WBEZ | Lincoln Park Zoo http://www.wbez.org/tags/lincoln-park-zoo Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Where do Chicago's bats hang out? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-do-chicagos-bats-hang-out-110578 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/bats/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BATS%20TOPPER%20FOR%20WEB5.jpg" title="" /></a></div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/161019975&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-do-chicagos-bats-hang-out-110578#bio">Rory Keane</a> was ambling around Chicago&rsquo;s downtown a few years back when he stumbled upon what looked like a piece of fried chicken glistening on the sidewalk. But it didn&rsquo;t take long for him to be disabused.</p><p>&ldquo;I saw it twitch real quick,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;The next thing I knew, it grew wings and it was flying around my ankles and then right past my face.&rdquo;</p><p>It was a bat, in broad daylight, just doing its bat thing downtown. Soon after, Rory collected himself from fright and submitted these questions to Curious City:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>How many bats are in Chicago&rsquo;s Loop? What are their favorite hangouts?</em></p><p>Spoiler alert: Our experts say we can&rsquo;t pinpoint exactly how many bats call the Loop home. Nor can we locate particular buildings the critters like, either. (Alas, someone else will have to explore whether the <a href="https://www.flickr.com/search/?l=commderiv&amp;q=wrigley%20building%20chicago" target="_blank">gothic tower atop the Wrigley Building </a>acts a bat-magnet). But experts<em> can </em>say which types of environments Chicago&rsquo;s bats like to hang out in and how popular those sites are.</p><p>The takeaway is that these furry fliers are likely closer than you think. And, beyond that: All this bat activity&rsquo;s a good sign, given that there&rsquo;s an ominous threat to their very existence.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Where local bats <em>aren&rsquo;t</em></span></p><p>In 2012 researchers at the Lincoln Park Zoo&rsquo;s Urban Wildlife Institute embarked on a study to measure the Chicago-area bat population. They wanted to learn more about which bat species call Chicago home (or were at least recurring squatters), gauge their numbers and determine their favorite haunts, all with the hopes of keeping close tabs on bat species affected by the fatal spreading disease called &ldquo;<a href="https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/" target="_blank">White Nose Syndrome</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>By 2013, the scientists had set up 18 bat detectors in various habitats around Cook and Kane counties: forest preserves, golf courses and at the Lincoln Park Zoo&rsquo;s Nature Boardwalk. As much as we hate to let Rory down, none of these detectors was in the Loop.</p><p><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/bats/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/eastern-pipistrelle-little-guy.png" style="float: right; height: 116px; width: 180px;" title="An eastern pipistrelle." /></a>That&rsquo;s for several reasons.</p><p>The first one: Bats probably aren&rsquo;t hanging out downtown. Liza Lehrer, a research coordinator at UWI, says bats might fly through the Loop looking for food, but likely wouldn&rsquo;t make a home in urban infrastructures like skyscrapers. But if we were to try to pinpoint a bat hangout in the Loop, Lehrer says, be on the lookout for older, cozier buildings with lots of nooks and crannies.</p><p>&ldquo;They like old churches, barns, things like that &mdash; areas with lots of older architecture with attics that are easy to get into through roofs,&rdquo; Lehrer says. &ldquo;Maybe the Bucktown, Wicker Park areas, but I&rsquo;m sure anywhere around the city where they can use those spaces they&rsquo;re probably using them.&rdquo;</p><p>Lehrer says it&rsquo;s hard to put a number to how many bats hang out in urban infrastructure. But she wouldn&rsquo;t be surprised if there were 1,000 or more bats living in older Chicago neighborhoods.</p><p>&ldquo;Maternity colonies can have hundreds of individuals in one colony,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;So it&rsquo;s very possible there are thousands in the Chicago area for sure.&rdquo;</p><p>The second reason why UWI didn&rsquo;t place bat detectors in the Loop has to do with sound.</p><p>Julia Kilgour, a former UWI bat researcher, says the sheer noisiness of the Loop makes it a bad environment to pick up bat calls, and it&rsquo;s even noisier for the bats themselves.