Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Community
3:53 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Cheetahs Make Debut At Pittsburgh Zoo

Two of the cheetahs prepare to leave their temporary habitat.
90.5 WESA's Michael Lynch

Ajamu, Ramses, Nalah and Zola arrived in the U.S. from Africa more than six months ago, but today, the four young cheetahs made their first public appearance at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

The cats moved slowly from their temporary habitat into their new 7,500 square-foot enclosure next to the African Overlook. But within minutes, the world’s fastest land animals showed just how quick they can be, sprinting their way around the new surroundings.

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City Government
9:10 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Heth's Run Valley Slated for Major Facelift

The old Heth's Run Bridge was built in 1914. The land beneath the bridge was long used as an industrial dumping site.
Credit Flickr user Todd Shirley

Heth’s Run Valley hasn’t been much of a valley for a while. The area underneath Heth’s Run bridge—a portion of Butler Street between Morningside and Highland Park—had long been a dumping site for industrial waste. City Councilwoman Deb Gross, whose district includes the area, said many of her constituents didn’t even know a bridge was there.

But that area is slated to get a major facelift, which Gross said has been a long time coming.

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Animals
3:37 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Macaroni Penguin Hatchling Welcomed At Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The first-ever macaroni penguin hatched at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium will be on display at the end of the summer.
Jessica Nath 90.5 WESA

There’s a new bird in Pittsburgh, but instead of being giant and yellow, this one barely weighs two pounds and has a soft black coat of baby down fur.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium welcomed its first-ever macaroni penguin hatchling May 12.

Though it isn’t even a month old, lead aquarist and penguin keeper Katy Wozniak said it has become quite vocal.

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Animals
1:38 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Global Cheetah Expert Visits Pittsburgh

A world-renowned cheetah expert and conservationist was in Pittsburgh this weekend, visiting four new cheetahs at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Laurie Marker, the founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund located in Namibia, said she hopes the two females and two males at the zoo will be “educational ambassadors” for her research and conservation efforts.

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Animals
4:17 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Two Galapagos Tortoises Are Making The Pittsburgh Zoo Their Home For The Summer

One of two Galapagos tortoises that will make Pittsburgh their home for the summer. The tortoises are herbivores, and enjoy eating the grass in their enclosure as well as occasional treats of bananas and romaine lettuce.
Deanna Garcia 90.5 WESA

Galapagos tortoises can live more than 100 years and can weigh up to more than 400 pounds.

The two visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium for the summer aren't that old, or that big. The male and female tortoises were born in 1992, and weigh in at 160 and 120 pounds. Both were born in captivity.

“All Galapagos tortoises are highly endangered,” said Ken Kaemmerer, curator of mammals for the zoo. “There’s only about 20,000 left in the wild.”

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Animals
3:58 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Pittsburgh Zoo Welcomes Visiting Polar Bears, Szanje and Snowflake

Pittsburgh Zoo officials hope that 9 year-old Koda will mate with resident female Kobe and 2 visiting female polar bears.
Credit Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium

Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago, but the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium hopes that love is still in the air. Two female polar bears have been flown in from Sea World San Diego to join the zoo’s Koda for mating season.

Polar bears typically mate between March and June, and Zoo officials are hopeful that 9-year old male, Koda, will breed successfully with at least one of  three females.

The two visiting females, Szenja and Snowflake, might have to wait their turn for some attention from Koda as he currently only has eyes for Kobe the zoo’s only resident

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Arts & Culture
8:17 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Pittsburgh Zoo, Department of Agriculture Reach Settlement

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has agreed to pay $4,550 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ending the agency's investigation into the death of a child who was fatally mauled after falling into the wild African Painted dog exhibit.

Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo, said it’s the right time to take the next step.

“Safety is always our top priority,” she said in a written statement. “All of our exhibits meet the highest USDA and AZA standards and we will continue to work with both agencies to ensure those standards are met and exceeded.”

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Animals
2:55 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Not Just Cute: How the Pittsburgh Zoo's New Cheetahs Play an Important Role

A male cheetah is sedated and about to undergo a series of X-rays.
Deanna Garcia 90.5 WESA

From South Africa to Pittsburgh — four cheetahs are now living at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

The animals are considered “genetically valuable” according to Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, the zoo's director of animal health. The goal of acquiring such animals is to ensure that future populations of the endangered cats can continue to be diverse.

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Pennsylvania
12:51 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Conservation Center Breaks Ground On Elephant Barn

Pennsylvania’s Somerset County isn’t exactly the African Savanna, but as many as 20 elephants could be calling it home in the next few years.

The International Conservation Center broke ground Saturday on a 1-acre elephant cow and calf barn, to add to the 724-acre facility.

Pittsburgh Zoo CEO Barbara Baker said the barn will focus on elephant breeding to try and combat the declining population.

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Pittsburgh
10:29 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Pittsburgh Zoo Fails To Get Mauling Lawsuit Tossed

A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit in the fatal mauling death of a 2-year-old boy who fell into a wild African dogs exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Zoo attorneys argued a strict liability claim should not go forward, saying there's no "abnormal risk to the public" when people have a chance to view wild animals.

But Allegheny County Judge Paul Lutty agreed with attorneys for the Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh that the risk can't be determined until both sides exchange evidence before trial.

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Pittsburgh Zoo
1:10 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Parents Sue Pittsburgh Zoo in Boy's Mauling Death

The parents of a 2-year-old boy who was fatally mauled after falling into a wild African dogs exhibit last fall have sued the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, claiming officials had ample warning that parents routinely lifted children onto a rail overlooking the exhibit so they could see better.

The lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh seeks unspecified damages in the Nov. 4 death of their son, Maddox. The boy fell from a wooden railing after his mother lifted him up to get a better look at the painted dogs.

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