"Even as a very small boy I was utterly fascinated by animals of every kind."
Shortly before his 19th birthday in December 1957, Bob Goulding accompanied Gerald Durrell
on an animal collecting trip to Cameroon. "Our trip to Cameroon, which lasted around six months, is the subject of Durrell’s book ‘A Zoo in my Luggage’, published in 1960 by Rupert Hart-Davis. I am Durrell’s ‘young assistant Bob’ in the book."
This was neither the beginning nor the end of a life-long involvement and fascination with tropical natural history which saw Goulding later take over management of the zoo attached to the Department of Zoology of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
in 1963. Now retired back to Bristol, he keeps a personal website which contains a fascinating record of those pioneering years. Particularly poignant is the story of the two gorillas, Aruna and Imade
, from their capture by hunters to the years of their maturity.
Under Golding's leadership Ibadan Zoo became an early and exemplary instance of zoo habitat design.
The website contains an account of building the gorilla enclosure; a heartfelt acknowledgement of his former staff; letters from past visitors, now grown up
; stories of research and collecting; a snapshot of Nigeria in the 60's and 70's; an overview of local fauna; and lots and lots of photographs! Also, hairy frogs
(don't look at them.)
For these endangered lemurs, it was love at first sight
There's puppy love, there's muskrat love, but there is nothing like the love of two middle-aged, critically endangered lemurs.… Dern, 17, had lost her mate at the Waco, Texas, zoo several months ago, and Anthony, 16, had recently been separated from his brother when he was sent to another zoo. Although both were accustomed to living with ring-tailed lemurs, it wasn't the same…. Both were lonely.
On the other side of the flimsy fence separating them from his neighbor Terry Thompson's property, Kopchak noticed that Thompson's horses seemed even more agitated. They were circling, and in the center of their troubled orbit there was some kind of dark shape. Only when the shape broke out of the circle could Kopchak see that it was a black bear.
each published lengthy pieces on the suicide of Terry Thompson and the crisis at his exotic animal zoo in Zanesville, OH. (Previously
) [more inside]
Orangutans playing with iPads!
It is well-known that our ape cousins are highly intelligent. When they are in captivity, it is critical to give them ways to enrich and entertain
themselves. As it turns out, Orangutans love using iPads
. [more inside]
the new urban jungle
. . . is a growing movement led by cities like San Francisco
, New York
, and Leiden
to restore active and vibrant natural systems in urban areas. Far from the eden-like depictions of nature of yesteryear, i.e. the garden of earthly delights
(nonetheless, still attracting some dynamic new christian converts
), the movement has morphed into today's backyard and grassroots environmental movement which is more and more a picture of hybridity, compromise, mixed-use, and ultimately, taking nature out of the walled islands of zoos, aquaria, national parks and other thick-walled institutions and offering a different kind of everyday "unmediated"
community experience with the new urban wilderness
Bill Frist <3s gorillas.
I find this quite charming.
can't get any. Maybe he needs some tips
on how to deal
with the dirt-flinging girl in his life? Maybe he needs some other kind of help
Match 3 or more animals, don't let the clock run out. (Shockwave req'd)
Little Joe waited at the bus stop
before continuing his bid to escape the authorities. The 300-pound gorilla had just broken out of his Franklin Park Zoo enclosure for the second time in two months,
overcoming a newly-installed electric fence,
injuring two people and terrifying others. The gorilla was hit with four tranquilizer darts but had managed to pull at least one of them out. Little Joe's namesake
reminds us that we've known for at least 70 years that big apes in the middle of cities
can cause major problems. Why are they still
Bai Yun’s cub(male) is big enough that now there’s something to see on the webcam in her birthing den at the San Diego Zoo. She’s quite the attentive mother and he’s becoming quite the wiggly baby. You can also view videos here
Private zoos in China.
This is one of the saddest pieces I've ever read--all the stories are terrible but especially the one on the bears. I thought the article made a good point on the focus on human right violations in China with a lack of attention on the treatment of animals. There should be some kind of organization either from outside or internally that addresses this issue.
"In a park in Bali
, they found a monkey, a pig-tailed macaque, kept in a cage so small it could not lie down properly, and with one leg chained to the bars.
Like the rest of Europe, Germany is going through a histrionic BSE scare. So Germans switched to sausage and pork. And then they were told pork contains anabolic steroids. So they switched to venison. And then they were told it might have BSE too. So the Germans, who hate veggies, are starting to "starve." And raid zoos for meat.
Hey, where'd all this paté come from?
A couple months ago, a panda was born
at the San Diego Zoo. It was a big achievement and the team is chronicling the progress online. Also, thanks to the wonders of the web, you can see it live at the panda cam page
. Right now, I'm seeing the panda tossing in its sleep.