Parents and Paws at the Zoo

Discussion in 'Member's Gallery' started by marlingardener, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    The Waco Cameron Park Zoo hosted a new event today--Parents and Paws. It featured the baby Black Handed Gibbon swinging from the trees and then cuddling with a parent--terminally cute!
    There were also curator/animal talks about the Sumatran tigers, orangutans, and raptors. The curators develop training strategies so they can check the health of the animals (better for the curators because as one said, "If we go into their enclosure, we wouldn't come out!").
    Orang training.jpg
    Orangs are eight times as strong as a human (surprised they haven't been solicited for a football team) and although stand only about 5' tall, have an arm spread of 7 1/2'. They are also on the most endangered species list. If habitat isn't preserved in Borneo and Sumatra there will be no orangutans left in the wild. Good news is that Mai is pregnant, and the around the clock watch on her starts tonight since she may give birth at any time.
    We also really enjoyed the talk about the raptors. One young man has really bonded with a juvenile Caracara. It was obviously kept as a pet since it was trying to get into a home's door. The homeowner called the zoo who came and got him. He didn't know how to forage for food, nor how to tear it up to eat. The curator had to teach him how to rip a dead mouse apart so the bird could eat it. Now THAT is dedication (also icky).
    When the curator gave the signal for the tiger to yawn and show its teeth for evaluation, most of the crowd took two or three steps back!
    Sumatran Tiger.jpg We didn't get a photo of the yawn because we were too busy stepping back.
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I'm a bit envious Jane as Waco zoo is one of the ones that I'd love to visit. I have seen programmes on TV about the way they train their animals to present parts of their bodies for health checks. It takes time and patience to build the trust of creatures that wouldn't normally tolerate humans in the way they do. The keepers are obviously dedicated to the ones in their care and these lessons prevent the animals from becoming stressed when they need to be examined. What I liked most about your photographs is the condition of the OrangUtan and Tiger. Neither is overweight (like many others in zoos) and their coats are in tip-top shape.
    We need to have strong breeding programmes in safari parks and zoos set up now before we lose these animals forever. Their numbers are so low in the wild that if it wasn't for institutions like Waco they would disappear from the face of the earth within our lifetime.
     
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  4. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Gorgeous tiger and orangs and all the big apes have always fascinated me.

    I more than love the way zoos have morphed over the decades into species saving entities. As a kid we went to zoos where animals were kept in solid concrete often empty cages. They were awful.

    I also have memories of going to one of the first wild animal safari parks which held lots of lions enclosed in acres of parkland. You drove through in your car to see the lions. It was a wonderful difference for all those poor old lions who had been captured and lived their lives in small cramped quarters - cages in every sense.

    Now zoos are catering to specialized animal needs, preserving species and educating the public. Have grown to love zoos again and I think for the most part they now have best intentions for the animals they house.
     
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