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Learn how the Alaska Zoo practices conservation through education and action.
UPDATE AS OF 5/14/2013: Kali the polar bear cub left today for his new home at the Buffalo Zoo in New York. He is traveling with zoo staff and we expect him to arrive safely at his new home. We wish him well in his new life, with his new cub companion. The staff and volunteers of the Alaska Zoo are honored and priveleged to have cared for and observed his growth over these past two months. It was an amazing opportunity!
On March 12, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received word that a female polar bear had been taken near Point Lay, Alaska. The adult female was accompanied by a cub, which was recovered and transferred first to the community of Point Lay, and then to the North Slope Borough’s Department of Wildlife Management (DWM). Subsequent to a health evaluation by the DWM it was determined that the cub is a young male weighing approximately 18.4 lbs. and 3-4 months of age. The Alaska Zoo was requested to arrange the transportation from Barrow and to provide for preliminary care and management of the cub. The cub is currently being held for observation at the Alaska Zoo, and appears to be responding well.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes and appreciates the many partners, including the people of Point Lay (who would like the cub to be named “Kali,” pronounced cully, which is the Inupiat name for Point Lay), the North Slope Borough, Alaska Airlines, the North Slope Borough Police Department, and the Alaska Zoo for their efforts in recovering, transporting, and caring for this young animal.
Opportunities for public viewing will be determined at a later date by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kali will not be a permanent resident at the Alaska Zoo, since the Zoo already has two adult polar bears. The final destination of the cub will be determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after consideration of all options.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.
The Alaska Zoo is proud to be a PBI Arctic Ambassador Center, a charter institution dating back to 2004. We are dedicated to making a difference in all aspects of polar bears lives, from a captive setting to inspiring action and change for wild polar bears as they face sea ice thawing due to climate change.As a PBI Arctic Ambassador Center, the Alaska Zoo:
A partner with PBI since 2005, the Alaska Zoo has sent mentorship students, keepers and educators to PBI Leadership Camp in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada each year. Click here to learn about our current polar bear action projects!
Schedule your class for a Polar Bears and Climate Change Zoo School! To schedule a Zoo School, contact the Zoo’s Outreach Coordinator, Marla Wales, at 341-6458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Interpretive Sign Developer, Katie Larson
The Zoo has been in the process of developing and displaying new interpretive signs for animal exhibits, thanks to grants from the Murdock Foundation and State of Alaska. Work began in December of 2012 on the new Bactrian Camel sign, highlighting both domestic camels and the plight of wild camels in China and Mongolia. In doing research for this sign, John Hare from the Wild Camel Protection Foundation became instrumental in providing images of wild camels he took while on Gobi expeditions and also information on the current status of wild camels.
In an effort to save Critically Endangered wild camels, the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF) conducts research and expeditions into the Chinese and Mongolian Gobi Deserts. Chinese Gobi expeditions from 1995 to 1999 led to the establishment of the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in China in 2000 to protect camels and habitat. This was critical, as wild camels in the Chinese Gobi are the only herds still genetically unique from domestics. The WCPF also started a captive breeding program in Mongolia for wild camels. A female has only one birth every two years, so the species faces extinction without this breeding program.
To learn more about the Wild Camel Protection Foundation, visit www.wildcamels.com.
Written by Curator Shannon Jensen
In the summer of 2012, our pair of trumpeter swans we received in 2007 from Iowa Department of Natural Resources hatched their second clutch of eggs. Six cygnets hatched out on June 14 and by July 11, we were down to three due to likely predation from wild raptors and fox. By August 25, the cygnets had gained on average of 13 pounds each and were shipped off to the Trumpeter Swan Society in Oregon. The three cygnets (two females and one male) were marked with leg bands and green neck collars and were then released at dusk on Rest Lake where they joined a flock of five other cygnets from Wyoming Wetland Society which were released the previous week, and 19 yearlings and subadults from previous releases. Rest Lake is a large (200 acre) wetland sanctuary in the middle of Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Shipping and pre-shipment medical tests were roughly $700 for the 3 birds. If funds can be raised and the swans are willing, we will be doing this again next year.
Contact Shannon Jensen at email@example.com for more information on this project.