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Latest Smithsonian National Zoological Park Stories

2008-09-08 18:00:24

SEBASTOPOL, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nominated by prestigious zoological and wildlife-focused institutions worldwide for their environmentalism, self-motivation, scholarship, computer literacy, and creative talents, two contingents of enthusiastic teens will share time and resources with leading scientists, educators, photographers and filmmakers to learn about polar bears and their habitat. Polar Bears International (PBI) invests over $10,000 in each student from donations...

2008-09-02 16:58:09

Black-footed ferrets at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have birthed two kits sired by males who died in 1999 and 2000. These endangered ferrets were artificially inseminated in May with frozen semen from the two dead males, each giving birth to a kit in June, officials at the zoo announced today.  Three other black-footed ferret kits have been born using this method. The black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered animals in the world. The ferrets were said...

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2008-09-03 09:30:00

Smithsonian scientists use frozen semen to help save endangered species Two black-footed ferrets at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have each given birth to a kit that was sired by males who died in 1999 and 2000. These endangered ferrets"”part of a multi-institutional breeding and reintroduction program"”were artificially inseminated in May with frozen semen from the two deceased males, each giving birth to a kit on June 20 and 21 respectively. The sperm samples were collected and...

2008-08-13 15:00:36

Mei Xiang, a giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, won't be giving birth to a cub this year as initially thought, zoo staff say. National Zoo staff said in a news release that while the female panda's declining urinary progesterone levels this July indicated a possible pregnancy, it appears the animal lost the developing fetus or has experienced a pseudo-pregnancy. Veterinarians were unable to locate a fetus in the giant panda following those initial pregnancy...

2008-08-01 12:00:47

By Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, Minneapolis Aug. 1--The Minnesota Zoo is celebrating a significant conservation accomplishment with the birth of its first Asian wild horse since 1988. Once extinct in the wild, these horses -- also known as a Przewalski's or Mongolian wild horse -- are making a comeback with help from the zoo. Born July 5, the horse is a descendant of an imported stallion from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and a female from Germany. The zoo says he is "very...

2008-07-25 00:00:32

By Gainesville Daily Register, Texas Jul. 24--The Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville is participating in a week of thank-yous to its staff. National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week began Sunday -- the second year of the recognition week. Regardless of their career motivation, a press release from the Frank Buck Zoo said, zoo keepers work long hours to meet animals' physical and psychological requirements. "Frank Buck Zoo's keeper staff is highly educated, well-trained and extremely...

2008-07-06 15:00:18

By Julie M. Mckinnon, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio Jul. 6--THE RHINO WITH GLUE-ON SHOES, AND OTHER SURPRISING TRUE STORIES OF ZOO VETS AND THEIR PATIENTS. Edited by Lucy H. Spelman and Ted Y. Mashima. Delacorte Press. 336 pages. $22. My common childhood dreams of being a veterinarian never included climbing into a dry pool to get skin samples from a giant crocodile or giving a 3,000 pound hippopotamus a root canal. Studying the MRI of a giant Pacific octopus and figuring out why a green...

2008-06-24 15:02:45

Scientists at the U.S. National Zoo say it might be mid- or late July before they can definitely determine if giant panda Mei Xian is pregnant. Veterinarians at the Smithsonian's zoo said last week's urinary progestin test indicates it might yet be a month before Mei Xiang gives birth to a cub or comes to the end of a false pregnancy, which is common in giant pandas. Zoo scientists artificially inseminated Mei Xiang with semen from the zoo's male giant panda Tian Tian in March and, since...

2008-06-24 02:29:55

U.S. veterinarians at the Smithsonian's National Zoo say they have performed the first reverse vasectomy on an endangered equine species. The procedure was performed on a Przewalski's horse. That species, native to China and Mongolia, was declared extinct in the wild in 1970. Currently, there are approximately 1,500 of the animals maintained at various zoological institutions and in several small reintroduced populations in Asia. The veterinarians said the genes of the horse named...

2008-06-20 15:00:21

Officials at Washington's National Zoo say there are signs that one of its beloved pandas might be pregnant. Urine tests on Mei Xiang have revealed a hormone spike that could mean she is expecting, The Washington Post said Friday. Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated this spring with semen from the zoo's male panda, Tian Tian, a procedure that produced the cub Tai Shan in 2005. But zookeepers aren't passing out cigars just yet. Pandas are notorious for pseudopregnancies, and Mei Xiang...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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