ZOONOOZ March 2016

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Simply Simian Tenacious Tiger Cub A Look at Long Necks 100 Years of History Ruuxa and Raina Hello, Hyraxes

MARCH 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016 5 p.m. Reception with Animal Ambassadors at the Price Education Center. 5:30 p.m. Dinner to follow in Albert’s Restaurant. Join us for an evening of fascinating animals and fantastic food! Experience up-close animal encounters with some of our favorite ambassadors. Then, relax over a three-course meal prepared by our top chefs. $72 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Event ticket must be presented to gain access to the San Diego Zoo. Must be 21 or older to attend. Guests will be seated at tables of eight. Menu substitutions are not available for this event. Please call 619-718-3000 for reservations, or purchase online at zoo.sandiegozoo.org/dining-events

Sunday, March 27, 2016 Treetops Banquet Room Continuous seating begins at 11 a.m. Enjoy a beautiful spring day at the Zoo and savor our bountiful Easter Brunch Buffet. $44.95 for adults and $18.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Nonmembers add Zoo admission. Reservations for this event only can be taken at 619-557-3964. Secure your reservation with a credit card.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

at Albert’s Restaurant!

6 p.m. Reception with Animal Ambassadors in Treetops Banquet Room. 6:45 p.m. Dinner to follow in Albert’s Restaurant.

Indulge in a four-course meal crafted by our chefs to pair beautifully with the rich and complex wines of Grgich Hills Estate.

Albert’s Restaurant at the San Diego Zoo is cooking up some exciting dining events for your springtime enjoyment. Join Executive Chef Chris Mirguet and Albert’s Chef Charles Boukas for a gourmet meal and great company—make your reservations today!

$103 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Must present event ticket to gain access to the San Diego Zoo. Ages 21 and older only. Guests will be seated at tables of eight. Menu substitutions are not available for this event. Please call 619-718-3000 for reservations, or purchase online at zoo.sandiegozoo.org/dining-events

March 2016 VOL. LXXXIX–NO. 02

Nooz Notes 2

Chairman’s Note; President’s Note; Save the Date; Centennial; What’s In Store; It’s Only a Number

Graphically Speaking 8 Simply Simian

Monkeys and apes share one big happy primate family, but there are some crucial differences between them. ILLUSTRATED BY AMY BLANDFORD AND WRITTEN BY KARYL CARMIGNANI

Cover Story

10 A Labor of “Love”

It took teamwork and dedication to save the life of a Sumatran tiger cub. The result is a striped success story! BY PEGGY SCOTT


15 Necks: When Longer Is Better

Sometimes the ability to stick your neck out is important for survival. How many vertebrae make up the longest necks? BY KARYL CARMIGNANI

18 See Ruuxa Run

He may have gotten a slow start, but for Ruuxa the cheetah cub, it’s now full speed ahead! BY WENDY PERKINS

20 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo, Parts 3 & 4

World War II presented many challenges for the Zoo. Find out how it soldiered on to survive the lean years and labored to grow. BY KAREN E. WORLEY

24 Rock Hoppers

Hyraxes are unique little animals with some really big relatives. Sink your teeth into the story of the Procaviidae family. BY JENNIFER BEENING


CELEBRATE OUR CENTENNIAL May 14, 2016 is the day to party—and you’re invited! Visit our centennial website sandiegozoo100.org.


26 Support 28 That Was Then ON THE COVER: Sumatran tiger cub Panthera tigris sumatrae PHOTO BY: Ken Bohn, SDZG Photographer



Our Botanical Garden


Book set, $49.95.


Gift of the Century Celebrate the Zoo’s 100th birthday with a commemorative memento from our new Centennial Collection. Come see our entire selection in the main stores at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, or online at shopsandiegozoo.com.

SHOP ONLINE, Find these and other gift items for purchase at our new online store, shopsandiegozoo.com.

Circular lion logo T-shirt, $21.95.

Centennial logo crew T-shirt, $16.95, infant, toddler, youth sizes; $18.95, adult sizes.

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Hoodie, $39.95.

Pins,$8.95. Collect all 12.

rom the beginning, Dr. Harry Wegeforth envisioned the San Diego Zoo as a true zoological garden, where plants as well as animals would thrive. In fact, he became the Zoo’s own Johnny Appleseed as he carried a cane with a sharpened tip and a pocketful of seeds, planting as he walked the grounds of the Zoo. Over the past 10 decades, our botanical collections have continued to grow to numbers that exceed 700,000 plants at the Zoo and 1.7 million plants at the Park, collectively representing more than 25,000 species. The science has also developed, as our staff uses DNA barcoding to identify rare plants and micropropagation to manage collections. Our teams foster relationships with other plant conservation institutions and share data and seed samples to help increase endangered plant populations. At the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research (ICR), the Applied Plant Ecology team oversees more than 500 collections in its Native Seed Bank at the Safari Park, which represent 20 percent of San Diego County’s native species, and restoration projects are a high priority. In January, San Diego Zoo Global started a new partnership with the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), a consortium of 40 botanical gardens that work together to save US plants from extinction. It is a global model, holding the National Collection of Endangered Plants, which now includes almost 800 imperiled plant species. The CPC will now be based in San Diego, with John Clark, Ph.D., serving a dual role as CPC president and director of plant conservation for San Diego Zoo Global’s ICR. He will lead the CPC as well as ICR’s national efforts to save endangered plants, and provide strategic direction for developing the plant collections at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. These are dynamic times for San Diego Zoo Global as we strengthen our commitment both to plant and animal conservation—and carry out Dr. Harry’s visionary goals.


Springtime at the

Safari Park!

The Safari Park blossoms in the spring, both with colorful flowers and the beautiful butterflies of Butterfly Jungle. Join Safari Park chefs Joshua Mireles and Abriann Ramirez for gourmet dining and delectable treats to welcome the season.

Butterfly Jungle Preview Dinner Friday, March 11, 2016, 5 p.m., Mombasa Pavilion Includes an exclusive viewing of the butterflies in the Hidden Jungle followed by a delectible four-course dinner in Mombasa Pavilion. Guests will have open seating at tables of eight. $69.95 for members, $82.95 for nonmembers, plus tax, gratuity, and parking.

Butterly Jungle Breakfast

Easter Brunch Sunday, March 27, 2016, 11 a.m., Hunte Nairobi Pavilion Hop on over to the Safari Park for a wild Easter Brunch! From gourmet specialties to Easter favorites, and plenty for those with a sweet tooth, this brunch buffet is sure to please the whole family. $44.95 for adults and $18.95 for children, ages 3 to 11, plus tax, gratuity, and parking. Nonmembers add Safari Park admission.

Saturday, March 19, 2016, 7 a.m., Mombasa Pavilion Enjoy a delicious and bountiful breakfast in Mombasa Pavilion, followed by early viewing of the beautiful butterflies in the Hidden Jungle. Guests will have open seating at tables of eight. $45 plus tax, gratuity, and parking. Nonmembers add Safari Park admission.

For reservations, call 619-718-3000 or book online at sdzsafaripark.org/dining.

Animal Tales: Joanne’s Journey continues Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8 a.m., Hunte Nairobi Pavilion Enjoy a breakfast buffet, then hear about our gorilla Joanne’s extraordinary journey. From a most challenging birth, significant illness, and being reunited with her mom, and find out what she is up to now! $49 plus tax, gratuity, and parking; nonmembers add Safari Park admission.