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sonobat.jpg" title="A screenshot from Sonobat software that shows bat call frequency and species. Researchers can use this to determine how active certain sites are. (Photo courtesy UWI)" /></div><p>If you were sick the day they talked about <a href="http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/bat2.htm" target="_blank">echolocation</a> in school, here&rsquo;s how bats navigate the world. Their eyesight isn&rsquo;t so hot, but their hearing is. Bats send out ultrasonic calls, which bounce off trees, buildings and prey. They listen to these echoes to locate who and what is around them.</p><p>Echolocation is not a problem in quiet, rural areas; but in dense, urban areas like the Loop, bats have a harder time pulling it off.</p><p>Rory himself was on to that explanation: &ldquo;I imagine if I&rsquo;m a chic urban bat and looking for a place to live, the Loop would be accommodating ... but it would be noisy.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size: 22px;">Where the bats </span><em style="font-size: 22px;">are</em></div><p>UWI researchers had plenty of other locations to gather data from; they&rsquo;ve analyzed thousands, if not millions, of bat calls gathered from forest preserves and golf courses around the Chicago area. Liza Lehrer says she&rsquo;s counted up to 3,000 calls from one detector in a single night.</p><p><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/bats/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/forgotten bat 2.png" style="height: 242px; width: 180px; float: left;" title="A silver-haired bat" /></a>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s really exciting about what we&rsquo;ve found so far is we see a lot of bats in Chicago, both in urban and rural areas,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We actually see more bats using Cook County sites in the height of the summer, but out in rural areas we saw more consistent numbers.&rdquo;</p><p>Another interesting finding? Bats really like golf courses.</p><p>&ldquo;You may not consider that an area for wildlife, but there&rsquo;s lots of bat diversity in golf course sites,&rdquo; Lehrer says.</p><p>Golf courses aren&rsquo;t as dense as the city&rsquo;s forest preserves and typically contain a small body of water, so they appeal more to tree-roosting bats, such as the hoary bat and the eastern pipistrelle.</p><p><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/bats/" target="_blank">(To see a breakdown of favorite bat habitats around Chicago, check out our visualization by artist Erik Rodriguez, based on research provided by the UWI).</a></p><p>But the finding Lehrer says she&rsquo;s most excited about is that all seven species common to Northeastern Illinois have been detected at the <a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/nature-boardwalk" target="_blank">Lincoln Park Zoo&rsquo;s Nature Boardwalk</a>, a mere three miles north of the Loop.</p><p>&ldquo;[Bats are] living right here in Chicago, right in the middle of the city, right here at the zoo,&rdquo; Lehrer says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re fortunate to have an amazing array of green space in the city so they&rsquo;re able to take advantage of that as much as possible.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The dreaded white-nose</span></p><p>Finding all seven bat species so close to a dense metropolis is especially exciting, Lehrer says, because several species are directly threatened by <a href="https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/" target="_blank">white-nose syndrome</a>.</p><p>A bat afflicted by the white fungal disease can wake up early during winter hibernation. Affected bats become active right when nature designed them to conserve energy and do as little as possible: when food stores are low and temperatures are dangerous. Lehrer draws an analogy that Chicago-area residents can certainly relate to. &ldquo;If you think about if you emerged from hibernation during our polar vortex,&rdquo; she says, &ldquo;there&rsquo;d be nothing for you to eat. It&rsquo;d be very difficult for you to survive if you were a bat. So, thats what&rsquo;s happening. They emerge from wintering spots and aren&rsquo;t able to survive or find food.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/bats/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LITTLE BROWN BAT WEB.jpg" style="height: 430px; width: 620px;" title="Little brown bat populations, illustrated above, have been decimated by white-nose syndrome in the northeastern U.S., but researchers have detected bat calls from them at the Lincoln Park Zoo's nature boardwalk." /></a></div><p>Since white-nose syndrome spreads when bats are hibernating in close proximity, Lehrer says, &ldquo;some caves have found up to 90 to 100 percent mortality.&rdquo; According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, the disease has killed millions of bats across the U.S. and Canada. There have been <a href="https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/resources/map" target="_blank">confirmed sightings</a> in Illinois, as well as several neighboring states.