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Captive Breeding

May 23, 1998
A pair of endangered California condors at the Los Angeles Zoo produced an egg much later than usual for the breeding season, and zoo officials are crediting El Nino, a curator said Friday. "Blame it on El Nino," said Mike Wallace, the zoo's curator of birds. "Cooler weather increases their activity, warmer weather shuts them down reproductively. We really haven't had warm weather this spring." The egg, from birds named Mandan and Tama, was laid May 3.
May 7, 1998 | Associated Press
The mate of a Mexican gray wolf that was shot by a camper last week has given birth to pups, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman said Wednesday. "I do not know the size of the litter," said agency spokesman Tom Bauer. "We heard sounds from her den. Good sounds. Sounds of additional creatures in there." He said officials think the pups were born Monday night.
April 10, 1998 | From Associated Press
The fickleness of Mother Nature is no match for the advances of science. Shi Shi, a male giant panda at the San Diego Zoo, has again shown a lack of libido toward his female counterpart. So researchers at the San Diego Zoo decided Wednesday to artificially inseminate Bai Yun rather than pass on another year of panda procreation. "We feel that this is the responsible thing to do," said Donald Lindburg, a reproduction behaviorist with the zoo.
She's swimming, she's vocalizing, she's "spy-hopping," she's staying aloof from others of her kind, and she seems in no hurry to leave Southern California. All in all, the first full day of freedom for J.J., the California gray whale, was declared a success Wednesday by her former caregivers at the Sea World aquatic theme park. "She's investigating her environment," said Jim Antrim, Sea World's general curator. Released Tuesday morning from a Coast Guard cutter two miles out to sea, J.J.
March 26, 1998
Poor weather and rough seas have forced a delay in the release of J.J., the orphaned California gray whale, until Tuesday at the earliest. The Coast Guard, in tandem with Sea World and the Navy, had planned to release the 18,000-pound mammal into the Pacific Ocean today. Officials at Sea World, where J.J. has been housed for 14 months after being rescued off Marina del Rey, hope that the whale will join other gray whales on their annual trek from Baja California to Alaska.
The scene was so remarkable that even a seasoned condor tracker like Mark Vekasy was nearly moved to tears. Eleven California condors, about one-10th of the entire population, were riding the thermals in blue skies high above northern Arizona's dramatic red sandstone canyons on wings stretching nearly 10 feet. It was a vision right out of history. "They were in a real tight group just circling around.
November 2, 1997
Wildlife tourism and eco-tourism have become big business worldwide ("Is This Bird Worth $20 Million?" by Michael J. Ybarra, Sept. 14). And the California condor is what many biologists call a "charismatic megafauna"--a large animal that always manages to draw a crowd. Of course, birders and wildlife enthusiasts everywhere would like to see a condor in its native habitat. If we spend $50 million for restoration, and the condor population stays healthy for just 20 years, it will require only 2,000 wildlife visitors a year, spending $1,250 per trip, to amortize the cost of recovery.
Cows, sheep, pigs and monkeys in research laboratories around the United States and Europe are now pregnant with clones created by methods similar to those used to make Dolly the sheep, scientists reported at a two-day meeting that ended Friday. At least one of the pregnant sheep is carrying a clone that has been endowed with an added gene, marking a significant step toward a long-standing goal of cloning animals that produce medically useful drugs in their milk.
April 17, 1997 | JEFF KASS
A pair of lemurs--commonly mistaken for skunks but actually relatives of monkeys--have given birth to two babies as part of a Santa Ana Zoo protection program for endangered species. With the births of Camille and Grace, the zoo now has six black-and-white ruffed lemurs. About 5,000 lemurs remain in their natural habitat, the island of Madagascar off the African coast. Another 500 live in zoos worldwide, zookeeper Michelle Claud said.
April 9, 1997
The Los Angeles Zoo's third California condor chick of the year was born early Tuesday, raising the total known population of the endangered species to 123, officials said. Two others chicks were hatched Monday. There were only 27 of the giant birds in 1987. The Los Angeles Zoo, one of three institutions raising California condors, has eight more fertile eggs. Four of 11 eggs produced this season at the San Diego Wild Animal Park have hatched so far.
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