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ZOONOOZ SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL

JANUARY 2017

Andean Bears Rhino Horn Burn Animals in Action


Celebrate Your Sweetie! Enjoy a special

with your special someone.

Albert’s Valentine’s Dinner—“A Celebration of Love” Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Seating begins at 5 p.m. Join us in Albert’s Restaurant for an elegant meal prepared by Executive Chef Chris Mirguet and Albert’s Chef Charles Boukas. $105 per couple, plus tax and gratuity. Maximum party size is eight people. Menu substitutions are not available for this event. For reservations, please call 619-557-3964 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. Reservations secured with credit card. Event ticket must be presented to gain access into the San Diego Zoo.

Safari Park Valentine’s Day Dinner Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Reception with animal ambassadors at 5:30 p.m. Dinner at Hunte Pavilion at 6 p.m. Join us for an elegant four-course meal prepared by Safari Park Chef Joshua Mireles just for you and that special someone. $105 per couple, plus tax. Guests will be seated at their own private table. For reservations, call 619-718-3000 or book online at sdzsafaripark.org/ dining-events.


January 2017 VOL. XC–NO. 01

Graphically Speaking 8

Alala Soaring to Recovery At long last, we are on the cusp of releasing alala back into the Hawaiian forest. BY AMY BLANDFORD AND KARYL CARMIGNANI

Cover Story 10

“Bear” Apparent Sassy Alba is following in the foot (or paw) steps of a San Diego Zoo legend, and this adorable Andean bear is more than up to the challenge! BY PEGGY SCOTT

Features 14

Rhino Horn Burn San Diego Zoo Safari Park held a rhino horn burn as part of the global movement to discourage poaching. BY KARYL CARMIGNANI

18

Action Adventure The new Animals in Action interactive experience at the Zoo puts the spotlight on natural behaviors. BY ESTON ELLIS

20

What’s Growin’ On? Lush imagery and a bounty of information about the Zoo and Safari’s Park’s botanical collections are in full bloom on our new plants website!

22

Dream “Job” Volunteers at the Zoo and Safari Park enjoy enviable experiences while helping others. BY ESTON ELLIS

24

Conservation Medalists 2016 Meet the recipients of our 2016 Conservation Partners medals. BY MARY SEKULOVICH

More

2 Nooz Notes 26 Support 28 In the Field 29 Member Specials ON THE COVER: Andean bear Tremarctos ornatus THIS PAGE: Fiji banded iguana, Brachylophus fasciatus PHOTOS BY: Ken Bohn, SDZG Photographer


N O OZ N OT E S

CHAIRMAN’S NOTE ROBERT B. HORSMAN

Beginning a New Year

T

Rhino Conservation T-shirt, $19.95 each; navy, sizes Small-2XL

WHAT’S IN STORE?

Conservation Support Add a little exotic flair to any room with these décor pieces handmade by artisans in Africa. Wear your support for rhinos on your sleeve— or rather, your chest—with our new conservation-themed tee.

SHOP ONLINE Find these and other gift items at our online store shopzoo.com.

Baskets from Rwanda: bread basket, $64; charger, $74.

Cathedral basket, $69.

2 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

Handcrafted, 18-inch neem wood rhino, $96.

he start of a new year is an exciting time. San Diego Zoo Global has a great deal to look forward to in 2017, especially the opening of Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks at the Zoo. This major new exhibit will share the wonders and importance of Africa’s wildlife, including primates like Hamadryas baboons, geladas, and lemurs; forest and woodland species like leopards, bee-eaters, sunbirds, vervet monkeys, fossas, and ratels; and the much-anticipated new coastline exhibit for African penguins. Each of the six different habitats represented in Africa Rocks will also feature key plant species, including ficus and acacia trees, the jabily tree, and proteas native to the endangered coastal fynbos habitat. Opening in early summer, Africa Rocks will be a spectacular setting to showcase the vital biodiversity of the African continent. It will also transform and revitalize one of the oldest areas of the Zoo, creating an enjoyable visitor experience for exploration and discovery. An ongoing goal for San Diego Zoo Global is to maintain sustainable and thriving animal and plant collections, and our staff has plans in the works to further those efforts with innovative programs in 2017. We are famous for our animals, but fewer people are aware that we also have accredited botanical gardens, and we will continue this year to raise the profile of our plant species, gardens, and horticultural expertise. Some exciting new conservation projects will also be developing this year, such as our participation in opening the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya, the release and monitoring of alala in the Pu’u Maka’ala Natural Area on the island of Hawaii, and raising critically endangered Lord Howe Island stick insects in our entomology area at the Zoo. We are also moving forward with northern white rhino conservation work, and studies to determine the best ways to help save giraffes. This promises to be a wonderful year for San Diego Zoo Global. I hope your New Year is off to a great start, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead.


6 p.m. The gathering begins in Treetops Banquet Room with dynamic brews, appetizers, and animal ambassadors. 6:45 p.m. A four-course meal and beer pairings follow immediately at Albert’s Restaurant.

Revel in a San Diego winter with the whimsical brews of Modern Times Beer at Albert’s Winter Brewmaster Dinner. Modern Times, an up-and-coming local brewery, will present their utopian creations, and San Diego Zoo Executive Chef Chris Mirguet and Albert’s Chef Charles Boukas will pair culinary delights with them for your enjoyment. Modern Times was voted West Coaster’s Best Brewery of the Year in 2015 and was chosen by RateBeer as one of the top 10 new breweries in the world in 2013.

$72 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Event ticket must be presented to gain access into the San Diego Zoo. Guests will be seated at tables of eight. Must be at least 21 years of age to attend. Menu substitutions are not available for this event.

MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS ONLINE TODAY, OR CALL 619-718-3000.


