Our Blog - Conservation

Our Blog

Category: Conservation

Nashville Zoo Keepers Use Disguising Techniques to Feed Snowy Owl Chicks

Nashville Zoo welcomed two snowy owls on July 13 and July 15. These owls are the first raptors to be hatched at Nashville Zoo since the Zoo was located in Joelton, TN back in the 1990s. Unlike other animals, such as our clouded leopards, where working with their keepers from an early age helps them become more comfortable with humans later in life, some species of birds, including snowy owls, have the reverse reaction to working closely with humans as chicks. “Baby birds can become... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Nashville Zoo Keeper First International Volunteer at Bongo Surveillance Project

After working with bongo for most of her keeper career, Nikole Edmunds, Nashville Zoo Hoofstock Keeper, traveled to Africa to work with them in the wild. Edmunds is the first international volunteer to ever work with the Bongo Surveillance Project, BSP, the only organization in Kenya specifically monitoring the critically endangered Mountain or “Eastern” Bongo in the wild. The BSP’s mission is to educate the public, specifically local Kenyans, about how to protect bongos,... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Nashville Zoo Veterinarian Travels to Africa to help protect highly-poached animals

Dr. Heather Robertson, DVM ventured across continents to South Africa in November 2017 to the Thanda Safari Reserve where she was able to assist in the process of protecting highly-poached animals, such as the South African elephant and South African white rhinoceros. While the Southern white rhino is the least endangered of the living rhino species with 21,077 remaining in the wild, they are listed as near threatened due to habitat loss and illegal poaching. In South Africa alone, poachers... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, March 30, 2018

Female Clouded Leopard Cub Born at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a female clouded leopard,  Neofelis nebulosa , on Monday, February 19. This is the sixth litter for eight-year-old parents Lom Choy, mother, and Luk, father. The couple have been paired for mating since they were one year old and have been having litters since 2011. Their newest cub weighed about 188 grams at birth. With the addition of this cub, the Zoo is now home to nine clouded leopards. Nashville Zoo has had 32 clouded leopards born... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, March 27, 2018

UPDATED: Saddle-billed stork eggs not viable, the saga continues

The typical incubation for saddle-billed stork eggs averages about 31 days. We gave our saddle-billed storks an extra week of incubating beyond their due date before deciding to remove the eggs from the nest. This was done to ensure that they were not delayed in their development causing them to hatch later than expected. Earlier this week keeper staff finally removed the overdue eggs from the nest. The parents were not pleased at first, but quickly adjusted to the freedom of no longer needing... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, January 22, 2018

Nashville Zoo Keeper Travels to South Africa to Help Endangered Penguins

In late November, Alison Day, Ambassador Animal Keeper, traveled 8,300 miles to Cape Town, South Africa, to volunteer at the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds ( SANCCOB ). As part of SANCCOB’s keeper exchange program, Day was able to care for the close to 200 birds at the facility and rehabilitate them, so they were prepared to return to their colonies. SANCCOB is a registered non-profit organization whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Get Involved with the Great Backyard Bird Count

Are you interested in helping birds? Get involved in the 20th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count. The Great Backyard Bird Count is citizen science project where people from around the world count birds for at least 15 minutes a day from Feb. 16-19. You can count birds from anywhere; the warmth of your home, walking, or your nearest park. This data is submitted online to researchers who use it to assist in tracking bird migrations and getting population counts of different species.... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, December 1, 2017

Be Sweet to Orangutans This Halloween!

