VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Tag archives for zoos

A New Strategy for Wildlife Conservation

By Cristián Samper

At the Wildlife Conservation Society today we unveiled our WCS: 2020 strategy and, along with it, a new WCS.org website and brand identity. This announcement advances our 120-year mission to save wildlife and wild places. As the world rapidly changes, our approach to conservation must adapt and evolve. Our WCS: 2020 strategy represents our response to that change and a way to scale up our impact. Our choices today can give us a fighting chance to preserve the intricate balance of species and ecosystems that all lives depend upon.

Celebrating Zoos and Aquariums on Endangered Species Day

By Jim Breheny

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) commemorates Endangered Species Day today at all five of our wildlife parks in New York City. It is an opportunity to recognize that we are all stewards of this planet and that the fragile balance of the Earth’s biodiversity is in our hands. Many species are threatened with extinction due to human activities, but there is much that each of us can do in the name of conservation to help save species around the world.

Zookeeper Bando Gen on the shifting relationship between humans and animals

When a shortage of work in the agricultural sector prompted newly qualified veterinarian Bando Gen to accept a job offer at Hokkaido’s Asahiyama Zoo the situation did not look promising. Zoos in Ueno and Yokohama had bought in exotic animals such as sea otters and koalas but Japan’s northernmost zoo, with its dilapidated enclosures and mainly domestic…

Can Artificial Insemination Save Endangered Species?

Assisted reproduction is becoming one of the tools conservationists use to help manage endangered species populations.

Elvis the Dog Sniffs Out Pregnant Polar Bears

Elvis the beagle is helping North American zoo keepers figure out if their polar bears are pregnant or not.

Elephants in Captivity: A Perspective from Former AZA Director/William Conway Chair of Conservation & Science

Any discussion of elephants in captivity is met with controversy and criticism. Last week, I asked my colleague Jim Naelitz to provide his expert view on elephant management in zoos. The career elephant trainer and curator has worked with elephants at three AZA institutions. I felt Jim would provide a perspective fairly representing zoo elephant…

No Ethical Way to Keep Elephants in Captivity

In this guest blog post, Ed Stewart, president, and co-founder, of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, takes issue with a News Watch post by Jordan Carlton Schaul about elephants in zoos. “The reason the management of elephants in captivity is coming under such scrutiny, is not, as [Schaul] states, because zoos and sanctuaries offer different environments for elephants, but because zoos and sanctuaries have different philosophies about captivity itself,” Stewart writes. On top of that, he adds, there presently exists no state-of-the-art keeping of elephants in captivity.

Former AZA Director/William Conway Chair of Conservation & Science Discusses the State of Zoos & their Future

Contributing Editor Dr. Jordan Schaul interviews his friend and colleague Dr. Michael Hutchins, one of the foremost experts on zoos in the world, to continue discussion about the future of zoos, related conservation breeding facilities and their role in global species preservation. Michael is the Director of Conservation and Science for Safari Professionals (SP), one…

A New, Genetically Distinct Lion Population is Found

In a twist on the Lion King’s “Circle of Life,” a group of researchers identified a population of genetically distinct lions—in a zoo. The finding came after an Addis Ababa zoo asked researchers in its sister city of Leipzig to help prove that their lions not only looked unusual, but were genetically unique. The finding…

Betty White, Nat Geo Subscriber, Animal Lover

Thank you for being a friend, Betty White. “I’ve subscribed [to National Geographic magazine] for 60 years,” the 90-year-old actress told us on the eve of visiting Washington, D.C., for a Smithsonian Associates lecture and a book-signing at the National Zoo (her latest work is Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo).

Vietnam’s Rhino Ratsnake Hatched in a European Zoo for the First Time

Keepers capture the moment a rhino ratsnake (Rhynchophis boulengeri) emerges from its shell at ZSL London Zoo — the first time this species of snake has been bred in a European Zoo. ZSL London Zoo’s Reptile House produced a clutch of eight snakes, three of which have been exchanged with other European zoos in a program to increase the…