N O OZ N OT E S

Save the Date What’s happening at the Zoo and Park this month and next (Z) Zoo events (P) Park events JANUARY 1, 2 Jungle Bells presented by California Coast Credit Union Here’s your last chance (until December 2017) to enjoy the Zoo’s celebration of the holiday season with lights, special shows, animal experiences, and fun for the whole family. (Z) JANUARY 7, FEBRUARY 4 Kids’ Wild Night Out Leave your kids at the Zoo for a wild night out with Dr. Zoolittle and animal friends. Sorry, no grown-ups allowed! For reservations, call 619718-3000, or book online at sandiegozoo.org. (Z) JANUARY 7, 8, 28; FEBRUARY 4, 5, 25 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) JANUARY 14, 21, 28; FEBRUARY 11, 18, 25 KinderTots Learning fun for the little ones! Children ages 18 months to 3 years, with an adult companion, discover animals—and meet some up close. For reservations, call 619-557-3962 or visit sandiegozoo.org. (Z) JANUARY 20, 21, 27, 28; FEBRUARY 10, 11, 17, 18 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) JANUARY 20, FEBRUARY 17 Plant Day & Orchid Odyssey Take a self-guided walking tour of the Zoo’s world-class botanical garden, or a Botanical Bus Tour, and get a rare look

FEBRUARY 18 Breakfast with Tigers Watch our tigers start their day— then start yours with a buffet breakfast. For reservations, call 619-718-3000 or visit sdzsafaripark.org. (P)

inside the Zoo’s Orchid House. (Z) JANUARY 21, 28 Photo Workshop: Carnivores Through the Eye of the Lens Join our professional photographers at this two-session class, open to guests 16 or older. Classes run from 6:30 to 10 a.m. Call 619-718-3000 or visit sandiegozoo.org. (Z) JANUARY 28 Albert’s Winter Brewmaster Dinner Following a reception with animal ambassadors, guests will enjoy a four-course gourmet meal to accompany the craft

FEBRUARY 11, 18 Roar & Snore Safari: Animal Amore Learn about love in the animal world at this adults-only sleepover at the Safari Park. For reservations, call 619-718-3000. (P)

FEBRUARY 14 Albert’s Valentine’s Day Celebration of Love Treat your sweetheart to a memorable dinner prepared by Executive Chef Chris Mirguet and Albert’s Chef Charles Boukas. For reservations, call 619-5573964 (10 a.m.–4 p.m.), or visit zoo.sandiegozoo.org/ alberts. (Z)

FEBRUARY 14 Valentine’s Day Dinner Celebrate with a scrumptious meal prepared by Safari Park Chef Joshua Mireles. For reservations, call 619-718-3000 or visit sdzsafaripark.org/ dining-events. (P)

FEBRUARY 18, 25 Photo Workshop: Wildlife in Action Join our professional photographers at this two-session class, open to guests 16 or older. Classes run from 6:30 to 10 a.m. Call 619-718-3000 or visit sandiegozoo.org. (Z)

brews of Modern Times Beer. Call 619-718-3000, or book online. (Z)

PRESIDENT/CEO’S NOTE DOUGLAS G. MYERS

Welcome to a New Year

H

appy New Year to our San Diego Zoo Global family, and I hope you had a merry holiday season! At the Zoo and Safari Park, we’re off and running in 2017 with exciting projects in the works. You’ll see major changes come to fruition at the Zoo, particularly the completion and opening of Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks this summer. This new exhibit area that replaces the old Cat Canyon is shaping up nicely, and we can’t wait to share its six African habitats and amazing animals, including some that have not been seen at the Zoo in a very long time—and a few that are new for us. As part of the Africa Rocks development, we’ve created a brand-new bridge that also opens this summer, which will take visitors from Elephant Odyssey across Panda Canyon to Lost Forest. It even includes an elevator that guests can take from Panda Canyon up to the Lost Forest upper level. We’ll also be beginning construction on something new at the Safari Park: an Australian exhibit experience due to open in 2018, which will include an opportunity to mingle with kangaroos and wallabies. I am excited about these additions that will add a new dimension to your Zoo and Park visits. I hope you’ll join me at Africa Rocks this summer!

4 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

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


THANK YOU FOR STANDING WITH US TO END EXTINCTION! San Diego Zoo Global would like to thank our 2016 sponsors for their support of our worldwide conservation efforts. We look forward to continuing our partnership in 2017.

YOU HELP MAKE US WORLD FAMOUS!

Interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities for your business? Contact our Partnership Marketing Department at partnership@sandiegozoo.org.


N O OZ N OT E S

41,448

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL

The number of heads of lettuce that find their way into our animals’ bellies over the course of a year.

OFFICERS Robert B. Horsman, Chairman Steven G. Tappan, Vice Chairman Judith A. Wheatley, Secretary Richard B. Gulley, Treasurer BOARD OF TRUSTEES Rolf Benirschke Sandra A. Brue Javade Chaudhri Clifford W. Hague Linda Lowenstine, D.V.M., Ph.D. Patricia L. Roscoe Steven S. Simpson

It’s only a number Food, glorious food! After all those holiday specialties, “feast” your eyes on some of the nosh-oriented numbers racked up by the animals at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

36

40

16,800

51,000

Tons of ficus eaten by our elephants, tapirs, okapis, gorillas, bonobos, and forest buffalo.

The Zoo’s browse team harvests 40 eucalypt species for our koalas—and koalas at other US zoos.

How many pounds of bananas our animals find “a-peeling” each year.

The number of pounds of bamboo harvested by the Zoo’s browse team each year.

ZOONOOZ

®

PUBLISHED SINCE 1926 JANUARY 2017 | VOL. XC–NO. 01

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.

MANAGING EDITOR

KAREN E. WORLEY

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

PEGGY SCOTT

STAFF WRITERS

WENDY PERKINS KARYL CARMIGNANI DONNA PARHAM

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.

COPY EDITOR

ESTON ELLIS DESIGNER

KERRI ABRAMS SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

KEN BOHN TAMMY SPRATT

DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNICIAN

Copyright® 2017 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 $166.50, new; $135, renewal. Single $111, new; $101, renewal. Each membership includes unlimited entrance to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

SAN DIEGO ZOO HOURS January 1–2: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. January 3–February 28: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. SAFARI PARK HOURS January 1–February 17: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. February 18–20: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 21–28: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. WEBSITE sandiegozoo.org PHONE 619-231-1515 ZOONOOZ® Online web publication zoonooz.sandiegozoo.org

TAMMY SPRATT

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION

KAMBIZ MEHRAFSHANI KIM TURNER AMY BLANDFORD HEIDI SCHMID-ROMERO LISA BISSI JENNIFER MACEWEN

PREPRESS AND PRINTING

QUAD GRAPHICS

6 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

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. As part of San Diego Zoo Global’s commitment to conservation, ZOONOOZ is printed on recycled paper that is at least 10% post-consumer waste, chlorine free, and is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified.

