To bring all the efforts the San Diego Zoo does together as one cohesive team that strives to make the world better, the Zoological Society of San Diego turned San Diego Zoo Global is now the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance!
This is more than just a sleek new logo and some new fonts. This change includes a restructuring of how we present ourselves and our work to the outside world. We want to make everything we do from animal care to research inside and outside of our facilities and across the world visible so you can share in the amazing stories that we live through every day.
We are so much more than just a Zoo and Safari Park. Sure, we have some remarkable places you can spend the day seeing some amazing animals, but we also have research and outreach happening across the globe aimed at improving the quality of life for all living things!
The biggest change for us researchers from the rebrand is the Institute for Conservation Research is no more. Though it was never the intension, having a separate entity within the organization for research made the science seem less accessible and inclusive. To more effectively bring the science to you, it is now just part of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance because the science isn't separate. We are one organization with a unified goal.
Wallis is a very special addition to the Park’s rhino family. She is as part of the Park's White Rhino breeding program planned to be a surrogate for the critically endangered Northern White Rhino whose only remaining females are all too old to breed.
This story has been floating around the interwebs for the past week or two and I understand why it keeps being re-posted on social media.... its seemingly hilarious!
Ai Hin, a 6 year old panda at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center, the same place some of our San Diego pandas now call home, is said to have faked a pregnancy to get special treatment, including more food, air conditioning and increased attention. Chengdu reported Ai Hin was showing signs of pregnancy in the form of reduced appetite, less mobility and a surge of progestational hormone. But, it could be possible she was pregnant but reabsorbed the fetus. Surges in hormones are hard to fake and it is fairly common for pandas to lose a pregnancy, reabsorbing the fetus so it appears as if there was no pregnancy at all. Reabsorption could happen because there is a fetal defect or death, the mother has a disease which affects her ability to properly care of the fetus, there is a hormonal disruption, or environmental conditions are not conducive to caring for the baby. At the San Diego Zoo, they have seen this phenomenon with the use of thermal imaging and ultra sound. Bai Yun was suspected to be carrying twins on more than one occasion but has only ever given birth to one cub. This kind of fetal reabsorption is called "prenatal litter pruning". The mechanism isn't exactly known but could be an adaptive result of pandas not being able to care for more than one cub in natural, wild conditions.
Who knows. Maybe Panda McLiar Pants wasn't lying after all but her body decided this just wasn't the time. She's only 6 and has never been a mother. Maybe she just wasn't ready yet!!
Big News from the San Diego Zoo! Yun Zi, the fifth cub mothered by Bai Yun and fourth to Gao Gao, will be following in the footsteps of his four siblings before him and making the journey back to his homeland next week. His arrival in China marks the beginning of his genetic contribution to the Panda species as a member of the breeding program. His siblings have had great success in the breeding program bringing more than 10 cubs into the world.
I am so proud of that little guy (well, not so little anymore). I was there when he was born and saw him almost every week until I moved to Texas. He is a gorgeous bear with a lot of personality and will be a great addition to the breeding program. I will miss him as I miss Mei Sheng, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen and hope that some day I might be able to make my own journey to China to visit.