Monday, August 30, 2010

Escaped Oklahoma Chimp Found In Moat

The chimpanzee that escaped from the ape exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo has since been located in a moat area and has been coaxed back to its habitat with what are reported as fire extinguishers. Crews were armed with tranquilizer guns but put down fruit and ropes in an attempt to entice the chimp to go back into the habitat without sedating it. The Oklahoma City Zoo has been closed to protect the public.

Full story here.

Small Ape Triggers Tiger Escape At Jungle Island

Watson, a small, 8-year-old ape, was known for being a bit mischievous.

But when he sneaked out of his cage at Jungle Island on Saturday, Watson set off a chain of events straight out of a thriller movie:

A 500-pound Bengal tiger leapt over a tall fence, dozens of frantic visitors ran for their lives, and park workers labored to lure the predatory animal back into a holding cage.

``I might have shouted a bunch of cuss words after the first millisecond of shock,'' said Dr. Jason Chatfield, Jungle Island's curator. ``But after that, you go back into action.''

A day after the frenzy, it became increasingly clear that Watson had triggered the unusual sequence of events at the Watson Island animal park.

Visitors continued to trickle through Jungle Island's doors on Sunday -- though Mahesh and another tiger were not on display. The pair are being kept in holding cells while an investigation continues to determine how Mahesh was able to scale over the 14-foot fence. No one was injured by the male tiger.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said that the agency closed down the tiger exhibit ``until the facility makes certain changes to its caging requirements so that this doesn't happen again.''

The investigation is looking into the escapes of both Mahesh and Watson. ``We're investigating escaped captive wildlife, which is a violation of the law,'' Pino said. ``It is fair to say someone would be found responsible.''

``It's very important to figure out exactly what happened, to design it so that it doesn't happen again,'' Chatfield said, noting that Watson Island park's 14-foot fence was already two-feet higher than required by law.

Saturday's series of events started around noon when the white-handed gibbon, a species of ape native to Southeast Asia, escaped from his pen. A team of four animal handlers attempted to wrangle the precocious primate, Chatfield said, but he soon made his way to the tall, fenced area enclosing the tigers.

Watson's presence sparked the interest of Mahesh, who became ``excited'' and chased Watson around as he made his way across the chain-link fence.

Though he didn't have a full view of how the tiger made it so far up the fence, Chatfield said he likely lunged, gaining enough momentum to reach the top, where he eventually fell over it.

``It didn't charge a single person,'' Chatfield said. ``There was no interest in the people, maybe a passing interest. He was really after the gibbon, because it was something he'd never seen.''

Full story here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Moment Of Monkey Kitten Zen...

In the Ubud region of Bali, Indonesia comes a companionship straight out of children's books. Photographer Anne Young was vacationing at the Monkey Forest Park when she spotted a young male long-tailed macaque monkey that had adopted a ginger kitten, protectively caring for and grooming it while keeping other monkeys away. The kitten couldn't look happier, and neither could the monkey.

Apparently, like any celebrity out with their kids, the monkey didn't like Young getting too close or taking photos, even trying to cover the kitten with a leaf. The monkey likely knows it runs the risk of having its new companion taken away by either humans or the other 340 or so monkeys living in four groups in the reserve. Though the kitten itself seems incredibly content.

Full story here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chimpanzee Born At Sunset Zoo In Manhattan

Sunset Zoo is pleased to announce that Susie, the 56-year old chimpanzee matriarch, delivered a healthy baby Wednesday, August 18, at 4:45 pm. Mother and baby are doing very well and have been under observation by trained volunteers and staff since the birth. Julian, Sunset Zoo’s sole male chimpanzee, is the father.

In the wild, chimpanzees live 40 – 45 years on average. Susie is the third oldest chimpanzee among Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredited zoos and has been under the medical care of the Kansas State University veterinary team since her pregnancy was confirmed.

“Susie was removed from birth control because of medical concerns. The feeling was that she was too old to get pregnant and while this was certainly unexpected, we’re very happy that both Susie and baby appear to be doing well”, said Scott Shoemaker, Sunset Zoo Director. “We’re glad K-State played such a vital role in a healthy pregnancy and invite people to come to Sunset Zoo and watch the baby grow.”