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

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 Amy B. Parrott, Vice 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


a n i m a ls

A

in

TI N C O

Ever wonder how exotic cats navigate a tree branch with perfect balance, or how a cheetah and a dog can get along? Join us to see how our world-famous trainers encourage natural animal behaviors at the San Diego Zoo’s newest interactive experience, Animals in Action. Discover how these behaviors help with daily animal care routines, learn inside stories, and meet our animal ambassadors up close. Someone from the audience might even be invited to join in a training session!

YOU CAN BOOK YOUR ANIMALS IN ACTION EXPERIENCE ONLINE AT SANDIEGOZOO.ORG OR BY CALLING 619-718-3000.


G R A P H I C A LLY S P E A K I N G

Speckled eggs A clutch may contain one to four speckled, blue-green eggs about the size of a golf ball. By removing the eggs and artificially incubating them, the female may “double clutch” and lay more eggs.

Gathering goodness

ILLUSTRATIONS BY AMY BLANDFORD SDZG ILLUSTRATOR

Staff at the Keauhou and Maui bird conservation centers (KBCC and MBCC) collect native berries and fruit for the growing alala.

TEXT BY KARYL CARMIGNANI STAFF WRITER

The alala, or Hawaiian crow, is a culturally and environmentally important species. Highly regarded in Hawaiian culture, this bird serves as a seed disperser vital to regenerating native forests on Hawaii island. Declared extinct in the wild in 2002, collaborative work has led to an assurance population robust enough for some birds to be released back into the wild. That is a feather in everyone’s cap! Alala still found in large numbers on the western and southern sections of Hawaii island

Alala added to the Federal endangered species list

Fewer than 20 alala remain in the wild

1890s

1967

1990s

The collaboration is a partnership of these organizations 8 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017 and private landowners:

Rear and release effort begins

New state-of-the-art breeding center KBCC opens in Volcano, and MBCC refurbished

Release effort ends, remaining birds returned to KBCC and MBCC

1993

1996

1998


Hatching a plan The pink, featherless hatchling breaks its way out of the shell inside a “hatcher.” It is kept warm and humid so the chick remains hydrated during the strenuous process, which can take up to 36 hours to complete.

Candlelight Frequent feedings

Candling alala eggs regularly allows researchers to monitor the development of the embryos.

Newly hatched chicks require patient, frequent feedings. Every two hours, they are fed a precise diet including fruit, honeybee larvae, and cricket guts.

Puppet feedings Once the chicks’ eyes open, they are fed with alala look-alike puppets to prevent them from imprinting on humans.

Details, details Spread your wings!

Keepers maintain meticulous records on incubation parameters for each egg, and document the weight, food intake, fecal output, and developmental milestones for each chick.

Alala extinct in the wild

2002

At about two months old, when the birds can feed themselves, they are moved to an outdoor acclimation pen. This helps to prepare them for release into the forest.

What you can do

Alala restoration plan finalized

114 alala at breeding centers

Alala ready to be released back into the wild

2013

2015

2016

You can help the birds by donating to alala conservation efforts, sharing your knowledge with others, voicing your support of alala, and planting native vegetation if you live in Hawaii. To learn more, visit alalaproject.org.

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 9


Alba’s climbing structure gives her a “bear’seye” view of her surroundings.

10 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2016


BEAR APPARENT Meet Alba, an Andean bear carrying on the legend of her grandmother, Miss Houdini. BY PEGGY SCOTT | ASSOCIATE EDITOR PHOTOS BY KEN BOHN | SDZG PHOTOGRAPHER

When you’re descended from what could be considered Zoo royalty, it can be difficult to escape your family’s shadow. That is, of course, unless you happen to be a smart and sassy little Andean bear named Alba. Alba came to the Zoo late last spring. While she has some very well-known paw prints to fill, she also has the spirit and personality to shine all on her own.A “

A “GRAND” TRADITION “Alba is the granddaughter of Miss Houdini and Tommy,” says Hali O’Connor, a senior keeper at the Zoo. “And she certainly takes after her grandmother!” As longtime Zoo members and visitors will recall, Miss Houdini was a Zoo superstar in the 1980s–2010s, earning her name via daring escape attempts. Her first adventure resulted in an unexpected face-to-face with an equally surprised, 2,000-pound sea lion named Charlie. When she wasn’t plotting her next caper—even though keepers had bear-proofed her exhibit—Houdini divided her time between raising her cubs (she was a supermom), building nests that became the stuff of legends, and scolding her mate, Tommy, who outweighed her, but given her vocalizations, clearly didn’t outrank her.

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 11


Since Alba is barely two years old, she won’t be dealing with mates and cubs for a while, as bears breed for the first time when they are between four and seven years old. But she is keeping her paws busy in the meantime. “She is initially cautious of new things, but once she makes up her mind, she loves to ‘test’ things—throw them, take them apart, whether it’s her feeder puzzle or the clamps on her climbing structure,” Hali says. “She loves to make things move, which includes testing her climbing structure, moving logs and large rocks, and throwing objects in her pool.” Along with a taste for mischief, Alba inherited several of her grandmother’s talents—especially when it comes to arranging her sleeping accommodations. “We give her all sorts of materials, like branches, to build whatever she wants,” Hali says. “And she’s a born nest builder. We’ve even seen her bouncing up and down on the pile, flattening her nest to be just right—just like Miss Houdini used to do. We call it ‘Hoohopping.’ It’s really cute.” 12 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

QUITE THE SPECTACLE While nest building may not seem like a very bearlike habit, this skill is important to Andean bears. They make their home in the Andean countries of South America, from Venezuela to Bolivia, living in humid and dry forests and high-altitude grasslands. These arboreal animals use their long, sharp front claws to climb and forage for food. Their front legs are longer than their rear legs, making them excellent climbers. A midsize bear species, Andean bears measure four to six feet long,

standing two to three feet tall at the shoulder. Females rarely weigh more than 180 pounds, while males can tip the scales at over 300 pounds. In their forest homes, they build leafy platforms in the trees, which they use for sleeping or a place to enjoy a snack. Andean bears are mainly plant eaters, dining on fruit, bromeliads, and palms, and they may be the most vegetarian members of the bear family, aside from the bamboo-eating giant panda. Those living in scrubland habitat are even known to eat cactuses! At the Zoo, Alba’s favorite foods include fruits such as whole melons, carrots, and treats like peanuts and raisins. The Andean bear is also known as the spectacled bear, for the rings of white or light fur around its eyes, which can look like eyeglasses (or spectacles) against the rest of the bear’s black or dark brown fur. These markings often extend down the chest, giving each bear a unique appear-

This page, from top left: Sunbathing in her climbing structure, testing her enrichment toys, and working on food puzzles are just some of the ways Alba spends her time. Inquisitive by nature, the busy Andean bear is always looking for new challenges.


ance and helping researchers identify individual bears by their “mug shots.” The markings also give the bear its scientific name: Tremarctos ornatus, or “decorated bear.” As the only bear species native to South America, perhaps it should also be called the Paddington Bear, since the beloved children’s book character is said to have come all the way from “darkest Peru.”

