From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1995:
Yan Yan, a female giant panda on a
five-year loan from the Beijing Zoo, on April 14
joined Bao Bao, the Berlin zoo’s solitary male,
whose former partner Tien Tien died of a viral
infection in 1984. Yan Yan was taken from the
wild at age three months in 1985. The World
Wildlife Fund ripped the Berlin loan and the loan
of two pandas to the San Diego Zoo as “a danger-
ous precedent,” which could “lead to further
depletion of an already fragile wild panda popula-
tion,” via further removals from the wild. WWF
has asked the secretariat of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species to
restrict panda loans to captive-bred animals. The
Dept. of the Interior on March 30 proposed such a
rule to govern future panda loans to the U.S.
Israel on April 9 deported two Thai
immigrants back to Thailand, after they were
caught stealing a goose from the children’s zoo at
Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon. They had already
allegedly stolen and eaten or sold 40 parrots, four
goats, and a pair of lovebirds.
Stray dogs sneaked into the Akron
Zoo on the night of April 6 and killed three white-
tailed deer––a buck and two does. Three other
deer leaped out of the exhibit to escape the dogs,
of whom two were recaptured. All three dogs
were caught by Akron animal control officers.
As the start of an $8 million renova-
t i o n approved on March 16 by the Los Angeles
city council, the L.A. Zoo is closing 17 hillside
exhibits, judged wrong for their species and risky
for workers, obliging the relocation of 69 rare
sheep, deer, camels, and antelope. An elderly
bison will be kept off-exhibit until his death.
Two young gorillas are to go on exhibit
in May at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, includ-
ing Okpara, firstborn son of Timmy, who was
sent to the Bronx Zoo in New York in 1991 to
participate in captive breeding, amid controversy
over his separation from Kribe Kate, the sterile
female with whom he first mated, at age 34, after
failures with several younger partners. The two
new gorillas, who actually arrived on March 3,
will join four males who share an outdoor exhibit;
Oscar, an older silverback who bit off one of
Kate’s toes before she was transferred to the Fort
Worth Zoo, will continue to be kept separately.
Jomu, age 2, the first of 11 cheetahs
bred through artificial insemination, was
moved on March 23 from the breeding colony in
Tyler, Texas, to the National Zoo in Washington
D.C. Researchers hope artificial insemination can
be used to keep the maximum possible genetic
diversity in cheetahs, believed to be dangerously
narrow both in captivity and in the wild.
The European Parliament on March
17 asked the European Commission to keep a pro-
posed directive on housing and care conditions
that are to be maintained in zoos, rather than
replacing it with a less binding recommendation.
Staff of the Lincoln Park Zoo in
Chicago are hand-raising a Bornean orangutan
abandoned shortly after birth on March 31, while
seeking a surrogate orang mother elsewhere.
Pennie, 41, an Asian elephant
bought off a freighter by the San Francisco Zoo
in 1955 with $3,500 worth of coins donated by
school children, was euthanized due to conditions
of age on April 1.