Dr. Steven E. Sanderson
President and CEO Wildlife Conservation Society
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, N.Y. 10460 USA
After 30 Years of Animal Research,
Bronx Zoo to Close Island Preserve
By ALAN FEUER
Published: December 29, 2004
The Bronx Zoo is closing a large animal preserve on a 14,000-acre
undeveloped island off the coast of Georgia, where for 30 years zoologists
have studied - among other things - the mating habits of wildlife, including
lemurs, hartebeests, zebras, tortoises, gazelles and several species of
The preserve, known as the Wildlife Survival Center, is on St. Catherines
Island, a lush and undisturbed piece of land, 12 miles long and 3 miles
wide, that lies about 50 miles south of Savannah. Alison Power, a
spokeswoman for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which oversees the zoo,
said the society has run the preserve since 1974 but has decided to close it
because many of its "original objectives have been met." There will be no
loss of jobs.
The preserve was established so scientists could study several species of
birds and mammals in a habitat as close to wilderness as possible, Ms. Power
said. She added that the island's vast spaces, its large enclosures and its
private grounds, to which no visitors are allowed, permitted zoologists to
study how animals would act in "herd situations" or determine what would
happen if captive beasts were reintroduced to the wilderness.
Through work at the island, scientists working with the zoo "learned
invaluable information on how to maintain large herds of hoof stock," Ms.
Power said, as well as "how to create breeding groups to improve chances for
Richard L. Lattis, the general director of living institutions for the
Wildlife Conservation Society, said in a statement released yesterday: "For
30 years, studies at St. Catherines Island have helped us break new ground
in the care and conservation of important species. The original program
goals have been met."
Ms. Power said the zoo would spend as much as a year relocating the 435
animals of 46 species from the island preserve to other zoos and wildlife
parks around the country. Some of the animals will come to the Bronx, she
said, particularly a group of lemurs, which will be moved into a special
exhibit on the wildlife of Madagascar that is scheduled to open in the Bronx
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
AnimalVoicesNews is sending this to you for nonprofit research and
educational purposes only.
Please cross post as is.