Zoo News

Grace & Baby2015 is the Year of the Gibbon and Cameron Park Zoo is celebrating in a very special way! Today zoo officials are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl to Spike and Gracie, the zoo’s White-handed gibbon pair. Spike and Grace are long-term residents of Cameron Park Zoo and this is their second offspring. The first, Mel, was born September 27, 2000 and now lives at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. This new baby, a female was born Saturday, June 13th. Baby and parents have remained in the gibbon night house over the past few weeks in order to allow time for bonding. Today zoo officials allowed the new family to spend time outside on Gibbon Island. Baby and parents enjoyed the outing and they should be out on the island with access to their night house in case they want to go inside to cool off throughout the summer.

The entire staff of Cameron Park Zoo is very excited to name this little girl, but they need your help. Half of the staff wants to name her Lucy and the other half wants to name her Emma. You can break the tie by voting with donations to the zoo’s ultrasound campaign. Having state of the art medical equipment is crucial to providing the exceptional medical care for gibbons and all animals at Cameron Park Zoo. Voting stations will be available in the Zootique Gift Shop or you may vote  online here.

White-handed gibbons are mostly monogamous, living in groups of 2 to 6 members. Females usually give birth to only one offspring about every 3.5 years. The gestation is 7 months and the babies are weaned at about 20 months. The average lifespan is 30 years in the wild and up to 44 years in captivity. White-handed gibbons are distributed throughout the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN). The Year of the Gibbon was initiated by IUCN, Species Survival Commission (SSC), Primate Specialist Group (PSG) and Section on Small Apes (SSA), as an opportunity to gather together in order to take necessary and tangible steps toward gibbon conservation. The plight of the small apes has often been overshadowed by the great apes, despite being considered the most threatened primate family. Conservationists, zoologists, scientists, governments, decision makers, companies and the general public are welcome to join us in an attempt to move this amazing ape out of the shadows and into the limelight. To learn more: http://www.gibbons.asia/year-of-the-gibbon/.

Did you know that currently only three male orangutans in the world are trained for voluntary blood pressure readings and two of those animals reside at our own Cameron Park Zoo?  Those same apes, Mukah and Kerajaan, are also being trained for voluntary awake echocardiograms.  We have an excellent veterinary care program at Cameron Park Zoo, but it is limited by the lack of specialized equipment needed to accurately monitor animal health.  Cameron Park Zoo does not own an ultrasound machine, but has been able to start training our male orangutans for performing awake echocardiograms, using a dated loaner machine and software which prevents detailed measurements from being performed.Mukah ultrasound

A new ultrasound machine, with a probe specific for echocardiograms, would enable us to obtain these measurements and contribute more to the Great Ape Heart Project as well as the understanding of cardiovascular disease in orangutans overall.

This new ultrasound has multiple capabilities and with the proper probe we could also detect pregnancies quicker and more definitively. Pregnancy detection in zoo animals can be difficult.  In larger animals such as rhinoceros and antelope, zoo veterinarians use a specially designed probe to detect pregnancy. Currently, the Cameron Park Zoo does not own this probe. Obtaining a new ultrasound with multiple capabilities and the proper probe would enable us to detect pregnancies quicker and more definitively

We need your help and if all of our Cameron Park Zoo members would donate a minimum of $15 per household, we could reach our goal of $65,000 to purchase a new ultrasound and probes.  You can donate online or mail a check to Cameron Park Zoo, 1703 North 4th Street, Waco, Texas 76707.

Generous donors like you are the key to our success at Cameron Park Zoo! This medical equipment is expensive, but the benefit it would bring to our veterinary care program is priceless.

More information & to donate visit: http://www.cameronparkzoo.com/donate/support-animals/ultrasound-fundraiser/