</p><p>The disease is <a href="https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/about/bats-affected-wns" target="_blank">hitting some bat species harder than others</a>. Of the seven species that call the Chicago area home, the big brown bat (<em>Eptesicus fuscus</em>), the little brown bat (<em>Myotis lucifugus</em>), and the tri-colored bat (<em>Perimyotis subflavus</em>) have been susceptible.</p><p>The UWI study is one effort to monitor bat populations, health and behavior while scientists find cures for the disease.</p><p>So while bats may be on the top of the list of scary creatures for many Chicagoans, the scarier proposition is that there would be no bats left. At least, that&rsquo;s how Rory Keane feels about it.</p><p>&ldquo;When you come across something really puzzling like WNS &hellip; it&rsquo;s troublesome,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;If it spells the end for bats it&rsquo;s just one more fixture in the ecosystem that&rsquo;s going to throw things out of balance for us as we experience it every day.&rdquo;</p><p>He points to a scene most Chicagoans can relate to. &nbsp;</p><p><a name="bio"></a>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re driving down Lake Shore Drive and it&rsquo;s a clear day and you can see the skyline in front of you,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;you marvel at the success we&rsquo;ve built up around us. &hellip; But could it have all worked out without the contributions of even these tiny, erratically-flying, illogical mammals we call bats?&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rory%20mug%20FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="float: left; height: 199px; width: 200px;" title="(Photo courtesy Rory Keane)" /><span style="font-size:22px;">Our question comes from: Rory Keane</span></p><p>Chicagoan Rory Keane got us looking into bat habitat a few years after he nearly stomped on one that was hanging out in the Loop. A graduate from Northwestern&rsquo;s Medill School of Journalism, he&rsquo;s worked as an English teacher in China and is currently working as a digital marketer in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;I guess you could characterize me as a curious person,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I have a little bit of a curiosity when it comes to travel and seeing the world from a different perspective.&rdquo;</p><p>So, he&rsquo;s no stranger to new experiences, but he still didn&rsquo;t expect to get a new perspective from that one, tiny bat in his hometown.</p><p>&ldquo;It was already an incredibly precious encounter given that you would never expect it,&rdquo; Rory says of the eastern red bat he nearly squashed. &ldquo;It took a bat to startle me into realizing what was going on around me [in the natural world] on an everyday basis.&rdquo;</p><p>Did we mention Rory also does a fantastic Werner Herzog impression? You gotta listen to his speculations on what life as a Chicago bat is like:</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/161020052&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/JnnBrndl" target="_blank">Jennifer Brandel</a> is Curious City&#39;s senior producer and <a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">Logan Jaffe</a> is Curious City&#39;s multimedia producer. Bat and habitat illustrations by <a href="http://www.erographics.com/">Erik Nelson Rodriquez</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-do-chicagos-bats-hang-out-110578 Hawks on the rise http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hawks-rise-109889 <p><p><a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/curiouscity/hawks/#/page1" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bird%20TOPPER.jpg" title="" /></a></p><p><em>Artwork by Chicago-based artist <a href="http://dianasudyka.com/">Diana Sudyka</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140433257&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe><em>Editor&#39;s note: This episode of the Curious City podcast includes a story about the resurgence of Cooper&#39;s Hawks in Chicago. It starts at 4 minutes, 45 seconds into the program.&nbsp;(Subscribe via&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161" target="_blank">iTunes&nbsp;</a>or&nbsp;<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CuriousCityPodcast" target="_blank">Feedburner</a>!)&nbsp;</em></p><p>This story about hawks was a long time coming for Carole Zemont of Chicago&rsquo;s Norwood Park neighborhood. Carole thinks she&rsquo;s &ldquo;genetically predisposed&rdquo; to be interested in birds, after growing up watching them at the bird feeder her mother put up in their backyard.