The Greenville Zoo’s primate keeper Dindy McDaniel’s has been scale training our black and white colobus monkeys. Scale training is used to monitor body condition scores in an accurate way that can be applied to aid in medical care such as recording progress in a pregnant animal, providing the proper medication dosage per weight, as well as adjusting an animal’s diet if an individual’s weight needs to be increased or decreased. Black and white colobus monkeys are folivores that use foregut fermentation to digest leaves. With the aid of our zookeeper’s training protocol and our veterinarian staff, we can ensure our monkeys always reach their new year’s ‘reZOOlution’ weight goals.
This week the Greenville Zoo education department featured family programs centered around Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare”. January’s homeschool theme was ‘All in the Family’ a genetics-themed class for grades K5-8th. The stream-able learning platform hosted a “Neighborhood Naturalist” program geared towards local conservation initiatives.
The ‘Women for Conservation’ non-profit organization is one of the recipients of The Greenville Zoo’s conservation grants. Their mid-term report, “Together for Pangolin and People in Nepal” informed us of their progress in spreading awareness of the critically endangered pangolin in the local region of Bhaktapur, as well as data from their recent population study of the species. During this reporting period, we were also notified that the Center Intelligence Bureau and Nepal police managed to rescue a wild pangolin from poachers who were attempting to traffic the animal for its meat and body parts. During the transfer from law enforcement to the divisional forest office, it was discovered that the recovered pangolin had given birth. This is where the ‘Women for Conservation’ headed by researcher and conservationist Prativa Kaspal stepped in. The team transferred the mother and pangopup to the central zoo for medical treatment. Afterward, it was decided the mother and infant would be released back into the wild within the range our conservation grant covers. They will monitor the mother pangolin and cub in the wild while their observational study continues.
Local boy scout troop #925 designed and constructed a swinging platform made of wood to serve as an enrichment item for our Amur leopards. The project was installed by the troop inside the exhibit with the assistance of zoo staff. Jasper, the young male leopard has become very fond of his swing and can be seen investigating and lounging on his new exhibit furniture. The Greenville Zoo thanks troop #925 for their craftsmanship and their compassion towards our endangered Amur leopards.
The Greenville Zoo has partnered with Erskine college, arranging customized tours for their pre-veterinary students. This week Greenville Zoo educator Morgan Laskowski provided blown rhea eggs (empty eggshells that have the yolks removed.) Biofacts like these are used as tactile teaching tools and can be used for years to come to promote avian studies. The Greenville Zoo plans to develop our partnerships to include yearly programs geared towards college students who wish to engage with animal care and conservation as a career.