Category — Conservation
Here at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden we are gearing up for our first ever American burying beetle (ABB) reintroduction! Over the past year my wonderful volunteers, coworkers and I have raised an army of these federally endangered beauties to release at the nearby Fernald Preserve. The date is set, and the beetles are ready to go. On the 13th of May we will set free over 200 ABBs!
It is wonderfully poetic that an endangered species is to be released at such a rehabilitated location. The Fernald Preserve was born through environmental remediation. It is the product of a super fund ($4.4 billion) clean-up, managed by the US Department of Energy and opened in 2006. It was formerly the Feed Materials Production Center, which ceased operations in 1989. Fernald is now home to gorgeous upland and riparian forests, prairies, savannahs, and wetlands. It now provides habitats for over 200 species of birds, 30 species of mammals, 28 species of reptiles and amphibians, 19 species of fish and immeasurable numbers of invertebrates.
As I talked about in my previous blog, ABBs have a strange but important role in our environment. Each pair of beetles released will be placed in the ground with some carrion upon which they will raise their larvae. I’ll return to Fernald two weeks after the release to check on the breeding success. Two months later hundreds of brand new wild-born ABBs will emerge from the ground ready to play their part in the ecosystem as decomposers.
May 9, 2013 No Comments
April is Earth Month, and while we encourage our community to be earth-friendly all year round, we’ll take the opportunity to really drive the message home during our 4th annual “Party for the Planet” this Thursday, April 18. It’s a celebration of the Earth, and a festival for all things “green” in Cincinnati. Businesses and organizations from around the regions will be on hand at the Greenest Zoo in America to share their expertise and resources about living more sustainability within our communities. Topics include solar energy, composting, recycling, energy efficiency, green building, rain gardens/barrels, sustainable food, green products, and many more.
In addition to learning ways to go green, also visit the Go Green Garden for the Rain Barrel Painting Event, hosted by the Cincinnati Zoo, Save Local Waters and the Regional Stormwater Collaborative. Rain barrels are an easy and inexpensive way to conserve water and save money, and for homeowners to take one small action that collectively will have a major impact on our local environment. Local artists have done their part to motivate area homeowners to save rainwater in dazzling beautiful rain barrels. The typical dull green or drab rain barrel has been revamped into a creative and colorful accent piece that will make any homeowner proud to use in their landscaping. Participate in the People’s Choice Award and vote for your favorite painted rain barrel online. Guests will be able to bid on their favorite barrels for purchase during a silent auction from 6:30-8pm.
Cohen, the official electronics recycling partner of the Cincinnati Zoo, is sponsoring an e-waste collection event during Party for the Planet. Recycle your unwanted e-waste with the Zoo’s certified e-waste recycler, where your electronics will be recycled in a responsible way and all data storage devices cleared properly. For every item donated, Cohen will make a donation to the Zoo’s Project Saving Species.
A convenient drive through drop-off will be set up in the Zoo’s parking lot on the corner of Erkenbrecher and Vine Street. Guests can drop off their items between 4 and 8pm before heading into the Zoo to enjoy Tunes & Blooms and Party for the Planet! Acceptable items include: personal computers, keyboards, servers, mice, routers, wires, switches, laptops, modems, rechargeable batteries, telephones, small home appliances, docking stations, printers, LCD screens, cell phones, fax machines, copiers, speakers, cable/satellite boxes, CRT monitors, TVs, stereos/VCRs, and remotes. A $10 cash fee will be charged for each CRT monitor and TV (27″ or under) collected. TVs larger than 27” will be charged $20 cash.
To learn more about Cohen and the electronics recycling programs, visit cohenusa.com
Party for the Planet takes place during Tunes & Blooms, a weekly concert Thursdays in April, featuring local musicians. This Thursday Shiny & the Spoon and Shiny Old Soul will be performing. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful tulips and other spring flowers the Zoo has planted, listen to some great, local music, learn about ways to go green, and enjoy the spring evening with your family and friends. And, enjoy Zoo Blooms all around.
The Party occurs from 4-8:30pm and is free with Zoo admission. Admission to the Zoo is FREE after 5pm and parking is $8
April 15, 2013 No Comments
It has been years since the Cincinnati Zoo has had polar bear cubs born here, 24 years to be exact. Berit, our female, and Little One, our male, have been given every opportunity to “get the job done” on their own, but their mating has not produced a cub. So, we are increasing the couple’s chances by giving Berit two small hormone injections, 90 hours apart from each other, to induce a healthy ovulation.
The first injection was scheduled to be given, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day. Because the bears were never conditioned to allow hands-on medical care, the bear line ladies (Lisa Vollmer, Debbie Loebker, Lisa Potter, Tanya Dietz) and I spent the past three and a half weeks working diligently every day, twice a day, to get Berit ready. In that time we were able to train Berit to come to us on command and present her nose and shoulders. These behaviors would allow us to administer the hormone injections without needing to use anesthesia. (See my previous post about the training.)
Yesterday was “The Day” we had all been waiting for. And it worked!!! Berit was great. She came in like we asked, leaned in, and Veterinary Technician Amy Long was able to give her the first injection. She was a bit startled and left the training session, but it didn’t take her long to come back in. When she did, we gave her all of her favorite treats to reward her. We didn’t want the last thing she remembered to be negative so it was imperative that she came back into the training den and ended on a positive note.
We’re over the first hurdle, but we still have a long way to go. We continued the training this morning and Berit came into the training den right away. She seemed a little nervous to lean in but she did and it was an absolutely wonderful session! I am so excited for Monday now and am feeling very confident that we will be able to get both injections done on time. What a good girl she is!
Now it’s up to Little One to put on the moves and have a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend planned. I talked to the keepers about playing a little Barry White or Marvin Gaye to get them in the mood! Hopefully we will continue to live up to our title of the “Sexiest Zoo in America!”
February 15, 2013 5 Comments