One of the new animals at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo is a 6-month-old African serval cat named Akida. This male cat was shipped to the zoo from New Zealand and Zoo Director Scott Gregory said he will try to find a female from another zoo so they can attempt to breed the pair.
Although the zoo already has a female serval, she dates to an earlier time when zoo record keeping was not as meticulous as it is these days. In order to breed animals, information is needed about their bloodlines.
Brit Spaugh Zoo is working to become accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Gregory said the AZA will find a home for Great Bend’s serval at another zoo.
Trading animals with other zoos is a common practice that has been helped by working with the AZA. Gregory said the chinchillas born here earlier this year will be going to the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City this month, and staff is looking for a home for the young agoutis.
Much of the record keeping is handled by the zoo curator, a post held by Marge Bowen until she resigned last month. Bowen has moved to another state, but will continue to work for the Great Bend zoo as a private contractor, handling record keeping online for the time being.
This Friday, someone from the Sedgwick County Zoo will visit Brit Spaugh Zoo to inspect the tiger enclosure.
“The enclosure has to be inspected before we get any more tigers,” Gregory said. The yellow Bengal tiger, Sunny, shared space with his brother Spirit, a white tiger, until Spirit died this past spring. Gregory has been looking as the possibility of getting a Sumatran tiger.