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inside march–april 2013

wildlife 8 Butterflies: Delightful Diversions Find out who drinks crocodile tears, why the males like mud, and other “secrets” from the world of the scale-winged wonders. BY WENDY PERKINS

12 Enigmatic Echidnas Get right to the point of the Australian spiny anteater’s story. BY PEGGY SCOTT

explore 18 Not Just Fun and Games: Enrichment and Animal Welfare There’s some serious science behind keeping our animals engaged. BY PEGGY SCOTT

conservation 16 Connecting the Dots: The Range of Bighorn Sheep Conservation efforts for bighorn sheep on both sides of the US-Mexico border. BY LISA NORDSTROM, Ph.D.

special tribute 22 Josiah L. Neeper Celebrating a life well lived. BY KARYL CARMIGNANI

more 2 Chairman’s Note 4 Through the Lens 5 Save the Date 6 You Said It 25 What’s in Store 26 Support 28 From the Archives

on the cover: Pink rose butterfly Atrophaneura kotzebuea on this page: Blue morpho butterfly Morpho peleides SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL




chairman’s note


Richard B. Gulley, Chairman William H. May, Vice Chairman Sandra A. Brue, Secretary Robert B. Horsman, Treasurer

Off to a Great Start for Tigers


his past December, we broke ground on a significant new exhibit for the Safari Park, a five-acre habitat for Sumatran tigers. This was a much-anticipated event, and we are grateful to all the donors who brought us to the starting point. The exhibit has been named the Tull Family Tiger Trail, in honor of Thomas and Alba Tull. In May, they pledged a significant grant, the Park’s largest single donation, if an additional $2 million could be raised by the end of the year. Thanks to more than 5,000 additional generous donors, that amount was met in October. We are very excited to begin creating this new habitat for our Sumatran tigers, a species that is critically endangered. The Tull’s donation means a great deal to them, On December 12, 2012, the San because their family is concerned about the rapid Diego Zoo Safari Park broke decline of the Sumatran tiger population, and ground for the new Tull Family they are committed to helping with education and Tiger Trail habitat, which is conservation efforts to keep these beautiful cats planned to open in 2014. around for future generations. Thomas and Alba have long been passionate about wildlife conservation, and they are ongoing donors to San Diego Zoo Global. Thomas is also a charter director of our Foundation for San Diego Zoo Global, and we appreciate his and his family’s commitment to our organization. Tiger Trail is the Park’s largest project fully funded by donations, which speaks to the importance of philanthropy in supporting conservation. There are many needs in any community, but the Tulls feel that connecting people to wildlife and conservation is a vital and worthy cause, that humans need nature, and facilities like the Safari Park provide that important link. We are grateful for their passion and their generosity, and with the opening of Tiger Trail in 2014, our five tigers at the Park will have a wonderful new home, visitors will learn more about how to protect tigers, and we will have researchers working in the field, as well. I am looking forward to seeing this beautiful new addition to the Safari Park and hope you will come to see our cats in the new habitat.

Rick Gulley Chairman






M. Javade Chaudhri Berit N. Durler Clifford W. Hague Nan C. Katona Patricia L. Roscoe Steven G. Tappan Judith A. Wheatley David S. Woodruff, Ph.D., D.Sc.

TRUSTEES EMERITI Frank C. Alexander Kurt Benirschke, M.D. Weldon Donaldson Thompson Fetter Bill L. Fox Frederick A. Frye, M.D. George L. Gildred Yvonne W. Larsen John M. Thornton Albert Eugene Trepte Betty Jo F. Williams

William E. Beamer, General Counsel Douglas G. Myers, President/CEO Charles L. Bieler, Executive Director Emeritus


John E. Gartman, Chair Murray H. Hutchison, Vice Chair Margie Warner, Secretary Maryanne C. Pfister, Treasurer Mark A. Stuart, President Richard B. Gulley, Ex officio Douglas G. Myers, Ex officio

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Christine L. Andrews Richard A. Baldwin Joye D. Blount Rick Bregman Lisa S. Casey Douglas Dawson Berit N. Durler, Ex officio U. Bertram Ellis, Jr. Arthur E. Engel Fran Golden Craig L. Grosvenor Judith C. Harris Richard M. Hills Craig A. Irving Susan B. Major Susan N. McClellan Michael D. McKinnon George A. Ramirez Joyce Summers Thomas Tull

through the lens

Giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca cub Xiao Liwu








save the date

MARCHAPRIL 2013 VOL.LXXXVINO.2 MANAGING EDITOR KAREN E. WORLEY ASSOCIATE EDITORS PEGGY SCOTT DEBBIE ANDREEN STAFF WRITERS WENDY PERKINS KARYL CARMIGNANI SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PHOTOGRAPHER KEN BOHN DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNICIAN TAMMY SPRATT DESIGN AND PRODUCTION DAMIEN LASATER CHRIS MARTIN HEIDI SCHMID PREPRESS AND PRINTING TRANSCONTINENTAL/PRINTED IN CANADA The Zoological Society of San Diego was founded in October 1916 by Harry M. Wegeforth, M.D., as a private, nonprofit corporation. The Zoological Society of San Diego does business as San Diego Zoo Global. ZOONOOZ® (ISSN 0044-5282) is currently published bimonthly. Publisher is San Diego Zoo Global, at 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92103, 619-231-1515. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, California, U.S.A., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Membership Department, P.O. Box 120271, San Diego, CA 92112.

A Fun-filled Spring SPRING IS A WONDERFUL TIME AT THE ZOO AND SAFARI PARK. Our beautiful botanical gardens at both facilities are leafing out and starting to bloom, the animals are demonstrating courtship behaviors, and the weather is perfect for exploring and taking walks around the grounds. Spring also heralds the arrival of two of our most popular events: Butterfly Jungle at the Park, which begins on March 16, and Play Days at the Zoo, which begins on March 23. Being surrounded by colorful, exotic butterflies in Hidden Jungle and making a “play date” to see your favorite Zoo animals in action are great ways to enjoy springtime with your family. Don’t forget that we have special dining events going on this month as well, including Easter Brunch at the Zoo and the Park. Set your clock forward, and come see us with a spring in your step!

