Brilliant news, Twycross Zoo are celebrating the birth of a baby Western Lowland Gorilla, notoriously hard to breed in captivity. The little one is about two weeks old and so keepers haven’t been able to determine its sex yet. This is especially good news as the species is critically endangered in the wild, with only 100,000 left.
Archive for April, 2011
This is Felix Finkbeiner. When he was nine years old he started a campaign to plant a million trees where he lives in Germany. Now 13, he’s held up as one of the 20 most influential Green Power activists (and he’s in good company with Brad Pitt and HRH The Prince of Wales!) Now his Planet for the Planet has achieved his goal in Germany…it’s spread to 131 countries!
Photo: Christian Kain
These Caribbean monkeys have been studied as they steal alcoholic drinks from people on the beach…and show just how similar they are to humans!
They found the monkeys divided into groups; social drinkers, regular drinkers, binge drinkers and teetotalers which seems to suggest that alcoholism isn’t just a human trait. Research suggests alcoholism may be genetic but as it is currently only narrowed down to around 300 genes, it may still be a long time before we discover specific genes.
Apologies for the bad pun…but the British Waterways association are asking people to head down to their nearest waterway to see if they can spot any wildlife. As the wildlife’s habitats are increasingly shrunk to make way for other developments, canals are proving to be a ‘corridor’ for animals to use between the landscape. They are particularly useful for the country’s 17 species of bat as the bridges provide the perfect dark hunting ground at night.
Phil Chandler is determined to help save the declining populations of bees in the country. His book, The Barefoot Beekeeper, shows how we need to return to the basics of how bees used to live; inside hollowed out trees and not wooden hives with wax sheets. He claims the pesticides regularly used by beekeepers to kill mites might actually be damaging in the long run as mites evolve to be more resistant.
This is Mr Asbo, Cambridge’s most wanted swan! He has been terrorizing rowers on the river causing bites, scratches and even capsizing a few boats! Authorities had planned to remove him from the river but news that he is about to become a dad has given him a reprieve until September. Male swans are unusual because they also help incubate their eggs so they are reluctant to remove him now. Experts are trying to make their nest site as stress-free as possible to prevent any more nasty swan attacks!
It’s been a busy month for the people of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. They’ve been trying to rescue a rockhopper penguin colony caught in a thick oil slick. Only 260 people live on the island…and almost all of them have been helping out in a desperate attempt to save the thousands of endangered animals. The incredible determination of the locals means even the island’s swimming pool was drained to provide a place to assess whether the penguins were ready to be released yet.
Photo : Kent Kobersteen/Getty
Mercedes, the 30 year old polar bear in Edinburgh’s Zoo has been put down due to ill health. She was originally brought over from Canada after she risked being shot after continually wandering into towns scavenging for food. In captivity she’d raised two cubs successfully but after the death of her partner, Barney, keepers noticed she had been showing signs of senility. Two years ago she was moved into a specially designed enclosure. In the wild, polar bears rarely live past 25 but the oldest polar bear in captivity was thought to be 43.
Photo : Royal Zoological Society Of Scot/PA
Quick! The BBC have a new series starting on BBC Two at 8pm called The Animal’s Guide to Great Britain. Chris Packham takes a look at the country from an animal’s point of view. This week starts with freshwater animals including ospreys, dragonflies and my favourites; water voles!
If you miss it you can catch up on BBC Iplayer.