Showing posts with label Virginia zoo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia zoo. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby Giraffe Dies At Norfolk Zoo

A baby giraffe died on Wednesday at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

The male giraffe, who was born on July 28, was found dead in his enclosure on Thursday morning when zoo keepers made their morning check.

Necropsy results showed that the giraffe died from peritonitis, which is an inflammation of the stomach lining. The inflammation is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.

Zoo officials say the giraffe was alert and responsive on Wednesday and had gained 28 pounds since his birth.

"The baby giraffe's loss is a tragedy," said Greg Bockheim, executive director of the Virginia Zoo. "In his short time here, our staff and visitors had already grown attached to him."

PHOTO/ Virginia Zoo
Many visitors watched the baby's birth, since he was born during public hours. This was the second baby for the giraffe mother, a 9-year-old zoo resident named Imara. Giraffes have a gestational period of 15 months, and the baby endures a 6-foot, headfirst drop when it is born. The deceased baby giraffe was reported to be in excellent health at birth. The zoo planned to open a baby-naming poll to the public.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Virginia Zoo Welcomes New Baby Giraffe

NORFOLK - The Virginia Zoo has announced the long-anticipated birth of one of its newest additions-a 6-foot-tall baby giraffe.

After two hours of labor and a 6-foot headfirst drop, giraffe parents, 10-year-old Billy and 9-year-old Imara, welcomed their new baby into the world yesterday at 4:20 p.m.

Several visitors had the opportunity to watch the entire labor and birth.

"This healthy birth marks an exciting milestone for our giraffe collection," says executive director Greg Bockheim, who adds that this is the second birth for Imara. Her last offspring, Willow, now lives at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.

"The idea of a six-foot drop sounds scary to people, but it's normal for a giraffe," explains Bockheim. "It helps stimulate breathing to get the baby on its own and since baby giraffe can be 6-feet tall and 150 pounds, the fall doesn't seem so far to them."

Newborn giraffe can stand and walk within 1 hour of birth, and they can start eating leaves at 4 months old.

The new baby has been given a preliminary checkup and appears to be very healthy.

Mom and baby can be viewed by Zoo visitors now.

The zoo will announce a baby naming poll  at a later date.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Virginia Zoo Offers Free Entry To Senior During August and September

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Seniors can get into the Virginia Zoo for free every Wednesday during August and September.

Zoo executive director Greg Bockheim says the zoo is more than 100 years old, and that it recognizes that much of its success and growth has been due to the support of generations that have visited the zoo — first as children and then as grandparents. He says the free admission is a way of saying thank you to seniors.

To receive free admission, seniors must present a valid ID.

 Free admission applies only to individuals age 62 and over.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baby Squirrel Monkeys Born At Virginia Zoo

Two new baby squirrel monkeys are now receiving visitors at the Virginia Zoo's Exhibit Building. The zoo is located on Granby Street in Norfolk.
Monkey mommies Marie and Madonna gave birth to Cheetah and Babalu Jan. 8 and 12, respectively. The tiny primates join their mothers,papa Jeebes and another adult female named Elvira. They are the 16th and 17th squirrel monkeys born at the zoo since 1967.

"We won't know the babies' sex for a couple of months yet," said zookeeper Linda Brandt.

"They cling onto their mothers' backs when they are very young, and we find it's less traumatic for them if we wait until they are running on their own a little before we try and sex them."

Volunteer R.J. Mercure added that the adult squirrel monkeys rarely stay still.

"It can be a wild ride for the baby," he said.

"The squirrel monkeys really are a joy to watch," said zoo director Greg Bockheim.

"They are highly intelligent for their size."

Bockheim added that squirrel monkeys have the proportionately largest brain of all primates, with a brain to body mass ratio of 1-to-17. Humans, by comparison, have a 1-to-35 ratio.

Adult squirrel monkeys range from nine to nearly 14 inches, plus a 13- to 17-inch tail, and weigh in from one to just over two pounds. The males are usually larger.

Squirrel monkeys are found in the tropical forests of Central and South America. They spend most of their time in trees and are primarily active during daylight hours. The tiny primates live together in groups of up to 500 males and females. Squirrel monkeys are omnivorous, eating primarily fruits and insects. They live roughly 15 years in the wild, but can reach 20 years old in captivity.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Siberian Tiger 'Shaka Khan' Dies Of Cancer/Zoo Announces Two New Malayan Tigers

NORFOLK — After battling cancer for several months, the Virginia Zoo's 18-year-old Siberian Tiger named Shaka Khan, died in her sleep over the weekend.

