Scout Day planned at Brit Spaugh Zoo
The Kanza District of the Boy Scouts of America is having a Scout Day at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo on Sunday, Aug. 18, starting at 1 p.m.
All Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Explorers and their families from Barton, Pawnee, Edwards, Rush, Stafford, Pratt, Kiowa, Barber, and Comanche counties are all invited to attend.
All registered adult leaders are also invited to attend the Program Kick Off Event / Roundtable Meeting that will be held in the Peacock Room at the zoo. That meeting starts at 1:30 p.m.
For more information contact Kanza District Executive Arvin Fontarum by calling 316-491-7772, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just four weeks ago, things were not looking good for Clyde, the male black bear at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. He was in poor health at the time, but after a surgery performed by Dr. Mike Malone, veterinarian to the zoo, Director Scott Gregory said he hopes Clyde will be with the zoo for many years.
“The bear is doing great,” Gregory said Wednesday. “He’s improved a lot.”
Clyde’s medical problems began about seven years ago when a problem with his reproductive system required surgery. The procedure was successful for a time, until this summer when he attempted to mate with Bonnie, the female black bear. (For those interested in bear anatomy, Gregory can give a more graphic explanation of the medical issues.) Clyde also contracted an infection where there was residual scar tissue from the previous procedure.
“Emergency surgery was performed,” Gregory said on July 6, “but Clyde is now refusing to eat, drink, urinate, and take his meds. He needs to eat or drink to flush out the toxins in his system. He is in a state right now that does not look good for his future. We are injecting fluids into him today and we will see how the weekend goes.”
Yet another surgery was required, but Clyde is doing much better. He had to be separated from Bonnie, and now lives in his own enclosure – the exhibit area last occupied by a panther on loan to the zoo. Bonnie and Clyde can still see one another at night, but they won’t have physical contact.
Zoo plans to breed serval cats
In other zoo news, Gregory said he received word on Wednesday that Brit Spaugh Zoo will receive a male serval cat from New Zealand. This being his first international transaction, he’s not sure how long it will take, but the plan is to breed servals at the zoo.
Great Bend is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help sustain this species of concern. The AZA places animals in one of three levels, Green, Yellow, or Red, like a traffic light, to rank their sustainability in zoos nationwide. Green animals are common. Yellow animals more rare, or do not have a diverse gene pool in captivity. Reds are rarer still, often with fewer than 50 individuals in captivity.
Servals are in the Yellow category, Gregory said.
Brit Spaugh Zoo already has a female serval cat, but with insufficient records on her breeding history, she will not be an eligible mate. Instead, she will be placed with another zoo and Great Bend will obtain another female as well.
The zoo continues to work toward its goal of AZA accreditation. “We’re working with the organization to further the zoo,” Gregory said. The efforts will also work in the Great Bend zoo’s favor the next time it submits an application for accreditation.
Readers may remember that there are also plans to obtain a male arctic fox to breed with the female at the zoo. Arctic foxes are another species of concern. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul, Minn., will supply the male from the next available litter, but Gregory said he has received no word.