Thursday, August 18, 2016

News from the Zoo

I love the Toronto Zoo, and I love receiving their press releases. There is always so much going on and pretty much every release gives me a big smile.

This week they are sharing not one, but two big announcements.  The first - Giant Panda Cam!!!! That's right, with the support of TELUS, the Toronto Zoo now has Canada's first live Giant Panda Cam, providing a live feed of Er Shun and her cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, from 9am-6:30pm ET each day.  A selection of pre-recorded panda footage will be available 24/7 when the pandas aren't live.

"We are proud to partner with TELUS, a national leader in telecommunications and service, who demonstrates social responsibility through environmental stewardship programs and interest in preserving wildlife. With the successful births of the first giant panda cubs born in Canada last year, we are grateful to TELUS for providing this opportunity for people to watch these cubs grow during their limited time in Toronto. We hope this will instill the desire in all viewers to learn more about saving this flagship species." - John Tracogna, CEO, Toronto Zoo.

Yes, they do sleep a lot, but they also play and eat and snuggle. I watched momma grooming one of her babies for a while this morning. I now have the site bookmarked so I can back for a quick cuteness hit any time I need it.

Photo Credit: C. Thompson, Toronto Zoo
And in other news, Tori, a six year old female Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi), gave birth to a filly on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 2:49 pm. In addition to being simply adorable, her birth is important for Grevy's zebra conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and there are only approximately 2,000 left in the wild. This is Tori's second foal; her first, Leia, was born in 2014.

Both mom and baby are doing well, and this little girl began walking about 10 minutes after birth, which the Zoo says is great. Mom and baby will be on exhibit periodically throughout the day - no set times.

"The birth of Tori's filly is a great opportunity to spread the word on the plight of Grevy's zebras in the wild," says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo. "As one of the Zoo's key mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve biodiversity, this filly helps highlight the importance of zebra conservation and what is being done to preserve this magnificent species in Africa. The Toronto Zoo supports Grevy's zebra conservation efforts in Ethiopia and Kenya through the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund."

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