The chimpanzee troop has full access to their outdoor enclosure, indoor Ballard Gallery, and evening dens. Mother and baby have moved in and out of the public viewing area at will since the birth. Sunset Zoo staff and trained volunteers will continue to keep the new mother and infant under observation.

Full story here.

Study: Drugs Protect Monkeys From Ebola

Scientists developing a drug against the Ebola virus
U.S. government researchers working to find ways to treat the highly deadly Ebola virus said on Sunday a new approach from AVI BioPharma Inc saved monkeys after they were infected.

Two experimental treatments protected more than 60 percent of monkeys infected with Ebola and all the monkeys infected with a related virus called Marburg, the team at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland reported.

AVI BioPharma already has a contract worth up to $291 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop Ebola treatments.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, Sina Bavari and colleagues said the drugs tested are antisense phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, or PMOs, called AVI-6002 and AVI-6003.

"Taken together, these studies provide a major advancement in therapeutic development efforts for treatment of filovirus hemorrhagic fever," Bavari's team wrote.

Full story here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Report Of Loose Baboon In Missouri Is Hoax

Florissant police said there is no baboon on the loose after all and are calling Thursday's report of the loose animal a hoax.

The original report of a baboon being observed in a back yard in Florissant has been dismissed, according to Florissant police.

Florissant detectives spent the better part of the day investigating the incident.

Investigators said a 14 year-old has admitted that the picture the reported to have been taken of the baboon in the backyard was actually taken from a computer screen of an animal website.

The incident will be referred to the St. Louis County Family Court for further review and/or action.


Florissant police are searching for a baboon that may be on the loose in the area.

Authorities said Thursday afternoon that they are searching for the animal after Florissant residents reported spotting it near Patterson and Moule. It was last seen around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Police are taking the reports seriously, but said they do not know where the animal may have come from.

Full story here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet Smeagol, Philadelphia Zoo's Latest Addition

Smeagol the Aye-Aye
New babies are showing up regularly at the Philadelphia Zoo this year. The latest is the aye-aye, born July 14, joining other recent giraffe and orangutan births.

The aye-aye boy, born to mom Medusa and dad Tolkien, was named Smeagol after his resemblance to the Lord of the Rings character, according to a release by the zoo.

Smeagol already has started to leave the nest box to explore his exhibit at the Zoo’s Peco Primate Reserve.

Full story here.

Twin Tamarins Born At Bristol Zoo

Twin Golden Lion Tamarins have been born at the attraction thanks to their captive breeding programme.

The arrival of the twins is being seen as a great step forward in saving the endangered primate species from extinction.

The creatures are found in the rainforests of Brazil, but around 90% of their original forest habitat has now been cut down.

In 2003 Golden Lion Tamarins were down-listed from 'Critically Endangered' to 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Robert Rouse looks at the mammals at Bristol Zoo, he said: "In the 80's they were down to around 400 in the wild. But now thanks to the efforts of zoos like Bristol, gene pools and conservation efforts within captivity; they're now up to around 1,600 out in the wild. Every animal is important especially these two here."

It's the first time the Tamarins have been successfully bred at Bristol Zoo. Robert added: "We have to make sure we have the right animals paired together. We also look at genetics, and how genetically viable they are because obviously we don't want to inbreed any of our animals. It's really important we move our animals around worldwide.

"The mum that's just given birth was only moved in earlier on in the year as part of a breeding programme, so we're really chuffed she's bred with our male and produced these two offspring."

Full story here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Site Address

Monkey News has a new site address under the Monkey Day family of sites, not much is changing though.   All links, feeds, and stories are redirecting to the new address, just enjoy the shorter url.  That is all.

Gorilla Dies At Toronto Zoo

One of the Toronto Zoo’s gorillas was euthanized after having a serious stroke, the zoo announced Tuesday.

Samantha, a 37-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla, was the eldest female of the zoo’s seven-member troop.

The stroke was Samantha’s second in a month. In mid July, a stroke left her paralyzed on the right side. Then on Monday, she had another which “put her in critical condition,” the zoo said in a statement.

