Archive for the 'CALGARY ZOO' Category

Heartbreaking possibility

Calgary Zoo’s Maharani may be knocked up.

If blood tests confirm the pachyderm is indeed expecting a third calf, there’s a heartbreaking possibility the newborn will fall ill to the same disease that killed Maharani’s last offspring, Malti, in 2008.

The 15-month-old animal died of endotheliotropic herpesvirus, or EEHV, a fatal virus that attacks the circulatory system and can kill within hours of infection. Only a handful of elephants have survived the illness through treatment.

Since Malti’s death, animals rights activists have criticized the Calgary Zoo for continuing its elephant breeding program, arguing it’s irresponsible to put the lives of future animals at risk.

Calgary Zoo

Director quits

Cathy Gaviller says she has stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

“The past few months have been very challenging for the organization and for me personally,” she said in a news release Thursday.

“I care deeply for the Calgary Zoo and hope my decision can help the zoo move forward confidently and begin a new chapter in animal stewardship.”

… and the AZA suggests we think of zoo animals as stars behind bars.

A mule deer that wouldn’t rate a media mention were it run down by a logging truck is, in this environment of suspicion, headline material when it dies at the zoo.

“Zoo animals are the celebrities of the animal world,” says Steve Feldman, a spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). “So just like if a celebrity dies or is born or gets sick we all pay more attention and so even though animals are born and die all the time…. When it happens to a zoo animal we pay more attention.”

Calgary Zoo

More foibles.

A Calgary zookeeper has been suspended for failing to properly secure an outdoor gorilla enclosure, allowing one of the animals to perch on a perimeter fence.

Two young gorillas were in their outdoor habitat on Monday morning before the zoo opened, when Shana, a seven-year-old male, jumped from a pile of ice and reached the perimeter fence, which is made of glass.

He sat on the fence for a few minutes before seeing a staff person and immediately jumped back into the yard, said zoo officials.

Calgary Zoo

Snakes in drain found; employee apologizes.

Irvine said had been worried the reptiles might perish because of his mistake.

“I also deeply regret the fact that I have tarnished the zoo, a place that truly is my home. The people and animals here are part of my family,” Irvine said.

Circle of life

Inspection underway at Calgary Zoo.

President and CEO Clément Lanthier said Tuesday he hopes the review by five experts without a direct connection to the Calgary Zoo will clear the facility’s name.

“We would like to celebrate life at the zoo, but death is also part of life and we have to educate the community about this.”

Calgary Zoo

Controversy around deaths of mule deer.

“This is not true — there were no incidents involving our mule deer last week,” said Scott, the zoo’s new director of communications.

“Unfortunately, it seems to be the latest in a series of attempts to undermine us.”

Simon says the zoo did lose four mule deer last year, three of those in November and December.

Two died of natural causes due to age and disease, while the other two died of injuries — one, after injuring itself on a fence, and the other of a mysterious broken neck.

Calgary Zoo

President speaks directly to Calgarians in full-page newspaper ads.

But the ads will only keep the issue of a series of unnatural animal deaths on the front-burner and suggest concern over an erosion of public support, said Zoocheck Canada spokeswoman Julie Woodyer.

“They should be worried,” she said.

“But this is just going to bring more attention to themselves…at the end of the day, their reputation doesn’t rise or fall with what Zoocheck says, it falls on what they do.”

Woodyer also challenged the zoo’s contention in the ad they’ve been transparent, noting word of the death of another capybara last August after it was attacked by a cagemate wasn’t divulged until last weekend.



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