September 7, 1999 |
The mother of a baby panda left her den long enough to allow biologists to see that the cub is a girl. The two-week-old female cub is starting to show distinct markings, with some dark coloring around her shoulders. The cub remains nameless, however. The San Diego Zoo, where the panda was born Aug. 21, has submitted a request to China to name the cub Tian Yi, a gender-neutral name that means "Gift of Heaven."
July 10, 1999 |
Members of the Wild Crocodile Skiing Club used to water-ski fearlessly on the rivers of Venezuela's Great Plains because their main nemesis, the Orinoco crocodile, was nearly extinct. But now they've put their skis away because the massive reptiles are making a comeback. Conservationists are raising baby Orinocos in captivity and releasing them into the wild to try to bring back the species.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 1999 |
Human interference has degraded the island habitat so severely that many foxes inhabiting remote Channel Islands National Park must be removed from the wild and placed in captivity to save them from extinction, federal officials said Wednesday. Numbers of island foxes found at the park off the Ventura County coast have plummeted by 90% in the past four years, making the diminutive animal one of North America's most imperiled canine species.
April 24, 1999 |
Oregon on Friday banned "canned hunting," the practice of keeping exotic animals in a fenced compound and charging hunters to come in and shoot them. The seven-member Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to end the practice. The only known place in Oregon to offer canned hunting is the 3,500-acre Clover Creek Ranch in the Ochoco Mountains. There, hunters have paid to bag such prey as Russian boar, Hawaiian black sheep and Israeli ibex goats.
March 14, 1999 |
They are the first couple of panda-dom, but theirs has not been a loving or (re)productive relationship. She is young, frisky, fecund. He is middle-aged, sedentary, still potent but uninterested in launching his DNA delivery system. There is not another couple like them in North America. They do not lack for visitors.
February 14, 1999 |
The San Diego Zoo will work with a Mexican counterpart to breed endangered giant pandas in captivity, authorities said. The zoo's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species has signed a first-time agreement with the Chapultepec Zoo to artificially inseminate a panda there. In the next few weeks, if China approves, San Diego Zoo researchers will deliver sperm from their male panda, Shi Shi, to inseminate one of three females at the Mexican facility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 1998 |
Sixteen years after nearly becoming extinct, California condors are making a surprising comeback, expanding their numbers and their range far beyond the Ventura County back country where the ambitious experiment to rescue them began. Scientists credit new chick rearing and release strategies for enabling the condor to wing its way back from the brink of annihilation. In the last decade, the California condor population has increased fivefold, to 150 birds.
September 11, 1998 |
The babies were weeks overdue, and until hours before their birth, nobody even knew for sure if the mother was pregnant. But after days of nail-biting and pacing--by both Cheng Cheng the panda and her keepers--the gentle-looking bear gave birth Thursday morning to twins. Pandas, one of the world's fastest-fading species, are also among the most mysterious. The black-and-white creatures are called "living fossils" because of the way their breeding patterns have failed to evolve.
August 1, 1998 |
One of the five California condors released into the Ventana Wilderness has been recaptured and treated for a heart murmur, a condition that could prevent it from being re-released. Kelly Sorenson of the Ventana Wilderness Sanctuary recovered the condor last week after the bird was found dehydrated and lethargic in its perch on a cliff. In a dramatic rescue, members of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade lowered Sorenson about 450 feet down the cliff on a rope at night to retrieve the bird.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.