Posts

January 31, 2015

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1:47 PM | Budget Crisis at State Zoo
The Minnesota Zoo is asking the state for $1.5 million to avoid needing to close some exhibits. "Officials say the zoo is facing a budget crisis due to declining attendance and increased costs." "Gov. Mark Dayton says he's in favor of helping the zoo, but he believes officials could have done a better job with the budget." The NC Zoo is "the other State Zoo", with a similar budget and challenges. The NC Zoo Society adds millions of dollars annually to what the State and earned revenues […]
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10:19 AM | Is this *really* the pits?
Yesterday on the PDE Facebook page (over 3,000 members now... check us out here), I posted this picture of a Pit Bull/Dachshund x and asked what people thought of him.Rami, who is in rescue and looking for a new home through Moulrie Colquitt County Humane Society, prompted mostly outrage.Here's a selection of responses from people who presumed Rami had been bred deliberately (something that is not, in fact, known)."Sadly I don't believe this example will be unique and others will be finding […]

January 30, 2015

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5:42 PM | PCBs Limit Polar Bears Ability to Mate?
Are PCBs Weakening PBs' PBs? http://t.co/6KtiTg5cCo #PolarBear #PenileBone @NatGeo #PCB— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) January 30, 2015 "PCBs are especially bad for animals high on the food chain: A single fish may have just a little, but seals eat many fish each day, and polar bears eat seals. Eventually, all those pollutants build up into quite a dose for larger animals. This is called biomagnification." "Many mammals, including cats, dogs, bats, gorillas, and hedgehogs, have a […]
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3:50 PM | Deflategate II
#Deflategate II MRT @woodlandparkzoo: Watch lion triplets go #BeastMode Pumped for #Seahawks #SuperBowl repeat! http://t.co/KytR4v5QHc— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) January 30, 2015
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3:46 PM | EBVM 2014 Conference Presentations
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at an evidence-based veterinary medicine conference organized by RCVS Knowledge in London last October. The recordings of those presentations, and all the others given at the conference, are now available online. … Continue reading →
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2:30 PM | Kuechly Flightless? I Don't Think So!
Greensboro Science Center has named a little penguin for Carolina Panthers' outstanding LB.
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2:04 PM | Jolie Sets Sights on "Africa" & Pitt
Angelina Jolie will soon direct her fourth film, "Africa". It will tell of researcher Richard Leakey's efforts to save the African elephant from poachers. Jolie likes husband Brad Pitt to play her Leakey.
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1:37 PM | Another Popular Tourist Destination
"Michelle Slavin who runs our UNITE (Uganda) [Education] program is visiting at the moment. The program is expanding into a second area, Bwindi where the Mountain Gorillas are to be found." [David M. Jones, NC Zoo Senior Staff Meeting Notes] UNITE supports education in general and conservation education as well in parts of Uganda to help eco-tourism help conserve rare animal species.
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11:13 AM | Clinical use of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Agonists in Companion Animals: An Overview
In dogs, cats, ferrets, and pet birds, reproductive physiology is under the control of the hypothalamic­pituitary­-gonadal (HPG) axis. Many hormones are responsible for estrus and reproduction, the most significant being luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Short-lived GnRH is released in a pulsatile fashion from the hypothalamus and acts on the pars distalis of the pituitary gland to stimulate the synthesis and […]

January 29, 2015

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9:29 PM | Anana Seriously Deflates Seahawks Football
#Anana picks @seahawks by seriously deflating football MRT @NCZoo #polarbear predicts winner of #SB49 http://t.co/t5BL9iI2am #SuperBowl— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) January 29, 2015
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7:45 PM | "Dinosaurs Ruled!"
"The Dinosaur team has been meeting regularly. We tested a number of names for the exhibit and “Dino World” was voted as most appealing." [David M. Jones, Senior Staff Meeting Notes] I also liked a name a tiny South Dakota Zoo used: "Dino-Roars".
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6:44 PM | When Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Absence
As a proponent of evidence-based medicine (EBM), I often emphasize that in the absence of good-quality controlled research evidence, we cannot reliably assess the safety or efficacy of medical treatments. And as a skeptic, I am often forced to clarify … Continue reading →
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5:09 PM | The surprising durability of wings
While reviewing this month’s walk data, I came upon a resighted bird reported by Warren Mumford on his Cape Cod beach. The bird was nothing but a single wing and some gnawed bones, but still with a bright, shiny, aluminum tag affixed reading 588. I looked back through our records to determine when Warren first […]
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2:05 PM | ...or Zoo Director or...
pic.twitter.com/ePltGRVa6u— barbara (@bshaurette) January 28, 2015

