, fish and animals before discussing how the cola wars affect marine life.

1.Most wild animals when injured will mask their illness so predators will not attack them.
 

2.Once a wild creature becomes close to death they hide in a safe spot so as not to be eaten alive. Few are ever found or rescued.

3.Most wildlife stay away from crowded public beaches. They breed and grow in areas not frequented or easily accessible by the public.


Spring Break Activities Abound at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium will Offer a Chance to “Sleep with the Sharks”

By Cindy Hanson

Newport, OR -  Activities for all ages are offered during Spring Break at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. In addition to daily animal feedings and hands-on exhibits, the Aquarium will offer animal encounters, a chance to “Sleep with the Sharks” and outdoor explorations. “Spring break is a wonderful time for families to enjoy themselves at the beach while learning about marine science and spending time together,” said Cindy Hanson, Aquarium Public Relations Manager. “Our educators are adept at inspiring inquisitive young minds to connect with nature!” Aquarium hours are 10 am to 6 pm during Spring Break, March 24 – April 8.


News and Events Europe

Join In With the Easter Celebrations at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Visitors Can Handle Chicks, Rabbits and Some Other Small Animals

By Sammi Luxa

Wraxall, UK - Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is looking forward to a busy Easter with some special events planned during the holidays.

This Easter Saturday 7th April come and join in with the Easter Celebrations at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. The Easter Celebrations start at 10.30am when the Zoo opens with an Easter Trail. Use your animal knowledge to follow the trail of questions around the zoo to find the chocolaty prize.

Throughout the day visitors can handle chicks, rabbits and some other small animals. There will be a chance to bottle feed the lambs at the end of the daily Animal Show.


Turtles Get Their Teeth Brushed at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium

Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium Keepers Scrub Turtles

By Anna Pellegrino

Tynemouth, UK - Aquarists at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium have come up with their own version of a turtle wax as part of an on-site Spring Clean.

The aquarium is home to a variety of freshwater turtle species that were either seized by Customs after having been illegally imported into the UK or rescued by Blue Reef after becoming homeless.

Among the species on display are rescued map turtles, red-eared terrapins and exotic slider turtles.


Have Fun at Work By Becoming an Aquarium or Zoo Mascot

No College Degree Necessary to Become an Aquarium or Zoo Mascot

By Philip Knowling

Paignton, UK - Have you ever yearned to be a penguin? Have you ever imagined yourself as an otter? Well, your time has come...

Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, is looking for people to play the roles of zoo mascots Oli the Otter and Mac the Penguin.

Living Coasts Marketing Manager Stuart Wright said: “Oli and Mac are great roles. They are almost Shakespearian in their depth and complexity. They need some very special people to bring them to life.


News and Events World

Burnt Koala Treated and Returned to North Stradbroke Island by Australia Zoo

Rian Was Been Fitted With a Tracking Collar to Ensure Her Long Term Health

By Kirby Orr

Beerwah, Australia - Rian the koala captured our hearts in October 2011 after becoming trapped in a controlled burn on North Stradbroke Island. The Australia Zoo Rescue Unit travelled to North Stradbroke Island to retrieve her burnt body and transport her for emergency treatment at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

Rian has remained in care at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for the past six months but will now return to North Stradbroke Island.


The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa Announces the Birth of 18 Puff Adder Youngsters

Snake Mom Took Around 3 Hours to Complete the Birth of Her 18 Babies

By Angeliné Schwan

Pretoria, South Africa - Visitors to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, in Pretoria, were treated to a rare spectacle last week with the birth of 18 Puff adder youngsters. Manager of Commercial Services and Business Development, Craig Allenby says, “We are delighted that all went so well and the lucky visitors to the zoo on this day had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness this species of snake giving birth”.

The female took around 3 hours to complete the birth of her 18 babies. Adds Allenby, “The successful breeding of the Puff Adders and several other reptiles already this year is testament to the skill and dedication of the reptile park conservation staff. The breeding of even fairly widespread species like the Puff Adder is an important part of us gaining and refining the skills that we use for breeding our rare and threatened species for conservation at the National Zoo.”


