They mated previously, but the resulting 17 eggs were destroyed because genetic diversity is critical to a healthy population, Peeling said. Geneticists at the Population Management Center in Chicago serve as a zoo “dating service,” Peeling says.

Reptiland worked with zoos in Ohio and Texas to exchange male Komodos in hopes of breeding the lizards that are critically endangered, according to operations manager Chad Peeling, a member of a steering committee that created the Species Survival Plan for Komodos.

The Species Survival Plan’s goal is to sustain a captive population to prevent extinction in the wild and in zoos.

Reptiland has two komodo dragons in its year-round facility, a brother-and-sister pair.

Two red panda cubs were born at Zoo Boise this summer. They live in Nepal and China, and are related both to the giant panda and the raccoon.

The male and female cubs were born June 18 and are just now being seen in the red panda exhibit. It’s their third litter of cubs and the fifth litter born at the zoo. They’re in trouble in the wild because of deforestation.

The cubs are just starting to explore out of the den.

The zoo says morning and early afternoon are the best times to try to catch a glimpse of the pair.

Dolly and Winston are part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program or SSP.

The SSP is sort of an inter-zoo dating service; it’s a breeding program for endangered or threatened species.


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