Save the Date What’s happening at the Zoo and Park this month and next

MARCH 11, 12, 18, AND 19; APRIL 15, 16, 22, AND 23 KinderNights Animal interaction and fun for children ages 3 to 6, with an adult. To make reservations, call 619-557-3962 or visit sandiegozoo.org. (Z)

(Z) Zoo events (P) Park events MARCH 5 Albert’s Animal Ambassador Dinner Meet some of the Zoo’s charismatic animal ambassadors, while enjoying a delicious gourmet meal. For more information, visit zoo.sandiegozoo. org/dining-events or call 619-718-3000. (Z) MARCH 5, 6, AND 26; APRIL 2, 3, AND 30 Sunrise Surprise Strolls Enjoy the Zoo before it opens for the day, walk the grounds with experienced Zoo educators, learn the “inside secrets,” and hear stories about special animals. Call 619-718-3000 or visit sandiegozoo.org. (Z) MARCH 6/MARCH 18 AND APRIL 15 Orchid Odyssey/ Plant Day & Orchid Odyssey The Zoo’s world-class botanical garden features more than 700,000 plants, including many rare and beautiful specimens. Take a self-guided walking tour or a Botani-

cal Bus Tour, and get a rare look inside the Zoo’s Orchid House. (Z) MARCH 12-APRIL 10 Butterfly Jungle Experience thousands of colorful butterflies fluttering above and around you, inside a rain forest greenhouse at our Hidden Jungle—and then enjoy a wide array of butterfly-themed activities and events throughout the Safari Park. A members’ preview day is offered March 11. (P) MARCH 12 AND APRIL 22 Roar & Snore Safari: Adult Roars & Rumbles See animals that rumble, roar, or both at this adults-only sleepover at the Safari Park. For details and reservations, call 619-718-3000. (P) MARCH 19 Butterfly Jungle Breakfast Get up close and personal with thousands of remarkable butterflies in our Hidden Jungle, and then enjoy a hearty break-

fast. For reservations, call 619-718-3000. (P) MARCH 19-APRIL 3 Play Days Celebrate spring with upclose animal encounters, inside stories from keepers, and many special activities included with Zoo admission during this annual event— with extended hours, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Z) MARCH 20 “The Lore Behind the Roar! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo” This new exhibit about the Zoo—running through February 26, 2017—opens at the San Diego History Center. For information, visit sandiegohistory.org. MARCH 27 Albert’s Easter Brunch Enjoy a memorable spring

brunch prepared by San Diego Zoo Executive Chef Chris Mirguet and Albert’s Chef Charles Boukas. For reservations, call 619-557-3964, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. (Z) MARCH 27 Easter Brunch Sit down to a scrumptious meal prepared by Safari Park chefs Joshua Mireles and Abriann Ramirez. For reservations, call 619-718-3000 or book online at sdzsafaripark.org/dining. (P) APRIL 9 Nativescapes Garden Tour A free guided walking tour through the Park’s four-acre Nativescapes Garden—with 1,500 individual plants, representing 500 native Southern

California species— begins at 10 a.m. (P) APRIL 16 Albert’s Spring Winemaker Dinner Chefs Chris Mirguet and Charles Boukas serve up a four-course gourmet meal to accompany exceptional wines. A reception with animal ambassadors precedes dinner. Make reservations online at zoo.sandiegozoo.org/ dining-events or call 619-718-3000. (Z) APRIL 16 Joanne’s Journey Continues: Breakfast Learn more about Joanne, the Park’s special baby gorilla delivered by C-section, who is now two years old—and enjoy a bountiful breakfast. For reservations, call 619-718-3000. (P)


Spring Fever


pring is always such a fun time at the Zoo and Safari Park, and since this is our centennial year, it’s more exciting than ever! The much-anticipated springtime event Butterfly Jungle begins at the Safari Park on March 12, a colorful and joyful celebration that we look forward to every year. Then it’s time to play, as the “Spring Break of the Century” launches for Play Days at the Zoo on March 19, with the new centennial-themed show at Wegeforth Bowl, Zoo birthday parties at elephants and hippos and lots more. March 20 is also the grand opening of a very special exhibition our partner the San Diego History Center is doing this year in honor of our centennial—“The Lore Behind the Roar: 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo.” It’s a spectacular showing of artifacts, memorabilia, photos, and more, from 1916 to today. I recommend it—you won’t want to miss it!

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Let’s Talk Follow @sandiegozoo & @sdzsafaripark. Share your #SanDiegoZoo & #SDZSafariPark memories on Twitter & Instagram.






Mark your calendar for the much-anticipated and popular annual celebration of butterflies. Step inside Hidden Jungle and marvel at the range of sizes, patterns, and colors of thousands of butterflies. See how many species you can spot! Wear bright colors, and the winged wonders might land on you. For an extraspecial experience, make a reservation for the Butterfly Jungle Preview Dinner on March 11.


SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL OFFICERS Robert B. Horsman, Chairman Steven G. Tappan, Vice Chairman Judith Wheatley, Secretary George A. Ramirez, Treasurer BOARD OF TRUSTEES Sandra Brue Javade Chaudhri Berit N. Durler Richard B. Gulley Clifford W. Hague Linda Lowenstine, D.V.M., Ph.D. Patricia L. Roscoe Steven S. Simpson

Spectacled bears were very rare in zoos in 1938. When the Zoo received three of them, the staff was “jittery with excitement.”

It’s only a number “March” right in and check out these events that took place during the third month of the year in the history of the San Diego Zoo.



On March 11, the Zoo’s first spectacled bears (also known as Andean bears) went on exhibit, much to the delight of visitors.

March 25 marked the birth of the Zoo’s first “pigmy water buffalo” (anoa), a species native to the Celebes islands (now called Sulawesi).












1973 The first hatching of a blue-crowned lory in a zoo setting took place at the Zoo on March 29.

The Zoological Society of San Diego was founded in Octo­ber 1916 by Harry M. Wegeforth, M.D., as a private, nonprofit corporation that now does business as San Diego Zoo Global. The printed ZOONOOZ® magazine (ISSN 0044-5282) is currently published bimonthly, in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Publisher is San Diego Zoo Global, at 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92103, 619-231-1515. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, California, USA, and at additional mailing offices. ADDRESS CHANGES: Please send to Membership Department, P.O. Box 120271, San Diego, CA 92112. Copyright® 2016 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.

1988 Offering an experience that included 100 animals, Tiger River: Kroc Family Tropical Rain Forest opened at the Zoo on March 26.

SAN DIEGO ZOO HOURS March 1–11: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 12–18: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 19–31: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 1–3: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 4-30: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SAFARI PARK HOURS March 1–11: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 12–31: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1–10: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 11–30 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WEBSITE sandiegozoo.org

PHONE 619-718-3000

Annual Memberships: Dual $135, new; $120, renewal. Single $111, new; $99, renewal. Each membership includes unlimited entrance to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


Subscription to ZOONOOZ magazine: $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, for subscription information.

FSC® is not responsible for any calculations on saving resources by choosing this paper.








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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.

TRUSTEES EMERITI Frank C. Alexander Kurt Benirschke, M.D. 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 James Lauth, General Counsel Douglas G. Myers, President/CEO Charles L. Bieler, Executive Director Emeritus

THE FOUNDATION OF SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL OFFICERS Murray H. Hutchison, Chair Maryanne C. Pfister, Vice Chair Susan N. McClellan, Secretary Richard M. Hills, Treasurer Mark A. Stuart, President Robert B. Horsman, Ex officio Douglas G. Myers, Ex officio BOARD OF DIRECTORS Christine L. Andrews Joye D. Blount Rick Bregman Lisa S. Casey Douglas Dawson Berit N. Durler, Ex officio Chris L. Eddy U. Bertram Ellis, Jr. Arthur E. Engel Craig L. Grosvenor Michael N. Hammes Judith C. Harris Michael E. Kassan Susan B. Major Michael D. McKinnon Joshua Pack Philip C. Seeger Ryan Sullivan Thomas Tull Margie Warner Ed Wilson

Looking for the best seat in the park or zoo?

Reserve a Cart Tour!

