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Zoo Welcomes New Siamang and Says Goodbye to Crocodile “Joe”


The zoo announced the birth of a Siamang and the death of a Saltwater Crocodile.

January 17, 2014

The ABQ BioPark Zoo today announced the birth of a new Siamang. Siamangs are known as the kings (and queens) of swing. With their long arms and lightweight bodies they are perfectly-designed for swinging through the treetops. Siamangs also are unique in that they can carry objects with both their hands and feet.

The new Siamang was born on January 8, 2014. Zoo staff have not yet determined the gender of the Siamang. The zoo will hold a naming contest in the coming days for the new addition.

Siamangs are the largest species of lesser apes, and are in the gibbon family. These tailless apes are native to the forests of Malaysia and Indonesia, and have a large throat pouch that inflates so that they can make loud calls throughout the forest.

You can visit the newest zoo baby this weekend and also take advantage of half-price admission on January 18 and 19, when all single venue admission is discounted. Half-price admission tickets are available only from a BioPark cashier on this Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. BioPark combo tickets, which include entrance to all three facilities and unlimited train rides, will remain regularly priced. Online tickets also will remain regularly priced.

Also, today at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, one of two male Saltwater Crocodiles died in its enclosure.

The croc known as “Joe” was found dead by keeper staff at about 8:15 a.m. today, during a routine check of the animals. A necropsy was underway Friday afternoon to help determine the cause of death. It may take days or even weeks for tissue samples to be examined and results returned to the zoo.

“Naturally our team is deeply saddened by this,” said Douglas Hotle, Curator of Herpetology at the zoo and the main caretaker of zoo reptiles.  “As with all of our animals here at the BioPark, we give them one hundred percent of everything we have, including our admiration.”

Joe was one of two adult male crocodiles that came to the zoo in the spring of 2005 from Australia, where the government there had declared them as nuisance crocodiles.  This could mean anything from them attacking and eating livestock or returning to areas where they posed a threat to people.  The age of both crocodiles is unknown.

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