Copyright® 2013 San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved. “ZOONOOZ” Reg. U.S. Pat. Office. All column and program titles are trademarks of San Diego Zoo Global. Annual Memberships: Dual $114, new; $99, renewal. Single $94, new; $82, renewal. Each membership includes unlimited entrance to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. ZOONOOZ subscription: $25 per year, $65 for 3 years. Foreign, including Canada and Mexico, $30 per year, $81 for 3 years. Contact Membership Department, P.O. Box 120271, San Diego, CA 92112. As part of San Diego Zoo Global’s commitment to conservation, ZOONOOZ is printed on recycled paper that is 30% post-consumer waste, chlorine free, and is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified. Using this paper for a year will save approximately 200 tons of wood, or 1,400 trees; 965 million BTUs of energy, enough to run 10 homes for a year; 155,000 pounds of CO2 equivalent, the amount produced by 14 cars during a year; and 84,000 pounds of solid waste (estimates made using the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator). FSC is not responsible for any calculations on saving resources by choosing this paper.

Douglas G. Myers President/CEO



2 Spring Brewmaster Dinner at the Safari Park

1 through 5 Spring Camp and Spring Art Camp at the Zoo

2, 9, and 16 Albert’s Spring Member Appreciation Dinners at the Zoo 3 Orchid Odyssey at the Zoo 8, 15, and 16 KinderNights at the Zoo 9, 16, and 23 KinderTots at the Zoo 15 Butterfly Jungle Preview Dinner at the Safari Park

6 and 27 Roar & Snore: Amazing Animals at the Safari Park 13 Africa Tram Comedy Tour Dinner at the Safari Park 19 Plant Day and Orchid Odyssey at the Zoo 20 Albert’s Spring Winemaker Dinner at the Zoo

15 Plant Day and Orchid Odyssey at the Zoo SAN DIEGO ZOO HOURS

March 1–10: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; March 11–22: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; March 23–31: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 1–7: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 8–30: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK HOURS March 1–15: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16–31: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 1–7: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 8–30: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


16 Butterfly Jungle begins at the Park (through April 7) 23 Play Days begins at the Zoo (through April 7) 31 Easter Brunch at the Zoo and the Safari Park

SAN DIEGO ZOO PHONE 619-231-1515






you said it Love the updates! No matter what my day is like I can click on the Panda Cam and just feel stress melting away….Just a few minutes of looking at their beautiful faces just makes my day. Tonia

The San Diego Zoo is the best zoo in the world and someday I want to be

either the head veterinarian or the owner! Trey Senecal

I had an awesome time at the Zoo. Great renovations! Cannot wait to

see the new koala exhibit in 2013! @ElysianFrancis

I have been watching the ELEPHANT CAM and it is so great to see them. They are so loving to each other. I love to watch them play. The baby is getting so big and I was watching today and she was out there wrestling too. It was so hilarious…. I just wanted to say thank you for letting us watch these awesome creatures. Kim

I’ve never had a bad day at the Safari Park. I love that place all year round and

especially love to experience the changes! @allkitos

I miss the meerkats and the animals already. We were just there yesterday

and I already want to go back! We had a great time!! Hilary Grace Andrews

When I grow up I want to be like @ZooKeeperRick and work at the @sandiegozoo @ktlynfschr There are three words for the San Diego Zoo staff…DEDICATION DEDICATION DEDICATION….YOU ARE ALL TO BE COMMENDED FOR YOUR LOVE OF ALL THE ZOO CRITTERS….THANK YOU FOR ALL THE INFO…. GAILE


Follow the Safari Park on Instagram, then document your Butterfly Jungle experience and tag your photos with the #ButterflyJungle hashtag to enter. Each week a new “phone-ographer” will win a safari adventure for four people.





Our special sleepovers are your chance to sleep and wake to the sounds of animals at the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park. You’ll be greeted by one of our animal ambassadors, receive an exclusive tour of the Zoo or Safari Park, and enjoy dinner and a campfire—all before bedtime. The next morning begins with a delicious breakfast so you can spend the rest of the day with your favorite animals.

Call 619-718-3000 to make your reservations today!

By Wendy Perkins STAFF WRITER


Delightful Diversions COLORFUL, PETAL-THIN WINGS, A BREEZY, FLOATING STYLE OF FLIGHT, and a generally gentle nature—it’s no wonder people think of butterflies as “flying flowers.” They certainly are eye catching, yet as with so many things in nature, get past the flash and there is even more that fascinates.

THE WING’S THE THING Butterflies and moths make up one of the largest and most recognizable groups of insects, the Order Lepidoptera. Derived from the ancient Greek words for “scale” and “wing,” the name perfectly describes a key characteristic of moths and butterflies: the tiny, keratin-based scales that cover their wings. Over time, lepidopterists (people who study moths and butterflies) have identified more than 274,000 species—and there are many more to discover. Wings can also provide a clue as to whether one is looking at a moth or butterfly. Generally, a resting butterfly holds its wings together vertically above its body, while a moth’s wings





are splayed out to either side or pressed close to its body. Sometimes, people mark the difference based on whether or not the creature’s wings are colorful—generally assuming that colorful wings are those of a butterfly while moths wear more drab shades. But if you’re familiar with the old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” you won’t be surprised to learn that there are some stunningly colorful moths, or that when a butterfly is resting with its wings up, you only see the dull, patterned camouflage under the wing.