We are setting the scene for this year’s popular Boo at the Zoo celebration which includes more than three tons of sweet treats for kids. From to M&M’s to Tootsie Roll Pops, this year’s candy offerings have more in common than high sugar levels - they are all made using sustainable palm oil. The Zoo is proud to continue our commitment to saving wildlife by only offering candy made with sustainable palm oil. Why is this important? Read below. What is Palm Oil? ... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, October 20, 2017

Red Ruffed Lemur Family Now on Exhibit at Nashville Zoo

(Blog update on July 25, 2017) Guests visiting Nashville Zoo can now see the four red ruffed lemur babies born on May 30, 2017. The two month old lemurs have joined their parents Lyra and Dino and three older siblings on exhibit along Bamboo Trail. “The four babies are hopping around and playing with each other a lot as they explore and climb in their exhibit, said Sabrina Barnes, Primate Area Supervisor. “Thalia and Calliope, the one-year-old sisters, have really started... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, July 24, 2017

Behind-the-scenes: Rhinoceros Hornbill Breeding

(Breeding Update: July 2017) Nashville Zoo is excited to give you a sneak peek into the unqiue breeding and nesting habits of our rhinoceros hornbills via our live Nest Cam.  Inside our breeding rhinoceros hornbills' building is an old Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel with three birds. The 37 year old female has been inside since April 12th, and her two chicks are just over a month old, about 5 days apart. They will not be out of the barrel until mid-August. The Nashville... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, June 30, 2017

Conservation Lounge Helps Save 5,000 acres for Rainforest Trust

Brew at the Zoo presented by M.L. Rose, Nashville Zoo’s annual beer festival event, took place on a beautiful evening in June. Guests enjoyed some of Nashville's best breweries, animal encounters, live music, food and festivites! Brew attendees also got to meet the historic clouded leopard cub, Niran, learn about protecting the last great forests of Northern Borneo at the Conservation Lounge, and drank among the flamingos around Jungle Loop. This year's Conservation Lounge... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nashville Zoo Participates in Giraffe Conservation in Uganda

In March, Nashville Zoo hoofstock keeper, Stephanie Edling, journeyed alongside Julian Fennessy, the cofounder and co-director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, to conduct field work and gather information on inbreeding, collect DNA samples and test new GPS collars on Rothschild’s giraffes ( Giraffa camelopardalis ) in the Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda.   The week consisted of exploring three different routes to locate giraffes. Stephanie’s team was responsible... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, June 19, 2017

It's Spawning Season for Zoo's Koi Fish

One of the Zoo’s most beautiful exhibits is one that most guests don’t notice on initial glance. The Zoo is home to a group of stunning koi fish that swim among the ponds that weave throughout Bamboo Trail. Known for their beautiful markings and calm demeanor, koi fish typically get along very well with little to no competitiveness or aggression toward each other. However, over the last few weeks, our group of koi were making it a little bit harder to go unnoticed with swift... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, June 2, 2017

What's the Difference Between Turtles and Tortoises?

Did you know that tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises ? Most people use the term “turtle” to reference any reptile with a shell on its back, but there’s several differences between these two unique creatures. World Turtle Day® is on May 23, and the Zoo is excited to raise awareness and share ways we all can enhance the conservation of turtles and tortoises. In order to help this animal, it’s important to know the difference between these... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Thursday, May 4, 2017

Nashville Zoo & Smithsonian Make History with Birth of Clouded Leopard

Update: Clouded Leopard has a name! Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the name of the clouded leopard cub born on March 1. Our partners at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, Dr. Adrienne Crosier and Dr. Pierre Comizzoli, were given the opportunity to name the historic cub and have chosen the Thai name, Niran (pronounced Nee-ron), which means eternal and everlasting. Niran opened his eyes just in time for Spring and has nearly tripled in size.  Birth... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Nashville Zoo + Cumberland River Compact Forge Ahead with Stormwater Management Project

The Nashville Crayfish and other aquatic species have new habitats to explore! Nashville Zoo, in collaboration with the Cumberland River Compact, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, and KCI Technologies Inc., removed two dams on Cathy Jo Branch. “There is a large drive by biologists, NGO’s along with Federal and state wildlife agencies to remove non-essential dams.  Dam removal allows for the migration of aquatic species which were previously blocked by dams within a... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fifth Masai Giraffe Born at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe. The calf was born February 10, weighing 163 lbs. and standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall. Mother, Margarita and calf are doing well and are currently off exhibit in the Zoo’s giraffe barn. This is Margarita’s fifth calf and second male to be born at the Zoo. “Margarita is a proven and successful mom for her calves, and this calf was no exception,” said Greg Peccie, Director of Animal Operations.... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, February 17, 2017

