Special to 1808Delaware
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz and Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker recently presented The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium with a $500,000 check for wildlife conservation efforts in Ohio. The funds will be used for facility upgrades to the Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Research Center and for conservation work to restore native amphibians and reptiles.
“We are thrilled to invest in Ohio’s wildlife and help restore populations of native wildlife,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We are grateful for the world-renowned experts at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium who help us to make sure animals can prosper.”
Freshwater mussels are Ohio’s most imperiled wild animal. Because of their at-risk status, efforts have been underway by The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and others to raise and release mussels in Ohio’s waterways.
“We are extremely grateful to ODNR for their generous support, which will help us to make an even bigger impact in protecting our native invertebrate, amphibian, and reptile species,” President/CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Tom Schmid said. More…
Special to 1808Delaware (emphasis adeed)
Eastern monarch butterflies are now flying through Ohio on their way from summer breeding areas to overwintering sites in Mexico, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Monarchs may travel 50 to 100 miles per day, making this one of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom. The journey may take them thousands of miles before they reach their destination.
Migrating monarchs rely on adequate food resources along their journey. Native flowers provide monarchs with the fuel needed to reach overwintering areas. Look for monarchs in the coming weeks in forests, fields, gardens, and waterways as they migrate through Ohio. Migrants may travel individually or in groups. More…
By Cole Hatcher
Ohio Wesleyan University is adding a donor-funded Chimney Swift tower to its residential campus, helping to address the growing lack of nesting space for the beneficial mosquito-eating birds.
The 14-foot brick tower is being built on the northeast side of Stuyvesant Hall and is scheduled to be completed this fall.
“The tower will serve as a notable example of theory-into-practice and the OWU Connection,” said John Krygier, Ph.D., director of Environmental Studies. “Students will be able to use it to collect and analyze data related to Chimney Swift roosting, migration, and breeding biology.”
Dustin Reichard, Ph.D., OWU’s ornithologist, plans to use the tower with students in his zoology and biology courses. He said the birds will find and settle into the tower with no special action needed to attract them. More…
Special to 1808Delaware
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is celebrating the arrival of an adorable—and very important—new face in the Heart of Africa region. With a fuzzy mane, unique spot pattern, enviable eyelashes, and long wobbly legs that have already supported excited “zoomies,” a male Masai giraffe calf was born on Wednesday, August 31 at 2:45 p.m. to mom, Zuri. Not only is the calf fiercely cute, but his birth is especially significant as it marks an important achievement for the future of this endangered species. At this time, the little guy doesn’t have a name, but we hope it will be forthcoming!
The Columbus Zoo’s Animal Care team is providing time for Zuri to bond with her calf in the Giraffe Barn and a behind-the-scenes yard as the calf slowly begins to be introduced to other herd members. The care team continues to observe Zuri and her newborn very closely via camera monitors and reports that Zuri is being a great mother. After many good attempts, the calf stood, took a few steps, and was nursing shortly after birth. The next day, the Animal Health and Animal Care teams completed a wellness exam on the calf and confirmed that the calf seems to be healthy and well fed.
Zuri, who is 12 years old, came to the Columbus Zoo in 2013 after living at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, and the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas, where she was born. In 2020, she gave birth to calf, Ralph, who still resides at the Columbus Zoo in the savanna with the rest of the giraffe herd, including calves, Sammie and Schaefer, who were also born that year. More…
Note: This article has been updated for summer 2022. Letterboxing is a wonderful outdoor activity that can be done individually or with social distancing.
Over 150 years ago, visitors to the Dartmoor region of southwest England began to do something rather peculiar. Those hiking on the moors would place a letter or postcard inside a designated box along the trail as a mark that they had visited. Those who would come after them would, in turn, post letters back to those who had left them. Soon, these “letterboxes” were carefully hidden so that they would be difficult to discover. As this habit grew in popularity, the hobby of letterboxing was born.