Let an experienced guide introduce you to the incredible animals and plants at the San Diego Zoo during a Discovery Cart Tour or at the Safari Park during a Cart Safari. Sit back in the comfort of our expedition cart as you tour the grounds and visit select spots for opportunities to get great photographs. Your guide will share special stories about the plants and animals, how our conservation research work helps their wild relatives, and how little things we all do can make a big difference. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

Book your tour online or call 619-718-3000.




Larger brain Great apes have powerful jaw muscles and a thick jaw bone, adapted for eating tough plants or hard nuts Molar teeth have five cusps Longer life span

Smaller brain, but still smart! Less powerful jaw, adapted more for eating fruit or insects Molar teeth have four cusps Shorter life span

Size range from 4.5 inches tall and 3.5 ounces (pygmy marmoset) to 3 feet tall and 80 pounds (male mandrill) Found in the Old World and the New World Live in varied habitats, from tropical forests to dry savannas to snowy mountains

Size range from 4 feet tall and 80 pounds (female bonobo) to 6 feet tall and 400 pounds (male gorilla) Other than humans, only found in the Old World, in Africa and Asia Other than humans, only lives in tropical habitats



rimates are a diverse order of mammals that includes No tail? prosimians, monkeys, It’s most apes, and humans. We all likely an ape! share characteristics like fingernails instead of claws, opposable thumbs, forwardfacing eyes, and considerable parental investment in offspring. The gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and orangutan are called great apes due to their robust size, while gibbons and siamangs are called lesser apes because they are smaller, and there is not a significant size difference between males and females. Primates share many characteristics, but there are distinctions between monkeys and great apes. 2016 is the Year of the DID YOU Monkey in the Chinese KNOW? No two gorilla zodiac, so take a closer noses are alike. look at monkeys and Researchers take close-up nose apes to find out more photos to identify about them! individuals.

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Adult great apes have larger bodies and broader chests and backs than monkeys.

Flexible shoulders, large range of motion in forearms and wrists, and elbows that can fully straighten are great ape features.

Muscular limbs; arms longer than legs


Almost all monkeys have tails.

DID YOU KNOW? Capuchin monkeys are considered one of the smartest monkey species.

Strong, limber limbs; legs the same length as arms or longer





Agile fingers; restricted movement of the forearms and wrists; elbows cannot fully straighten

APES Apes spend more time on the ground than monkeys, although they do travel, nest, and feed in trees.

Ape social groups are variable: family groups led by one male; large, mixed troops; or solitary.

Able to walk upright on two legs; on all fours, great apes “knuckle walk” on their curled fingers


300+ MONKEYS Most monkey species are arboreal and spend the majority of their time in trees.

DID YOU KNOW? Like some other species, Wolf’s monkeys use cheek pouches to gather extra food to eat later.

Monkey social groups are usually mixed family troops.

Walk and run on all four limbs, tail used as a rudder for balance; some species have a prehensile tail


Now healthy and growing up fast, Suka knows how to take a bite out of life.

LABOR OF “LOVE” A group effort put a tiny tiger cub back on the road to health— and to Tiger Trail


It takes a village to raise a child, and recently it took a department— several, actually—to save and raise a tiger cub. When Joanne, a first-time Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae mother at the Safari Park, had trouble caring for her newborn singleton cub, a combination of veterinary expertise, teamwork, and a little good luck all joined forces to cure his ailments and bring him roaring back to recovery. Many people poured their heart into getting the little tiger back on his feet, and the dedication it took to save him is reflected in his name, Suka, which means “loved” in the Malay language.


Keeper Lissa McCaffree gives Suka some lunch.

This This belly belly doesn’t doesn’t rub rub itself! itself! Suka Suka was was a bundle ofof energy a bundle energy in in the the Animal Animal Care Center. Care Center.

In Tiger Trail, Suka wasted no time doing what young cats do best: play!

A “RUFF” START Born in the wee hours of September 14, 2015, all appeared to be well with the cub until four days later, when Joanne stopped looking after him—something not uncommon with single tiger births, explains Lissa McCaffree, a lead animal keeper at the Park. “It happens with singles sometimes, but she was attentive at first,” Lissa says. Joanne’s lack of involvement and Suka’s resulting weight loss led the Park’s animal care team to make the difficult decision to hand-rear the cub; something the Park hadn’t had to do for more than three decades. Initially, he adjusted to the change. “We were happy with his progress, as he took to the bottle and started nursing right away,” Lissa says. At the Safari Park’s Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center,

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Suka was bottle-fed seven times a day—with a formula especially for carnivores, made from goats’ milk and easy for tigers to digest. But keepers sensed something was wrong, as the little tiger still failed to thrive. Suka was moved from his den at the Tull Family Tiger Trail to the Animal Care Center (ACC), where he was given a checkup. Tests revealed an electrolyte imbalance, which zoological medicine resident Katie Delk, DVM, attributes to a problem with the little tiger’s physiology. “An anatomical abnormality in Suka caused him to develop a serious urinary tract infection,” Katie says. “The infection was so severe that it traveled from his bladder to his kidneys, where the infection prevented the regulation of his electrolytes.” Subcutaneous IV fluids and antibiotics were administered—and not a minute too soon, Katie notes. “The imbalance was life-threatening,” she says. “Without quick intervention by the veterinary staff, he definitely would not have survived. We were able to hospitalize him, and serial monitoring of blood work and ultrasound imaging of his urinary tract helped us monitor his progression.” Suka was only one week old. While she couldn’t find such a diagnosis in the veterinary literature she consulted, Katie says this

malady affects babies of another kind. “This condition is well-documented in human children, so that literature was very helpful as we created his treatment plan,” she says. The young cub, despite his ailments, proved to be an agreeable patient. “It only took giving him his bottle for him to tolerate the treatment,” Lissa says. “He was so patient and good-natured.”

TIGER TAG-TEAMING Suka’s case was a serious one, and couldn’t be cured overnight. The treatment took several months, and, as Lissa points out, was quite the group effort. “He was under intensive, 24-hour care for over a month, and so many people pitched in to help,” she says. “The vet staff and Suka’s keepers worked so hard, and keepers from other Park areas helped cover our regular shifts so we could attend to him. The Zoo’s neonatal keepers came to help out. It was so emotional—up one minute and down the next—it took a toll on everyone.” And all that hard work paid off. By early December, Suka was off all treatment, the urinary tract infection was resolved, and his kidneys regained normal function. The cub was growing steadily, weighing a

healthy 18 1/2 pounds, and developing normally. His personality emerged, and he learned to make tiger vocalizations, such as meows, grunts, and “chuffing,” a vocalization tigers make as a way to express excitement, or as a greeting. Katie was cautiously optimistic. “He was, at that point, still too small to correct his anatomical abnormality, so we are waiting until he is almost full grown, and then will schedule a procedure to try and correct it,” she says. “But he’s growing well, eating meat and taking fewer bottles.” The now rambunctious cub bonded quickly with his keepers, and became accustomed to being the center of attention. “We would hear him cry from his room at the ACC, and we had to learn to judge whether it was pain or distress, or if he just wanted attention,” Lissa says. “We have a camera on him and a monitor, so we can see him from the other area.” When he’s not trying to charm his keepers into playing with him, Suka entertains himself by tussling with his plush shark and cheetah. “He also loves to soak in his tub. We call it ‘hot tub time,’” Lissa says, adding that the cub finds this activity so relaxing that he has been known to poop in his tub.

Suka also became comfortable around his adoring public, who came to watch him on exhibit in the ACC. Keepers made sure he had private spaces, too, in case he wanted a little “me time.” His next milestone came in the form of visits from keepers at Tiger Trail, which the cub would eventually call home. “We went at his pace, making sure he was comfortable,” Lissa says, noting that his impending departure from the ACC, while sad for them, would be an achievement and cause for celebration. “We look forward to the ‘graduation’ of the animals we care for here,” she explains. “It means they’re well. Our end goal is them moving on to their new life.”