Helping Bears in Peru Candid cameras keep track in the wild Opener Cameracaption traps here allow researchers to keep an electronic (and noninvasive) eye on bears in the wild.

FEELING NEIGHBORLY THE BEAR BASICS Andean bears are the only bears found in South America. Andean bears are the only bears known to eat bromeliads.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOTANICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF TEXAS

Andean bears have 13 pairs of ribs—one set fewer than other bears. Because of yearround food availability, Andean bears do not hibernate. Meat constitutes only five percent of the Andean bear’s diet.

While Andean bears are solitary by nature, Alba seems quite interested in what’s going on next door. Turbo, the Zoo’s adult male Andean bear, occupies the exhibit next to Alba’s, and as Hali says, “They are quite aware of each other.” While an actual introduction is not in the immediate plans, keepers are cleverly satisfying the bears’ curiosity by swapping their toys so they can smell each other, letting them see each other from a protected, safe distance, and even allowing them to explore the other’s living areas. “They coo to each other, and some interest is there,” Hali says. “But we are very careful about following a process. You don’t just open a door.” Each day, Alba follows a morning routine of trying to disassemble her enrichment items and romping, then taking a much-earned siesta. “She plays hard, and she sleeps hard,” Hali says. “She loves her hammock—she’s on her second one!” Like Miss Houdini, Hali says, Alba is always thinking and plotting. Apparently, keeping busy—and trying to dream up new adventures—really runs in the family!

Andean bears in the wild are facing several threats, notes Russ Van Horn, Ph.D., a scientist with San Diego Zoo Global’s Applied Animal Ecology Division. “The primary challenges for Andean bear conservation are thought to be habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and climate change,” explains Russ, who leads our Andean bear conservation program. “These bears also sometimes damage crop fields and hunt cattle, which creates conflict with local farmers that sometimes results in a dead bear.” As Russ points out, no one knows for sure how many of these bears remain, but Andean bear habitat is being lost at a rate of about two to four percent per year, destroyed for mining operations, farming, and lumber, and this loss is not slowing down. The construction of new roads fragments bear habitat as well. As their habitat shrinks, bears may stray onto farmland, feeding on the crops to replace their natural diet. Because these bears now live primarily in dense mountain forests where there are few roads, they’re difficult to study, Russ notes. “We primarily use a variety of indirect methods, or noninvasive methods,” he says. “That means we try to collect information without ever handling the bears. Some of the most important tools we use are trail cameras, or camera traps. In photos from these cameras, we can identify individual Andean bears, because the markings on their faces and necks vary between bears. It’s very rare to see an Andean bear with markings that really do look like spectacles, although some people do call them spectacled bears. Camera trap photos allow us to do more than just identify and count individual bears: we can also estimate the ages of bears in photographs, because their noses change color as they age. By knowing the ages of bears in a population, we can see whether survival rates change at different ages, or among populations.” Andean bears living in zoos are doing their part to help their wild brethren. “Our Andean bear conservation program uses information from zoo Andean bears to improve our ability to gather information on wild bears,” Russ explains. “This helps us better understand what wild bears do, and why.”

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 13


Rhino Horn Burn Torching confiscated rhino horn shows poachers and the black market that these illegal products are worthless. BY KARYL CARMIGNANI | STAFF WRITER PHOTOS BY KEN BOHN | SDZG PHOTOGRAPHER


O

n a clear, warm morning last September, flames devoured a pile of contraband at the Safari Park’s Kilima Point, as more than 100 people solemnly looked on. More than $1 million worth of confiscated rhino horn—some packaged as folk remedies, some ornately carved, some in raw pieces—was torched in the first-ever rhino horn burn in the United States. Joined by our conservation partners—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife—the burn delivered a strong message to consumers and poachers of rhinos: wildlife trafficking will not be tolerated! Organizations working together are determined to end the poaching threat to rhinos. An average of three rhinos are slaughtered every day in Africa. “The poaching of rhinos in Africa is an international tragedy that is pushing these magnificent creatures to the brink of extinction,” said USFWS Director Dan Ashe, addressing the crowd at the ceremony. “The transience of the smoke we see today from the burning rhino horn reminds us of the fragility of the planet’s most imperiled species. Their survival hangs in the balance, and will continue to do so as long as people are buying and selling illegal wildlife products. Only a rhino needs a rhino horn, and it’s time we all understood that.”

It was a poignant event watching scores of confiscated rhino horns go up in flames while reflecting on how many animals were brutally killed to satisfy the misguided perception that rhino horn has medicinal value. It doesn’t.

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 15


Unbeknownst to many, the US is one of the largest consumers of smuggled wildlife and wildlife products, including rhino horn.