Nashville Zoo Successfully Breeds Rare Species

Nashville Zoo’s Herpetology team is celebrating the half-birthdays of four Central American Giant Galliwasp ( Diploglossus monotropis ) born in August of 2016, marking the first hatching in over 10 years at the Zoo. Nashville Zoo is the only zoo in the United States to have successfully bred this rare species. Our female galliwasp (pronounced “GALL-ee-wasp”) made a nest chamber underground to coil around her 4 eggs to instinctually protect them from predators. She did not... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, February 13, 2017

Nashville Zoo Supports Conservation Efforts in Southern Africa

One of the biggest threats to animals worldwide comes as a byproduct of the desire to put food on the table for many impoverished families. Wire snares are set along animal paths in the hopes of trapping a meal or catching an animal to be sold in the black market. Unfortunately, these wire nooses are indiscriminate so any animal (wild or domesticated) is capable of getting caught in the trap. However, local residents in South Africa are now learning that snare wire can be used as an alternative... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Sunday, December 4, 2016

Endangered Yellow Blotched Map Turtles Hatch at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the hatching of four endangered yellow-blotched map turtles. This hatching ranks Nashville Zoo as the third AZA institution to ever successfully breed these beautifully patterned turtles. “This is an exciting hatching for the yellow-blotched map turtle and for the Zoo,” says Dale McGinnity, Nashville Zoo’s Ectotherm Curator.  “We are bringing awareness to the community about this threatened species and hope to increase support... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nashville Zoo Heads to South America!

(Update as of  December 20, 2016)    Zookeeper, Pujita, returned from her two week excursion in the Pantanal at the end of November. Between the early mornings and South American heat, Pujita and the team were able to successfully collect data from four anteater recaptures and two giant armadillo recaptures (the capture of animals that have already been collared).    Pujita recalls her first time seeing an anteater in the wild, procedures and... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, November 14, 2016

Nashville Zoo Receives International Award for Gorilla Conservation

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the primary accrediting body for top zoos and aquariums in the United States, awarded Nashville Zoo the 2016 International Conservation Award for their work with the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) benefiting Grauer’s gorillas. The annual award recognizes exceptional efforts toward regional habitat preservation, species restoration, and support of biodiversity in the... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Special Delivery! 30 Hatchling Alligator Snapping Turtles Land in Nashville

Nashville Zoo Receives Grant to Help Save the Alligator Snapping Turtles Nashville Zoo is excited to share recent conservation news regarding field work and research for a species right here in Tennessee… the evolutionarily distinct, alligator snapping turtle. Often confused with the common snapping turtle which thrives in waterways all across Tennessee, the prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle is most easily distinguished by three large ridges along the back of its shell... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Celebrate World Rhino Day on September 22

As Nashville Zoo prepares for the upcoming opening of the new white rhino exhibit, we also celebrate and recognize World Rhino Day ! Later this year, we will welcome a pair of male white rhinos into the former elephant habitat. In the future, the Zoo plans to import a group of female white rhinos with plans to breed the group as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan .  Nashville Zoo rhino conservation efforts extend beyond our participation in... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, September 19, 2016

Brew at the Zoo brings in $10,000 for conservation!

Brew at the Zoo presented by M.L. Rose, Nashville Zoo’s annual beer festival event, took place on a rainy night in June. The weather did not stop hundreds of guests from joining in on the fun, food and festivities. Guests enjoyed some of Nashville's best breweries decked out in animal themed ponchos. Despite the heavy downpours, Brew guests enjoyed delicious food from some of Nashville's best food trucks, danced on Festival Field with live entertainment, learned about the... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CUTE ALERT: Three Red Ruffed Lemur Babies Born at Nashville Zoo

Update - Red ruffed lemur family goes back on exhibit!  Zoo guests now have the chance to meet the three young red ruffed lemurs born on May 24, 2016. Parents, Lyra and Dino, can be seen back on exhibit with their three babies. The four month old trio excitedly jumped through trees and played among the ropes as they explored their outdoor home. As of now, guests can see the lemur family on exhibit for part of the day. Once keepers feel comfortable and the lemurs have adapted... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cassowary Introductions: Sy meets Marge!