January 28, 2015

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9:55 PM | Sonoran Desert?
"New animals for the Desert will include Sand Cats, Porcupines and Hyrax. More colorful lizards will also be added and species on exhibit in the Desert will reflect several continents, not just North America." [David M. Jones, NC Zoo Senior Staff Meeting Notes] Sand cats and hyrax are found in Africa and Asia. The Sonoran Desert is North American. The NC Zoo's Sonoran Desert exhibit is found in "North America", near its junction with "Africa" (the Zoo's other main "continental region").
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8:20 PM | Who's a Pretty Bug?!
#InsectsAreBeautiful MT @SDBugChick: The beautiful jade headed buffalo beetles can be seen @sandiegozoo insect house! pic.twitter.com/IK4ujO3EIJ— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) January 28, 2015
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6:31 PM | Goodbye Skymall, Purveyor of Human Dreams
It is a positive tragedy that Skymall has filed for bankruptcy. As a scientist, flying all over the world, Skymall is sometimes the best distraction you can find – and I have long been fascinated by their products for pets. … Continue reading →
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3:47 PM | Anana, Super Bowl & Super Vols
NC Zoo Super Volunteers have prepared paper mache footballs so polar bear Anana can attempt to pick the winner of this year's Super Bowl. Will she pick the Seattle Seahawk "football"? Or will it be the New England Patriots'? Thanks to Valerie Abbott and Diane Powell, you can see the choice made at Zoo's Rocky Coast polar bear exhibits tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 29) at 1:30 p.m.
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1:30 PM | How Can We Improve Working Dog Programs?
A new paper suggests ways to develop the welfare and performance of working canines.A search-and-rescue dog takes part in a training exerciseHave you ever stopped to think about the amazing variety of jobs that dogs do: herding sheep, chasing criminals, sniffing out cancer, assisting people with disabilities, supporting the military in the field, detecting explosives or narcotics, visiting sick people in hospital, pulling sleds, search and rescue, and so on. They bring a wide variety of […]
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1:23 PM | "And how might I help you?"
Looks like one of our pygmy marmosets decided to help our #Zookeeper Stephanie with #cleaning! #LNKzoo #pygmymarmoset pic.twitter.com/SoRucXnDEw— LincolnChildrensZoo (@LincolnZoo) January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015

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9:39 PM | Whole Lottie Breeding Goin' On
Riverbanks Zoo koala female has had nine joeys in 11 years. (Only two were born in zoos in 2014.) "“She’s a perfect breeding female,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks. “And she’s certainly doing her part” in sustaining the captive koala population in U.S. zoos."
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9:05 PM | Serve & Protect
Who works during a blizzard? Cops, firefighters and zookeepers.
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7:19 PM | Adopt Scorpion or Cockroach...for Spite
San Francisco Zoo is offering a unique twist on Valentine giving. Give to the Zoo. Adopt a cockroach or a scorpion. Do it "in honor" of an "ex". “We can’t make any promises, but urban legend says that the gift of a scorpion adoption serves as permanent protection against future romantic stings. Let the healing begin..."
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5:24 PM | A good day to contemplate mass mortality
Snow is general across New England today. I can’t actually open my front door due to four foot snow drifts, but the view of the mounting piles and sideways blowing snow hints at the conditions. A couple of our Seanetters have written, pondering what they might find on their beaches once this blizzard winds down. […]
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4:23 PM | It Is Official
Birmingham Zoo has set attendance records three years running! "Birmingham's was a troubled zoo with low attendance at the very end of the 20th century. (There had been many master plans and few results.)" They have turned that around.
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1:50 PM | "Coal Ash, Climate Change & the Zoo"
"Challenges Await New DENR Secretary" "From the state zoo to coal ash, from aquariums to climate change, the DENR secretary [Donald van der Vaart] has plenty to worry about." "... his predecessor....John Skvarla – became a polarizing figure almost immediately upon his appointment in 2013. He spoke of DENR becoming more “customer-friendly” and he told WRAL-TV there was not a scientific consensus on oil being a finite resource."
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12:00 AM | MWI sale reflects trend in pet-related industries
Veterinarians wonder how service, prices will fare

January 26, 2015

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9:44 PM | A Very Special Video "Capture"
Rare black jaguar's cross-river swim caught on camera in Brazil http://t.co/ouJHEY7mfB #bigcats via @earthtouch— Jason G. Goldman (@jgold85) January 26, 2015
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5:12 PM | Veterinarians urge AVMA to spin off accrediting body
COE hosts 'listening session' in Orlando
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2:11 AM | The rough guide to the stress response
[Note: This post is intended as reading material for my upcoming online course, "Canine Hormones: From molecules to behavior." This is an entirely online course offered through APDT, begins Februrary 11, and is worth 12 CEUs. I posted with more information. I encourage you to sign up!]  The series of organs working together to form to stress response are called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This post is a reference to them. The major players are:The hypothalamusLicensed […]
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