“Since the prognosis was now extremely poor, the difficult decision was made to euthanize her,” the statement said. “As part of the mourning process, the gorilla troop was able to spend time with her and say good-bye following her death.”

Full story here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chimpanzee At KC Zoo Dies After Attempt To Assimilate

Josh the chimp
A male chimpanzee at the Kansas City Zoo died Wednesday after being placed in a group with other males the day before.

There had been some scuffling among the powerful primates, and Josh, who was nearly 21 years old, had some scrapes on his hand, but there was no indication of traumatic injury, zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said Thursday. A necropsy was performed, and tissue samples were sent to laboratories to determine the cause of death.

Josh had been the alpha, or dominant, male in the larger of two troops of chimpanzees at the zoo. Josh’s troop included one other male and 10 females. The other troop had two males.

Zoo staff was hoping to assimilate all the chimpanzees, with the exception of one elderly female, to improve the animals’ social structure. Wisthoff said that was being done at the recommendation of the chimpanzee species survival plan, a protocol among accredited North American zoos.

The first step was to place all four males together and later add the females. The males were in the off-exhibit holding area with access to an outdoor pen Wednesday afternoon when zookeepers noticed Josh had become “woozy and weak,” Wisthoff said. The zoo’s veterinary staff treated him, but he died a couple of hours later.

Full story here.

Escaped Scottish Monkey Eludes Capture Before Being Struck By Car

A pet monkey was knocked down and killed by a car after going on the run in a town centre.

Police, vets and locals had been trying to trap the animal - described as a marmoset - for an hour when disaster struck.

But they watched in horror as the monkey was run over by a vehicle in William Street, Oban, and was killed "on impact".

The Scottish SPCA and police are now trying to track down the owner, who is believed to be travelling in a camper van in the area.

Shop worker Teresa Michie said: "A passer-by came in saying a monkey was sitting on a car and could I phone the police.

"I thought they were winding me up so I went outside and, right enough, there was a monkey sitting by the side of the road. I phoned the vets to come and help."

Traffic warden Lorraine Craig added: "The wee thing gave us the run around. We were trying to keep it safe.

"Nobody knew where to look when it was hit. The wee thing had been crushed."

Scottish SPCA Argyll inspector John MacAvoy said: "Anyone who has a monkey needs a licence, and as far as I am aware there is no one in the area with a licence."

Full story here.

Baby Monkey Introduced At Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo's newest baby monkey is getting acclimated to his new home.

After a year of family leave, the zoo's saki monkeys returned to their home in the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit this week. They have been off exhibit since the birth of another monkey -- Marcelo -- last April.

The newest baby monkey is a male and has not yet been named. His parents are 17-year-olds Jackie and Bam-Bam.

Full story here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Orangutans Use Mime To Communicate

Orangutans, of their own volition, act out incredibly detailed scenarios with their bodies, using the pantomime to communicate with humans and other apes, according to a new study.

The study, published in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters, adds to the growing body of evidence that orangutan mini charade-like displays feature characteristics of language and reveal just how creative, intelligent and manipulative these great apes can be.

Orangutans "show abilities that are considered by some to be important in the evolution of language and that, to this point, have been considered uniquely human," co-author Anne Russon told Discovery News.

"Of course what orangutans do isn't up to Marcel Marceau, but they can certainly fake their own bodily signals, the essence of pantomime, and that opens up a much richer world of communication than we have believed possible," added Russon, a Glendon College professor of psychology.

Full story here.

Scientists Discover New Bearded Monkey

Callicebus caquetensisis
Scientists Thomas Defler, Marta Bueno and Javier García have discovered a new species of monkey in the Caquetá region of southern Colombia. The region, which is part of the Amazon rainforest, had been inaccessible for years due to a violent insurgence.

The violence subsided three years ago, allowing García--a native of Caquetá--to explore the Colombian Amazon. Using a GPS to traverse the upper Caquetá River, García found 13 different groups of titi monkeys, which have a very complex call.

"This discovery is extremely exciting because we had heard about this animal, but for a long time we could not confirm if it was different from other titis. We now know that this is a unique species, and it shows the rich diversity of life that is still to be discovered in the Amazon," said Dr. Defler.

