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March 21, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Zoo has joined a long-odds international effort to save one of nature's tough guys: the Tasmanian devil. Although possessed of sharp fangs, a powerful jaw and a carnivorous personality, the devil is on the verge of being wiped out by a rare and contagious form of cancer on its home island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia. Wildlife officials Down Under, watching in horror as the devil population moves rapidly toward extinction, decided that a public relations effort was needed to raise public awareness about the marsupial's plight . In October, four devils arrived at the San Diego Zoo on long-term loan from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia.
March 19, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- Good news from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park: the 8-day-old gorilla that had been struggling with pneumonia is now stable and "showing great improvement," officials said. "She's developing normally and very rapidly," said Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the park. The baby, as yet unnamed, was born through a rare Caesarian section after its mother experienced distress during labor. Later, the baby underwent emergency surgery for a collapsed lung and was treated for pneumonia.
March 13, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- Imani, who is 18 and had never given birth before, was in labor and in distress. The survival of the baby seemed to be in doubt. So a team of veterinarian staff from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and (human) neonatal specialists from UC San Diego Medical Center decided to perform a Cesarean section -- a rare procedure for a gorilla. "In retrospect, the C-section was the right decision," said Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the park.
February 25, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A male koala, thought to be in the grip of spring fever, escaped from the koala enclosure at the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday and scampered to a tree several dozen yards away. The koala was discovered missing about 9 a.m. and was soon found in a nearby tree. By midafternoon, the 2-year-old koala named Mundu, who was born at the zoo, was still in the eucalyptus tree. Zookeepers were keeping an eye on the animal and plan once the zoo is closed to retrieve him, a spokeswoman said.
February 20, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
The bad news: Exotic acacia trees pose a pesky problem for native coastal dunes at Los Angeles International Airport. The good news: Giraffes like them -- a lot. Now a long-term partnership that began last fall between the airport and the L.A. Zoo keeps invasive species out of L.A.'s landfills and gives zoo animals a leafy treat. "At first I thought, 'Can we bring the giraffe to the sand dunes?'" environmental specialist Peggy Nguyen said Wednesday in describing how the plan took root.
February 11, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The killing of a young giraffe at a Danish zoo - after which it was publicly butchered and fed to a lion - breaks what should be the most inviolate if unwritten contract when humans remove wild animals from their natural habitat: to protect and keep healthy those animals and their descendants. A spokesman for the Copenhagen Zoo said the killing with a bolt gun of the 2-year-old giraffe was done to prevent inbreeding of the zoo's population. The zoo brushed off other options, such as giving the animal to another willing zoo (and there were several)
December 23, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - Sad news from the San Diego Zoo: a young Malayan tiger has been killed by the "aggressive behavior" of her intended mate. The female, named Tiga Tahun, died of injuries to her neck and breathing capability inflicted by a male named Connor during a mating session Saturday morning. A zookeeper monitoring the session witnessed the injury, but the damage was done before the keeper could intervene. No visitors saw the incident, a zoo spokeswoman said Monday. Tiga Tahun was born in 2009 at the Bronx Zoo but was owned by the Omaha Zoo. Connor was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2011.
December 22, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
If you live in or near Los Angeles, you've probably seen television ads and billboards for the zoo. The San Diego Zoo, that is. While that zoo's marketing reach goes well beyond the borders of its city, the Los Angeles Zoo has a history of barely advertising itself at all, even within city limits. (For those who don't know, the zoo is in Griffith Park.) Los Angeles officials and zoo boosters all agree that the zoo, which is owned by the city and answers to the City Council, needs to be more aggressively marketed.
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