About Author: Public Relations

Posts by Public Relations


Rare Rescued Butterflies Get New Home at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

SafariParkSan Diego Zoo Safari Park animal care staff gently unpacked 130 butterfly pupae on Thursday, February 26. The pupae, living butterfly cocoons, are an endangered species from Indonesia. The insects were confiscated by U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials from a shipment sent into the United States.

“The butterfly pupae are known by the common name, Birdwing, and they are a CITES 1 protected species,” said Michael Mace, curator of birds at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “We have been able to offer sanctuary to these rare insects and expect that they will live out their lives here at the Park.”

Animal care staff at the Park indicated that some of the pupae were damaged due to crowding and lack of protection in the shipment containers. They have carefully unpacked and positioned the survivors so that they have the opportunity to emerge from their cocoons as they would in the wild.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is made accessible to children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.



Conservation Medal Awarded to Notable San Diegan

For more than four decades, Charles “Chuck” Bieler, executive director emeritus of San Diego Zoo Global, has been called a mentor, leader, and friend to the global zoo community. San Diego Zoo Global awarded Charles Bieler the Conservation Advocate Medal at a luncheon held on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel and Marina. He was recognized in a ceremony attended by many of his friends from the zoo world, along with Joan Embery, San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation ambassador.

Photo taken on August 7, 2014, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Global.



Baby Zebra Explores Habitat at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A Grevy’s zebra foal stayed close to his mother while exploring his habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on January 14, 2014. The baby, named Tanu, was born on January 3 and is the fifth baby for mother Bakavu.

Bakavu is very protective over her offspring and keeps her baby near at all times. Keepers say she is doing a great job and that it is natural for a mother zebra to be so protective of her foal. The two run and interact with other members of the Grevy’s zebra herd at the Safari Park but Mom always keep a barrier between baby and the other zebras.

Tanu can tell his mother apart from other zebras in the herd and knows to stay close to her by memorizing her unique stripe pattern. The memorization happens just after a zebra is born and is called imprinting. Grevy’s zebras have the skinniest stripes of any zebra species; the stripes run all the way down their back to a white belly. Every zebra has a unique stripe pattern.

Photo taken on Jan. 14, 2014, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


Summer Snow for Pandas

Yun Zi slides into the hearts of his many admirers!

Yun Zi slides into the hearts of his many admirers!

Imagine waking up to a winter wonderland in your back yard! That’s what happened for three lucky giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo this morning, August 29, 2013. The pandas were treated to fresh new snow that had been blown into their enclosures as enrichment, thanks to our many donors.

Yun Zi was the first out into his yard, and boy, did he have fun! He made a bee-line for his favorite new tree that was all covered in snow and immediately tried to remove as much snow from it as he could. He managed to pull off a huge chunk of snow, and then he plopped down and used his front paws to break it into pieces. He had so much fun in the snow, much to the delight of onlookers who got to watch him running around from one end of the yard to the next, scooting through the hollow tree, sliding down the snow that was piled high in front of it, and acting like a kid again. One of his keepers said she hadn’t seen him have this much fun since he’s gotten older! For more than 20 minutes, he rolled around in the snow, pushed his nose into it and making little snorting sounds when he came up for air, and racing around the enclosure from place to place, acting like he was having the time of his life.

He then got up and ran over to a little hill of snow, a ready-made slide, and slide down it, landing in the moat area at the lowest part of his enclosure, where he then scooped up some snow in his paws and actually made himself a snowball! He rolled over on his back, making little bleating sounds, which his keeper said was his way of vocalizing about having so much fun, and proceeded to toss his snowball around with all four feet. Quite a treat for the lucky onlookers, who couldn’t believe they were watching a giant panda actually play with snowballs!

Mom Bai Yun and her cub, Xiao Liwu, were a bit slower to enter their yard. Xiao Liwu was first out, and he took a tentative step onto the snow, shook his head a bit, and gave just the tiniest of squeals, as if to say “this stuff is cold.” Bai Yun was out right after him, and she took a short walk around, sort of looking like a professional who’d seen this white stuff before, and headed straight for the large pile of bamboo leaves laid out for breakfast. She obviously was more focused on getting a good meal to start her day before indulging in some Mommy and Me time with her cub. Xiao Liwu, still a bit unsure of this white stuff, took a slow stroll around the perimeter, gingerly putting his paws down with each step, stopping to sniff and paw the snow from time to time. He finally decided he was just going to climb up his favorite tree and take a little catnap, much the same as he does each day. His keeper was quick to cover for his behavior, saying he was a slow riser and just needed a bit more sleep before he started his day.

Mom eventually finished breakfast, and Xiao Liwu, caught up on his last winks of sleep, descended the tree and joined his mom, and both of them had a great time playing in the snow. The two delighted Zoo guests by tumbling, rolling, sliding, and, of course, little Xiao Liwu kept trying hard to start up a game of leapfrog with Mom.

Gao Gao, although in his off-exhibit area, was given a small pile of snow to play in. However, when I was there, he was sitting a few feet away from it, observing or pondering it while munching his bamboo. As you may know, with Gao it’s all about the ‘boo!

Our photographer took over 900 shots this morning, and our videographer was having a field day as well. Photos are now posted in our Panda Photo Gallery.

Cathy Bevis is an administrative assistant for San Diego Zoo Global.