Two Oceans Aquarium Announces the Speakers for the 8th International Aquarium Congress

This is the First Time that the Aquarium Congress will be Held in Africa and Indeed in the Southern Hemisphere

By Helen Lockhart

Cape Town, South Africa - The Two Oceans Aquarium is proud to announce the guest speakers for the 8th International Aquarium Congress (IAC) which is set to take place in Cape Town, South Africa from 9 to 14 September 2012. Internationally renowned scientists Dr Camille Parmesan, Doctor Elin Kelsey and Professor George Branch have all confirmed their attendance and will deliver key note addresses during the opening ceremony of the 8th IAC on 10 September 2012.

Named "Outstanding Woman Working on Climate Change," by the IUCN, and as a “Who’s Who of Women and the Environment” by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Dr Camille Parmesan was ranked by Reuters ISI Web of Science as the second most highly cited author in the field of climate change in 2010.


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Meet the Aquarium Director

Meet the Aquarium Director, Julie Packard, Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Name: Julie Packard

Actual title: Executive Director

Name of your aquarium: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Location: Monterey, California, USA

URL for your facility: www.montereybayaquarium.org

Number of species at your facility: 550

Your favorite critter at the facility: Ocean sunfish

Total number of animals or fish at your facility: 35,000

Number of visitors annually: 1.9 million

Number of employees: 404

Number of volunteers: 1,200

Annual budget: $58 million


Meet the Zoo Director

Meet the Zoo Director, Patrick T. Mangus, Executive Director, National Aviary

Name: Patrick T. Mangus

Actual title: Executive Director

Name of your zoo: National Aviary

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

URL for your facility: www.aviary.org

Number of species at your facility: 200

Your favorite critter at the facility: African Penguins

Total number of animals or fish at your facility: 600

Number of visitors annually: 153,000

Number of employees: 45

Number of volunteers: 20

Annual budget: $4 million


Featured Blog Writers
Featured Blog Writers

Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums Blog
by Marilee Menard, Executive Director, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums in Alexandria, VA.

Christina's Wildlife Photography Blog
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Eco-Touring in Australian Rainforest
by Prue Hewett, Owner, Co-Director, Cooper Creek Wilderness

Eco-Touring in Ecuador
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Eco-Touring in Mexico
by Kenneth Johnson, General Director, EcoColors

Eco-Traveler - Carol's Journeys and Observations
by Carol Patterson, Principal, Kalahari Managment, Eco-Tourism/Communication Consulting

GPS - Video Zoo Tours
by Lee Little, Founder and CEO, BarZ Adventures

Life as a Wildlife Educator
by Allison Blankenship, Owner and Head Wildlife Educator, Zooniversity, LLC

Launching Zoo and Aquarium Visitor
by Rudy Socha, CEO, Zoo and Aquarium Visitor

Marine Life – Learning, Viewing, and Preserving
by Katie Grove-Velasquez, Writer, Marine Animal Researcher, Photographer, Educator, and Lecturer Working in the Hawaiian Islands

Marine Mammal Parks, Falconry, and Other Animal Items Of Interest
by Bruce Lane, Former Marine Mammal Volunteer at Oklahoma Zoo and Six Flags, Apprentice falconer

Responsible Travel - EcoTraveling
by Brian T. Mullis. President, Sustainable Travel International
 
Wildlife Rehabilitation in the Midwest
by Jane Schnelker, Founder, Wildlife Haven
 
Wildlife Rehabilitation Through the Eyes of Two Young Rehabbers
by Brittany Davis, Clinic Supervisor and Alicia Eastham, Clinic Supervisor, Second Chance Wildlife Center

Wild Wonders of Europe is a unique media initiative. Featuring 50 of Europe's best nature photographers.  
by Staffan Widstrand, Magaging Director

Zoos, Aquariums and Wildlife
by Alice L. Lockhardt, Freelance Zoo & Aquarium Writer



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