The Nashville Zoo bird department anxiously anticipated and planned the introduction of our adult female and male Double Wattled Cassowaries. In 2011 the Zoo acquired a young male, Sy, and the female, Marge, arrived at the end of 2014. Over the last year these birds have grown up in adjoining exhibits allowing them to familiarize themselves with each other in hopes that they would become a breeding pair. Double Wattled Cassowary Breeding Double Wattled Cassowary are typically solitary... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Births at the Zoo!

TWO FEMALE PALAWAN BINTURONGS BORN MARCH 7 Our second pair of Palawan binturongs finally had their cubs in early March! This is the second set of pups born here at Nashville Zoo and we are the only AZA accredited zoo breeding this species. We currently have a total of 7 Palawan binturongs in our collection: two mating pairs, a male who is part of our  Ambassador Animal program and these two pups. While one of the sister pups has already been picked up by Columbus Zoo’s... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What is Animal Enrichment?

"When an animal is under human care, we have removed an exquisitely adapted organism from the environment that shaped it over countless years. Stimulating their minds and activity levels allows us, in some small way, to give them back what has been lost in this transition." -Chris Jenkins CPBT-KA There’s a lot more that goes into being a zoo keeper than shoveling poop and feeding animals. Keepers spend time studying animals so they can give them the best life... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Who Speaks for the Trees? Musicians Do!

Trees do so much for us, making life healthier and better in many ways. But trees can’t tell us what they do for us and why we should care.  With a little help from our musical friends, Nashville Zoo and The Nature Conservancy launched “If Trees Could Sing" - an innovative tree education program at the Zoo.  Through the program, 12 colorful tree signs have been installed in two areas at Nashville Zoo. Each sign not only identifies the tree, but also includes the photograph... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, February 19, 2016

Historic Hellbender Hatches

It may not look like much but this larval hellbender is the result of a decade of work by Nashville Zoo Ectotherm Curator Dale McGinnity and a team of experts. Additionally, this little salamander represents a giant step in the survival of amphibians around the world. First Hellbender Externally Fertilized with Cryopreserved Sperm On October 11, 2015, the Zoo was successful in hatching an eastern hellbender that was the result of an egg being artificially fertilized with cryopreserved... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Significant Births at Nashville Zoo

Two Male Palawan Binturongs Born November 7 Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of two male Palawan binturongs born Nov. 7. The pair named Wilbur and Templeton were a very special addition as they are the first of their subspecies to be born in the United States. The Palawan binturong ( Arctictis binturong whitei ) is a smaller subspecies of binturong (also known as bearcat) only reaching around 40 pounds. While they aren’t considered endangered, they are... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, December 28, 2015

Zoo Green Sweep Recap

On December 2, 2015, Zoo employees and volunteers took to the streets – and the sidewalks, zoo paths, and behind-the-scenes areas – to spruce up the Zoo and its surrounding neighborhood. Over 50 people participated for a 5 hour stretch of time spent bending, lifting, and hauling trash. It was a great way to work off some of those Thanksgiving calories, and a means to give back to the surrounding community. Areas cleaned up included Nolensville Pike (which borders the Zoo on the east),... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, December 14, 2015

Tadpoles Go Home

Nashville Zoo Sends Puerto Rican Crested Toads back to Puerto Rico for reintroduction in the wild Earlier this month, Nashville Zoo shipped 1,072 Puerto Rican Crested Toad tadpoles back to Puerto Rico for reintroduction in the Guanica Natural Habitat. Since 2012, the Zoo has shipped over 11,000 tadpoles for reintroduction as part of a coordinated reintroduction program for this critically endangered species. Each tadpole shipment requires months of coordination and planning. On the day of... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Friday, May 15, 2015