VARIATIONS ON A THEME Wing markings are important to the survival of Lepidoptera. The bright colors sported by some species are a way of communicating to would-be predators: “I’m toxic, don’t taste!” Some butterflies mimic this warning coloration even though they aren’t toxic. One of the interesting things about color and pattern on butterflies is the variation among members of the same species. With a widespread distribution throughout Central and South America, the red postman Heliconius erato has about 29 different geographical forms. The basics are black wings with red and white markings. But the tint and size of the patterns vary depending on where the population is located. The designs speak volumes, and experts can use them to say just where a specimen came from. The monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus is probably one of the most recognizable species and is famous for making a 3,000-mile migration to escape winter temperatures. Actually, an individual monarch doesn’t make the full migration; the butterfly

Opposite page: Orange julia Dryas iulia Above: Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus Upper right: Blue morpho Morpho peleides at rest Lower right: Orange julia

Clockwise from top: Red postman Heliconius erato; blue morpho; zebra longwing Heliconius charitonia; proboscis of a giant owl butterfly Caligo sp.

that ends up in the warmer wintering locale is the fourth-generation descendent of one that left the summer feeding grounds. By studying each generation, an interesting occurrence has come to light. For reasons not yet understood, butterflies that arrive at the wintering grounds have darker-colored wings than their predecessors that stopped along the way.

MUD, SWEAT, AND TEARS Mention butterflies, and many people automatically see an ephemeral creature perched on a blossom, quietly feeding. That’s a good place to start, but the next time it rains, be sure to watch for butterflies drinking from mud puddles. Males engage in this behavior, known as “puddling.” Plunging their proboscis (tongue) into the muck, the males are able to extract minerals that aren’t available from flowers. They’ll pass the salts on to females they mate with, which need them for egg production. Because they mate with more than one female, males return to damp or muddy soils over and over. In places like a rain forest, where the soil may be inaccessible, butterflies and moths get vital minerals from other sources. Some make the most of the sweat of other animals, and a few have been seen “drinking” blood from open wounds. The Julia butterfly Dryas iulia doesn’t always wait for the right circumstance, however. This






Both moths and butterflies undergo a transformation from wingless caterpillar to flying adult, but the structure this happens within differs slightly between the two. CHRYSALIS: hard outer covering of a butterfly pupa. COCOON: layers of silk thread wrapped around a moth pupa. Only a moth spins a cocoon, but not all moths do. For example, the tomato hornworm in your garden drops to the ground, buries itself, and pupates in the soil without forming a cocoon.


Looking for a few key traits can help you tell the difference.


Wings at rest Body


Active period




Butterfly vertical

thick, fuzzy

slender, smooth clubbed tip day

Butterfly Jungle er

Preview Dinn

Friday, March 15, 2013 Mombasa Island Pavilion

Above (from top): Atlas silk moth Attacus atlas; Sara longwing Heliconius sara Left: Blue morpho Morpho peleides Right: Scarce bamboo page Pilaethria dido

bright-orange marvel has been observed landing beside a caiman’s eye and dipping into crocodillian tears!

SIP OR SOAK? Since they have no chewing mouthparts in their adult phase, moths and butterflies survive—and thrive—on a liquid diet. Their proboscis has long been described as functioning like a straw, making it easy for the insect to suck nectar up from the depths of a flower. Recent studies have shown, however, that it works more like a piece of paper towel than a drinking straw. Simply put, butterflies and moths soak up their food rather than sip it. Wondering how a moth “absorbs” your wool sweater? It doesn’t; the moth larva eats the wool, which is why the non-feeding adults laid eggs there.

Most adult forms of moths and butterflies rely on nectar to fuel their flight as they search for mates. Zebra longwings Heliconius charitonia are also able to use pollen as a food source. They collect the powdery substance and break it down into a liquid in order to absorb important amino acids. This extra bit of nutrition is a bonus; rather than a two- to four-week period of egg laying, zebra longwings are able to procreate for about six months! In the wonderful world of Lepidoptera, there aren’t really rules, but guidelines. Remember, there are always exceptions, and those are likely to be exceptionally amazing! Plan a visit—or two, or three, or more—to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s annual Butterfly Jungle celebration, and see these winged wonders in action. Q

Love butterflies? Enjoy an exclusive evening dedicated to these winged wonders! The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with appetizers, no-host cocktails, and private viewing of the butterflies in Hidden Jungle, followed by a delectable four-course dinner served in the Park’s Mombasa Island Pavilion. There will be a keeper present to answer your questions during the butterfly viewing and a special keeper presentation during dinner.

$69 per person for members, $81 for nonmembers, plus tax, gratuity, and parking. For reservations, call 619-718-3000. A credit card is required for reservations. Guests will be seated at tables of 8. For information and menu, visit








f any animal has the right to an identity crisis, it’s the echidna. Also called the spiny anteater, this curious-looking critter has been mistaken for both a hedgehog and a porcupine by Zoo guests. In truth, it is an egg-laying mammal, and it is difficult to determine an individual’s gender—both males and females have pouches. (The Zoo once had an echidna for many years named Erma who, after a veterinary exam, was renamed Victor!) “They are really unique animals,” acknowledges Katie Tooker, a senior keeper at the Zoo. “Those of us who take care of them affectionately call them the ‘sea urchins.’” Here’s hoping a sense of humor is one of the characteristics that helps make the echidna so special.