Zoo Director, Greg Bockheim says even though her passing was inevitable, it has hit the staff hard.

He says, "It does have a tremendous effect and really is traumatizing to the animal care staff because we really do build those relationships with the animals that has passed away."

Sadly, the Virginia Zoo is riddled with a history of animal deaths over the past decade.

Since 2002, a baby giraffe and her mother, a tiger, a bull rhino, a zebra, several prairie dogs, a baby gazelle, another giraffe, a baboon, and a lion, have all died. Some were health related, others were accidents.

"We report and announce things when they do happen because we're not the only people that are close to these animals but we know that our community and visitorship is also," Bockheim says.

But there is good news, even in the sadness. Virginia Zoo officials shared exclusive information with NewsChannel 3.

Ten days ago, the zoo received two new Malayan Tigers. Kadar and Tahan are 16 months old and are currently in quarantine in Norfolk. They'll be available for public viewing in the spring.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Virginia Zoo Giraffe Calf Failed To Survive

Norfolk, VA – The Virginia Zoo is sad to announce that the giraffe calf born on October 9, 2010 has failed to thrive. He died Thursday, October 14, 2010. Preliminary findings from the necropsy indicate he had acute septicemia.

Abnormalities were observed in the calf’s heart and lungs. The final results of the histopathology (microscopic examination of tissues), in 2 weeks, may more clearly show the cause of death.

Although the young animal had appeared alert and well, he collapsed on Thursday morning. Zoo keepers were providing supplemental feedings for the calf because its first time mother displayed minimal maternal instincts.

This lack of care is common in the wild where the concept of survival of the fittest is protection for the herd. If a mother in the wild senses that a newborn is not healthy and will not thrive, conditions that are not detectable to humans, she may abandon it. These instincts are strong even in animals living in Zoos.

The male calf was the offspring of the Zoo’s adult male giraffe, Billy, and one of the females, Keana. He was Keana’s first calf. The Zoo’s other female giraffe gave birth to a female calf in October 2009. That giraffe proved to be healthy and strong, and she was transferred to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this week where she will join a herd of young giraffe on exhibit.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Virginia Zoo Opens New Exhibit This Friday

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk is about to gain some weight - 700 pounds to be exact.

Five Aldabra tortoises – the second largest land tortoise in the world – are moving into in a brand new exhibit at the Virginia Zoo on Friday at noon. The largest, a male named A.J., weighs 475 pounds.

The zoo's second largest tortoise, a female named Lynn, weighs 150 pounds.

A.J. and Lynn are estimated to be around 80 to 90 years old. The youngest turtles of the five, Dottie, Bubbles and Jackson, hatched in the spring of 2006. The lifespan of Aldabra tortoises is estimated to be over 100 years.

The zoo says Aldabra tortoises are native to the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. The cluster of coral islands is part of the Seychelles’ Islands in the Indian Ocean.

The tortoise exhibit was built by Virginia Zoo staff. Officials say its low barriers will help visitors feel even closer to the animals.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Zoo Elephant Swarming with Butterflies

City of Norfolk Public Art Program Dedicates Art Project at Virginia Zoo

A new elephant is moving into the Virginia Zoo, and she’s bringing thousands of butterflies with him! The iconic beast will greet visitors at the front plaza and amaze them with her sheer size and her swarm of butterflies.

This African elephant isn’t a living, breathing creature. She is an incredible piece of art. The life-size elephant sculpture is the latest addition to the City of Norfolk’s Public Art Program. Created by artist Mathew Gray Palmer of Friday Harbor, Washington, the elephant is comprised of over 10,000 thousand delicate, plasma cut aluminum butterflies.

“The Virginia Zoo is thrilled to be selected as a recipient for the public art program,” notes executive director, Greg Bockheim. “Visitors will be mesmerized by the elephant’s size, its powerful tusks and intense eyes. We’re proud to be home to this remarkable piece of art and to be part of the City’s important initiative to make art accessible to the community.”

The artist, who was selected by a panel of judges, visited the Zoo before beginning his project and was impressed by the three African elephants on exhibit as well as the Zoo’s lush gardens, including the butterfly garden. His creation playfully illustrates our interconnection with each other, from the largest terrestrial mammals to the most delicate wind-bound insects. The name of the statue is “All Things Within All Things.”

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