ML Rose's "ANM.L." burger to support Pallas cat conservation

Our Brew at the Zoo title sponsor, M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers, is celebrating May with a special burger of the month. M.L. Rose will donate $1 for every ANM.L. Burger sold to support Nashville Zoo’s conservation efforts with the Pallas cat. The ANM.L. burger promotion is available at both M.L. Rose locations throughout May. For more information, visit www.mlrose.com . The Pallas cat is a small feline species with a wide but disconnected range stretching from Iran through the... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Friday, May 1, 2015

Seafood Watch

Spring time means it is grilling time! Do you know what fish you’re eating? The high demand for seafood affects fish and marine life worldwide. Habitat destruction and overfishing are causing a significant population decline and wrecking our ecosystems. The choices we make as consumers drive the seafood marketplace. Your purchasing power can make a difference by supporting those fisheries and fish farms that are better for the environment, while at the same time relieving pressure on others... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Monday, April 27, 2015

Ape Awareness Month: Why We Love Lesser Apes!

Why are small apes just as cool as great apes? Lesser apes refers only to size. Where great apes range from 85-lb. bonobos to 450-lb. gorillas, lesser apes range from 10 to 30 pounds. All ape species are long lived with average lifespans ranging from 30 to 50 years. Gibbons are the only apes that are monogamous. Pairs will sing daily duets with males and females synching their vocalizations to help reinforce their bond and claim territory as theirs. The throat sac of the siamang (a... Read More
Posted by Kelsey White at Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wrangle Your Own Weeds

We’ve wrapped up our first Weed Wrangle – but the work is not done. Invasive plants are all over Tennessee and can most likely be found in your own backyard. Do your part to curb the growth of weeds that negatively impacted our ecosystem and wreak havoc on native plants and animals. Helpful Tips Weed Wrangle at home. Remove exotic invasives from your landscape. We recommend checking out the Tennessee Exotic Pests Plant Council website for information on controlling some of... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Make your backyard more attractive to birds in winter

There are lots of ways you can attract birds to your backyard, even during the winter months. Even though most birds in Tennessee fly south for the winter, there are several birds that stay here during the cooler months. Common Tennessee winter residents: American Goldfinch American Robin Blue Jay Carolina Chickadee Carolina Wren Dark-eyed Junco Downy Woodpecker Eastern Bluebird Eastern Towhee House Finch House Sparrow... Read More
Posted by Kelsey White at Monday, February 2, 2015

Join the Zoo for Weed Wrangle 2015

We need your help! Join Nashville Zoo for the first annual Weed Wrangle, a city-wide clean-up day dedicated to ridding Nashville of non-native plant species. Weed Wrangle is set for Saturday, Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. - noon. Exotic invasive plants, particularly bush honeysuckle and Chinese privet, have outcompeted native plant species over the last hundred years on the Zoo’s Grassmere property. Without natural predators, this invasive vegetation has negatively impacted the ecosystem, causing... Read More
Posted by Kelsey White at Thursday, January 29, 2015

Great Blue Turaco Birth Announcement

We are pleased to report another successful hatching from our Great Blue Turacos (Corythaeola cristata). The female chick arrived on June 10 and marked the fourth baby turaco to be successfully raised at Nashville Zoo since we acquired the species in 2009. Only a handful of zoos breed turacos, so each hatching is certainly cause for celebration.  “Great blue turacos chicks have a low survivability rate, and while we have had previous breeding success, this time around we developed... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nashville Zoo Sends Endangered Tadpoles to the Wild

Nashville Zoo recently shipped over 4,400 critically endangered Puerto Rican crested tadpoles to Puerto Rico as part of a conservation effort that releases the tadpoles into protected ponds in the Guanica National Forest. “Since we began breeding Puerto Rican Crested Toads in 2012, Nashville Zoo has produced 10,365 tadpoles that have been shipped to Puerto Rico for release,” said Dale McGinnity, ectotherm curator. “This project is the perfect example of how ex-situ (outside of... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, July 11, 2014