</p><p>That lifelong interest &mdash; as well as a recent hawk sighting of hers &mdash; led Carole to ask Curious City:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Is anybody studying the increasing hawk activity in Chicago&rsquo;s neighborhoods?</em></p><p>Her question covers several topics, including the people on the lookout for hawks, but we thought we owed it to Carole to suss out whether &mdash; in fact &mdash; there&rsquo;s a local population of hawks on the rise. While tracking this down, we came across a bit of a wildlife conservation success story.</p><p><strong>(Chicken) hawks on the increase</strong></p><p>Observant bird-watchers like Carole suspect there are more hawks in the area, but have professional researchers taken note, too?</p><p>Well, there are several local researchers who study and document the goings-on of wild critters in our urban and suburban environment, but when it comes to studying hawks specifically, we can turn up only one: Mason Fidino of the Urban Wildlife Institute. Founded in 2009, the Institute&rsquo;s part of Chicago&rsquo;s Lincoln Park Zoo.</p><p>For the first part of Carole&rsquo;s question, does Fidino&rsquo;s work show that there is an increased hawk population in Chicago? &nbsp;&ldquo;Yes! It&rsquo;s a pretty resounding yes,&rdquo; he says. Fidino is recreating a historic bird count that was conducted in Lincoln Park from 1897 to 1903, and he&rsquo;s able to compare current bird populations with this century-old data. One hawk in particular stands out in Fidino&rsquo;s studies: the Cooper&rsquo;s Hawk, which he describes as the &ldquo;most abundant,&rdquo; frequently seen bird of prey in Lincoln Park. This is quite a change from the historic study, where the Cooper&rsquo;s Hawk &ldquo;was not seen whatsoever.&rdquo;</p><p>These birds were once widely viewed as a menace and even hunted in the past. Nicknamed &ldquo;chicken hawks,&rdquo; they were despised as chicken thieves.</p><p>Fidino points me to the historical record, where we can find sentiments from people like Alfred O. Gross, a man who eventually became a respected ornithologist. In 1906 Gross conducted a bird census in Illinois. He described the Cooper&rsquo;s Hawk as a &ldquo;handsome robber&rdquo; with a &ldquo;perverted taste for chicken.&rdquo;<a href="http://www.thinglink.com/scene/502929837053181952" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Cooper's Hawk inline image.jpg" style="height: 443px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="Rendering of a Cooper's Hawk, otherwise known as a Chicken Hawk, by Chicago artist Diana Sudyka." /></a></p><p>Later, the <a href="http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/ddt-brief-history-status.htm" target="_blank">pesticide DDT </a>also damaged their population. Cooper&rsquo;s Hawks mostly eat other birds, so they would have ingested all of the DDT concentrated in their prey animals. The pesticide caused eggshells to thin, and they would crack under the weight of the large birds. The Cooper&rsquo;s Hawk was even on Illinois&rsquo; endangered species list from 1977 through 1997.</p><p>Eventually, human interference loosened: We stopped shooting &ldquo;chicken hawks,&rdquo; we banned DDT, and, according to Fidino, the hawks came back.</p><p><strong>How easy is it to see one?</strong></p><p>Mason Fidino says you can find hawks in the city if you look for them &mdash;especially Cooper&rsquo;s Hawks. &ldquo;Often enough you&rsquo;ll see hawks circling around,&rdquo; he says, adding you can also spot them perched on tree branches. Fidino advises curious residents to &ldquo;spend some time on a weekend, take a walk out in a park. You should be able to see a bird of prey or two.&rdquo;</p><p>Fidino says he sometimes even sees hawks hunting in Chicago&rsquo;s Lincoln Park. If you see something quickly zooming towards the ground, it could be a hawk looking for lunch. For his part, Fidino will see the hunting bird just out of the corner of his eye. It will be &ldquo;this really quick movement going from the top of the tree downwards to whatever it&rsquo;s trying to catch. Then its talons go out, and it grabs what it&rsquo;s going after and then it&rsquo;ll swing back up or land with it,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Cooper&rsquo;s Hawks have nests that are smaller than squirrels&rsquo; bulky, leafy nests. Another way to catch a glimpse of a hawk is to keep an eye on their nest &ldquo;and see who shows up,&rdquo; Fidino says.</p><p><strong>A possible hawk menace?</strong></p><p>It&rsquo;s reassuring to see a previously struggling species thrive, but perhaps you&rsquo;re wondering about a downside. Cooper&rsquo;s Hawks survive mostly by hunting smaller birds. Will we be hearing about a &ldquo;save the chickadees&rdquo; campaign in a few years?