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February 11 2014

Do All Zoos Euthanize Animals Like Marius, the Copenhagen Giraffe?

Warning: This post contains imagery that some readers may find disturbing.

A well-respected zoo in Copenhagen, Denmark, ignited criticism across the globe when officials there killed a young giraffe on Feb. 9 and performed an autopsy on the animal in front of a crowd full of children.

Zoo officials said Marius, the 2-year-old giraffe, had genes too similar to those of other giraffes in European zoos, increasing the likelihood for genetic disease in Marius' offspring, had he been allowed to breed. Other zoos and organizations offered to take him in and an online petition to save the animal generated around 30,000 signatures, but officials said they did not find another suitable living situation for Marius and that they were only following a recommendation by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums when they decided to shoot him. Read more...

More about Zoo, Us World, Us, World, and Work Play

August 22 2013

Into the Wild: Google Announces Zoos on Street View

In the latest news about animals on the Internet, Google announced this week that it is adding some of the world's best zoos and a preview of their animals to Street View, from China to Chile to Madrid.

In the United States, Street View will include the Atlanta Zoo, Chicago Zoo, Houston Zoo and San Diego Zoo

All the "views" are static images and should not be confused with a live stream. The idea is to give hopeful travelers a chance at a sneak peek before making the trek to visit. So if you want to see baby pandas cuddling in the fur, you'll have to book a flight to China — but otherwise, this should suffice. Read more...

More about Google, Google Street View, Zoo, Tech, and Dev Design

December 03 2009

Orangutan Photographer Has More Facebook Fans Than You

nonja smallThe Daily Mail has uncovered an orangutan at the Vienna Tiergarten Zoo that uses a modified Samsung ST 1000 digital camera to automatically post photos to Facebook.

Nonja, the 33-year-old orangutan, has more than 10,000 fans on her Facebook page, which was created on Tuesday by the zoo. The page currently boasts 20 photos taken by Nonja, and while some are blurry and nondescript, others capture her fellow orangutans and their surroundings in a way that clearly captivates her following.

Of course, while Nonja’s photo-taking abilities are quite impressive, they also come with a price tag; the zoo is using a special digital camera that automatically rewards her with a raisin after each snap.

The Daily Mail writes:

“The Vienna Tiergarten zoo set up the project to help keep Nonja and her three hairy ape friends entertained in their enclosure.

‘Of course the apes don’t care about the pictures, they are just an accidental side product,’ zoo spokesman Gerhard Kasbauer said.

‘They just know that when they press the button, a raisin pops out.’ “

However, those accidental side products have attracted quite the following. We’ve included a few of Nonja’s photos below.

nonja photo4

nonja photo3

nonja photo

nonja photo2

Images from Nonja’s Facebook Page

[via CNET]

Tags: facebook page, nonja, organutan, zoo

November 09 2009

Twitter and Penguins: How the San Francisco Zoo Uses Twitter [VIDEO]

We know there are a lot of interesting and unique uses for Twitter. We’ve seen Twitter used for customer service, tweets to monitor power usage, and even 140 character marriage proposals, but we never thought about it being used to quickly respond to incidents such as a kid being bit by an otter.

Earlier today, a group of Twitter enthusiasts (including me) gathered at the San Francisco Zoo for a zoo tweetup. While in most respect it was your standard gathering of Twitter nerds with phones tweeting and Twitpics flying, the tweetup was unique because of the involvement of the zoo via Twitter.

After seeing initial tweets about the upcoming event, the zoo provided anybody who came to the tweetup with a discount, a penguin encounter (videos below), and even access to the normally off-limits Avian Conservation Center.

While this is a great example of using Twitter to reach out to and please customers, it isn’t the only way that the San Francisco Zoo (@SFZoo) utilizes Twitter. In the 3 minute clip embedded below, animal keeper Anthony Brown discusses some of the unique stories of how Twitter has helped improve the zoo, including how it has helped find lost phones and even how the zoo respond to a kid being bit by one of the river otters after finding out about the incident via Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget about the two penguins huddling around him.

Social media, once a phenomenon localized to early adopters, has quickly spread into nearly every channel. The fact that a zoo is using Twitter to interact with its visitors and to know about what’s happening on its grounds in real-time is just another amazing example of the power that social tools provide us.

Here’s Anthony’s explanation of how the zoo uses Twitter. Enjoy!

BONUS: The Penguins of San Francisco Zoo

We did visit a zoo. It would be a shame if we didn’t embed at least one clip exclusively about cute animals:

Reviews: Twitter

Tags: penguin, San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco-San Jose, twitter, zoo

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