The Wonder from Down Under Making its home in the rough scrublands and forests of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea, the echidna (pronounced e-KID-na) is an evolutionary marvel, remaining unchanged since prehistoric times to stand as one of the Earth’s oldest surviving species. Its hardy build is certainly an advantage in a hardscrabble existence. There are two spe-






The echidna’s long, pointy nose is also called a beak. This captivating creature uses its six-inch-long tongue to lap up insects.

cies of echidna, and while they share some characteristics, they also have their own unique qualities. The short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus has dark fur that is almost completely hidden by a coat of hollow, barbless quills, called spines, on its back and sides. The long-beaked echidna Zaglossus bruijnii is more spiny, with less fur. The beige-and-black spines on both species help serve as camouflage in the brush and act as a deterrent to predators. An adult echidna weighs from 5 to 22 pounds and measures from 14 to 30 inches long, depending on species (short-beaked echidnas are smaller than their long-beaked brethren). The echidna’s tiny face features small eyes and a long, pointy nose, also called a beak. The solitary echidna is active during the day, evening, or both, depending on the season and food sources. Speaking of food, the echidna’s other name, spiny anteater, reveals one of the creature’s favored cuisines: ants. Another tasty treat? Termites! Nature has given the echidna the perfect equipment to enjoy both. Like anteaters, echidnas don’t have teeth. Instead, they use a six-inch-long, sticky tongue to lap up termites, ants, or earthworms. Hard pads at the base of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth grind the food into a paste for swallowing.

ging superpower can come in handy if an echidna senses danger, too. A few minutes of digging, and pretty soon all that’s visible are a few spines sticking out of the ground!

The Point Is to Dig

The Zoo is currently home to four short-beaked echidnas: two males, Didjeri and Eugene, and two females, Dilly and Piney. Thanks to the generosity of Brooke Koehler, we were able to acquire the four of them for the Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit. These spiky little bundles can have a mind all their own. “They can be really stubborn when we want to weigh them. They roll up and hunker down into the ground, so it’s hard to get hold of them. Their spines are pokey—we handle them with gloves,” Katie explains. We’re hoping that the echidnas, which will have fancy new digs in the Australian Outback exhibit when it opens in May, will hit it off and reproduce. “It would be really exciting to have successful breeding,” Katie says. “Echidnas are very hard to breed in zoos, but we are hopeful.” Here’s hoping for the pitter-patter of little puggle feet! Q

Echidnas excel at excavation. Their short legs aren’t particularly good for running but are great for digging. The hind legs point backward, with an extra-long claw on the second toe that can be used to reach dirt and bugs that get stuck between the echidna’s spines. Its powerful front feet can dig straight down into the soil until only the spines on the animal’s back can be seen. Claws on the echidna’s front feet are used to tear open termite mounds. This dig-

Opposite page: The echidna is an animal that certainly warrants handling with kid gloves! One of the hardy hider’s main defenses is to burrow itself into the ground, leaving nothing but a mound of spikes for a predator to contend with.

Pokey Little Puggles Short-beaked and long-beaked echidnas are two of the three animals that make up the group known as monotremes, or egg-laying mammals. The other? Another Aussie, the duck-billed platypus. An adult female echidna usually lays one leathery, grape-sized egg per year. She rolls the egg into her modified pouch for safekeeping. Ten days later, the jelly bean-sized baby echidna, often called a puggle, hatches. The puggle uses its tiny, see-through claws to grip special hairs within the mother’s pouch. The mother echidna doesn’t have nipples like other mammals; instead, the tiny puggle suckles milk that the mother’s body secretes from special pores in her pouch. Luckily for the mother, the puggle isn’t born with its spines—those don’t come in until around 50 days of age. Then it’s time for mother echidna to find a nice burrow to tuck her puggle into, returning to feed it until it is old enough to be on its own at around seven months.

The Zoo’s Prickly Pair





Celebrate Spring with a

Wild Easter Brunch! Sunday, March 31, 2013

Treetops Banquet Room at the Zoo Continuous seating, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hunte Nairobi Pavilion at the Safari Park One seating at 11 a.m.

Do something special this Easter—hop to the Zoo or the Safari Park with friends and family for a delicious and bountiful springtime brunch! $39.95 for adults and $18.95 for children ages 3 to 11, plus tax and gratuity; nonmembers add Zoo or Park admission. Seating is limited. For Zoo reservations, call 619-557-3964 daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; for Park reservations, call 619-718-3000.

Visit or for details and menus.

eat well. feel good.®



Healthy Global Cuisine ™

$10 off $30 R


Coupon must be presented at the time of purchase. One per party of four or fewer. Not valid wtih take-out order or other offers or promotions. Expires 4/30/13 MM81

AFRICA TRAM COMEDY TOUR DINNER Saturday, April 13, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

! y n n u F n w It’s Fall-Do

Animals do the darndest things— which makes for great comedy! Join us for a fun evening at the Safari Park’s scenic Okavango Outpost that begins with meeting animal ambassadors at a cocktail reception. Then it’s off for an African excursion narrated by our own comedian, who reveals the funny side of nature. Complete the evening with a gourmet four-course dinner surrounded by the Park’s unique ambience. $69.95 per person for members, $81.95 for nonmembers, plus tax, gratuity, and parking. Guests will be seated at tables of 8. Seating is limited. For reservations, call 619718-3000. Visit dining for details and menu.







ho would have guessed that my high school mascot, a ram, would become one of the focal species of my research? I certainly didn’t as I dreamed of one day becoming a wildlife ecologist. Now as a scientist at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, I have the opportunity to study bighorn sheep in a critical area of their range. Together with my colleague, Mathias Tobler, Ph.D., we are examining the population of Peninsular bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis nelsoni in the Sierra Juárez mountains in northern Baja California, Mexico, and assessing whether or not they are connected to the populations in the United States. This project started in 2012, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy as part of its Binational Conservation Initiative. With fragmented habitat along the Peninsular Ranges, which extend from the San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California south into Baja California, Mexico, the bighorns’ connectivity has been compromised by human disturbances, development, several major highways,





and the recently built fence along the US-Mexico border. In fact, it was thought that the subpopulation near the border had died out in the 1980s, creating a gap in their historical range. While a substantial amount of research on Peninsular bighorn sheep has been carried out in the United States, very little information is available on the populations in Baja California, particularly in the mountainous Sierra Juárez.