The slaughter of African rhinos has dramatically increased in the past decade, from about 20 killed annually to more than 1,175 rhinos killed in South Africa alone in 2015. Clearly, this is not sustainable. The uptick in poaching is largely due to the misguided notion that rhino horn contains some medicinal properties, when in fact, it is made of keratin, like our hair and fingernails. Vietnam and China are the main markets for rhino horn folk remedies, prescribed for ailments like laryngitis, cancer, and headaches, as well as consumed as an aphrodisiac. Additionally, objects made of rhino horn have increasingly become “status symbols” to flaunt wealth. These consumer forces have caused the black market value of rhino horn to skyrocket, and violent poaching and smuggling to reach unprecedented levels. The battle against rhino horn and other wildlife trafficking is being fought around the globe and in the United States, which, despite common perception, is one of the largest consumers of smuggled wildlife and wildlife products. Since 2012, the USFWS has led an international criminal investigation called Operation Crash (named for the term used for a group of rhinos). So far, 16 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

the ongoing investigation has led to 41 arrests and 30 convictions, with stiff sentences demonstrating that the US will not tolerate wildlife traffickers. The investigations, involving agents from multiple regions and agencies, have seized significant amounts of rhino horn, some of which was destroyed at the rhino horn burn at the Safari Park. (Confiscated horn can also be used in training wildlife contrabandsniffing dogs, agency training drills, and education programs.) Many other countries around the world are also publicly destroying confiscated wildlife products, sending a clear signal that illegal wildlife products will not be traded or tolerated. For example, last April, 120 tons of elephant ivory and 1.3 tons of rhino horn were destroyed in Kenya. In the United States, the USFWS and its partners have held two events to crush more than seven

tons of elephant ivory. Capturing the public’s attention, these events create greater awareness of how important it is for consumers to be informed about wildlife products, especially those that may contribute to the poaching crisis. Another facet of rhino conservation is developing thriving populations in zoos around the world. “San Diego Zoo Global has been working for decades, along with other accredited zoos, to keep a sustainable population of rhinos safe under human care while also working to protect them in their native habitats,” said Douglas G. Myers, president and chief executive officer, San Diego Zoo Global. “We felt this loss firsthand with the loss of the northern white rhino, Nola, last year. Because of Nola, because the northern white rhino is now effectively extinct due to poaching, and for all rhino species, we will continue to work diligently to ensure the survival of these incredible animals.” Rhino As wisps of smoke horn is made wafted skyward, our of keratin, the same hearts were reminded of material as the mighty animals that our hair and once wore those horns fingernails. with regal grace. Standing up for the rhinoceros and saving it from extinction is the least we can do for this big, beautiful herbivore.

RHINOS: THE STATS

3 of 5

Rhino species that are critically endangered due to rampant poaching: black, Sumatran, and Javan

3

Northern white rhinos surviving today

>1,175

Rhinos illegally slaughtered in South Africa in 2015

2016

Year the first rhino horn burn in the US was held, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Thank you! Because of your support, the Zoo’s centennial year was one of the most successful Celebration events in our 100-year history! All proceeds from this “wild” party benefit our Wildlife Conservancy and projects around the globe.

Save the date! Join us for the San Diego Zoo Food, Wine & Brew Celebration next year—

September 23, 2017!

THANKS AGAIN TO ALL OUR SPONSORS, TOO!


“Action” Adventure The new Animals in Action experience at the Zoo puts the spotlight on natural behaviors.

BY ESTON ELLIS | STAFF WRITER PHOTOS BY KEN BOHN | SDZG PHOTOGRAPHER

18 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017


V

isiting the San Diego Zoo brings guests close to many amazing animals, and the new Animals in Action experience can take Zoo guests even closer. Where else—in the span of an hour—do you get an opportunity to pet the coarse but silky-looking coat of a tamandua (also called a lesser anteater), feed a flamingo or a red kangaroo, meet a dog and a cheetah that truly are best friends, and see animal ambassadors demonstrate some of the most remarkable natural behaviors you have ever witnessed?

Animals in Action has replaced the Zoo’s former Backstage Pass experience, and it offers more to see and learn about how animals and San Diego Zoo trainers work together. Here, guests can watch animals exercise natural behaviors, and discover how trainers use operant conditioning and positive reinforcement to help train the animals for daily animal care and medical routines. The experience is definitely a hot ticket, but nobody has to wait in line: guests conveniently book reservations in advance, online or by phone. Once they get to the Zoo’s Animals in Action area, adjacent to Urban Jungle, all the focus is on the jaw-dropping feats of animal ambassadors, not on posed photo ops. “Animals in Action is fast-moving, and it demonstrates exactly what guests came to see,” explained Char Davis, animal training supervisor. No two Animals in Action experiences are the same. The featured animal ambassadors and activities are always changing, so you never know which of the animals in action you might meet. At one recent presentation, guests met Jabari, a serval that demonstrated his skill at leaping high to catch a toy bird in midair, fishing in a container of water, and reaching deep into a plexiglass tube to retrieve a treat. Ikwezi, an African

porcupine, broke Whether you’re feeding open a Brazil nut with flamingos, her large and powerwatching a ful teeth, and showed high-leaping serval catch guests how she fans a toy bird, out her quills for an or meeting impressive—and a porcupine, Animals in sharp—protective Action offers shield. Jirra, a female fast-paced fun. red kangaroo, ate yam and apple slices from guests’ hands, and let each one pet her super-soft fur. Then it was time to go meet a flock of flamingos. Guests got the opportunity

to enter their area and feed them, with cups containing water and floating food pellets. The flamingos strutted over to each guest’s outstretched hand, their bills enthusiastically dove into each cup, and the cups of water vibrated wildly as the birds took in the food. Back at the Animals in Action area, a binturong demonstrated impeccable balance as he trundled over guests’ heads as he walked along a rope; and Haui-San, a clouded leopard, sure-footedly BOOK IT! traversed a beam. And Animals in Action finally, guests met male is offered on select cheetah Bakari and his days. Tickets can female dog companion, be purchased at Miley. The two have the discounted been together since they online rate of $105 were youngsters. Having per person at sandiegozoo.org, a best friend that is enor by phone at thusiastic about meeting 619-718-3000. new people and novel situations helps give a naturally wary cheetah much more confidence. At the end of the presentation, the pair briefly separated when Miley stopped to spend more time meeting guests. Suddenly, what sounded like a loud series of bird chirps could be heard backstage. It was Bakari, calling to his best pal to “hurry up!”

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 19


ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY

ART CONTEST Students in grades K-12 can show their love of wildlife through their art!

2016 GRAND PRIZE WINNER

In honor of Endangered Species Day on May 19, 2017, San Diego Zoo Global is once again supporting the Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest! Elementary, middle, and high school students and youth groups are encouraged to participate, and entries must be submitted electronically by March 1, 2017. Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places. The Youth Art Contest provides K-12 students with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their support through artwork. A prestigious panel of artists, photographers, and conservationists will be the judges, and winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. Winners will receive plaques and art supply gift packs. In addition, one grand prize winner will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C. in May 2017 and receive a special art lesson from a professional artist. The Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the International Child Art Foundation.