<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr_%20Mike%20Ormsby_Copper%27s%20Hawk.jpg" style="height: 346px; width: 275px; float: left;" title="Cooper's Hawks look very similar to Sharp-shinned Hawks, but differences can be detected with key details like tail feather shape. Our field guide gives more clues for distinguishing the species. (Flickr/Mike Ormsby)" /></p><p>Fidino is not worried. Populations of top predators like hawks tend to be much smaller than their prey species. The relatively few chickadees or pigeons who end up being a hawk&rsquo;s lunch shouldn&rsquo;t significantly damage their population. The various bird populations, Fidino says, &ldquo;should be able to work themselves out into what you&rsquo;d kind of consider an equilibrium.&rdquo;</p><p>Hawks mostly hunt birds, although they&rsquo;ll also dine on small mammals. It&rsquo;s very rare for pets to come under attack by raptors. However, when pressed, Fidino will advise that owners of small pets might want to &ldquo;be mindful of the species that they&rsquo;re adding to the ecosystem,&rdquo; and perhaps not leave especially tiny dogs unattended in the back yard.</p><p><strong>The adaptation game</strong></p><p>Carole wondered if we&rsquo;re seeing more hawks in Chicago because they&rsquo;ve developed adaptive behaviors to live in cities. Dr. Seth Magle, the Urban Wildlife Institute&rsquo;s director, says that&rsquo;s not the case. He described the concept of &ldquo;habitat analogs,&rdquo; where parts of our built environment function to animals the way their natural habitat does.</p><p>Magle provides the example of pigeons. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re cliff-dwelling species, but in cities we build these big tall buildings, so to pigeons they may kind of look like cliffs,&rdquo; and thus look like home, he says.</p><p>Hawk behavior is similar. Red-tailed hawks like to perch on something tall, and power lines along the highway function perfectly for that task. Other species, including the Cooper&rsquo;s Hawk, feel perfectly at home in trees near humans. And why not, now that we city-dwellers and suburbanites are more interested in watching hawks than shooting them.</p><p><em>Special thanks to the <a href="http://www.birds.cornell.edu" target="_blank">Cornell Lab of Ornithology</a> for permission to use images, bird listings and sound for this story.</em></p><p><em>Katie Klocksin is an independent producer. Follow her on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/katieklocksin" target="_blank">@KatieKlocksin</a>.<a name="hawkscreensavers"></a></em></p></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hawks-rise-109889 Baby gorilla seriously injured at Chicago zoo http://www.wbez.org/news/baby-gorilla-seriously-injured-chicago-zoo-105762 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/gorilla.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A 3-month-old gorilla has been seriously injured at Chicago&#39;s Lincoln Park Zoo while in an enclosure with other gorillas.</p><p>Zoo President Kevin Bell says they&#39;re not sure what caused the injury, although it appears to have been inflicted by another gorilla. Bell says there were no previous signs of violence from the group.</p><p>The baby gorilla named Nayembi suffered cuts to her face last week. Zoo workers quickly separated the mother and baby from the rest of the group.</p><p>Zoo officials are cautiously optimistic about a recovery.</p><p>The zoo has its own hospital where the gorilla is being treated.</p><p>A statement on the Lincoln Park Zoo&#39;s website says that in an encouraging sign the gorilla is playing during the day and getting plenty of sleep at night.</p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/baby-gorilla-seriously-injured-chicago-zoo-105762 Chicago museums see 2012 bump in attendance http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-museums-see-2012-bump-attendance-105261 <p><p>Attendance increased by about 600,000 at Chicago-area zoos and museums last year.</p><p>Fifteen Chicago-area attractions are members of the Museums Work for Chicago group, which released attendance data on Thursday. The group says attendance was 15.1 million during 2012. That&#39;s up from 14.4 million during 2011, when attendance remained steady from 2010.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s Lincoln Park Zoo topped the list with 3.5 million visitors. Brookfield Zoo had 2.3 million visitors and the Shedd Aquarium had 2.1 million. The Chicago Children&#39;s Museum saw a 10 percent increase and the Chicago History Museum had a 9 percent increase.</p></p> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-museums-see-2012-bump-attendance-105261 The bird man of Lincoln Park Zoo http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/bird-man-lincoln-park-zoo-103132 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LP%20Swan%20flickr%20stirwise.jpg" title="(Flickr/Kerry Lannert)" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F63538745&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Lincoln Park Zoo opens at 7 a.m.