Zoo and Aquarium Professional, Educator, Cosplayer, Writer and B.A. in Psychology whose got a lot to share when it comes to animals, zoos, aquariums, conservation, and more.
How Pollution Affects Killer Whales In Utero
Over the last few decades, research on wild killer whale populations has given insight into how man-made toxins affect their survival and reproduction ability. This is especially considering killer whales are one of the ocean’s top predators. The pollutants, which make their way into the sea through inland runoffs, get through the marine food chain, getting sorted into animal body tissue after ingesting.
New Year, New SeaWorld Presentation, New Rescue Story
Recently, SeaWorld has been offering some brand new experiences where guests can learn more about the animals who live in the parks from the lenses of those who care for them year-round. For example, animal encounters let you meet penguins, walruses, belugas, and dolphins. Meanwhile, up-close tours allow guests to take part in mini-meetings, which are private training sessions with killer whales.
Far From Home (For Now!) Brookfield Zoo Dolphins to live at the Minnesota Zoo
On November 4th, 2022, The Brookfield Zoo announced their seven bottlenose dolphins to the Minnesota Zoo. They were accompanied by a team of veterinarians, animal care specialists, and support staff to help ensure their arrival at their temporary home went smoothly as possible. For five of the animals, the move to Minnesota marks a return to their home since the zoo stopped housing dolphins full-time in 2012. Allie originally came to the zoo in 2008 while Spree was born there in 2002. Brookfield’s other three females, Tapeko, Noelani, and Allison, all spent some time in Minnesota in 2009 during a previous renovation of their habitat. For the two males, Lucky and Kai, this will make the first time they ever lived in Minnesota.
How to Keep Killer Whales Innovated Through Creativity
On September 20th, 2022, the peer-reviewed journal, Animal Cognition, published a study on how killer whales and apex predatory mammals get creative in their oceanic habitats. The study was part of an ongoing collaboration between Dr. Heather Manitzas Hill at St. Mary’s University, MarineLand France, SeaWorld San Antonio, and the Dolphin Communication Project. The study, previously done with bottlenose dolphins, allowed the researchers to ask the animals to do new behaviors of their own choosing as a form of enriching exercise for the animals that enable them to think creatively (Heather Manitzas Hill et al. Anim Cogn. 2022)
Zoos and Aquariums Gather To Help Florida Zoos and Aquariums After Hurricane Ian
On September 28th, 2022, Hurricane Ian strengthened into a high-end Category 4 hurricane after restrengthening over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. It progressed towards the western coast of Florida, making landfall on Cayo Costa Island. The storm would kill 137 people and cause over $50 billion in damages, with Fort Myers Beach and Naples taking the bigger beatings while Sanibel Island and Pine Island saw additional damages caused by storm surges and severe flooding.
Sweet Pups: An Interview
A few months ago, my sister, Janis, decided that she was going to adopt a dog of her own. It was a long process because her apartment’s landlord usually has restrictions that prohibit residents from keeping pets. However, thanks to approval from a doctor, they made an exception for her to adopt a pet. By this point, she decided on who she was going to adopt: a foxy rat terrier puppy named “Angie” who was renamed “Zelda” after a character from the “Legend of Zelda” series of games. Then came the day of adoption and I joined Janis to cross state lines into Massachusetts to take Zelda home.
Want to Protect Right Whales? Don’t Eat Lobster.
Historically, right whales became endangered after years of exploitation by the whaling industry. However, thanks to laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, whales are no longer threatened by whaling in United States Waters. While some species have recovered to pre-whaling numbers, some, like the North Atlantic right whale, have yet to make a full recovery. A recent threat has jeopardized their survival: the lobster industry.
Anti-Zoo Extremists Go To Washington?
On July 26th, anti-zoo extremists based at the Animal Welfare Institute announced new and extreme legislation that targets the marine mammal community. The bill titled the “Strengthening Welfare in Marine Settings (SWIMS) Act would phase out the keeping of cetaceans in human care for any purpose. The animals targeted in the bill include killer whales (orcas), beluga whales, pilot whales, and false killer whales by forbidding facilities from ever raising them under their care. This includes breeding them, transporting them to other facilities, and housing them for public display. While it allowed existing facilities to continue caring for the animals who live under their care, it would force them to phase out their animal programs.
Argo: In Memorain to a Rescued Pilot Whale
Argo, a 22-year-old short-finned pilot whale at SeaWorld San Diego, passed away on July 3rd. According to animal care staff at SeaWorld, Argo experienced health issues a year ago. Despite efforts by the veterinary team and zoological specialists who diagnosed and treated him, Argo could not recover from his condition.
Orca Pod Adopts Pilot Whale Calf Off Iceland
On June 24th, a group of researchers from the Icelandic Orca Project was conducting a survey on local wild orca populations off the coast of Iceland when they spotted an unusual sight among one orca pod-a pilot whale calf.