HAPPY TRAIL(S) By mid-December, Suka’s keepers were taking him on field trips to Tiger Trail, to familiarize the cub with his future home. The confident young cat took to the exhibit like, well, a tiger to water. Once he was outdoors, the cub soon began exhibiting his natural tiger behaviors, stalking, pouncing, trying to grab onto things, and crouching behind foliage—even sampling a few items before racing off again. He progressed quickly, and then “graduation day” came, with Suka moving

Fun size: Two youngsters make a connection.

to his new accommodations full time. Guests can see him daily from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Yard A (on the western end of Sambutan Longhouse), and his out-of-town fans can tune into the Park’s Tiger Cam to watch him on his new adventure. While the arrival of any baby animal is a cause for celebration, the birth of this cub, the 26th Sumatran tiger born at the Park, is particularly significant. “Since he is the first offspring of Joanne and Teddy, his genetics are valuable to the population,” Lissa says. The Safari Park is now home to 7 of these rare animals, and there are fewer than 350 Sumatran tigers in the wild, with that number continuing to decline. Scientists estimate that this species could be extinct in its native Sumatra by 2020, unless measures are taken to protect and preserve it. All tiger species face many challenges in the wild, from loss of habitat to conflicts with humans, but the biggest threat continues to be poaching. Tigers are killed by poachers who illegally sell tiger body parts, mostly for folk remedies. People can help protect wild tigers by by refusing to purchase items made from endangered wildlife, and by avoiding products made with non-sustainable palm oil, an industry that harms tiger habitat. Saving tigers not only protects this majestic animal for future generations, it also helps with the bigger conservation picture, notes Randy Rieches, Henshaw curator of mammals at the Park. “Saving tigers is important, as they are a very prominent, iconic species that helps to save other species in their habitat,” Randy explains. “If we cannot save tigers, how can we hope to save other endangered species that are less well-known?” And Suka, the little tiger cub, is certainly doing his part to raise awareness about sharing the “love” of conservation.



The number of tiger subspecies still in existence.


The number of pounds of meat a tiger can consume at one “sitting.”


The percentage of their historical range that tigers have lost in the past 100 years.


The estimated number of tigers left in the wild on Earth.



To kick off our centennial year, we’re hosting the “Spring Break of the Century” for Play Days. During 16 days of family fun, you can enjoy our new centennial-themed show at Wegeforth Bowl, watch our animals revel in beach-themed enrichment, and join two special Zoo birthday parties— one at elephants on March 19, another at hippos on April 2. The Easter Bunny will be here, too! And there’s so much more—check out all activities at sandiegozoo.org. Spring into action and plan some Play Days with us!

San Diego Zoo

, March 19 to April 3, 2016

To End Extinction MARCH 2016 | VOLUME I



Your beloved San Diego Zoo began with a roar—literally!

On a warm September day in 1916, San Diego surgeon Harry Wegeforth was driving near Balboa Park when he heard the roars of lions that lived in cages along Park Boulevard. The lions and other animals were in need of a home because the Panama-California Exposition, where they were exhibited, was closing. Those roars inspired Dr. Harry, who turned to his brother, Paul, and said, “Wouldn’t it be splendid if San Diego had a zoo! You know, I think I’ll start one.” That moment changed San Diego’s history forever. What was once a fledgling zoo is now San Diego Zoo Global, a world-renowned, nonprofit conservation organization. Our vision is bold: We will lead the fight against extinction!

“ ”

What’s remarkable about the Zoo’s Roaring Forward campaign is that more than 66,000 donors have already stepped up to contribute, from philanthropist Conrad Prebys’ $15 million lead gift to schoolchildren pledging their allowances to help save rhinos from extinction. We appreciate each and every gift and are excited that so many friends of the Zoo are supporting our campaign.


The most important aspect of the $400 million Roaring Forward campaign goal is the far-reaching impact it will have for children, wildlife, and the natural world during the next 100 years. —BERIT DURLER,


Our Next 100 Years

As we celebrate our 100th birthday this year, we are also looking ahead to our next 100 years and the future of our planet! Recently we launched Roaring Forward: The Centennial Campaign for San Diego Zoo Global, to raise an extraordinary sum by the end of 2017— $400 million— that will transform our efforts to end extinction. Our good news is that so many friends have already contributed, helping us raise $291 million! Every gift— large and small — is helping us reach our goal. We invite you to learn more about Roaring Forward in this newsletter and on our website at roaringforward.org. With your support, we can end extinction together!

How Will We Do It? Your gifts support Roaring Forward’s

three priority areas:

IGNITE a passion

for wildlife in every child.

GROW the Zoo’s

worldwide leadership in animal and plant care as well as exhibits.

SAVE critically

endangered species for future generations while working with local and global partners.

Here’s How You’ve Already Helped With 100 years of great animal and plant care behind us, we are looking forward to the next 100 years for San Diego Zoo Global. We have become much more than a zoo, and we’re proud to say that it is friends like you who have made it all possible. We could not do all we do without your support!

Because of you... GLOBAL San Diego Zoo Global is saving and protecting wildlife and ecosystems with more than 140 conservation projects on 6 continents.



San Diego Zoo Global’s two campuses — the Zoo and Safari Park — are world-famous sanctuaries for the greatest animal collection on Earth, including more than 7,500 individuals representing nearly 1,000 species and subspecies. A single visit to the Zoo or Safari Park can inspire a lifelong love for wildlife!

The Zoo and Safari Park have an astounding record of “firsts” and “mosts” in breeding endangered species, and they have reintroduced self-sustaining populations of more than 40 species into protected wild habitats.

You and the Zoo

Nola the northern white rhino was a legendary animal and a remarkable ambassador— not only for rhinos but also for critical conservation efforts worldwide. She spent the past 26 years at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park enjoying weekly pedicures from her keeper family, afternoon back scratches alongside the watering hole, and buckets of her favorite treats — red apples! Most importantly she was doted on day and night by her family of animal care experts and was worlds away from the poachers that have decimated her species. Nola epitomizes our vision to lead the fight against extinction. Her sweet nature touched countless visitors and sparked a passion for wildlife in millions of children around the world. Her team of keepers and veterinarians provided world-class care during her time at the Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Global is leading collaborative efforts to save Nola’s species. With Nola’s passing last November, only 3 northern white rhinos remain on Earth. Just as Dr. Harry’s dream continues today, Nola has left a legacy that will carry us into the future. You can become part of this story and help transform our efforts to end extinction as we Roar Forward into the next 100 years!

Join our pride and help us Roar Forward! roaringforward.org | 619-557-3947

Make a smaller footprint by going solar this year. Power your home with the advanced technology of SunPower® home solar. Our innovative panels produce 70% more energy over 25 years than conventional ones1 and can withstand the most challenging weather conditions. It’s a great feeling to reduce your electric bill while helping to sustain the home we all share. Pounce on these savings: Sign up for a free home solar evaluation at sunpower.com/SDZoo and receive a $500 mail-in rebate2 when you purchase or lease a SunPower home solar system. 1 SunPower 345W compared to Conventional Panel (250W, 15.3 efficient, approx. 1.6m2) 9% more energy per watt 0.75/yr slower degradation. BEW/DNV Engineering “SunPower Yield Report,” 2013 with CFV Solar Test lab Rpt #12063, tem coef calculation. See www.sunpowercorp.com/facts for details. 2 Rebate Terms: Only available for first-time SunPower customers and may not be applied to quotes on existing proposals or past purchases. Allow 6-8 weeks for processing. Other terms and conditions apply. See: www.sunpower.com/SDZoo. © 2016 SunPower Corporation. All Rights Reserved. SUNPOWER, SUNPOWER logo, and SMARTER SOLAR are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunPower Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.