The Callicebus caquetensisis is about the size of a cat with grayish-brown hair, but is missing the white bar on its forehead common to other titis. It's most distinct feature is its bushy red beard. Unlike most primates, but common to all titis, they are monogamous with tightly knit families.

However, the news of this discovery is tarnished by the fact that the titi faces extinction. It is estimated that less than 250 Caquetá titi monkeys exist. A healthy population would be in the thousands. The dwindling population is due to deforestation as their habitat has been turned into agricultural land.

Full story here.

Gorillas Play With Boy's Dropped Nintendo at San Francisco Zoo

A little boy learned a valuable lesson during his visit to the San Francisco Zoo: Keep a hold of your things.

The child dropped his Nintendo DS into the gorilla exhibit last week during a visit.

The gorillas below seemed to know the "finders keepers" part of the game and snapped it up.

The mama gorilla kept it away from the little ones and seemed to take to it immediately.

Photographer Christina Spicuzza captured several images of the gorilla trying to figure out the game.

In the end, the boy got his game back. Witnesses said a zoo trainer lured the animal over to the side and traded the game for a shiny red apple.

The DS has a little slobber on it, but worked just fine.

Full story here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

St. Louis Zoo Orangutan Dies Unexpectedly

The Saint Louis Zoo's adult male orangutan Juara died unexpectedly on August 3rd. The orangutan was brought to the Zoo's veterinary hospital at 9 a.m. for a complete physical. This is a procedure the Zoo does every 3-4 years for adult apes. The examination went well, and Juara was returned to Jungle of the Apes at approximately 11 a.m. where he was continually monitored by veterinarians and caretakers through 7:15 p.m.

Juara was slow to wake up after the physical exam. His breathing and other vital signs were normal. The results of the necropsy have not come in. The St. Louis Zoo believes that Juara experienced respiratory arrest following anesthesia.

Full story here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orangutan Born In Ramat Gan After Decade-Long Baby Drought

Rochale the orangutan with her baby.   
An orangutan was born at the Ramat Gan Safari over the weekend, a decade since the last such primate was born there. The baby ape was born to a relatively old mother, Rochale, at 41.

Not only is this the first such birth since 2000, the Sumatran Orangutan presently has a limited world population of 7,300. Most of them live in the wild and several dozen in zoos. Along with the Borneo Orangutans, they are considered a species that is threatened by extinction.

Officials at the Ramat Gan Safari (also known as the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan ) were quick to note that the birth was of international importance.

In order to increase the number of orangutans, two young females were brought to the center from Germany - Sisi and Tosy. But it was Rochale, an older orangutan already at the safari, who actually managed to give birth to a healthy baby.

Full story here.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

London Zoo Brings In Irish Gorilla To Replace Dead Males

Kesho the Gorilla
A male gorilla from Ireland is being transferred to London zoo after two previous males died at the attraction within 18 months of each other.

Kesho, an 11-year-old who was born and raised at Dublin zoo, is expected to arrive in London within weeks, where he will be introduced to three females.

He will replace two older males, Bongo and Yeboah, who died in December 2008 and March this year from apparently unrelated medical conditions.

Zookeepers consulted international experts before agreeing to transfer Kesho, because gorillas sometimes attack each other's offspring and the youngest female in the group, Mjukuu, became pregnant by Yeboah shortly before he died.

The newborn gorilla, which would be the first for London zoo in 22 years, might still be in danger without a dominant male present, because the females in the group are then more likely to fight one another.

"If there isn't a strong leader in the group, if there isn't a male coming into that position, then the potential is you'll have one female trying to take control of the group, and that can destabilise it," said Kirsten Pullen, an expert in gorilla behaviour at Paignton zoo in Devon.

Full story here.

Chimpanzee Born At NC Zoo, Viewing Delayed

Maki and Nori
North Carolina's newest chimpanzee, 2-day-old Nori, was kept from public view Tuesday at the North Carolina Zoo while she ironed out feeding issues with her mother.

The older chimp, 16-year-old Maki, alarmed zoo staff Monday night by incorrectly handling her newborn, spokesman Rod Hackney said.

"She's holding the baby upside-down, or she's holding the baby away from her chest," he said. "It's inexperience. She's a first-timemother."