Visit endangeredspeciesday.org for more information, including complete contest guidelines and the 2016 contest semifinalists’ artwork.


WHAT’S

GROWIN’ ON? Take a scroll through our new online gardens and find out!

W

ith nearly two million plants between the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park, these two oases represent truly world-class botanical gardens, which are recognized by the American Association of Museums. DIG AROUND Now, we’ve Follow the path to cultivated a animals.sandiegozoo.org/plants. new website deSee what you discover! voted to our plant collections, where you can explore the grounds year-round, no matter the weather. Seeded with fun facts, sprinkled with stories, and saturated with color images, the fresh, new plants site immerses you in our lovingly tended landscapes and flourishing gardens. From shrubby to showy, shaded to sun-drenched, something’s always in bloom.

20 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017


No matter which of the more than 100 different “jobs” they take on at the Zoo and Safari Park, volunteers are easy to spot by their distinctive red shirts.

DREAM “JOB”

Volunteers at the Zoo and Safari Park enjoy enviable experiences while helping others. BY ESTON ELLIS | STAFF WRITER

Longtime members may think they’ve learned just about everything there is to know about the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. But volunteers can tell you even more. Volunteers get a chance to spend their time in the incomparable surroundings of the Zoo or the Park, and they learn more about both facilities than most guests will ever discover. Currently, the Safari Park is looking for information ambassadors, who interact with guests, help them plan their day, answer

22 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

PHOTOS BY KEN BOHN | SDZG PHOTOGRAPHER

questions, and assist with directions. “The Park is a big place, and we want our guests to experience as much of it as possible,” said Andy Schucker, operations manager of volunteer services at the Safari Park. “Anyone who is 18 or older can apply to volunteer. The ideal information ambassador volunteer has a positive outlook, is helpful, has an engaging and dynamic personality, cares about conservation, and is comfortable talking with guests from around the world.”


The Safari Park also has openings for horticulture volunteers, who help maintain the Park’s gardens—including the Baja Garden and Old World Succulent Garden, the Epiphyllum House, the Nativescapes Garden, the Herb Garden, and the Bonsai Pavilion. There are currently 140 horticulture volunteers at the Park. Information ambassadors and other full-participation volunteers must donate at least 60 hours of their time each year (an average of 5 hours a month)—and many give much more. However, horticulture volunteers may donate any amount of time they can. “We’re happy if they volunteer even just one shift a month,” Andy said. Prospective volunteers for the Safari Park and the Zoo can apply online, and will be asked to submit two letters of recommendation. Candidates will have an interview with a volunteer panel, and those selected will attend a thorough orientation to get an introduction to the program and operations. Then, they take part in three scavenger hunts—at the Zoo, the Safari Park, and the website. “Even if you’ve been a member for 30 years, no matter how much you think you know about the Zoo and the Park, volunteers agree you will learn so much more through these activities,” Andy said. After that, volunteers attend two mentor sessions with veteran volunteers that tie them more directly to operations. “They get about 25 hours of training before they actively volunteer

on their own,” said Tammy Rach, senior manager of volunteer services at the Zoo. Volunteers enjoy a lot of perks, including free admission, discounts on food and in the gift shops, and discounts on premium experiences. “We keep it fun in our offices,” Tammy said. “We have monthly meetings with conservationists and keepers, and there are previews for major events such as Jungle Bells and Butterfly Jungle.” Andy added that “Our volunteers are part of the San Diego Zoo Global family, and they are

treated as such. We consider them donors: they are donating their time and talents, and we really appreciate what they do for this organization.” Volunteers can take pride in the contributions they are making to the Zoo and the Park, Andy added. “Enhancing our guests’ experiences, helping them understand what San Diego Zoo Global is doing to end extinction, and letting guests know what they can do in their everyday lives to make a difference can be very rewarding. The outstanding support of our volunteers helps us save spe-

cies.” Overall, San Diego Zoo Global volunteers donate more than 164,000 hours a year. “That’s an average of 134 hours per person,” Tammy said. “Our volunteers work in a lot of areas—including citizen science, helping clear out invasive plant species, and making enrichment items for our animals— but one thing they all have in common is their dedication.” Throughout the organization, there are more than 100 different volunteer jobs—including operating webcams (such as Panda Cam and Elephant Cam) online from a computer, helping with special events, volunteering in our vet hospitals, serving as lab volunteers at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, “and even delivering crickets to North Island to supply food for our loggerhead shrike program,” Andy said. “We have something for everyone, and something for every interest.” One recent estimate of volunteers’ contributions to San Diego Zoo Global put the value of their service at more than $4 million a year. However, Tammy said, the true value of our volunteers cannot be measured. “Their contributions are priceless.” For information about volunteer opportunities, visit the volunteer website at sandiegozoo.org/volunteer. A link for the online application form can be found at the bottom of the page. Join San Diego Zoo Global as a volunteer and put your passion for wildlife to work to help save species!

THE STATS

164,000+ Total number of volunteer hours contributed to San Diego Zoo Global in one year

134

Average number of hours per year contributed by each fullparticipation volunteer

60

Minimum number of hours per year required of a fullparticipation volunteer

100+

Number of different volunteer positions at San Diego Zoo Global

140

Number of horticulture volunteers at the Safari Park

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 23


San Diego Zoo Global has awarded Conservation Medals since 1966. This year we presented a new category, the Conservation Partners Medal, celebrating our partnerships with other zoos and conservation organizations.

PHOTO BY KEN BOHN, SDZG

CONSERVATION MEDALISTS 2016

s

Conservation Partnerships: Leading the Way to End Extinction BY MARY SEKULOVICH | SENIOR EDITOR, DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

an Diego Zoo Global fosters a deep commitment to saving wildlife that extends to its partnerships with other zoos and conservation organizations. Two zoos that have been our closest partners are in Australia: Zoos Victoria in Melbourne and Taronga Zoo in Sydney. We are honored to award them our 2016 Conservation Partners Medal in recognition of their unique strengths in working with organizations worldwide on field conservation projects and research, as well as maintaining the highest standards in animal welfare. Together, we are poised to help solve problems facing endangered species as we work to end extinction.