In the early part of the last century, a logbook was used for visitors to record their presence along a given trail. Then, shortly after the beginning of the 20th century, a rubber stamp was placed in a box for further proof that a visit had taken place. By the century’s last decades, the pastime had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and letterboxing became popular across America. More…
Special to 1808Delaware with local updates
Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz have announced plans for more than two dozen new H2Ohio wetland projects to naturally improve water quality across Ohio.
“Our water is such an incredibly valuable resource, and building and restoring wetlands brings us closer to having cleaner water throughout the state,” said Governor DeWine. “We are making great strides through the work of H2Ohio, and I look forward to seeing even more progress in the years to come.”
Twenty-five new wetland projects will soon launch in 22 counties including Allen, Athens, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Henry (2), Madison, Mahoning, Medina, Mercer, Montgomery, Ottawa, Pickaway, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Summit (3), Wayne, and Wyandot. The projects will be funded through ODNR’s $25 million H2Ohio allocation in the current state operating budget.
In Delaware County, funding was awarded to the Preservation Parks of Delaware County for the Perfect Creek Wetland Project. The wetland and floodplain restoration project was granted $400,000. More…
Special to 1808Delaware
Two female polar bears at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are contributing to innovative scientific efforts aimed at helping to protect the future of this at-risk species. In collaboration with the team, led by Dr. Erin Curry, at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) helped perform artificial insemination (AI) on bears, Anana and Aurora, in hopes that the procedure will produce cubs.
The AI took place on March 17, 2022 at the Columbus Zoo after months of careful planning and preparation. Anana and Aurora were artificially inseminated with semen from Lee, a male polar bear at the Louisville Zoo, who temporarily lived at the Columbus Zoo from November 2018 until August 2020. While he resided at the Columbus Zoo, he fathered male cub, Kulu, with Aurora. Both Aurora and her twin sister, Anana, are proven breeders, and at nearly 16 years old, they are in their prime reproductive years, which made them good candidates for AI. While they have successfully bred with male bears in the past, AI offers additional ground-breaking conservation options such as potentially reducing the need to move bears to different facilities to ensure genetic diversity for breeding, as well as helping to provide valuable data that can benefit polar bears in their native ranges. More…
Special to 1808Delaware
On Wednesday, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced that the Zoo has earned accreditation by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), an international association and accrediting body. Columbus Zoo leadership was notified of this achievement following a comprehensive four-day, on-site inspection in March by a team of experienced zoological professionals, a rigorous review period by the ZAA accreditation committee, and full ZAA Board of Directors approval and voting process.
ZAA is a non-profit, membership-based, accrediting organization dedicated to its mission of responsible wildlife management, conservation, and education, and upholding the highest level of professional standards in animal welfare, safety, and ethics. The association is unique in that it is comprised of public and private facilities of wildlife educators, rescue facilities, TV and film industry animal experts, wildlife preserves, small community zoos, large zoological facilities, aquariums, and conservation organizations—all working together to elevate the care and welfare for wildlife in human care. The Columbus Zoo now joins the ranks of more than 60 facilities accredited by ZAA, and is one of the largest with this distinction. More…
The newest in the collection of Preservation Parks will be formally dedicated this Saturday with a morning of family activities and the opportunity to hike one of the park’s three trails.
Hickory Woods Park is located at 1271 Pollack Road in Delaware.
This 115 acre site sits on former agricultural fields which have been transformed into wetlands, prairies, and groves of oak and hickory trees. A variety of wildlife calls the park home, including rabbits, red foxes, grey tree frogs, and spring peepers.
Three trails with a reasonable distance are available, including: More…
Special to 1808Delaware
It’s a golden celebration you won’t want to miss! On June 18, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will be marking the 50th year of Zoofari, presented by Fifth Third Bank.
For one special night of the year at the Columbus Zoo, adults ages 21 years and older can explore the park from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. while enjoying delicious food, signature cocktails and live music—all to benefit the Zoo’s conservation education programs.
This year’s fundraiser will take place throughout most of the Zoo and will feature signature dishes from nearly area restaurants and establishments, adult beverages and soft drinks and multiple stages featuring bands that have been popular over the years at this event. More…