</p><p>By then, most of its animals have snorted, stretched, wiggled, flapped and, without benefit of any coffee, otherwise roused themselves for another day of exhibiting their easy wonder.</p><p>Kevin Bell, my guest later in the show, does have coffee in the morning: One cup; he needs it. He gets to the zoo at 6 a.m.., something he has done almost every day for nearly four decades, ever since he was 23 and came here from New York to become curator of birds&mdash;the youngest curator in the zoo&#39;s history.</p><p>Birds were the zoo&rsquo;s first animals. They arrived in 1868, a pair of mute swans that were a gift from New York City&#39;s Central Park. They came by train; it took two days.</p><p>Many things have changed at the zoo during the last 144 years, but one wonderful thing has not: It&#39;s free, one of only three major U.S. zoos (the others are in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis) that charge no admission.</p><p>Those two swans soon multiplied to 13, and by 1874 the animal population swelled to 48 birds and 27 mammals. That year a bear was bought for $10 and the Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens was officially formed, making our zoo-though arguments come from Philadelphia&mdash;the first in the U.S.</p><p>It has grown&mdash;more animals, more land-over the years. But it has always bee&mdash;and remains&mdash;a special slice of the city.</p><p>A zoo, especially one as accessible and democratic as Lincoln Park&#39;s, sits in a pleasant spot in one&#39;s memory and provides a strong thread through one&#39;s life. It is a place where virtually every Chicago-area child is taken by his parents and where, in turn, these children take their children and their children and on and on through the generations.</p><p>It is an early morning last week. Outside, people stroll. Inside and outside, animals prowl. Lincoln Park Zoo shakes its furry, feathered self to life.</p><p>Kevin Bell is there, of course.</p><p>Bell says, &quot;For a little while, my time is my own. This hour is mine, and I spend it with the birds.&rdquo;</p><p>We are outside and a couple of tiny sparrows, prosaic city birds free to scurry about the trees above Bell&#39;s head, make some funny noise&mdash;you know, that chirping noise that always sounds happy. They fly off and Bell watches them, until they are but specks in the city sky.</p></p> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 12:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/bird-man-lincoln-park-zoo-103132 Chicago zoo helps vaccinate dogs in Tanzania http://www.wbez.org/science/environment/chicago-zoo-helps-vaccinate-dogs-tanzania-98574 <p><p>Officials with a Chicago zoo say they've vaccinated a million dogs in Tanzania as part of a project to eliminate rabies and save endangered carnivores in the Serengeti National Park.</p><p>The Lincoln Park Zoo says its project began in 2003 and the zoo's Serengeti Health Initiative team has worked in villages in northern Tanzania to administer the donated vaccines.</p><p>Zoo officials announced their one millionth vaccination in a news release Wednesday.</p><p>Steve Thompson is the zoo's vice president of conservation. He says the populations of already-endangered carnivores like lions and African wild dogs were declining as native species were contracting rabies from local domestic dogs.</p><p>Zoo officials estimate that the vaccinations have saved about 150 humans from rabies infections as well.</p></p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/science/environment/chicago-zoo-helps-vaccinate-dogs-tanzania-98574 JoJo the gorilla moves from Chicago zoo to 'burbs http://www.wbez.org/story/jojo-gorilla-moves-chicago-zoo-burbs-97534 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-22/JoJo the gorilla_ Lincoln Park zoo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>JoJo the silverback gorilla is leaving Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo for a new home in the suburbs. And zoo officials hope he'll start a family once he's there.</p><p>The 31-year-old is being moved from the city's North Side to Brookfield Zoo in the western suburbs. There are female gorillas at Brookfield who zoo officials hope the 485-pound ape will mate with. Two female gorillas are also leaving Lincoln Park Zoo as part of a breeding program. They'll go to zoos in Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio.</p><p>A goodbye birthday party will be held for JoJo on April 10.</p><p>In more moves, two young male apes will arrive at Lincoln Park this summer to share a habitat with two other males who live there.</p></p> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/jojo-gorilla-moves-chicago-zoo-burbs-97534 Chimps in Super Bowl ads cause controversy http://www.wbez.org/story/chimps-super-bowl-ads-cause-controversy-96057 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-03/career builder ad.