Counting Sheep Bighorn sheep are an iconic species. In Mexico, they are called borrego cimarrón, meaning wild sheep. The adult males, called rams, have massive curled horns—a symbol that is often depicted and revered. Adult females, or ewes, also have horns, but their horns are smaller, shorter, and straighter. Bighorn sheep populations have a social structure containing individual ewe groups, which creates multiple subpopulations. Rams tend to be more wide ranging and move between ewe groups, linking the subpopulations together as a metapopulation. Maintaining the links is critical: if connectivity is lost, then the individual

subpopulations are at an increased risk of going extinct, threatening the entire metapopulation. Peninsular bighorn sheep are federally listed as endangered in the United States and are listed under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix II in Mexico with special protection. Peninsular bighorn sheep populations in the US are starting to show signs of recovery, increasing from 335 adults in 1998 to more than 950 in 2010. With this population growth, there is some evidence that they are recolonizing suitable habitat within their historical range, particularly in the southern region near the US-Mexico border. However, threats to their survival still exist, including habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation; competition and disease from domestic livestock; and illegal hunting in Mexico. Although the population status of bighorns in the Sierra Juárez is currently unknown, this population is critically important, since it may provide the only link between the populations in the United States and Baja.

Range of Bighorn Sheep Rams are typically larger than ewes, with massive curled horns that continue to grow throughout their life. The horns are composed of a bony core covered by a keratin sheath that grows from the base. Both horn size and growth rings on the horns can be used to determine the age of a ram. Our Baja field team scoured the area for signs of bighorn sheep. Both the tracks and fecal pellets are distinctive for bighorn sheep. Fecal pellets were collected for genetic analysis to determine the level of connectivity between the bighorn sheep in Mexico to those in the US. Bighorn sheep in the Sierra Juárez may provide an important link for the populations along the Peninsular Ranges.

Camera traps are used to document the presence of bighorn sheep in the region and provide information on group size, composition, and activity patterns. These photos have shown bighorn sheep using areas on both sides of a major highway near the USMexico border.

Partners and Progress With the help of Alex Lozano and Julio Mercado, our collaborators in Mexico, our Baja field team has already been collecting data, using camera traps, tracking bighorn sheep signs, and collecting fecal samples for genetic analysis. They have had the arduous task of finding bighorn signs in the extremely rugged

terrain of the Sierra Juárez—believe me, this is not an easy task! Camera traps were placed on both sides of Highway 2 in Mexico and in several canyons to detect and confirm bighorn sheep presence in these areas. Thus far, we have been able to find and collect fecal pellets in multiple areas, from the US-Mexico border south into the Sierra Juárez. Genetic analysis of these samples will, we hope, reveal the genetic diversity within and between the populations in the Sierra Juárez and the United States and the level of gene flow between these populations. With the cooperation of Gerardo Vizcarra Rivera, president of Ejido Cordillera Molina, and Ray Lee, a bighorn sheep expert, we were also able to conduct an aerial survey in November 2012 to better assess the distribution and abundance of bighorns in this region. Surprisingly, we found the highest number of bighorns observed per survey hour since 1992, when only 4 individuals were seen during 10 hours of surveying. These findings are promising, but more research is needed. With the help of our collaborators, we plan to continue our efforts to better understand and ensure the persistence of these iconic mammals along the Peninsular Range. Q





Not Just Fun and Enrichment and Animal Welfare

Feeder puzzles stimulate a bear’s foraging behaviors.








here’s no denying that it is probably a ton of fun when a rhino gets the chance to bash around a punching bag fashioned from an old fi re hose. And a lion likely has a roaring good time “stalking” a deer made out of cardboard. It’s great that our animals at the Zoo and Safari Park get a kick out of such activities, but the truth is, when it comes to enrichment and animal welfare, “play” isn’t the only name of the game. Keeping our animals engaged is hard work—work that our experts take very seriously.

An Enrichment Revolution Andrew Stallard, an animal care supervisor in the Mammal Department at the Safari Park and chairman of the Park’s Enrichment Committee, says that there was a time when enrichment mostly meant giving an animal a toy, often to alleviate boredom. He is quick to add that times have changed. “The focus of ‘why’ in enrichment is important, and why we do what we do has shifted,” he explains. “The biggest question is whether an item or activity is going to elicit natural, species-specific behavior. There’s science involved in the planning and implementation of enrichment items.” Lance Miller, Ph.D., is the man behind that science at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Lance has studied the topic of enrichment from several angles, always with quantifiable data as a goal. He explains that enrichment can take many forms.“You can enrich an animal’s existence via the senses—auditory, olfactory, tactile, and visual; with food, manipulative items, and environmental items like substrates and structures; and in behavioral, social, and cognitive ways. For social animals, likely the best enrichment is an appropriate social group,” Lance says. He notes that it isn’t just the obvious animals—lions, tigers, bears, elephants, and primates—that benefit from enrichment. “Every single animal should get enrichment, because it helps meet their behavioral needs,” Lance explains. “It’s as important as meeting their physical needs through nutrition, safety, and comfort. And the responsive behavior may not be obvious. For example, studies with crocodiles have shown that changing their water temperature increases their sun-basking time, something that would happen in the wild. It provides the desired outcome—opportunities for appropriate, speciesspecific behavior.”

Top: Young lions practice their hunting skills. Middle: Enrichment items keep a raccoon’s little paws very busy. Bottom: The climbing structures in the orangutan exhibit are an example of environmental enrichment.





Even water temperature adjustment can be a form of enrichment, as it may encourage natural sunning behaviors.