24 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017


Zoos Victoria

an Diego Zoo Global’s association with the Melbourne Zoo began nearly 70 years ago, and we maintain a close professional relationship today. With its three campuses, Zoos Victoria’s programs cover a broad range: conservation, animal welfare, education, veterinary care, and more than 50 research projects. Dr. Jenny Gray believes that zoos offer two unique capabilities: skills and resources to care for and breed animals, and millions of visitors who absorb messages about how they can make a difference and help wildlife. She says that “we are conservation organizations based at zoos, not simply zoos.” Zoos Victoria has made wildlife conservation its focus and encourages zoos worldwide to do the same. With a goal of saving species, their mission is to “galvanize communities to commit to conservation and wild places.” Their slogan is “Fighting Extinction!” and Jenny Gray has been a champion to many zoos with this shared goal. Their public campaigns, such as “Don’t Palm Us Off” to save orangutan habitat, are leading models for initiatives to change human behavior.

a

Committed to protecting native threatened species, Zoos Victoria is breeding 20 local endangered species to promote their recovery. These Australian species range from frogs and lizards to parrots, bats, and marsupials. Further, they have pledged that no terrestrial vertebrate species from their region will go extinct on their watch! Their international conservation programs work with communities, governments, and nonprofits to protect wildlife and develop alternative livelihoods for families, while encouraging local support to ensure successful outcomes for people and wildlife. For these reasons and many more, it was a great honor to present Dr. Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria, with our 2016 Conservation Partners Medal.

COURTESY OF ZOOS VICTORIA

s

Jenny Gray, Ph.D. CEO, Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo, and Healesville Sanctuary

Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Cameron Kerr Director and CEO, Taronga Zoo and Taronga Eastern Plains Zoo

COURTESY OF TARONGA ZOO

s the San Diego Zoo celebrated its centennial last year, we also celebrated our sister zoo’s 100th year: we were founded on October 2, 1916, and Taronga Zoo opened on October 7, 1916. Our close ties with Taronga Zoo date back to 1925, when they sent our first koalas, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, to us. This began a professional friendship that remains as strong as ever. Today, Taronga Zoo cares for 4,000 animals from more than 350 species, many of which are endangered, such as Tasmanian devils, regent honeyeaters, and corroboree frogs. They support a large and diverse group of scientists working on nutrition, behavioral ecology, reproductive sciences, and animal health and welfare, among

other disciplines. Taronga’s conservation mission is clear: “Our cause is the wild. We believe that we all, humankind and animals, have a future together. We believe in a world that we can share, a world where all our wild species can make a comeback. And we believe that for this future to become a reality, one species must lead us there . . . ours.” These are powerful words, and Cameron Kerr believes we can realize this goal by delivering vitally important community education programs and a continued commitment to worldwide wildlife conservation. Taronga Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global are founding members of the International Rhino Foundation, working to save all five endangered rhino species in Africa and Asia. Recently, Taronga developed a wildlife trafficking app, and our organization is partnering to bring it to the US to help slow down the poaching trade worldwide. We celebrate a friendship that has lasted more than 90 years by presenting Cameron Kerr, director and CEO of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, with our 2016 Conservation Partners Medal.

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 25


S U P P O RT

A Journey Down Under

BY GEORGEANNE IRVINE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

ustralia may be considered the Land Down Under because it’s tucked so far away in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s also the land of weird and wonderful wildlife that can be found nowhere else on the planet. A walk through the Australian bush is a journey of discovery, where kangaroos congregate, kookaburras chuckle, and wombats wander. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park will soon be bringing an authentic Aussie bush experience to you, where close encounters with wildlife are the norm, and the spirit of Australia beckons around every bend in the path. Walkabout Australia will transport you to the grasslands and forests of an isolated continent that was separated from Earth’s other landmasses nearly 100 million years ago. This 3.6-acre haven for dozens of Aussie animals will be located near Tiger Trail, creating an Australian wonderland that will satisfy your sense of wanderlust without ever leaving North America.

A

26 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017


ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS OF THE KANGAROO KIND When you first step into this slice of the Australian bush, you will be greeted with a panoramic view of a meadow teeming with gray kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies, and several bird species. At the top of a rolling hill in the distance, you will see a wooden building on stilts, a water tank, and a windmill, which are reminiscent of the sheep stations that once dotted the Aussie countryside. You will meander along a trail, passing kangaroo road-crossing signs along the way, to the entrance of the grassland that will immerse you in the world of wildlife. The calls of cockatoos and kookaburras will fill the air, adding to the sense of excitement that an extraordinary adventure is about to begin. While you stroll along a wooden boardwalk, free-ranging kangaroos and wallabies will hop among you and your guests, sometimes stopping to meet you and pose for photos. These close encounters with Australia’s most lively marsupials will create memories to be treasured for a lifetime. Brush turkeys will periodically dart across the trail, and you might even see them building their enormous nests—up to 3 feet tall and 22 feet wide—made of leaf litter and dirt. A nearby billabong—Aussie for pond—is home to roving magpie geese, Radjah shelducks, and unusual pink-eared ducks, which are flagship species for wetland conservation efforts.

CRIKEY! A KANGAROO IN A TREE! Just past a shaded picnic grove and children’s play area, you enter a rain forest where, from an elevated walkway, you come faceto-face with a rare Matschie’s tree kangaroo. This endangered marsupial spends most of its time in the forest canopy, dining on flowers, ferns, leaves, and bark. It’s also the first time tree kangaroos will live at the Safari Park.

QUIRKY BIG BIRDS OF THE RAIN FOREST Farther up the path, you can rest at the Aussie Animal Station, which was visible in the distance when you entered Walkabout Australia. This is the wooden building on stilts with a corrugated tin roof. A veranda that wraps around it features sweeping views of a reservoir blanketed with water lilies, the kangaroo grassland, and a rain forest

habitat where Australia’s largest bird, the southern cassowary, meanders through the underbrush. You will hear the bushes rustle before you see this 5-foot-tall, 130-pound flightless bird that has a distinctive blue head topped with a large casque. Cassowaries are disappearing in Australia because of habitat destruction, roads that intersect the rain forest, and feral pigs that prey on their eggs. The Safari Park will participate in a breeding program for this unique species, which has strong cultural ties to the Aboriginal people in their art, folklore, and music.

