Amsterdam zoo gets art, stuffed birds


Omnibus before the entrance of Artis, by N.M. Wijdoogen

This painting is by Dutch artist Nicolaas Martinus Wijdoogen. According to Wikipedia, it is not known exactly when he was born (1824?; or 1814?), or when he died (1898?). We do know that he had an exhibition in Amsterdam in 1848. He is said to have worked in Amsterdam until about 1852.

So, he probably painted this horsebus near the entrance of Artis zoo about 1850. The zoo had been founded rather recently then, in 1838.

Artis entrance today

This is how the Artis entrance looks today. Many things have changed, but some things still look rather similar. The horsebuses from when Wijdoogen lived are gone, of course.

Wijdoogen’s painting was recently loaned to Artis. It is exhibited in the aquarium.

Also other recently acquired art is there. Including work by Henri Verstijnen (1882-1940). He liked to paint birds and fish in Artis. Verstijnen’s granddaughter recently gave 155 of his works to the zoo.

Henri Verstijnen, Helmeted guineafowl

Other recently acquired art is by Peter Vos.

Artis acquired a stuffed birds collection as well.

White tigers, welcome back!


This video, from Amersfoort zoo in the Netherlands, says about itself (translated):

Aug 15, 2013

After a long time, people can admire the white tigers again in the zoo. As a surprise a nice breakfast for these carnivores hangs in their compound. Take a look at these spectacular images!

The tigers went back to their compound after it had been reconstructed.

Zoo ‘lion’ really a dog


This video is called African Lion: Be The Creature (Nature Documentary).

And this video is called Tibetan Mastiffs playing in the snow.

From the South China Morning Post:

Henan zoo under fire for trying to pass off dog as African lion

Henan attraction’s boast of a range of exotic creatures outrages visitors

Joanna Chiu

Thursday, 15 August, 2013, 8:50am

A zoo’s attempt to pass off fluffy dogs as “African lions” and rats as “snakes” has infuriated the zoo’s visitors, according to the Henan provincial newspaper Dongfang Jinbao.

In the zoo in Luohe in Henan, a cage marked “African lions” actually contained a Tibetan mastiff, a breed of domestic dog with fluffy brown fur around its face, according to photographs published by mainland media.

A zoo administrator tried desperately to explain. “The wolves are there,” he told an Oriental Daily reporter.

“But the wolf is somewhere else in the pen and the dog is a pet. The African lions will be back. They went to another zoo to breed.”

But the zoo had no explanation for abnormalities such as “fox-like creatures” in the leopard‘s pen.

Visitors were outraged. Sharon Liu, who had taken her six-year-old son to the zoo, was alarmed to hear barking coming from inside the lion’s cage.

“To use a dog to impersonate a lion is definitely an insult to tourists,” she said.

The practice of dyeing pets’ fur to make them look like other animals, such as painting dogs black and white to make them look like pandas, has been a trend reported on the mainland before. But the bogus animals in the Luohe zoo drew denunciations across the internet yesterday. A blogger joked that this publicity might actually bring more visitors to the zoo.

“People would want to know what they could think of next. Earthworms as pythons? … An eggplant disguised as a sea cucumber?”

On Tuesday, Yu Hua, head of the People’s Park where the zoo is located said private contractors ran the zoo. In 2010, the government stopped giving contracts to private operators for animal parks and zoos, but the contract for the Luohe zoo has not expired yet. Yu said the signs would be “promptly corrected”.

Polar bear’s collar camera view, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

Aug 2, 2013

A collar camera attached to a Polar bear at Oregon Zoo is providing a unique insight into the species. Whenever Tasul plays, swims, eats and sleeps a specially-designed collar tracks her movements, however slight.

It has an accelerometer attached to it which traces Tasul’s steps in three dimensions.

The research project is in collaboration with the US Geological Survey.

Research wildlife biologist, Anthony Pagano, said: “It records changes [in position] along three different axes: up and down, back and forth, and side to side.”

The technology works in a similar way in which the phone is tipped upside down.

Scientists hope the data that is collected can help them understand how polar bears in the wild are coping with changes in their environment, primarily because of climate change. Report by Ashley Fudge.

Hornbills, forty years of love


This video is called AMOROUS GREAT HORNBILLS.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Wednesday 17 Jul 2013, 21:09

Tomorrow, bird zoo Avifauna in Alphen aan den Rijn will celebrate the 40-year marriage of a great hornbill couple. The couple arrived in 1973 in the bird park and they have since been inseparable. According to Avifauna it is unique that two animals live together in a zoo for so long.

In those 40 years, the colorful couple had twelve offspring. They have been important in the international breeding program, Avifauna says. In recent years, they are still courting, but they don’t have chicks any more.

Vital interest

Avifauna explains that a good marriage is vital for hornbills, because during the breeding season the female depends on the male. The nest is in a hollow tree and its entry is almost completely bricked. The female is then locked in for about 3 months in the nest while the male gives her food.

To celebrate the anniversary the birds will get gifts on their ‘wedding day’, including a fruit garland and a basket full of maggots.

Baby okapi video


This video from London zoo in England says about itself:

July 16, 2013

Baby Okapi calf Daphne has started venturing out and exploring her home for the first time and is already giving her mum Elila the run around.

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 87 – The Okapi: here.

US American zoo and world biodiversity


This video from the USA is called White-Naped Cranes at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute TBD.

The main source for this post is the United States Department of State. Which, like all governmental information, also on some other subjects and in some other countries, should never be taken for granted. And not in all zoos in the world, things go as well as in the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in the capital of the USA; as well as the United States Department of State claims that they go.

Here it comes:

America’s “Superzoo” Promotes Biodiversity, Conservation

By Jane Morse, 11 July 2013

Washington — If you think of a zoo as only a collection of sad animals locked in cages, then you haven’t been to the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park.