Explaining Enrichment The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) requires an enrichment program as part of the criteria for its accreditation process. AZA categorizes enrichment into various types: environmental, habitat, sensory, tactile, food, and social. Environmental enrichment devices (EEDs) can be manipulated by the animal. They can be natural, like browse, logs, wood wool, bark, hay, and flowers; manufactured, such as Boomer Balls, tires, and Kong toys; or constructed, including puzzle boxes, piñatas, and various PVC contraptions. Habitat enrichment involves the use of substrates, levels, and complexities in an animal’s home area. Possibilities include platforms, tiered climbing opportunities, ropes and vines, nesting and denning areas, unusual food and water dispensers, and crevices for keepers to hide food in to create foraging opportunities. Sensory enrichment is designed to address the animal’s sense of smell, touch, hearing, vision, and taste and elicit species-specific responses, including territorial, reproductive, or hunting behaviors. Olfactory stimuli may include natural predator, pheromone, or prey scents or novel scents such as spices or perfumes. Visitors to the Zoo’s Panda Trek may have witnessed panda Yun Zi’s heady response to cinnamon-scented hay. Lance has done extensive work with animals and scents. “Using many, many perfumes and colognes, we were able to narrow down the ones that our big cats respond to the most,” Lance says. “We reverse-engineered the favorites of lions, tigers, and cheetahs down to key compounds. And all three types of cat responded to different compounds.” Tactile stimuli, another type of sensory enrichment, may include providing textures such as straw, soft blankets, burlap, cardboard, or wood. Auditory stimuli may involve the presentation of natural sounds or animal vocalization recordings. EEDs of different colors, items that move via wind or water, video usage, or mirrors are all examples of visual stimuli. Food enrichment is probably the most common, often including food presented in a variety of ways to elicit hunting or foraging behaviors, problem-solving strategies, and to aid behavioral conditioning. Greg Vicino, animal welfare manager for the Zoo and enrichment coordinator for San Diego Zoo Global, reports that results of enrichment opportunities vary from species to species and can also show surprising variety from animal to animal in the same species. “We have bamboo-tube feeder puzzles that we give to our





yellow-backed duikers,” Greg says. “And while one tips and rolls the tube to get her goodies, the other one picks the tube up in her mouth and smashes it until she gets her payout. You don’t know what you are going to see.” Social groups as a form of enrichment should resemble those observed in the wild to facilitate feeding, grooming, social, territorial, and courtship behaviors. Mixed-species exhibits can serve a similar purpose. Andrew and Greg agree that it’s not as common to provide enrichment items in the Park’s field exhibits because, as Greg says, “with all those different animals coexisting, there’s already so much going on. The social, spacial, and activity patterns in those conditions are highly dynamic and enriching.” In behavioral conditioning for husbandry and research behaviors, animals are provided with cognitive stimulation that increases their intellectual focus. Target training, hearing studies, and participation in animal ambassador programs all fall under this category. Greg notes that animals have the choice to participate or not. Lance explains that this is a key element. “Choice and control are important; animals need options and to make decisions, as they would in the wild,” he says.

Itemized Deductions—and Additions When one of our orangutans uses sticks to reach treats hidden in faux termite mounds in the Zoo habitat, that’s enrichment (and tool use). And Clark the raccoon, deftly finding treats among plastic chain links in a wading pool? “It’s like a river with lily pads as he investigates, feeling around for food,” Greg says. “The actual enrichment items we use are secondary to the behaviors they encourage.” This change in focus is the basis for how the Park and Zoo look at enrichment. “All items must be submitted for approval before keepers can use them,” Andrew explains. “But the item description is no longer question number one. The first question is: ‘What is your goal—are you curbing a stereotypic behavior like pacing or eliciting a natural behavior such as digging?’” Greg and Lance are on the same page as Andrew. “We had an object-based program, now it is behavior-based,” Greg explains. “We’re also reconsidering items that have been previously approved, to make sure they meet behavioral goals.” Lance sums up everyone’s goal: “We need to give each species the chance to be that species and do what comes naturally to them.” Q

San Diego Zoo Play Days March 23 through April 7

Make a Play Date with Your Favorite Animals! SPRING INTO ACTION and come to the San Diego Zoo to play! We have a full schedule of family fun during which you’ll see your favorite animals sliding, somersaulting, swinging, swimming, squeaking, and swooping while keepers share great stories about the “players.” Come celebrate spring with up-close encounters with our animal ambassadors, and even meet the Easter Bunny for commemorative photos. Join in a digital Easter Egg Hunt around the Zoo grounds for a chance to win great prizes. Check out a complete list of all the activities at to plan your perfect Play Days!

Highlighting a Life Well Lived

Tribute to

Josiah L. Neeper By Karyl Carmignani STAFF WRITER

Photos courtesy of the Neeper family

The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


ne of Josiah “Joe” Neeper’s many gifts was standing tall and calm in times of challenge and controversy, as well as listening carefully to “the other side” and weighing in with compassion and grace. His deft social skills, sharp mind, thoughtful mentorship, and “wicked sense of humor” made him an extraordinary leader in the field of labor law; he established the first full-time labor and employment law practice in San Diego that represented management. Beyond the legal arena, Joe was generous with his time and resources to community organizations by serving as a director or officer for the San Diego Zoo’s board of trustees, The Old Globe, San Diego Opera, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and the Timken Museum of Art. Joe became the San Diego Zoo board’s general counsel in March 1987, was elected to the Board of Trustees beginning January 2001, and elected trustee emeritus in 2007.





A gifted athlete and a creative artist, Joe was also, most importantly, a devoted husband and father to his two children, Bill and Liz. “He was a brilliant man who had a lot to offer,” said Joe’s daughter, Liz Neeper McIntyre. “He truly wanted everyone around him to succeed, and teaching and mentoring were very important to him.” Joe’s insight, ethics, and guidance benefited many friends and colleagues over the years. Born May 5, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Josiah Light Neeper was the youngest of three children. After his father died when he was six years old, he was sent to Girard College, an orphanage in Philadelphia, where he remained until he graduated high school. Then, with a suitcase and a train ticket, he headed to San Diego where his mother had found work. Joe graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, then served two years in the Army before entering law school at the Uni-

“Joe always recognized the humanity in people and drew out the best in each of us.” versity of California, Los Angeles, where he was also editor of the univerity’s Law Review magazine. In 1959, Joe graduated second in his class. He was quickly recruited by Walter Ames to join the law firm Gray Cary Ames & Frye. During his 35-year tenure there, Joe developed the first-ever labor practice department, attracting and