WALK WITH A WOMBAT, LAUGH WITH A KOOKABURRA The Aussie Animal Station veranda affords you picturesque vistas, while extraordinary animal experiences await you inside. Furred and feathered Australian animal ambassadors, accompanied by their keepers, will delight children and adults alike. Wombats, sugar gliders, kookaburras, and echidnas will be present for up-close encounters multiple times throughout the day. Other special residents include tawny WE NEED frogmouths, redYOUR HELP tailed black In the tradition of cockatoos, the Safari Park’s and galahs, Tull Family Tiger Trail also known and expansive Asian and African habitats, as rose-breasted Walkabout Australia cockatoos. And, somewill transport you to times, the wombats and a faraway land where wildlife flourishes. echidnas will enjoy a bit of But we need your exercise and mingle with you in help to create the kangaroo area. these extraordinary environments for The trails in Walkmany of Australia’s about Australia will intriguing animals, as connect you with well as awe-inspiring experiences for you many of the Safari and your family. Park’s spectacular Your gift today will gardens, including ensure that millions of people will be able to the Baja Garden and Old embark on their own World Succulent Garden. walkabouts to gain a As you depart from the Land greater understanding about nature’s Down Under on the way to these wonders in the unusual plant collections, you will Land Down Under. pass by colossal rock formations paintFor more ed with replicas of ancient Aboriginal information, visit rock art. The music of didgeridoos will sandiegozoo.org/ walkabout or call bid you farewell and remind you that 619-557-3947. you are always welcome to come again for another walkabout adventure. SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL / SANDIEGOZOO.ORG / 27


IN THE FIELD

San Diego Zoo Global’s mission to End Extinction takes place not just at the Zoo and the Park, but through 140 field projects in 80 countries. Each issue, we will share an update on one of these projects. As part of our ongoing efforts to keep the Fiji banded iguana from becoming extinct, Kim Lovich, San Diego Zoo curator of reptiles and amphibians, traveled to Fiji to help release juvenile iguanas that had been raised in protective care.

BANDING TOGETHER BY WENDY PERKINS | STAFF WRITER

PHOTOS BY KEN BOHN | SDZG PHOTOGRAPHER

Sporting vibrant white or blue bands on an emerald green body, the Fiji banded iguana has been a part of the San Diego Zoo’s conservation efforts for about 50 years. Beginning with a gift of six iguanas from the Prince of Tonga, we have hatched around 125 of the critically endangered lizards over the years. The San Diego Zoo manages the US population of banded iguanas under authority of the Fijian government, with all the animals remaining the property of Fiji, and maintains the North American studbook for the species. We have also been part of the collaborative effort of the National Trust of Fiji, Kula Eco Park, BirdLife International, Taronga Zoo, Ahura Resorts, U.S. Geological Survey, and traditional landowners to breed and restore these reptiles, in hopes of

28 / ZOONOOZ / JANUARY 2017

reversing years of steady population decline on the islands. Kim Lovich, curator of reptiles and amphibians for the Zoo, has been a part of the team doing education outreach, building partnerships, and training rangers. She also helped with setting up a critical assurance colony: a group of carefully selected iguanas that will serve as the founders of a headstart program and form the core of the population in case something catastrophic happens to the small island population. “Every effort we make now is dedicated to keeping them from becoming extinct in the wild,” Kim says. In November 2016, San Diego Zoo Global team members traveled to help release some of the carefully nurtured juveniles. It is one step toward a future for the Fiji banded iguana, and we look forward to helping with many more.


JANUARY-APRIL MEMBER SPECIALS JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

10% OFF ALL SWEATSHIRTS!

Stay warm in a new Zoo or Park sweatshirt! Valid at all stores at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Valid January 1–31, 2017 Member must provide valid membership card at time of purchase to receive discount. Supporting ID may be required. Coupon not required. For online purchases, enter promotion code MEMBER10 at checkout. Cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion, or discount. No limit while supplies last.

J A N U A R Y-A P R I L 2 0 1 7

$10 OFF ALL ANIMAL ADOPTIONS! JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

FREE 20-OUNCE SODA AT THE PARK

Purchase a sandwich or salad entrée at the Safari Park and receive a free 20-ounce soda. Valid January 1–31, 2017 Member must provide valid membership card at time of purchase to receive discount. Supporting ID may be required. Not valid with any other offer, promotion, or discount. Coupon not required.

Members can enjoy this discount on any online adoption package! Visit sandiegozoo.org/adopt to choose from a penguin, panda, polar bear, snow leopard, and many more species. All adoptions include a personalized adoption certificate. Offer valid January 1–April 30, 2017. Call 619-557-3914 for more information or to purchase your adoption by phone. To purchase online, simply enter promotion code ASZW0117 upon checkout. No limit. Not valid with any other offer, promotion, discount, or at on-grounds adoption booth.

F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 7

10% OFF BREAKFAST AT THE ZOO Valid at the San Diego Zoo Sandwich Company. Valid February 1–28, 2017 Member must provide valid membership card at time of purchase to receive discount. Supporting ID may be required. Not valid with any other offer, promotion, or discount. Coupon not required.


ZOONOOZ

®

SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL

Box 120551, San Diego, CA 92112

YOUR MEMBER SPECIALS ARE INSIDE!

There’s no place like home. But what happens when your home is no longer a home?

There’s no place like home.

Not all But penguins their homes the home ice. African penguins whatmake happens when on your build their nests on the beaches of South Africa—or at least they is no longer a home? used to. When these endangered penguins return after months at sea, their are gone . . dug up and sold fertilizer. If we Nothomes all penguins make.their homes on the ice.as African penguins don’t do something now, their population willAfrica—or vanish. at least they build their nests on the beaches of South

used to. When these endangered penguins return after months at sea, Zoo their Global homes are gone . . the . dugfight up and sold as fertilizer. we San Diego is leading to save species likeIf the do something now, theirWill population willus? vanish. Africandon’t penguin from extinction. you help San Diego Zoo Global is leading the fight to save species like the African penguin from extinction. Will you help us?

© 2017 San Diego Zoo Global

© 2017 San Diego Zoo Global

Please help them. Become a penguin protector:

Please help them. endextinction.org/penguin Become a penguin protector:

endextinction.org/penguin

ZOONOOZ January 2017  

Bear Apparent: Meet Alba, an Andean bear carrying on the legend of her grandmother, Miss Houdini.

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