It depends how well it’s run, and what message the institution is sending.
A good aquarium, like a good zoo can inspire, educate and create empathy. They can expand our knowledge of the parts of the world we can never get to. They can highlight conservation issues that you never knew existed. There’s a place for them in our world.
However, I rarely visit zoo’s or aquariums now-a-days. My experiences in them are a mix of fascination and sadness. And more and more it tips to the sadness scale.
Seeing Nautilus’ all cooped up in the corner of a dark display, when I knew that they should migrate hundreds of meters vertically everyday was quite depressing.
I don’t think there’s ever an excuse to have a whale shark, or other large sharks or mammals that have been wild-caught.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredit those who meet current professional standards of animal care, conservation and education. Fewer than 10% of the approximately 2,400 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited. So look out for that!
Should Gay, Endangered Penguins Be Forced to Mate?
By John R. Platt
What do you do when a species is rapidly disappearing in the wild and two of its most likely in-captivity studs decide to cuddle with each other instead of with eligible bachelorettes?
That’s the problem Toronto Zoo is encountering this week as two endangered male African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) recently brought to the zoo for breeding purposes seem more concerned with spending time with one another than with two eager females.
African penguins (also known as black-footed penguins) only live on South Africa’s southern coast. Their population in the wild has dropped nearly 75 percent in the past two decades, from as estimated 225,000 in the 1990s to around 60,000 today, most likely due to changes in food availability brought on by climate change.
With the penguins’ wild population at risk, zoos are actively taking up the breeding mantle. According to the National Post, “the sexual partners of almost all captive African penguins are carefully mapped out by researchers at Chicago’s Population Management Center. There, penguins are paired, split up and even moved to different zoos purely on the basis of maximizing genetic diversity.”
Separating the two male penguins might be enough to get them breeding. A study released in 2010 by the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology and published in Ethnology found that supposedly gay penguins weren’t solely attracted to the same gender, but were instead just “lonely.”
** Stupid title, but quite the little controversy! **
A baby Siamese crocodile hatches from an egg at the Lao Zoo, Laos. Environmentalists say these rare Crocs will be released into the wild once they are old enough to fend for themselves.
The other day, my beau and I joined my Mum on a visit to Crocolandia…a park/zoo in Cebu, Philippines. I had low low hopes for an animal show park in Philippines. Experience has told me that in SE Asia, it is all about the money, and not at all about conservation or animal welfare.
What I found was kind of encouraging. In it’s own right. There was a strong conservation theme running throughout the place despite the cramped cages for birds, mammals and reptiles. I can’t imagine there was a lot of money going into the place, but the heart was definitely in the right place.
For P100 donation, you could buy a seedling of a cocoa or coffee plant. These were planted in recycled takeaway coffee cups. We bought one of each.
I haven’t quite made up my mind on zoo’s and the like, but I fully acknowledge the service of empathy and awareness that they provide. It was definitely encouraging to see such an establishment that was doing the best with it’s resources and spreading information and conservation to those that ventured there.
A female polar bear named Pelusa turned purple after she was given a special treatment to clear up a skin condition.
Argentina. Zoo officials said her fur will go back to her normal cream color in a few days.
The 14-year-old bear suffers from dermatitis.
Copyright 2003 by TheDenverChannel.com.
Green Tree Python [Morelia viridi] by Karen Chen
Jaguar by Karen Chen
Bengal White Tiger by Karen Chen
White Tigers are colour morphs of any sub-species of Tiger. This is a Bengal Tiger [Panthera tigris tigris] native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
It is classified as Endangered by the IUCN. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal’s tiger range is large enough to support an effective population size of 250.
Baby Orang Utan by Karen Chen
Ostrich by Karen Chen