Photos left to right: Joe was devoted to his family; Joe and Rita enjoyed traveling; wildlife and the Zoo run deep in the Neeper family; Here is Joe with granddaughter Catherine; Joe was passionate about many things, including supporting charitable running events; art was important to Joe, and he supported art organizations as well as created it.

mentoring more than 20 partners and associates. “Mr. Neeper was the epitome of integrity, professionalism, and courtesy, for whom his client and his client’s needs were paramount,” said his law school classmate and longtime friend Pat Crowell. In 1982, Joe became Gray Cary’s first managing partner, a position he held until 1989 when he stepped down to become the firm’s first chair. After retiring from active law practice in 1995, Joe was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the California Public Utilities Commission, a post he served for nearly six years, commuting weekly to

San Francisco. Commissioner colleague and longtime friend Jesse Knight, Jr., recalled preparing to meet Joe for the first time by crafting intelligent answers to any number of questions he imagined the keenly bright Joe Neeper might ask of him. Instead, after they were introduced, Joe asked him about his daughter and family. “Joe always recognized the humanity in people and drew out the best in each of us.” Joe also had a passion for art. Listening to arguments in the courtroom, Joe doodled, but he could still recall the argument verbatim. “He drew angels, birds, animals, and people, all with an elegant simplicity. Joe tried to make an artist out of me, but in that he failed,” Jesse quipped. Joe’s artwork matured over his lifetime, and later in life he created a bound volume of poetry and wisdom, watercolors and drawings called “The Collected Yarns of the Peacocks.” Joe’s sense of family was paramount. “Perhaps growing up as an orphan made him extra committed to our family,” said Liz. “And his sense of family was wide. Everyone was welcome in our home! As a kid I remember being sent off to bed and falling asleep to the sound of boisterous laughter from downstairs as my dad and his friends enjoyed themselves.” Friends gathered around their dining room table to make cut-out snowflakes for the holidays; they also made fudge and potato chips from scratch. “We were always doing fun things together,” recalled Liz. Her favorite gift from her dad came when she was six years old. “It was a mixed-breed dog we named Suzie. Dad said I was a gift for the dog, not the other way around.” Joe and his late wife, Rita, cared deeply about San Diego Zoo Global. “The Zoo provided the Neepers great joy and satisfaction,” said Mark Stuart, president of the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global. “For almost 40 years, they gave generously of their time, talent, and treasure. They are missed, but their legacy of support lives on through the Zoo, Safari Park, and the Institute.” As one of his former students observed, “Joe was a bright light; people gravitated toward him. He was down to earth and made you want to do your best. He was a great lawyer and an even better person.” His was a life well-lived and well played. Q SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL





SAN DIEGO’S LEGENDARY ROWING EVENT Whether you come to San Diego to watch athletes of all ages compete in more than 100 races, or animals of all shapes and sizes play at the zoo, there’s fun in the sun for everyone! Crown Point Shores, Mission Bay April 6 –7, 2013 San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Family Festival Uʈ`ýʘy>Ì>LiÃÊUÊ ˆ“Lˆ˜}Ê7>ÃÊUÊœV>ÊÀ̈ÃÌà œÀʓœÀiʈ˜vœÀ“>̈œ˜Ê>˜`Ê̜ÊLÕÞÊ̈VŽiÌÃʜ˜ˆ˜i]ÊۈÈÌÊ UÊf£Óʈ˜Ê>`Û>˜ViÊUÊf£xÊ`>ÞʜvÊiÛi˜ÌÊUÊ, \ʈ`ÃÊ£ÓÊ>˜`Ê՘`iÀÆÊ>V̈ÛiʓˆˆÌ>ÀÞÊ܈̅Ê


՘`i`ʈ˜Ê«>ÀÌÊLÞÊ̅iÊ->˜Ê ˆi}œÊ/œÕÀˆÃ“Ê>ÀŽï˜}Ê ˆÃÌÀˆVÌÊ՘`ðÊÓä£ÎÊ->˜Ê ˆi}œÊ ÀiÜÊ >ÃÈV®


what’s in store







Visit our shops at the Zoo and Safari Park to purchase these featured items. 1. Talavera Roadrunner $69 2. Bamboo Wind Chime $14.95 3. Talavera Chimenea $103 4. Talavera Pot (plants not included) $25.95–$51 5. Rocking Metal and Stone Peacock $75 6. Talavera Armadillo $34.95 7. African Bolga Market Baskets $43.95–$75 8. Metal and Stone Ants $8.95–$20.95 • Handmade Ceramic Insect (shown in title) $19.95


Items and prices may vary based on availability. Available in select stores. Store hours vary, please call prior to visiting. Zoo 619-231-1515, ext. 4335; Park 760-738-5055 Talavera items cannot be shipped.








The Beat Goes On with the Fetter Family! FOR MORE THAN SEVEN DECADES, the Fetter family has been prominent in San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s philanthropic community, including a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Zoo. Trustee emeritus Tom Fetter followed in the footsteps of his father, Minton, and served on the Zooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s board for many years. In 2010, the Fetters contributed the naming gift for the GalĂĄpagos tortoise exhibit, and now Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife, Jane, and their daughters, JJ Fetter and Margi Fetter (SBIBN BSFDIBJSJOHPVS3FOEF[WPVT*OĘžF;PP 3t*t5t; HBMB ĘžJTJT+BOFTTFDPOETUJOUPWFSTFFJOH3t*t5t;Â&#x2030;BTDIBJSJO TIF converted the party footprint from a concert starring prominent entertainers to an elegant dinner under the stars. We recently asked Jane and her daughters to share some of their favorite Zoo memoSJFTBTXFMMBTXIBUXFDBOMPPLGPSXBSEUPBU3t*t5t; UIFNFE The Beat Goes On.

so I could visit the Zoo. Some of the first animals I saw each day were the lemurs, which just happen to be the beneficiaries for this ZFBST3t*t5t;"MTP *XFOUUP;PP4VNNFS$BNQ BOENZUFBDIFS selected me to participate on a weekly Zoo radio show, which I did for two years.

