WBEZ | zoo http://www.wbez.org/tags/zoo Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Brookfield’s baby dolphin dies suddenly http://www.wbez.org/news/brookfield%E2%80%99s-baby-dolphin-dies-suddenly-108368 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP178379265245.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Staff at Brookfield Zoo are mourning the sudden death of a newborn dolphin. The female calf was nearly a week old. She was born to a 26-year-old dolphin, Allie, one of three Brookfield dolphins who were pregnant this summer.</p><p>The baby weighed around 40 pounds at birth and measured 3 feet long. At the time, Brookfield staff said the baby was healthy and strong. But by Wednesday, veterinarians started seeing signs that the baby, who was not named, wasn&rsquo;t well. According to Dr. Michael Adkesson, Vice President of clinical medicine at the Chicago Zoological Society, the calf seemed weak, and the frequency and duration of nursing with her mother began to decline.</p><p>Adkesson says the first days of a dolphin&rsquo;s life are extremely critical, and studies have shown that deaths of young calves in the first 30 days of their life account for the largest rate of loss to dolphin populations in the world.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not an animal like a primate where the mom&rsquo;s able to carry the animal around, or a tiger or a lion where it&rsquo;s able to be tucked back in a den,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The animals really come out in the water and have to really be able to go from the first minute of birth.&rdquo;</p><p>Dolphins have to learn skills like swimming, eating, breathing and how to nurse right after birth. These are skills Adkesson says Allie was correctly teaching her offspring, but the baby&rsquo;s health still continued to decline.</p><p>Veterinarians tried to intervene, including using CPR and other tactics, but they the dolphin died early Thursday.</p><p>Adkesson says Allie is doing well, health-wise, but that it&rsquo;s hard to tell if or how she&rsquo;s dealing with the loss.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s difficult for us to really know that, in terms of how much they grieve, &ldquo;he said. &ldquo;Obviously, we know they&rsquo;re very intelligent animals, but as far as the level of emotion that they feel, it&rsquo;s not something that we can really speak to.&rdquo;</p><p>The calf&rsquo;s autopsy report is expected to come back next week.</p><p>For now, Brookfield Zoo staff is focused on its two other mothers-to-be, and the two, hopefully healthy, babies that will be swimming alongside them in the water this fall.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/brookfield%E2%80%99s-baby-dolphin-dies-suddenly-108368 West Ridge residents angry over zoo plans http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/west-ridge-residents-angry-over-zoo-plans-108180 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Indian Boundary Park Zoo.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid--6c218be-162f-17c1-9598-56468885ec20">A meeting Wednesday night to discuss what to do with the small zoo in the Indian Boundary Park on Chicago&rsquo;s far North Side turned heated, particularly during a short appearance by the district&rsquo;s alderman. The meeting was called by the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council, a nine-year old volunteer organization that helps advocate for the park. It came in response to the Chicago Park District&rsquo;s plan to dismantle the zoo and replace it with a nature area of trees and plants.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The zoo is one of the things that made our park special,&rdquo; said Ron Rogers, an attorney and 20-year resident of West Ridge. Rogers said he used to take his children to the zoo when it had much more exotic animals like swans and llamas. When the zoo was first built in the 1920s it housed a single black bear. Today, the zoo is home only to a couple of goats and some chickens that live in fenced enclosures along the north border of the 13-acre park.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one of the few treasures that we&rsquo;ve got,&rdquo; continued Rogers. &ldquo;All you have to do is go up and down Western Avenue, Touhy, Devon, see how the commercial district is eroding, some housing stock isn&rsquo;t what it had been. But it&rsquo;s the one thing that sets this neighborhood apart, that makes it a draw, that makes why people would choose to move up here.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Many of the more than 100 people who packed into the Warren Park District fieldhouse voiced a similar sentiment. Throughout the crowd, distrust of the Chicago Park District&rsquo;s motives and its commitment to executing an alternative plan for the site, ran high.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This is unfortunately part of the systematic dismantling of the zoo given to us by the Chicago Park District,&rdquo; said Advisory Council President Jennifer Albom, referring to the decline of the zoo. &ldquo;They have presented us with nothing, they have not paid for maintenance, they have not supervised or encouraged Lincoln Park Zoo to do what they should be doing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The Lincoln Park Zoo is responsible for the maintenance of the animals at the Indian Boundary Park Zoo.</p><p dir="ltr">Albom and others were also highly critical of Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), who called two community meetings with the Park District to discuss the future of the zoo. Silverstein made a brief, unexpected appearance, prompting a barrage of criticism from constituents who felt they had not been adequately notified of her meetings.</p><p dir="ltr">Silverstein countered that she included the discussion of the zoo plans in her weekly newsletter. But some at the meeting, like Albom, said their attempts to share their concerns about those plans were ignored. Many asked the alderman to consider calling another community meeting with the Park District where they might be able to present their opposition to the nature area proposal.</p><p dir="ltr">The Chicago Parks District claims it would cost $2 million to make infrastructural improvements to bring in more animals, such as cows. Currently, the agency says it spends $90,000 a year to maintain the zoo.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A responsible agency does not maintain status quo simply for the sake of maintaining status quo,&rdquo; wrote Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, spokesman for the Chicago Park District, in an e-mail. &ldquo;The Chicago Park District must constantly evaluate its parks and facilities to make certain that we are responding to the needs of the community while making fiscally responsible decisions.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A visit to Indian Boundary Park Wednesday afternoon found dozens of families enjoying the expansive playground, picnicking, and children playing in a fountain. A handful strolled slowly by the enclosures in the back, hoping to catch a glimpse of the goats or chickens.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t live in the area, I live up by Logan Square,&rdquo; said Mario Meza, who was there with his young daughter. Meza said he grew up near the park and his children look forward to seeing the animals.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I wish they would have kept it maintained better,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;Maybe it could have drawn more people.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council has organized a <a href="http://www.thepetitionsite.com/225/705/785/save-indian-boundary-park-zoo/">petition </a>to challenge the zoo&rsquo;s closing, and plans a march at the park on Sunday at 10am.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 09:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/west-ridge-residents-angry-over-zoo-plans-108180 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