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ueQqhx3qfJ8" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Chicago-based CareerBuilder is coming under fire for <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/careerbuilder-super-bowl-ad-business-trip-031/2012/02/01/gIQApztWiQ_video.html">its latest Super Bowl ad</a> featuring chimpanzees. This is not the first year CareerBuilder has featured chimpanzees as actors in its ads, and it's not the first time Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo has spoken out against the ads.</p><p>But this is the first year <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0026048">a study</a> has been published showing that chimps used in entertainment has a negative impact. Brian Hare at Duke University led the study.</p><p>"Seeing chimpanzees in TV like this actually makes people think they're great pets - that they're not endangered," Hare said.</p><p>Hare said the bigger issue, though, is the international reach of Super Bowl ads. He said people watching in countries where endangered chimps live put the animals in further peril.</p><p>"If they see that there's a market, that there's people who are interested in these animals, that people in the United States dress them up and want to treat them as pets - it will not be but one second before they're out going to collect some so they can then sell them," Hare said.</p><p>Hare added that there is already a great apes trade active in Africa, but that this exposure does not help matters. Hare would like CareerBuilder to explore other options like using animation.</p><p>Career Builder said the chimps were treated humanely and that the ads are effective.</p></p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 18:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chimps-super-bowl-ads-cause-controversy-96057 Daily Rehearsal: Simon Callows is 'Being Shakespeare' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/daily-rehearsal-simon-callows-being-shakespeare-95462 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-11/5789735274_5092bba0d1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-11/5789735274_5092bba0d1.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 203px; " title="Simon Callow filming 'In Love with Shakespeare' (Flickr/Andy Houghton)"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;British actor&nbsp;Simon Callow</strong></span></span> will be bring the well-reviewed&nbsp;<em>Being Shakespeare</em> to CST (it runs at the Broadway Playhouse as part of <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=7,10,2">World's Stage</a>, their program that hosts companies from outside Chicago), "a virtuosic solo performance that weaves together excerpts from William Shakespeare's plays and poems, breathing new life into his unforgettable characters and the real man behind the legend." Those of you who have Netflix Instant might remember Callow also as that older hilarious gentleman who (spoiler for a movie that came out in 1994) dies suddenly in <em>Four Weddings and &nbsp;Funeral</em>. <em>Being Shakespeare</em> will run for a week only,&nbsp;April 18–29, 2012.</p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:20.25pt;margin-bottom:15.0pt;margin-left: 1.5pt;line-height:15.6pt"><span style="font-size: 9.5pt; color: black; "><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Watch <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-23/daily-rehearsal-ultimate-list-best-theater-lists-95136">Doyle and Debbie on <em>Conan </em></a>last night</strong></span></span>:</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" height="441" id="ep" width="640"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><param name="movie" value="http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&amp;videoId=22785"><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#000000" height="441" src="http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&amp;videoId=22785" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640"></object></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. American Players Theatre’s Artistic Director David Frank is retiring</strong></span></span> (in a few years), and they've announced that he will be replaced by Brenda DeVita, current Associate Artistic Director. According to Board of Directors President Barbara Swan, this move has been in the works for awhile. And for DeVita: "I love my job. I love artists. What could be better?” Frank: "Brenda DeVita has been fulfilling ninety percent of a typical artistic director’s job for several years and the results, including the recent lavish praise for APT’s work from the regional and national press, speak for themselves." So what have you been doing Frank? Kelly Kleiman <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-18/non-endless-summer-american-players-crime-and-punishment-89312">has praised the Spring Green-based theater in the past</a>, especially last summer's <em>Crime and Punishment</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Dates for upcoming Jeff awards have been announced</strong></span></span>: Non-Equity is Monday June 4 at the Park West here in Chicago; Equity on October 15 at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace. Snag an invite early.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. We must have missed it</strong></span></span> when three men attempted to live in like hummingbirds at the Lincoln Park Zoo this past summer -- and not for a performance art piece. If you were also spending your hours elsewhere, catch all the action on their new series&nbsp;<em>Live Like An Animal: Human Hummingbird</em>, which airs Tuesday, Jan. 17 on Nat Geo WILD:</p><p>"The television hosts Lloyd Buck, Matt Thompson and James Cooper constructed the human-scale bird nest over several days at the zoo... To mimic the hummingbirds’ diet of flower nectar, they subsist on a sickly sweet concoction, triggering a dramatic sugar&nbsp;overload and subsequent wild behavior. Matt attempts to entice ladies at the zoo with a less-than-impressive hummingbird courtship dance, and at the end of their adventure living like human hummingbirds a major threat to the nest rolls in: a storm."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 18:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/daily-rehearsal-simon-callows-being-shakespeare-95462 Clever Apes: Toolmakers http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-06-28/clever-apes-toolmakers-88461 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-29/clever apes tools_Gabe Spitzer.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="A chimp at the Lincoln Park Zoo uses a stick to fish for food. " class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-28/termite fishing.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 450px; margin: 5px;" title="A chimp at the Lincoln Park Zoo uses a stick to fish for food. "></p><p>As we human beings have come up against our limits throughout history, we’ve managed to invent tools that can overcome them. Using tools we can fly, restart a human heart, photograph galaxies and amoebae. Tools are so central to our humanity that we used to think they defined us: <a href="http://www.janegoodall.org/chimp-central-toolmakers">“Man the Toolmaker.”</a></p><p>That notion began to unravel in the 1960s, as <a href="http://www.janegoodall.org/jane-goodall">Jane Goodall </a>discovered that humans aren’t the only clever apes around. Chimps, too, make and use tools. It was an existential turning point: As Goodall sponsor Louis Leakey famously responded, “Now we have to redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans.”</p><p>That line has only gotten fuzzier since then, thanks in part to work done on chimps and gorillas at Chicago’s <a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/conservation-science/resources/staff-bios/elizabeth-v-lonsdorf-phd">Lincoln Park Zoo. </a>In this installment of Clever Apes we’ll meet a few of these crafty primates, and consider what the tools can teach us about the toolmakers.</p><p>Listen here:</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483530-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Clever_Apes_Toolmakers.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Then we’ll pivot to another tool that probes – in this case, one that analyzes art (and, it turns out, artists). It’s an <a href="http://www.amptek.com/xrf.html">X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer</a>, but we prefer to call it the “science gun.” We see it in action at the Art Institute of Chicago, thanks to conservation scientist <a href="http://www.matsci.northwestern.edu/aic/about_us.htm">Francesca Casadio</a>.</p><p>Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the Clever Apes&nbsp;<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast" target="_blank" title="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast">podcast</a>, follow us on&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/cleverapes" target="_blank" title="http://twitter.com/#!/cleverapes">Twitter</a>, find us on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412" target="_blank" title="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412">Facebook</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="Francesca Casadio trains her 'science gun' on a 1000-year-old Chinese sculpture." class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-28/IMG_3707.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" title="Francesca Casadio trains her 'science gun' on a 1000-year-old Chinese sculpture."></p></p> Tue, 28 Jun 2011 19:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-06-28/clever-apes-toolmakers-88461