Thursday, September 24, 2009


We thought you might like to meet the members of RSCF's BLOGSQUAD. All are animal care specialists with RSCF.

Lead Keeper, Rosemarie Willms. "Hello. Rosie, here. I started at RSCF in the spring of 2007 and immediately loved it. I've learned a great deal working here; from identifying and treating avian diseases and parasites to caring for and managing psittacines, ungulates, primates and everything in between. I have even learned a thing or two about ATV repairs, setting pipelines, and exhibit design and construction. Our responsibilities here include riding an ATV through the swamp to feed 1,000 lb. bongo antelope, fighting off mosquitos to feed in the aviary, observing all the animals and their diet/behaviors, cleaning dishes, chopping fruit, and doing whatever odds and ends on the property need to be done that day. I also keep track of ordering insects (for our primates), feed/supplies, and anything else we might need. Before working here I attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and not only with this job am I lucky to indulge my passion for nature, I also get to flex my artistic muscle by participating in RSCF's annual art show "Wild Things"."

Keeper I, Hollie Chiles. "Hello! I Graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Followed by an Associates of Science degree in Zoo Animal Technology. I aspire to continue obtaining knowledge on various animals and have a specific interest in large cats. Outside of work I enjoy dancing, outdoor activities and dream of traveling the world. "

Keeper I, David Reyes. "Hi! I was born and raised in Queens, New York, and recently graduated from Santa Fe Teaching Zoo in Gainesville with an Associates Degree in Zoo Animal Technology. The animals I am most interested in are reptiles, especially monitor lizards and large birds such as birds of prey. I'm fascinated with wildlife, and would love to work with all types of animals. Some of my hobbies are reading (science fiction), being outdoors, playing basketball and football, and I enjoy video games. "

Keeper I, Patrick Morin. "Greetings! Currently I am a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Before starting with RSCF, I participated in an internship with the Department of Environmental Protection. I learned a lot about environmental policy and law enforcement, studied mangrove growth patterns, and marine ecosystems.

Quote of the Month

The written word can be a powerful source of inspiration. With that in mind, we'll be printing an environmental "quote of the month". These passages are meant to inspire, challange, and enlighten. If you would like to submit a quote, please e-mail us.

October's quote comes from Dale Jamieson and was published in "Ethics on the Ark".

"One hope that I have for the future is athat we will recognize that if we keep animals in captivity, then what we owe them is everything. Whatever else we may believe about the morality of zoos, I hope we can come to the consensus that these animals are in our custody through no wish or fault of their own. They are refugees from a holocaust that humans have unleashed against nature. If we keep animals in captivity, then we must conform to the highest standards of treatment and respect...for the animals themselves have no voice in human affairs, and as nature recedes their voices are ever more silent."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Arranged Marriages

RSCF has one of the largest, oldest populations of captive pygmy marmosets (callithrix pygmaea) in the U.S. These tiny monkeys can easily fit in the palm of your hand and are found in the forests of Peru. Two weeks ago, we decided to create new breeding pairs from existing non-related family groups resident at our facility. We carefully considered age and personality when deciding who to pair with whom. The process isn't as easy as you might think. It's always stressful to capture these tiny primates, and disturbing family groups can create quite a bit of drama! Each new pair has to be closely observed after introduction--we always hope for "love at first sight". All in all, we created five new "arranged marriages" in addition to our existing two stable family groups and four other mature pairs. Everyone is getting along , and if all goes well we will be welcoming new pygmy babies to our growing families!

So far everyone is doing well and getting used to their new living arrangements. We placed the new pairs in large, planted exhibits full of palm trees and tons of great perching to run and play on. In the beginning it was difficult to find the new pairs (it's amazing how well they can hide) but now they’re more conspicuous and seem to be quite comfortable with each other and their new surroundings. Ah, love is in the air!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rescuing Rhino!

This just in...In June of 2009 RSCF trustee Dr. Mark Davis participated in the translocation of 29 endangered black rhino from high-risk areas (poaching) to safer, protected areas. The rhino are under constant attack by poachers seeking to harvest their horns. The relocation effort has never been filmed before. The short video below is just a sample of hours of video shot by Dr. Davis. We hope to bring you much more, very soon!