National Zoo New Arrivals
May 28, 2003
Mike Morgan (202) 673-0209
Bob Hoage (202) 673-0209
National Zoo Animal Comings And Goings
--New Arrivals Soon to be on Exhibit Include Zebra, Howler Monkeys, and Golden-Headed Tamarins--
--Two Rhinos Depart as Preparations for Asia Trail Renovations Begin--
A male Grevy’s zebra, and a pair of golden-headed tamarins will be among the newest residents of the 163-acre Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park this June. These arrivals coincide with the planned departure of two Asian rhinoceroses and one Grevy’s zebra as part of Species Survival Plans (SSPs).
Managed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, SSPs are cooperative population management and conservation programs for selected species through which zoos and aquariums in North America match and exchange animals for breeding. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species in order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.
The National Zoo’s Asian rhinos are moving to Florida’s White Oak Conservation Center to breed, a recommendation made by the Asian rhino SSP. Sharp-eyed visitors to the Zoo’s Elephant House might have noticed that the male rhino wears aluminum “shoes” on his rear feet. These one-of-a-kind shoes were created as a result of discussions between National Zoo keepers and an outside veterinarian regarding how to ease the rhino’s chronic pododermititis, a walking ailment that the rhino had when he arrived at the Zoo in 1995. The rhinos will be on exhibit at the National Zoo through Monday, June 2.
The move of the rhinos will enable the Elephant House to accommodate the Zoo’s rapidly growing Asian elephant male calf, Kandula. Born at the Zoo in 2001, Kandula is currently gaining three pounds a day and will soon need additional space as he progresses towards his adult weight of up to 12,000 pounds. The current rhino exhibit space in the Elephant House will become part of a larger, reinforced enclosure for Kandula. The design process is underway for a new elephant facility as part of the Zoo’s Asia Trail renovations. The new facility will be large enough to accommodate a family group of up to eight elephants.
A two-year old male Grevy’s zebra from the Phoenix Zoo arrived at the National Zoo in May, and will be on exhibit beginning in early June. The Zoo expects to receive an additional male Grevy’s zebra by the end of the summer. The Zoo’s current zebra resident, a four-year old male, will move to the Toronto Zoo by the end of the summer for breeding. These moves are being made on the recommendation of the SSP for Grevy’s zebras. The National Zoo serves as an SSP holding facility for male Grevy’s zebras.
Golden Lion Tamarins
In mid-June, the Zoo will welcome a pair of golden lion tamarins (GLTs), small endangered primates native to the rainforests of eastern Brazil. Arriving thanks to an SSP recommendation, the GLTs will be released in late June to range freely in an exhibit in the Zoo’s Valley Trail area, where visitors can view these small primates as they scurry above walkways and among the trees. For more than 25 years, the Zoo has worked closely with Brazilian conservation organizations on GLT conservation and research programs.
In mid-June a breeding pair of endangered golden-headed tamarins will arrive at the Zoo. These tamarins will live in the Small Mammal House. Golden-headed tamarins can be identified by the golden hair that covers their head, arms, and tail, and the black hair that covers the rest of their body. Their close relative, the golden lion tamarins, are covered entirely in golden fur.
Southern Black Howler Monkeys
A pair of southern black howler monkeys will be moving into an indoor/outdoor exhibit in the Small Mammal House in the coming weeks. A threatened species from the rainforests of central South America, the howler monkeys derive their names from the distinctive deep call they give, which can be heard from more than five kilometers.
In the next two months, the Bird House will exhibit new birds including: