It's been nearly two months since our beloved Nora the polar bear left for the Oregon Zoo. Her departure surprised many of us, but it really shouldn't have. Here are a few Columbus Zoo expats and why they left Central Ohio.
Nora the polar bear and other Columbus Zoo expats
It's been nearly two monthssince our belovedNora the polar bearleft for the Oregon Zoo. Her departure surprised many of us, but it really shouldn't have. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium ships animals to new homes around the country all the time, in large part to foster genetic diversity in zoo populations. "We're constantly making sure that we're taking care of these species," says Lewis Greene, the Columbus Zoo's senior vice president for animal care and conservation. "They need to stay healthy genetically, and we have to ensure there's no inbreeding." Here are a few Columbus Zoo expats and why they left Central Ohio.
Foli, Amur tiger
Moved to Rolling Hills Zoo in Salinas, Kansas, in 2015
Foli sired three litters at the Columbus Zoo, and his genes were well represented in the tiger population. He was moved to allow for the arrival of Jupiter-fromZoo Dvur Králové in the Czech Republic-to bring more genetic diversity.
Bodhi, Asian elephant
Moved to the Denver Zoo in 2011
At 7 years of age, Bodhi was reaching sexual maturity and could no longer be part of the elephant herd in Columbus. The Denver Zoo, meanwhile, was building a herd of elephants for its new Toyota Elephant Passage habitat.
Humboldt penguin egg
Moved to Brookfield Zoo in Illinois in 2014
The egg was produced by a pair of penguins that were considered genetically valuable by the Humboldt Penguin Species Survival Plan. The parents were not incubating the egg, so it was moved to Brookfield, where it was successfully hatched and reared by foster parents.
Moved to the Miami Seaquarium in 2014 until she was released into Florida waters the following year
As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, the Columbus Zoo is a second-stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready to return to the wild. Rae was the 18th manatee released back into Florida waters after rehabilitation in Columbus.
Moved to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in 2015
The move was recommended for breeding purposes. The only male at the Columbus Zoo was Mandisa's father.
Moved to the San Diego Zoo in 2014
A breeding recommendation prompted the move. Fewer than 25 zoos in North America care for this endangered species.
Tara, Sumatran orangutan
Moved to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in 2013
As a result of the move, 19-year-old Tara gave birth to her first baby in November 2014. The male infant was the only Sumatran orangutan born at a U.S. zoo that year.