Garden City, Kan (WesternKansasNews.Com) – A male trumpeter swan from Tracy Aviary in Utah has joined the resident female trumpeter swan on the pond on the north side of Lee Richardson Zoo. The nine-year-old male is originally from Alaska.
Trumpeter swans are the largest species of swan. They were once fairly common throughout Canada and the northern United States. Due to trade in swan skins and feathers, their numbers reached a low of just 69 birds in the United States in 1932. But through concentrated efforts to conserve the species, they were removed from the Endangered Species list in the mid-1970s. Efforts continue to this day to reintroduce the species to various parts of their native territory. Any cygnets (baby swans) produced in the future will most likely be sent to an area in need as part of a reintroduction program.
A one-year-old female red panda from Idaho Falls Zoo also recently moved to the zoo. “Paprika” is currently going through the introduction process to meet 2-year-old male CJ in the red panda habitat in Wild Asia.
Superb climbers, red pandas can descend trees headfirst like a squirrel, thanks to a special rotating ankle joint. In the wild, they are found from Nepal to Burma, and into Central China. They are listed as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) primarily due to the destruction of their habitat for human use (logging, farming, firewood, etc…). There has also been an increase in poaching and trafficking for the pet trade.
Paprika comes with a recommendation from the AZA’s Red Panda Species Survival Program to breed with CJ in order to contribute to the sustainability of the species.
You can learn more about red pandas and trumpeter swans when you visit Lee Richardson Zoo. If you can’t come in person, visit our website at www.leerichardsonzoo.org.