Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gorilla Stones Swedish Woman In Zoo Ambush

A gorilla opened a gash in a Swedish woman's forehead after throwing rocks at her at a Swedish zoo on Saturday.

The woman, 38, was hit in the forehead by the stone, which was thrown by one of the five gorillas at the Kolmården National Park in central Sweden. The stone measured roughly five centimetres in diameter, said Marjorie Castro, head of the zoo.

"At first everything seemed fine. She was bleeding a little from her forehead, but seemed to be in good health," Castro told the Aftonbladet paper. "But she was hit in the head and gorillas have enormous strength, so we called an ambulance. After a while, she felt weak and we had to lie her down."

Castro added that the gorillas have never thrown things at visitors before, with the exception of lighter objects like grass.

However, following the news of the stone-throwing gorilla, other Swedes shared similar stories about their experiences with the Kolmården primates. The mother of a 7-year-old boy told Aftonbladet that Enzo the gorilla had thrown a stone at her son in July last year.

Full story here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boa Constrictor Seen Eating Howler Monkey In a Predatory First

For the first time, scientists have witnessed a boa constrictor attacking and eating a howler monkey. The finding is noteworthy since reports of primates being eaten by predators are relatively rare, according to the study, published this month in the journal Primates.

"This may cause us to rethink how vulnerable [these] primates are to predation," said Paul Garber, a primatologist at the University of Illinois, who wasn't involved in the study.

Predation does happen to primates and monkeys, particularly by snakes, large raptors and big cats — but it has not been witnessed very often, Garber told LiveScience. That's due in part to the fact that primates live in groups, wherein each member looks out for threats, providing "coordinated predator detection," he said. Primates also generally have good vision that enables them to spot would-be attackers. It's also possible that the presence of scientists watching primates helps drive predators away, he added.

Full story here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vote For Your Favorite Chimpanzee Artwork - Winning Sanctuary Gets Prize

The HSUS teamed up with six member sanctuaries from the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance to showcase the talents of their resident chimpanzees. Below you will find chimpanzee “masterpieces” from each of the participating sanctuaries, along with photos and descriptions of the artists themselves.

Join The HSUS and our world-renowned guest judge, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, in honoring chimpanzee creativity and supporting the exceptional sanctuaries caring for chimpanzees retired from the research, entertainment, and pet industries. Vote for your favorite chimpanzee artwork today and once every day until 5:00 p.m. ET, August 22, 2013. All results will be announced on August 29, 2013. The winning sanctuaries will each receive a prize from The HSUS.

Full story here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Watch World First - Orangutan Birth Captured Live On Camera At Durrell

Dana was left with blocked fallopian tubes, leaving her infertile. However, expert intervention by Jersey General Hospital’s Head Obstetrician, Neil MacLachlan, allowed Dana and 28 year-old dominant male ‘Dagu’ to conceive again against all the odds, in late 2012.

Neil visited Dana throughout her pregnancy working with our team who, using trained behaviour techniques, carried out ultrasound scanning of Dana’s bump. This gave us the best possible chance of a healthy mother and baby.

Our team also worked hard at capturing the events leading up to and during the birth, that led to a BBC documentary to highlight our work with Critically Endangered animals globally and how we continue to save species from extinction.

Warning, birth! If you aren't comfortable with functions of the body, human or otherwise, don't watch.

Full story here.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Swimming With Apes - Breaststroke Preferred

Different strokes for different folks? Not when it comes to the aquatic ape: the first detailed observations of swimming chimpanzees and orang-utans suggest that they, like us, tend to swim using a form of breaststroke. The findings imply that we may owe our swimming style to our evolutionary past.

Apart from humans, great apes usually avoid deep water for fear of unseen predators that might be lurking there, but anecdotal evidence shows that they will go for a dip if they feel safe enough.

Cooper the chimpanzee and Suryia the orang-utan are extreme examples of this. These two captive apes, raised respectively in Missouri and South Carolina, have thrown off any instinctive fear and taught themselves to swim in a swimming pool.

Full story here.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Strange Ancient Ape Walked On All Fours

A bizarre ancient ape whose gait has stumped researchers for decades walked on all fours and swung from the trees, new research suggests.

Oreopithecus bambolii, an ape that lived on an isolated island 7 million to 9 million years ago in what is now Tuscany and Sardinia, Italy, didn't have the pelvis or spine necessary for regular upright walking, the researchers said. Rather, the beast traversed Earth on all fours.

Their conclusion, detailed online July 23 in the Journal of Human Evolution, overturns an earlier hypothesis that the mysterious ape independently evolved bipedal, or two-legged, walking.

Full story here.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Chimps Briefly Escape Twycross Zoo, Lured Back With Ice Cream And Fizzy Drinks

A Leicestershire zoo had to close when eight chimpanzees found their way into service corridors in their enclosure.

At 09:35 BST, the chimps at Twycross Zoo escaped into an area they were not meant to be, leading to safety concerns.

A police spokesperson later said "everything was now in order".

Twycross Zoo, which reopened two hours later, said the animals were encouraged back into their enclosure with ice cream and fizzy drinks.

Full story here.