About 2,000 animals representing 400 species live and thrive at this 66-hectare urban park located in northwest Washington. The only federally funded zoo in the United States, the National Zoo was founded in 1889 to provide leadership in animal care, science, education and sustainability.

More than 2 million people from around the globe visit this facility each year. What most people never get to see is an array of endangered species and the small army of scientists and wildlife experts who study them at the zoo’s Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI).

Located on 1,295 hectares of rolling hills in Front Royal, Virginia, SCBI is devoted to training wildlife professionals in conservation biology and to propagating rare species through natural means and assisted reproduction.

“We are the focal point for conservation for the entire Smithsonian Institution,” Dr. Steven L. Monfort, SCBI’s director, told a group of foreign journalists who recently visited the facility as part of a program offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Center.

No other institution, Monfort said, has a pool of expertise to draw upon that includes some 500 scientists with doctoral degrees, plus graduate students, postdoctoral students and trainees. Since the 1960s, all this brainpower has enabled the zoo to publish 4,800 scientific papers, more than any other zoo.

SCBI’s mission, Monfort said, is not just to understand biodiversity, but to take an active role in saving it — both in the United States and around the world. SCBI scientists work in 25 countries, including Panama, Peru, Gabon, Namibia, Botswana, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, China, India and Jamaica.

“We’re about fundamental science, but we are using science to help resolve conservation problems and work on helping to train the next generation of scientists,” Monfort said.

SCBI also has one of the top reproductive science programs in the world, according to Monfort. “That’s important,” he said, “because we know virtually nothing about the way that species reproduce.”

Of the 5,500 known mammal species, Monfort said, about 220, mostly lab and farm animals, are understood in terms of their reproductive biology and behavior. “So we are right at the point of the tip of the iceberg in understanding how some of these species reproduce,” he said. “We bring them into captivity and they don’t reproduce and we don’t know why.”

But slowly some of the 25 species of mammals and birds kept at SCBI are divulging their secrets. Case in point: cheetahs.

Cheetahs are listed as “vulnerable” by the World Conservation Union, which has more than 1,000 government and nongovernmental organizations as members. Only an estimated 7,500 to 10,000 cheetahs are thought to endure in the wild. The fastest animal on land could not, it seems, outrun the depredation of human conflict, hunting and habitat loss.

Only about 30 percent of cheetahs in captivity reproduce, Monfort said. But by patiently collecting and analyzing fecal samples, scientists have discovered that when female cheetahs are kept in groups, as is the case in some zoos, the dominant member will excrete a hormone that represses the reproductive cycles of the others.

In the wild, female cheetahs live alone, and a male will pass through the territories of various females to find a mate to accept him, Monfort explained. So at SCBI, four and a half hectares are devoted to female cheetahs, each of which has her own yard. The males are paraded past them. End result: Four litters have been born at SCBI. And while this may not seem like a lot, it is a success for a struggling species.

With some 25 percent of all vertebrate groups at risk of extinction around the world, we humans need to worry, Monfort said. “Humans are part of biodiversity,” he said. “Ecosystems help humans survive.”

If ecosystems collapse, Monfort said, humans lose out on climate regulation, flood and disease controls, and many other benefits, including those yet to be discovered.

Smithsonian Institution resources make it uniquely qualified to uncover some of the mysteries, Monfort said. In addition to its own work on conservation and saving endangered species, SCBI is an international hub for other training organizations.

As for America’s “superzoo” as well as many others, Monfort observed: “Zoos have evolved from being places with a circus-type menagerie for people’s entertainment. … Zoos are looking into becoming conservation centers.”

See the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute website for more information.

Learn more about the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, nine research centers and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world, at the Smithsonian Institution’s website.

Zoos & Wildlife Conservation: here.

Dutch zoo helps rare spadefoot toads


This video is called Pelobates fuscus juvenile digging.

Translated from ANP news agency in the Netherlands:

Artis releases 15,000 common spadefoot toads into the wild

09-07-2013 10:59 | modified 09-07-2013 11:12

This week, as many as 15,000 common spadefoot toads will return to their natural environment. As tadpoles they were reared in Artis, which is now freeing them into the wild. The spadefoot toad is seriously threatened by extinction, the Amsterdam zoo said this Tuesday.

Artis is working with the Ravon foundation (Reptiles Amphibians and Fish Research Netherlands), which two years ago began saving the spadefoot toad. The cause of the threat is the long isolation of populations by the fragmentation of the habitat. Although this has improved in recent years, the animals cannot on their own get out of their endangered status.

Last year, Artis and Ravon also released thousands of spadefoot toads in nature, including in North Brabant, Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe. The aim is to bring about strong populations of toads within 20 years which will be able to reproduce and survive on their own.

Baby collared lizards in Dutch zoo


This August 2018 video is about young common collared lizards, about two months old.

Amersfoort zoo in the Netherlands reports that in the end of May this year eight healthy baby common collared lizards have hatched from eggs.

In Amersfoort zoo are three adult common collared lizards; one male, two females. Both females have laid eggs. This is the first time ever that eggs of this species have hatched in Amersfoort zoo.

This species lives in the southern United States and Mexico.

Sumatran tiger twins born, video


In the night of 4-5 May 2013, two Sumatran tigers were born in Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

This video shows their birth.

This video is about adult tigers at that zoo.

Researchers discover human activity threatens Sumatran tiger population: here.

July 2013. Sumatran tigers, found exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, are on the brink of extinction. By optimistic estimates, perhaps 400 individuals survive. But the exact the number and locations of the island’s dwindling tiger population has been up for debate: here.

Sumatran Tiger Cubs Born At Smithsonian’s National Zoo Are Totally Adorable (PHOTOS, VIDEO): here.