What are some of your early memories of the Zoo? Jane: *GFMMJOMPWFXJUIUIF;PPJOUIFMBUFT*XBTB4BO%JFHP Junior Theater student, and my father always dropped me off early

8IBUJTZPVSWJTJPOGPSUIJTZFBST3t*t5t; Jane: Our hope is to maintain the loyalty and dedication of the QFPQMFXIPIBWFTVQQPSUFE3t*t5t;GPSUIFMBTUZFBST CVUXFBMTP




MARCHâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;APRIL 2013

Margi: *BMXBZTNBEFBCFFMJOFUPUIF$IJMESFOT;PPTP*DPVMESJEF the GalĂĄpagos tortoises. I also loved watching the mice run around inside their â&#x20AC;&#x153;mouse house,â&#x20AC;? which was a big loaf of bread. JJ: I brought my niece to the Zoo, and we checked off her favorite animals on the map as we visited each one. Then she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ooh! I have one more favorite animal! Stuffed!â&#x20AC;? and she dragged me into the gift shop.

want to reach out to the younger generations because they represent the future of this gala. How do you plan to introduce the party to younger people? Jane: We want to engage mothers and daughters in the hope that the daughters will eventually take over the party-planning leadership roles. Also, our theme, The Beat Goes On, focuses on several generations. We want to encourage veteran R•I•T•Z patrons to bring the

young adults in their lives to the party, which will be fun and joyous. What’s it like to co-chair R•I•T•Z together? Margi: It’s an honor to work with my mom because she is so organized as well as fun. Although I live in L.A., I still think of San Diego as home, so it will be nice to have a reason to come to San Diego more often and to reconnect with friends. I also love the idea of doing something worthwhile for the Zoo. n

REN D EZ VO U S I N TH E ZO O Saturday, June 15, 2013 6:30 p.m. until midnight

Honorary Chairs: Audrey S. Geisel and Dragon & Don Sherman Co-Chairs: Jane Fetter, JJ Fetter, and Margi Fetter Graham Tickets: $450 per guest $900 per guest for R•I•T•Z Circle seating

R• I • T•Z 2013 30TH Anniversary

R•I•T•Z 2013 Challenge

For tickets, please contact Marilyn Neumann, R•I•T•Z reservation chair, at 619-287-5435 or

For every dollar donated, our honorary chairs will match it three for one, up to $1.5 million to benefit lemurs and the Zoo’s new Madagascar exhibit.

Where there’s a WILL there’s a WAY. To request a complimentary brochure about including the Zoological Society of San Diego in your will or trust, please call 619-744-3352 or visit





from the archives

Left: Lou Franco carried out the Park’s early security checks on his mule, Pat. Top right: An amiable pronghorn accompanied the caretakers and became their morning alarm clock. Bottom right: The entrance to the Park in 1969.

A Rugged Beginning August 5, 1969 was a big day for Ricky Cuzzone and his wife, Shirley: they turned their trailer off Highway 78, unlocked the double gate, and became the first caretakers of the undeveloped land that would become the Safari Park. Ricky described that first night as a sleepless one, as he and Shirley adjusted to being alone on 1,800 acres. The next day, though, he climbed into a tiger-striped jeep and began his duties, cleaning up dumped garbage on the property, cutting down barbed wire fences, and informing motorcyclists that they were, in fact, trespassing. Within a few weeks, Ricky and Shirley were joined by Duane and Vivian Bebensee, who also lived in a trailer on the property, and the Park’s first security officer, Lou Franco, seen in the photo above patrolling the grounds on his mule, Pat. Ricky describes the group as jacks-of-all-trades, including Shirley and Vivian’s duties of going down to open the gate for construction workers and staff from the Zoo, using high-powered binoculars to check the fence lines, and handling weather reports and supply inventories. This intrepid group set to work creating the Park’s perimeter fences, sometimes needing a helicopter to bring posts into the rugged hills. They were also the Park’s first keepers, caring for the first animals to arrive: nilgai, zebras, gnus, springboks, and wallabies, which were housed in a row of holding pens. Those early days involved long hours of hard work in pouring rain and 115-degree heat, but Ricky reported that they loved every minute of the adventure. They even had a pronghorn as an alarm clock: a female that had the run of the grounds took a liking to Shirley and Vivian and scratched on the trailer doors in the morning, letting them know she wanted to be fed. She and her mate also followed the people around as they went about their work, including greeting curious visitors at the gate. Appropriate ambassadors for the very first days of the Park! Q






WINEMAKER DINNER Saturday, April 20, 2013 “RUTA del VINO” BAJA, CALIFORNIA Reception with animal ambassadors and olive oil sampling in the Treetops Room, 6 p.m. Dinner to follow in Albert’s Restaurant

Reserve Your Table Today! Call 619-557-3964 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

Enjoy the fruits of one of America’s oldest wine making regions; the Valleys of Guadalupe, Santo Tomas, San Vicente, and Llano Colorado. Executive Chef Chris Mirguet and Albert’s Chef Charles Boukas have created a special menu to complement the wines and the awarding winning Santo Tomas Olive Oil. $89 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Maximum party size is 8 people. Must be at least 21 years old to attend.

For more information and the complete menu, visit


Box 120551, San Diego, California 92112

Scenic Course!

This point-to-point course will give you scenic views of wine country, horse ranches, golf courses and exclusive views inside the Safari Park only seen by half marathon runners!

Participate for FREE!

Raise $300 for rhinos and receive free registration for the Safari Park Half Marathon (see race Web site for details)!

Free shuttle service! Free admission on race day! Post-race breakfast for just $15! For more information, please call 619-557-3915

ZOONOOZ March/April 2013