Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise marks a milestone Friday. It was twenty years ago that Steve Burns joined up with the zoo.

Back then, Steve Burns was working at the Nature Conservancy in Washington D.C. He shifted gears and took the job as the Executive Director of the Friends of Zoo Boise. After three-and-a-half years, he added head of Zoo Boise to his title and now holds both jobs.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Zoo Boise is still reeling after the sudden loss of one of their two beloved giraffes, Julius Longfellow, in April. Since then, the zoo has been looking for a new companion for the remaining giraffe. Now it looks like they may have found one.

Nicholas D. / Flickr

Zoo Boise is giving a quarter of a million dollars to the city to help protect the foothills. It's all part of the zoo’s conservation mission.

Zoo Boise raises conservation funds to help wildlife in need all around the world. So Director Steve Burns says giving some of that money to preserve the Boise Foothills makes perfect sense.

“This is our backyard,” says Burns.

Burns says people love the foothills, but it’s also a home for a wide variety of wildlife.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise reported Thursday that its beloved giraffe, Julius Longfellow, has died.

The 11-year-old male Julius fell early Thursday morning. Zoo workers tried to get him back up but couldn’t, and had to euthanize him. A necropsy is planned.

Julius came to Zoo Boise in 2008 from the African Safari Wildlife Park in Ohio. A private fundraising campaign paid for his purchase and transport to Boise. His first name, Julius, was in honor of a donor to Zoo Boise. His last name, Longfellow, came thanks to Longfellow Elementary School, which raised money for him.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise says it’s sad to report that Jabari the lion was euthanized Wednesday.

We told you last year that the 14-year-old lion was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was getting treatment, including chemotherapy. But his health continued to decline and his condition worsened recently.

It was 2008 when Jabari and two female lions opened the African Plains Exhibit. He was a favorite at the zoo, often roaring during the day.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise’s male lion is sick. The Zoo says Jabari has lymphoma and probably won’t be in his exhibit very often while he’s getting treatment.

Officials say he had not been acting normally and went in for a check up with zoo veterinarian Dr. Holly Holman, who found the lymphoma.

Jabari has been at Zoo Boise since 2008. He arrived just in time for the opening of the African Plains Exhibit. He’s 14 years old. He spends his time with his pride, two other female lions.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Director of Boise's zoo announced today that they will give $100,000 to replant native vegetation in the area burned by the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

Zoo Director Steve Burns says the money will come from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund.

Over the last nine years, zoo visitors have generated about $2 million in the fund for wildlife conservation. A portion of each zoo entry fee goes into the fund.

Zoo Boise

Teenagers volunteering at Zoo Boise are helping to try and save one of the world’s most endangered mammals.

The teens are using an information booth to raise money for the Saola - a forest mammal that lives in Vietnam. The animal rocked the scientific world when, in 1992, scientists first discovered what turned out to be not just a brand new species, but a whole new genus.

These antelope-type creatures have two long curing horns on their heads and white spots on their faces. They are remarkably shy and gentle, and have never been seen alive in the wild by scientists.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise says that one of its two tigers was euthanized this week. Tundra was 18 years old and had been in ill health.

Tundra and his brother Taiga came to Zoo Boise in 1999 from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

The head of Zoo Boise says all of its staff members are sad about Tundra’s passing.

“An entire generation of children in the Treasure Valley grew up seeing him and marveling at his beauty and majesty,” said Steve Burns, Director of Zoo Boise. “He was part of our family and we will miss him.”

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise welcomed a giant anteater baby in July and that furry pup can now be spotted by visitors at the zoo.  The pup and its mother, Gloria, spent the last few weeks inside their barn and have just now begun to explore their outdoor exhibit.

Anteaters are solitary animals and the father is currently in an exhibit next door to Gloria and her pup.

Zoo Boise

Two red panda cubs were born at Zoo Boise this summer. The male and female cubs were born June 18 and are just now being seen in the red panda exhibit.

The cubs were born to parents Dolly and Winston. It’s their third litter of cubs and the fifth litter born at the zoo. Their first litter was born in June 2013.

Robin Bjork

An Idaho woman is studying the migration patterns of a rare bird in Central America. The three-wattled bellbird makes bell-like calls, and those sounds can travel half a mile. Some experts believe it’s the loudest bird in the world.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Lions are in trouble and need our help. That’s the message from a lion researcher in Africa and Boise’s own zoo, which together are trying to help lions survive in the wild.

serval cat
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

There’s been a baby explosion at Zoo Boise. Eight different species given birth in the last eight months, leading to one of the most prolific procreation years ever at the zoo. 

It all started in March when this Serval kitten made her debut. She was born March 27, 2013. Servals have tan fur with black spots. They have long legs and very big, expressive ears.  They eat rodents, small reptiles, and birds. They're native to Africa. Two other Serval kittens, Scout and Mzuri, were born in September 2012. 

Zoo Boise

You can now catch glimpses of two baby snow leopards born at Zoo Boise.  The cubs, one male and one female, were born May 23 to parents Kabita and Tashi.  These are the first snow leopards to be born at the zoo.

Kabita and Tashi were paired as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The conservation program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums helps breed endangered or threatened species. 

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