06 Jul '12, 5pm

Green Blog: Rethinking the Zoo Dating Game

As part of my ongoing “Animal Lifeboat” series, I wrote on Thursday about the challenges zoos face in seeking to mate members of threatened species in captivity. Usually zoo animals are still mated in person, not artificially, and are paired up with the goal of preserving certain genetic traits. Janice Sveda/Smithsonian National Zoo via Agence France-Presse A successful birth: a 17-day-old cheetah at the National Zoo in Washington. But many zoos just do not have the space or logistical capability for a common feature of mating in the wild: competition. Still, Cheryl Asa , who runs the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Wildlife Contraception Center at the St. Louis Zoo, has begun to wonder if captive breeding would be more successful if animals were given a choice of options. A few years back, she organized a symposium of zookeepers, population biologists and scientists who...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/rethinking-the-...

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