(repost because this is the most common blog to turn up in search engines and my friend just became head vet at DWA)
Isla Escudo is home to this pygmy sloth, one of four species of three-toed sloths. These folivores (suborder: Folivora), also known as Escudo sloths are not only smaller than mainland species, but they are considerably more docile. They are threatened by the loss of mangrove habitat, and are consumed by local fisherman. The fisherman will camp out on the island and cut down mangroves for fire. They feed on these xenarthrans when fishing is deemed unsuccessful. By the way, the brown-throated three-toed sloth may still be the only publicly displayed three-toed sloth in the US. You can see one at the Dallas World Aquarium and Zoo, Texas. Although sloths are known for their menacing claws I do remember a colleague who was seriously bitten by a two-toed sloth.
Dr. Jordan Schaul, Zoo Keeper Emeritus
Posted in zoo
Tagged algae, animal, biology, brown-throated three-toed sloth, Central America, claws, conservation, Dallas World Aquarium and Zoo, endangered, Escudo sloth, fauna, folivore, mangroves, pygmy sloth, slow, South America, three-toed sloth, two-toed sloth, wildlife, xenarthra, xenarthrans, zoo, zoo keeper, zoology
Even though advances in veterinary preventive and clinical health care have extended the captive lifespan of so many animals, it’s kind of touching to hear that an animal ambassador that brought so much joy to visitors and staff, passed on to bear heaven in his sleep. We all would like to go as peacefully as this magnificent animal did. I don’t know the individual bear, but when you consider what awaits us as humans and animals alike as we enter the fourth quarter (so elegant) , we as humans at least, recognize, hopefully, how lucky we are to live in an era where our quality of life is likely to be sustained beyond what nature ever intended. Today, zoo medicine is much about geriatric veterinary medicine and it’s most impressive how zoos delicately handle issues concerning aging collections. I don’t have much to add except that I may cross -post this on the The Bear Keepers Forum.
CBC News, Manitoba- "Waldo" (1974-2010)
I wasn’t not aware that flipper/wing bands impeded motion in these temperate penguins, but perhaps the bands used in field research are different than the “plastic” ones that I’m more familiar with. I really would like to know. I suspect that perhaps wild marine birds require more durable bands and much greater mobility. I admit to total ignorance on this as I have never worked with wild spheniscid penguins in the wild. My bird banding skills are limited to psittacines and migratory and resident passerines. I have to throw in these scientific terms for tagging purposes. If you blogged you would know this.
The new technology reported in article sounds expensive, but it’s cool and quite reliable, I think. I remember having to ID a colony of 40 African penguins to monitor feeding. I relied on color bands and am not sure that I performed at a rate as strong as this technology. I will leave it up to those of you who are Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, and temperate penguin experts to decide.
Journal Watch Online
Posted in conservation, education, natural histroy, ornithology, research, wildlife
Tagged African penguins, colony of penguins, consevation, flipper bands, identification, South Africa, spheniscid, spheniscid penguins, technology, temperate penguins, zoo keeper