Every Friday at 9:30am/8:30c ©Disney 14023106


IS BETTER T For some species, having a long neck serves them well, despite the added vulnerability to predation.

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here are two good reasons for an animal to stick its neck out: access to food and competition for mates. But long necks can be a deadly trade-off—that life-giving column of nerves, bones, airways, veins, and blood connecting the head to the body is a vulnerable part of the anatomy that can be quick-and-easy pickings for a predator. Long necks are nothing new to the Animal Kingdom. Some dinosaurs were famous for their drivewaylong necks, including a Chinese sauropod that sported 19 vertebrae in its 50-foot-long neck. Fast-forward several million years, and it’s clear that long necks still give some species a leg up. These days, it’s the giraffe that is the quintessential long neck, with mature bulls achieving an eight-foot neck made up of a mere seven cervical vertebrae—the same number as most other mammals, including humans. No other living creature reaches even half the giraffe’s length; the ostrich has the next longest neck at around three feet.

TALL TAILS One good reason to evolve a longer neck is to minimize competition for food. Of course, there are other anatomical constraints, but if an animal can maximize its reproductive success, then even a risky trait, like a long neck, can thrive in the gene pool. In the case of giraffes, which live in sub-Saharan Africa where predators are plenty and food can be scarce, a long neck serves double duty. The animal can reach leaves and twigs high in the trees, and rival males use their long neck to spar with competitors for mating rights—a behavior aptly called “necking.” The male with the longer, stronger neck is more likely to win the battle and the “girl.” Female giraffes prefer this robust neck trait in a mate, so long necks persist in giraffe populations. With giraffes able to reach two stories high in the trees for their food, that leaves layers of uncontested foliage below them. Meet the elegant and shy gerenuk, a type of long-necked antelope that is keenly adapted to its arid, thorny environment. This antelope rears up on its hind legs to reach its foliage feast eight feet off the ground, using its forelegs to pull the branches down to its mouth. It is a very unusual feeding technique! The pint-sized dik dik, so named for the female’s alarm call, is an herbivore the next size down, which browses below the gerenuk.

Gerenuks browse below giraffes and above the dik dik.

The Roti Island turtle’s neck is so long it doesn’t fit in its shell.


DON’T CRANE YOUR NECK There are many modern-day birds that make full use of their long, slender necks. Though nowhere near the size of those massive, mowing sauropods, birds like herons, swans, geese, and cranes, among others, possess similar skeletal features: hollow bones. Birds have more cervical vertebrae than other animals, so keeping the skeletal structure lightweight is key. Parrots possess 9 vertebrae while swans have 25 of these flexible bones, which enable them to reach around to groom their feathers. A long neck also comes in handy if you need to get your beak somewhere you don’t necessarily want the rest of your body to go—underwater, for instance. Flamingos have 19 elongated neck vertebrae, which allow for maximum movement and twisting. In flight, a flock

Flamingo necks are long and flexible for good reason.

of flamingos is a sight to behold, with the birds’ neck and legs stretched out straight as a train. Back on the ground at rest, the flamingo can configure its neck into an S-shape and sink its head into its feathers for an uninterrupted nap. Come mealtime, a flamingo stands in shallow water, lowering and tilting its beak below the surface to “filter feed,” sweeping its head back and forth to collect aquatic insects, crustaceans, mollusks, even algae, and occasionally small fish. Given the flamingo’s long legs, it makes sense for it to have a long neck to better reach prey, no craning required.

SLOW, STEADY, AND SNAPPING Imagine swimming stealthily underwater at night and trying to find your supper. For the Roti Island snake-necked turtle, the next best tool to a fishing spear is a neck nearly the length of its seven- to nine-inchlong carapace. This flexible feature helps this freshwater animal snap up small fish, tadpoles, and insects in the wink of an eye. When not in use, the lengthy neck is drawn in sideways, forming an S-shape. Hence, this turtle is a “side neck turtle,” unlike many other turtles that pull their heads straight back into the shell. Despite its super-long and agile neck, this species has become “commercially extinct,” due to over-collecting for the insatiable pet trade. Locals report that another threat is feral pigs taking the turtle eggs before they hatch. Two to three populations of the snake-necked turtle remain in a tiny DID YOU amount of suitable KNOW? swampy habitat in a While nearly all mammals 27-square-mile area in from mice to eastern Indonesia, on elephants have Roti Island. As their seven vertebrae, numbers have fallen, the exceptions rising demand for are sloths (from them by collectors has five to nine, taken a dreadful toll depending on on this species. It is the species) and manatees time to stick our own (which have six). necks out to save this unusual reptile!



From his familiar crate, Ruuxa the cheetah watches his best friend Raina, a domestic dog, in hot pursuit of a small zebra toy. Once Raina catches her “prey,” it’s Ruuxa’s turn. The door to his crate opens and he literally hits the ground running. In typical cheetah fashion, he pours everything he has into the chase. Under any circumstances, a cheetah racing at top speed is a sight to behold; but in Ruuxa’s case, it’s even more astonishing— he is a cheetah that wasn’t supposed to be able to run. BY WENDY PERKINS | STAFF WRITER

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the Park where they would romp. Because of this, Janet explained, “to Ruuxa, the feel of grass under his paws means playtime. One of the things he’s been learning is that the Cheetah Run area—and its grass—is for a different activity.”


Romping with Raina (above) and chasing a lure (right) have helped Ruuxa build strength and agility.

A FAST LEARNER Our cheetahs typically shave three to five seconds off their 100-meter run in the first year.


Seconds: Ruxxa’s first run in September


Seconds: Ruxxa’s time in December


Seconds: Current track record held by Johari

CHALLENGES AND SURPRISES Born at the Safari Park’s off-exhibit Cheetah Breeding Center, Ruuxa was rejected by his mother so he was raised by the Safari Park’s dedicated animal care staff. Because he was raised by hand, Ruuxa was an excellent candidate for becoming an animal ambassador. But as the weeks went by, staff noticed that Ruuxa’s front legs were bowing. Radiographs revealed an abnormality that is common in cheetahs and in large-breed dogs— the growth plate in the ulna had stopped growing before that of the radius bone. Left untreated, the condition can cause pain and mobility problems later in life. Surgery was performed to correct the deformity, but later it was discovered that Ruuxa also had chondrodysplasia, a genetic condition resulting in dwarfism in his front legs. “The surgery helped the bowing, but the vets told us that because of the dwarfism, he would not likely be able to run,” said Janet Rose-Hinostra, animal training supervisor at the Park. However, Ruuxa didn’t hear that diagnosis. Without knowing he wasn’t supposed to be able to run, he began to do it anyway—surprising trainers and vets alike. “He’s very athletic,” Janet said. “We never asked him to run, but once he started to, we never told him no.”

Monitoring him carefully, the trainers started Ruuxa in the training and conditioning program that leads to a sprint at Cheetah Run.

ENCOURAGING INSTINCTS Like the other Cheetah Run athletes, Ruuxa’s training began with him pursuing a lure on a lunge pole. On the savannas of Africa, cheetah cubs spend up to two years with their mother, following her as she stalks and pursues prey. As they grow stronger and faster they eventually join her in the chase. At the Park, trainers engage the chasing instinct by manipulating a lure on the end of a lunge line. As with domestic cats, catching the “prey” is rewarding in itself. Trainers move the lure in a large circle and change its direction to foster the balance and lightning-fast reaction times a “hunting” cheetah needs to establish.

TOP RUN TRAINING After about one to two years of physical conditioning, the speedster-intraining is introduced to the track at Cheetah Run. The next steps establish the routine of participating in the daily demonstration. For a young cat like Ruuxa, that means learning when it’s playtime versus “focus” time. Growing up, Ruuxa and Raina were often taken to a grassy area at

Generally, when a cheetah begins chasing the lure at Cheetah Run, it begins at a slower speed than the more experienced, older cats. Ruuxa’s trainers took extra care with him at this stage by obtaining a slower-speed mechanism (used for training dogs) that wouldn’t overextend him. “We take our cues from the animals,” said Janet. “We want them to progress at their own pace, and because of his challenging anatomy, we were happy to make special accommodations for Ruuxa to succeed. However, it’s clear that it was his choice to ‘play the chase game’ and utilize impressive speeds like any other cheetah.” In their natural habitat, cheetahs often hunt down prey only to have it taken away by lions or hyenas, as the cheetah recovers from the intense effort of the chase. At Cheetah Run, the cats are trained to pursue the lure, but once the end of the run is reached, the cheetah bypasses the decoy for a pan of meat. On a couple of Ruuxa’s practice runs, he tackled the toy and didn’t want to give it up. On the savanna, a lion or hyena wouldn’t give the cat a choice, but at the Park, choice is king. As Ruuxa mouthed his “prize,” his trainer tapped the metal pan of meat nearby. After a moment, Ruuxa made his (wise) choice, left the lure behind, and enjoyed the treasure in his food pan with gusto. Ruuxa and Raina have graduated and are official Cheetah Run participants. The dynamic duo will be the ones to watch as they grow in size, strength, and skill. Plan to join the crowd in cheering them on!


100 YEARS OF THE SAN Part 3: War Years, 1937-1946 & Part 4: Growth, 1947-1956 BY KAREN E. WORLEY MANAGING EDITOR



PART 3: WAR YEARS, 1937-1946

y the late 1930s, the San Diego Zoo had established a reputation as an excellent facility that took great care of its animals, and Dr. Harry Wegeforth and Belle Benchley had made many contacts around the world. By working with these contacts, Zoo staff members undertook several major expeditions to purchase and trade for animals,

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including treks to Africa, South America, and Asia. These trips were long and often arduous, involving sea voyages and tricky logistics in foreign countries, but the animals that were added to the San Diego Zoo as a result made the collection one of the best in the country.

In 1936, Dr. Harry suffered a heart attack. He recovered, but he knew his health was failing. Yet he refused to let it stop him from doing what he loved, and he went on three of the Zoo expeditions. The last one was a difficult trip to Calcutta and Singapore in 1940, during which he and bird keeper Karl Koch both contracted malaria while spending a couple of months in India making shipping arrangements. Then to make matters worse, they both ended up with pneumonia during the first leg of the return trip aboard ship, and Dr. Harry was so ill that he had to return home early. Nonetheless, he had purchased and arranged for shipments of many rare animals to the San Diego Zoo. These included hippos, red pandas, 300 birds of various species, orangutans, sun bears, gibbons, Malayan tapirs, and three young elephants—Lucki, Hari, and Maya. However, Dr. Harry’s heart condition and ill health had taken its toll. In 1941, he passed away at his home on June 25, at the age of 59. A colleague commented that it was probably due to his own talents as a diagnostician and doctor that he had been able to go on as long as he did. This was a tremendous blow to the Zoo and its staff—they had lost their fearless leader. On the day of the funeral, everyone at the Zoo worked until it was time for the service, because they knew that’s what Dr. Harry would have wanted, and then arrived in their uniforms to pay their respects. During a quiet moment the next day, Belle confided to staff member Ken Stott, “I have never felt so all alone in all my life.”


But true to the pioneering “can do” spirit that Dr. Harry had always demonstrated himself and instilled in the staff, she “got on with it”—as she knew he would want her to. Just six months after Dr. Harry’s death, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. An announcement was made on the Zoo’s public address system to stunned visitors. The next day, the United States had officially entered World War II. The first person called up to the draft was actually one of the Zoo’s animal keepers: Howard Lee. The publicity of his leaving his job and his animal charges was printed in newspapers

all over the world. At first, attendance at the Zoo decreased markedly. Because San Diego had a military base, people were concerned the city would be a target and were afraid to gather in crowds. Along with the rest of the country, the Zoo was also affected in other ways: rationing limited supplies, including food for the animals, and the Zoo started its own “Victory Gardens” to grow produce. Belle found herself following in Dr. Harry’s footsteps to get fish from fishermen at the harbor and hay from farmers in East County. Eventually people saw the Zoo as a respite from their worries, a nice day and a place to take the family to relax for a while, and attendance began to increase. The Zoo was also touted as a “wholesome” place for military personnel to visit while they were on leave—rather than the seedy parts of downtown. As more military personnel came through San Diego and spent time at the Zoo, they spread the word to their families and friends. The Zoo had staff in all branches of the military. With so many called away, the Zoo was shorthanded. Belle rolled up her sleeves herself and pitched in doing keeper work,

in addition to her own tasks, spending long days and nights at the Zoo. A woman named Georgia Dittoe who lived in Los Angeles read about the staff shortage. She was a veteran of animal show work and had been inspired by Belle’s books about the Zoo. Georgia made up her mind to come to San Diego to help, and she took over the management of 20 animal exhibits. She was the San Diego Zoo’s first female zookeeper and one of only very few female zookeepers anywhere in those days. Despite the war, the Zoo’s collection continued to increase. Rare and unusual species were brought from overseas by the military as they passed through San Diego. There were also many births during this time, many of them noteworthy “firsts” for the Zoo. These included Roughy the sun bear, Raffy the giraffe, Taku the polar bear, Guaya the Andean condor, and Thunder the zebra—so named because she was born during a thunderstorm. One birth caused a particular sensation: the arrival of Lotus the river hippo. Her parents, Rube and Rubie hippo, had been favorites for many years, but this was the first calf. Visitors were fascinated with the roly-poly baby, and Lotus always drew a crowd. In 1945, the war came to an end. The Zoo’s staff returned to their jobs, and everyone pulled together to get a fresh start.

Opposite page: Top: Dr. Harry Wegeforth was a dedicated and tireless leader, who worked to build the Zoo right up to his death in 1941. Bottom: Keeper Robert Cilahr gives young elephants Hari, Lucki, and Maya a treat. This page, clockwise from top left: Georgia Dittoe was one of the first female zookeepers anywhere. Military personnel on leave discovered that the Zoo was a great place to spend the day. Lotus, the Zoo’s first hippo calf, made quite a splash.



PART 4: GROWTH, 1947-1956

he year 1947 brought the San Diego Zoo to new heights. The country was coming out of the war years, and the Zoo was getting more publicity than ever, in magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post, Time, and Look. Attendance soared to 734,975 for the year, the highest yet. Distinguished visitors from zoos and natural history museums across the world visited the San Diego Zoo as wartime travel restrictions were lifted. Things were humming along on grounds as well. Ralph Virden, the maintenance supervisor, pointed out in a report that in 1930 the Zoo only had 1 electric motor, but now they had 60, and in 1930 they had only had 1 telephone, but now they had 15.

