Two animals born at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo are headed to the National Zoo at Washington, D.C.
Zoo Director Scott Gregory said the baby chinchillas will go to the National Zoo. There are also plans to give baby agoutis to other zoos. One is headed for the El Paso Zoo, and another will go to Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Fla. Agoutis and chinchillas are both rodents.
Members of the Great Bend Zoological Society are invited to see the new baby cougars before they move to a public exhibit. They will be shown to Zoo Society members only from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 8. Anyone who isn’t a member and wants to attend is welcome to join that night, Gregory said. A one-year membership is $25. The cougars came to the zoo in April. They were confiscated by the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife, where they were rescued being sold as pet.
Other new animals are on the way.
“We’re getting two new short tail opossums Friday, from the Jacksonville (Fla.) zoo,” Gregory said.
The new serval cat, acquired from New Zealand in the fall of 2013, is still in quarantine while his exhibit is being worked on. The serval was acquired with plans to breed. “We’ve got a mate coming from Omaha,” Gregory said.
“The female has had trouble breeding in Omaha, so they want to try with our male,” Gregory continued. “Hopefully it’s successful.”
As always, the circle of life at the zoo includes the end of life. Gregory reported that one of the three lemurs died Tuesday.
“We did a necropsy and found no signs of anything major,” Gregory said. “It may have died of old age.”
The Brit Spaugh Zoo staff didn’t always keep the meticulous records that are required today, so the age of the lemur is unknown. The other two appear to be in good health.
Record keeping is required for future breeding programs, and is standard protocol now as Great Bend continues to work toward receiving accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.