Maki was tranquilized while baby Nori was weighed. Both appeared to be healthy, so Nori returned to nurse briefly. Staff will monitor the chimps off-exhibit through at least today, and their public appearance is put off indefinitely.

Nori's birth on Monday brings the N.C. Zoo's chimpanzee troop to 13, the largest in the country.

Full story here.

Orangutans More Energy Efficient Than Any Primate

Orangutans are more economical than any other primate, including humans. A new study found that orangutans need less food fuel than we do for the same, or greater, levels of activity.

In general, birds use more energy than mammals, which require more energy than marsupials that in turn need more fuel than reptiles. But among mammals, orangutans merit an Energy Star label.

Orangutans "require less food than humans, pound-for-pound," lead author Herman Pontzer told Discovery News. When they do eat, orangutans nibble mostly on ripe fruit, along with smaller portions of leaves and seeds.

Even in captivity, this diet doesn't diminish an orangutan's get-up-and-go.

"They wake up early, after a long night's sleep," explained Pontzer, an assistant professor of anthropology at Washington University. "Then they spend the day socializing, exploring their indoor or outdoor enclosures. ... They also regularly engage in games with researchers."

Full story here.

Dead Monkey Raises Alarms At Primate Research Center

New England Primate Center
The New England Primate Center has been warned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal and plant health inspection services after a dead research monkey was discovered in a cage that had just been sterilized in an automatic washer.

A June 29 USDA inspection report signed by Dr. Paula S. Gladue, a veterinarian-inspector for the agency, says the body, described as a non-human primate, was found on the floor of a cage that had just gone through a sanitizing cycle in a washer. The discovery was made during a June 9 routine inspection of the facility, which is operated by Harvard Medical School. The report says that after gross and microscopic examinations of the animal, it was determined that it had died before the cage went through the washer.

However, Michael A. Budkie, executive director of Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, questioned yesterday if anyone really knows if the monkey was dead or alive before it was sent through the cage washer. Mr. Budkie, who said he previously worked in animal research laboratories, said it would be “difficult at best” to glean any information from a body sent through a sanitizer.

“It’s a terrible thing if it was sent in there alive,” he said. “But even if it was already dead, that says something very disturbing about the practices and procedures at this facility.”

Mr. Budkie has sent a letter to Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of Harvard University Medical School, requesting a tour of the Southboro center, along with a request to see primate health care records and results of the necropsy done on the monkey.

He got an acknowledgement e-mail that his letter was received, but nothing else, he said.

Full story here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Monkey Attempts To 'Adopt' Toad In Zoo

Monkey and Toad
Swoozie, a female swamp monkey, saved the reptile from a pond at the edge of her enclosure.

She then spent a whole day with the common toad before it was able to wriggle free

Crowds gathered as the seven-year-old monkey cuddled the toad and even rubbed the cold-blooded creature to try and warm it up.

The bizarre event was captured on camera by retired teacher Sheila Hassanein , 64, who was visiting the zoo.

She said: ''The monkey was trying to shield it from view, she was treating it as if it was her baby and she was trying to protect it.

''The enclosure is surrounded by water and there are lots of toads in there. She must have just picked one out.

''She was rubbing it as if she was trying to warm it up, but of course it's a cold-blooded reptile. It was very strange.''

Full story here.

Gibbon Makes Escape Attempt At Dublin Zoo

Gibbon Makes Escape Attempt
An ape and her baby made a bid for freedom today after they swung off their island in Dublin Zoo into the main complex.

Around 200 visitors were forced indoors as staff attempted to capture the Siamang gibbons as they monkeyed about.

Dublin Zoo stressed strict procedures were followed and that the pair were contained and returned safely to their habitat within half an hour.

No one was injured during the incident and no risk was posed to people in the area.

Veronica Chrisp, of Dublin Zoo, said the alarm was raised at around 10am when the medium-sized primate jumped on to a low branch and crossed the water which surrounded her enclosure.

Visitors were ordered inside restaurants and other buildings around the complex until the adventurers were caught.

"We just shut everybody away to keep the zoo very quiet so that we weren't distracting her and the baby at all," Ms Chrisp said.

Full story here.