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In 1949, one of Belle’s dearest wishes came true: the Zoo received gorillas again, after several years without them. It was an exciting day when they arrived: three babies, one male and two females. Belle went to the airport to greet them herself—and they were quite an armful. They were named

Albert, Bouba, and Bata. Albert’s name was actually chosen by a group of children from San Diego’s Children’s Convalescent Hospital. Belle gave them a list of possibilities that were names of towns and rivers in Africa, including the Albert River. The children voted for Albert, because “he was so doggone cute, he should have a cute name.” At that time, few zoos had hand raised gorillas from such a young age, and there was little information to go by. The wisdom of the time was to raise them much like human children. The three babies were raised in a special suite of rooms at the Zoo hospital by Edalee Orcutt, a secretary at the hospital who was asked to take on the role of caring for them. She fed them, played with them, took them outside to romp, and nursed them through colds. Scientists came to the San Diego Zoo to study the development, behavior, and cognitive abilities of the gorillas as they grew older. The trio taught zoologists and behaviorists a great deal about their species. In 1953, after 28 years of unflagging dedication to her beloved Zoo, Belle retired. She was given an elaborate send-off dinner party, with more than 800 people at-

tending from all over the world to wish her well. Her gift from all her friends at the San Diego Zoo was airline tickets—for a three-month trip around the world. She would be able to visit the zoos she had worked with over the years, as well as see the animals she loved in their wild habitats. But first, she wanted to have her replacement hired. There was only one person on her list: Dr. Charles Schroeder. After working as the Zoo’s first full-time veterinarian and research scientist, he had left the Zoo for other opportunities in New York, came back to work on veterinary and nutrition research for a while, and then left again. Belle had been in contact with him all along, trying to coax him back to San Diego, and finally he was willing. In fact, she wouldn’t retire until she knew he had accepted the position. When she heard he had said yes, she said, “I couldn’t be more happy if it

were my own son.” She wrote to him and said, “To know I am leaving this in such capable hands, to one who has so complete a picture of what Dr. Harry has tried to do, makes me deeply happy.” Belle left some big shoes to fill, but Dr. Schroeder was up to the task. He threw himself into expanding the San Diego Zoo’s growing reputation as one of the best zoos in the world. One new exhibit that he implemented right away dramatically changed the front of the Zoo: the Dryer Flamingo

Lagoon. It opened in 1954, greeting guests with the now familiar bright-pink birds. Dr. Schroeder had seen flamingos at the entrance to another zoo and thought they made an excellent first impression. It worked so well that zoos from many cities hired Dr. Schroeder as a consultant to create flamingo exhibits for them! It was during the 1950s that the San Diego Zoo found its way into people’s living rooms. The television show Zoorama debuted in 1955, filming on Zoo grounds and airing live each Sunday afternoon with host Doug Oliver. He interviewed curators and keepers and introduced a wide variety of animals to the public. The spontaneity of the live interviews and the unpredictability of the animals were a big draw for viewers. Dr. Schroeder loved having the show at the Zoo and the publicity that came with it, but he also insisted that the animals were the stars, and that the show should always be educational. The second host of Zoorama, Bob Dale, said that even when Dr. Schroeder wasn’t physically there during filming, he “felt his presence, as if he were standing behind me,” and made sure that the show followed Dr. Schroeder’s criteria. For many years, Zoorama was the Zoo’s greatest ambassador, introducing millions of people around the world to the San Diego Zoo. It became the longest-running program in San Diego history and was even given a national slot on the CBS network for one year, the first time for a locally produced program. By then, 16 million viewers saw the show each week. When Zoorama went into syndication, it was also dubbed into other languages and shown in other countries—spreading the San Diego Zoo’s fame even farther.

Opposite page: Top: Edalee Orcutt became surrogate mom to three young gorillas in 1949. Bottom: When the gorilla babies arrived in San Diego, Belle Benchley was there to greet them. This page clockwise from top left: When Belle Benchley retired, more than 800 people came to wish her well. Zoorama brought the Zoo into living rooms across the nation, with host Bob Dale, seen here with a dubious camel. The new Flamingo Lagoon created a colorful welcome for visitors.


Striking eyebrows set the bush hyrax apart from other subspecies. Opposite page: The Zoo’s first bush hyrax pup proves smiles are contagious.

ROCK HOPPERS Who are you calling “bunny?” Hyraxes may resemble small rabbits or big rodents, but these unique animals have some large relatives and an even larger history, and they belong in a class by themselves. BY JENNIFER BEENING | SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNER


Hyraxes have an identity problem. They have an unusual, rabbitlike appearance, yet they are frequently mistaken for a rodent or chubby mongoose. Outward similarities have given the hyrax (pronounced HI-racks) its equally misleading name: the Greek word hyrak means shrewmouse. They’re mammals that use a behavior similar to reptiles to keep warm. And if that isn’t enough confusion, these small, unassuming critters also share a common ancestry with a surprising relative, one of the most recognizable animals in the world—the elephant! Misperceptions aside, the subtle “smile” and prominent eyes of the yellow-spotted hyrax Heterohyrax brucei bakeri, or bush hyrax, make these animals as cute as they are captivating.

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A LARGE HISTORY While contemporary hyrax species are small and stocky, fossil evidence tells a different story. About 40 million years ago, hyrax were widespread, varied in size and shape, and were the most important browsing ungulate in Africa. However, when larger antelope and cattle grazed onto the scene, the hyrax was reduced to several small species that adapted to living in less-accessible tree and rock habitats. Today, there are 24 subspecies of bush hyrax. In some parts of southern and eastern Africa, bush and rock hyrax can be found living together, sharing shelters, huddling to stay warm, and using the strategy of safety in numbers to maximize survival. While the two species differ in breeding behavior and minor physical characteristics, it is their disparities in feeding preferences that allow them to live as close neighbors.

BUILT TO BASK AND CLIMB Looking somewhat like fuzzy footballs, bush hyrax measure 12.5 to 22 inches in length and weigh 2 to 7 pounds. Males and females are similar in size, but females have been known to live longer—up to 11 years! The hyrax is covered in short, pale gray to brown fur, with a lighter-colored underbelly. Its striking, creamy-white eyebrows set the bush hyrax apart from the rock hyrax. Mature adults are are also distinguished by a yellow or white spot on the back, exposed when the bush hyrax bristles in excitement or to signal a threat. A bush hyrax’s flexible feet were made for climbing. Rubbery foot pads equipped with sweat glands act like suction cups, helping the hyrax grip smooth rock surfaces as it jumps across boulders. Kopjes offer the bush hyrax refuge from predators in the nooks and crannies between rocks, as well as a relatively consistent environment to balance their imperfect body temperatures. Large boulders also provide sufficient surface for these small mammals to bask in the sun. For much of its life, the bush hyrax is busy doing absolutely nothing. In fact, adults spend only five percent of their day in active pursuits, mostly browsing for delectable leaves, twigs, flowers, and fruits. Their tusklike incisors—the only clue that reveals their distant relationship to the elephant—are useful for cropping

and consuming food during short feeding bouts. When not browsing, the bush hyrax catches rays and collects heat from surrounding rocks. Similar to its rock hyrax counterparts, the bush hyrax needs to maintain its body warmth to stay alive. This simple, lethargic lifestyle has its advantages. Minimizing movement helps the hyrax conserve energy, and basking like lizards and other reptiles do keeps its body temperature comfortable. Bush hyrax also make up for their poor thermoregulation with gregarious huddling. Although crucial to its survival, stretching out on exposed rock and basking in the sun can be dangerous—to a Verreaux’s eagle, various snakes, and leopards, a sunbathing hyrax is basically a toasted treat. But the bush hyrax finds safety in numbers, and large colonies of more than 30 individuals always have a sentry on duty. The dominant male uses long, shrill calls to communicate threats to the group, which immediately takes cover in rock crevices.

(YELLOW) SPOTTED AT THE ZOO The Zoo’s close-knit colony of yellow-spotted hyraxes—three females and one male—arrived in April 2013 and welcomed their first pup on October 20, 2015. After a sevenmonth gestation period, hyrax mothers in a group give birth to their babies around the same time. The pups are fully developed when they are born and ready to run—and the first pup at the Zoo was no different. “This newborn was very precocious,” says Victoria Girdler, senior keeper at the Zoo. “Shortly after birth, the youngster was out and about, exploring the exhibit with the rest of the group.” Among the kopjes of Africa, hyrax homes can be spotted by locating telltale white patches of the animals’ crystalized urine along the rocks. The animals are easier to see at the San Diego Zoo, where visitors can admire these unique and endearing animals in the exhibit on Center Street near the entrance to the Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey. The San Diego Zoo is the only zoo in the US where you will find this unusual hyrax subspecies, so stop and take a little time to enjoy our bush hyrax family during your next day at the Zoo!



