5/16/13. Snippets of Spazzkid’s Debut Performance at the LA Fort. OMG so much fun!

Live Visuals by Starminds

Malagasy giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti)

The Malagasy giant chameleon is a good start for a beginner lizard climber, but provides a lot of fun for advanced climbers as well. The nose approach is the most common, but some prefer the challenge of the lower lip followed by a rope looped over the eye socket. This is particular challenging during fruit fly season when the eye moves around seemingly at random.

(From Starmind Conservation -

Jade Headed Buffalo Beetle

Dicrocoelium dendriticum is a parasite that lays eggs to infect snails. Once a snail becomes infected, it protects itself by forming cysts and expelling them. This is good for the snail and for the parasite because these cysts are the yummiest things an ant has ever tasted. Once the ant eats a cyst and gets infected, the parasite gets into the ant’s brain. The ant brain takeover forces the ant to climb tall blades of grass and hang out all night. When day comes, this hold is released, so the parasite doesn’t bake in the sun along with the ant. Eventually, the grass is eaten and the parasite infects a large animal which then expels the parasite’s eggs in its dung … which are eaten by snails.

The Jade Headed Buffalo Beetle, of course, knows nothing about this and just really really likes its blade of grass.

(From Starmind Conservation -

Northern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis leucotis)

This owl is not on exhibit. It is being kept behind the scenes for breeding purposes. So I was very lucky to see it when it was being brought out for a bit of fresh air.

Zoos do this a lot. Since they’ve become more of conservation centers and less of entertainment complexes, there is a lot that the public doesn’t get to see. This is problematic, because most people can’t support what they don’t know about. And, without that support, it is hard to continue doing the work.

This is a problem that most zoos have yet to solve.

(From Starmind Conservation -

Major Michell's Cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri)

Zoos are generally good at identifying when animals should not be photographed and when flash should not used. Some, however, not physically sensitive to the process, but just emotionally sensitive. For example, as soon as I walked up with the camera, this cockatoo began blushing.

(From Starmind Conservation -

Buff Cheeked Gibbon (Hylobates gabriellae)

She returns to the spot where it happened. It’s not everyday. Sometimes weeks will go by with nary a thought to that day. But eventually, she returns.

She remembers her joy that day, the opportunity. It was glorious. Finally, her day in the light. She was noticed. She was with new friends, building a new life. She was elated when she returned, anxious to share her news with him.

But he was gone. He was gone and she hadn’t been there. Would it have happened if she had said no? If she had kept the date? If it had, could she have saved him? Would they have died together? Would they have lived, returning together to this point to share a different memory entirely?

Maybe. Maybe not. But she would know.

Not knowing is truly the worst.

(From Starmind Conservation -