The percentage of time adult hyraxes are active.


The number of months in the gestation period of a hyrax. This is unusually long, in relation to their size.


The number of seconds the shrill, long call of the hyrax can last.


The number of minutes that a feeding bout can last for a hyrax.



R•I•T•Z co-chairs Patti Roscoe and Sandy Brue brought hibiscus flower treats for the Zoo’s oldest residents, Galápagos tortoises.


Roaring for R•I•T•Z 2016


hen Sandy Brue and Patti Roscoe, San Diego Zoo Global trustees, were asked to co-chair the Rendezvous in the Zoo (R•I•T•Z) 2016 gala, their immediate answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!” With a passion for wildlife, conservation, and the Zoo’s vision to end extinction, they are the ideal people to chair this 33rd annual blacktie gala. Each is an astute businesswoman, entrepreneur, and community leader. Sandy is a renowned artist as well as the founder and retired CEO of Sandicast Inc., the international manufacturer of her realistic animal sculptures. Patti founded PRA Destination Management Inc., a corporate and special event planning company that she franchised and then sold in 2007. Both exude creativity and a commitment to create an extraordinary party that celebrates the Zoo’s centennial and commemorates the past 100 years. We asked them to share a bit about themselves as well as their plans for that special evening on June 18, 2016.

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How do you feel about being named R•I•T•Z co-chairs for the centennial year?

Tell us about your background and your history with the San Diego Zoo. PATTI: I moved to San Diego in 1966 and got

a job in the hospitality industry. That career eventually led to planning high-end corporate events for national and global companies. For years, I toured people through the Zoo, but then our clientele wanted something very special and personalized. So another industry colleague and I convinced the Zoo’s group sales team to create behind-the-scenes tours. I especially loved seeing the Zoo through the eyes of corporate leaders. Serious, tough decision-makers were filled with wonder as they experienced our animals, spoke with our keepers, and learned about our conservation efforts. SANDY: My parents moved to San Diego

from Chicago in 1948 when I was a child, and I’ve been coming to the Zoo ever since. My two favorite animals were Barney and Sally, a pair of rhinos. In 1981, I started my company, Sandicast Inc., in my garage. We manufactured animal sculptures that I sculpted. My first creations were dogs, but this quickly evolved into exotic animals, so the Zoo was the natural place for me to visit for inspiration and to photograph animals. I sold my company in 2005.

What have you learned as a Zoo trustee? PATTI: I became a trustee six years ago and thought I knew a lot about the Zoo because of my tourist industry work here. Once I got involved, I realized there was so much more— conservation, education, rare botanical gardens, our wonderful veterinary staff, and our scientists. I stilI feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. The Zoo is doing innovative, progressive work, and we’re such a worldwide leader in what we do. SANDY: As a trustee for nine years, I’ve realized what a responsibility we have here at the Zoo. We have these animals that are in our care and we are responsible for every aspect of their life. I feel proud to be associated with an organization that makes animal care such a high priority—not only at the Zoo and the Safari Park but in the wild, too, through our many conservation efforts around the world.

SANDY: Both of us are deeply honored to be

IT BEGAN WITH A ROAR! RENDEZVOUS IN THE ZOO Saturday, June 18, 2016 6:30 p.m. until midnight HONORARY CHAIRS

Audrey S. Geisel and Letitia H. Swortwood CO-CHAIRS

Sandy Brue and Patti Roscoe TICKETS

$450 per guest $900 per guest for R•I•T•Z Circle seating. For tickets, please contact Marilyn Neumann, R•I•T•Z reservation chair, at 619-287-5435 or sdzooritz @gmail.com. R•I •T•Z 2016 CHALLENGE

The R•I•T•Z Honorary Chairs have generously pledged a total of $1 million for the Challenge. For every dollar donated, our Honorary Chairs will match it 2 for 1. BENEFICIARY

A new Children’s Zoo at the San Diego Zoo!

in the league with the past chairs because of the work they’ve done and time they’ve committed. We’ve both chaired things in the past, but this is “it.” R•I•T•Z is considered the finest, most fun event in San Diego. And we’re only going to have one San Diego Zoo centennial in our lifetime!

What is your vision for R•I•T•Z this year? SANDY: Our theme is “It Began with a Roar”

because that’s how the Zoo started. Dr. Harry Wegeforth heard the roar of a lion at the end of the Panama-California Exposition in 1916 and was inspired to found the Zoo. We plan to highlight some of the favorite Zoo animals over the years. PATTI: Because all the R•I•T•Z parties

have been so outstanding in every way, we’re just trying to put our own touch on it. We hope that when people walk into the party area, the décor takes them back to a favorite memory of the Zoo. We want to give guests something to think about as we head into the Zoo’s next 100 years. Plus, who doesn’t love getting dressed up in a tux or gown and going to the Zoo to mingle with friends, meet Joan Embery, see animal friends, and enjoy wonderful food in a magical, elegant dining setting with great music playing!

What is R•I•T•Z benefiting this year? PATTI: We are raising money to build

a new Children’s Zoo, to make it more state-of-the-art and interactive. Investing in the Children’s Zoo is investing in our children and in our future. SANDY: The beneficiary—the Children’s

Zoo—spoke to both of us. Patti and I are grandparents, and we see life through a child’s eyes because of our grandchildren. We want all children to have a most memorable experience—just as we had—so, we are thrilled this is for the Children’s Zoo!


T H AT WA S T H E N 1922 Visitors at the new Primate Mesa exhibits, before the Mirror Pool was built.

Then ... and Now

When visitors pass the turnstiles and enter the Zoo, they encounter one of its oldest areas. Although this central part of the Zoo changed slowly over the years, the changes were striking and dramatic.

1938 The Mirror Pool surrounded by mature trees and the exhibits on Bird and Primate Mesa.

28 / ZOONOOZ / MARCH 2016

THEN (1922)... Before the Mirror Pool was donated to the Zoo by the late Anne Zimmerman, our photographer snapped this from the top of the present Cafe Building (above). A group of orange trees, part of the grove that surrounded the model farm, is still in evidence. NOW (1938)...When we climbed to the roof again, what a different view we found (left). We can barely see to the right of the picture, the tops of the eighteen foot gibbon cage and the eagle cage, largest in the world. Time does indeed march on.

TODAY AT THE ZOO In 1954, the Mirror Pool was replaced by the now iconic Flamingo Lagoon, a change instituted by director Dr. Charles Schroeder, who felt the bright-pink birds made a great first impression. In the 1970s, director Charles Bieler and Zoo architects began ambitious plans to transform what was dubbed “The Heart of the Zoo,� a massive project to be completed in several phases over many years as funding became available. Fast-forward to 2016, and this area is now the Front Plaza and the multilevel Monkey Trails and Forest Tales habitat.

very day, 11 of these gentle giants are silenced forever by poachers. If we don’t do something now, entire populations will be gone by 2020. San Diego Zoo Global is leading the fight to end extinction. But

we need your help to break the silence about the plight of giraffes and save these graceful animals. To help save them and become part of the solution visit endextinction.org/giraffe.




Box 120551, San Diego, CA 92112


For our centennial in 2016, there are some exciting changes for ZOONOOZ! The print magazine has an updated design and new features; it will continue to be mailed to members six times per year, every other month. In addition, we’re introducing a beautiful new digital ZOONOOZ site that you can access on any device at any time. All you need is a web browser, and it’s mobile friendly. Choose from story categories like Animals, Plants, Keeper Notes, Saving Species, and Wild and Fun; and new posts are published every week. The new digital ZOONOOZ site is available now. It’s a wild new world­­—we hope you’ll join us there!


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