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Puerto de la Cruz, April 17th, 2018. Udra is the name of the female zebra shark that became the first specimen of this species born in an aquarium in Spain. The team of the Loro Parque’s aquarium, whose efforts have enabled this breeding success, is very proud to confirm that the animal has completed the required quarantine period, during which it was receiving all the necessary care and attention. Now it is enjoying its new, spacious home in the mangrove of Aqua Viva. It also means that the guests of the park have a unique opportunity of seeing it, for the first time, in this exhibition of the park, which was recognized by Trip Advisor in 2017 as the best zoo in the world.
Since its birth, Udra has been participating in unique shark training program developed by the experts of the Loro Parque’s aquarium. Thanks to this training, such important procedure as voluntarily blood extraction was made possible. Moreover, through this training, it has become accustomed to regular voluntary veterinary check-ups, which not only allow the aquarium team to ensure its maximum well-being but also provide researchers and scientists with valuable information about this species. From now on, the visitors of the park will be able to observe the training sessions with Udra.
Udra is an offspring of two other zebra sharks of the park, Marylin and Elvis, who, since then, have had more young ones. Nevertheless, Udra has a special meaning for the aquarium’s team, because it was the first specimen of this species to be born under their care, converting the aquarium into the first among the aquariums of Spain to have bred this species. The young shark has been progressing steadily since her birth in October 2016. Weighing originally only 0.072 kg, it is now at 0.390 kg, and it has grown from the original 27.3 cm to 118 cm.
What is curious about these animals is that they received their common name, zebra shark, due to their appearance at birth. While they are young, they display while stripes over darker bodies, hence the name. The appearance changes as they grow, and by the time they become adults, the stripes will have evolved into black spots. These sharks are slow but elusive swimmers; they do not chase their prey, but rather corner it using their large flexible body to prevent it from escaping.
Breeding and reproduction work carried out at Loro Parque is essential to provide scientists with the vital and much-needed information about the conservation of not only of this particular species but also of other, much more threatened species. Thus, Loro Parque Foundation, with the support of its primary sponsor, Loro Parque, among many others, has been successfully conducting marine wildlife conservation and protection projects. Among them, are the projects with such species as the angelfish (Squatima squatima), considered to be the most endangered shark in the world, and the hammerhead shark (Sphyrna sp.), a species that finds itself under a lot of pressure primarily due to aggressive fishing techniques and other adverse conditions.
This birth is considered a true success story as breeding of this delicate species represents quite a challenge
The penguin colony at Loro Parque has recently welcomed a new family member as a Chinstrap penguin chick was born in PlanetPenguin. This birth is considered a real success as it is a very delicate penguin species, which poses quite a challenge in its breeding.
The chick was born weighing 88 grams and spent its first days in a hatcher of BabyPenguin where it was hand-reared. At this time, the penguin chick received 10% of its weight in blended fish, as well vitamins and calcium. During its first month and a half, the chick receives this formula five times a day every three hours; then this frequency is reduced to two meals a day, after which the young penguin starts eating solid food.
Presently, the chinstrap penguin chick weighs 736 grams and has already started the integration process by adapting to its new environment until it is fully integrated with the rest of the penguins at Loro Parque.
Chinstrap penguins inhabit the shore waters of the Antarctic Ocean; they are a medium size (46-61 centimeters) and weigh between 5 and 8 kilos. They are able to dive up to 70 meters deep, and their diet is mainly based on Antarctic krill, although they can also eat fish and other crustaceans whenever these are available.
This new addition to the penguin colony, along with four other rockhopper penguin chicks, promises yet another successful year at the penguinarium of Loro Parque. The birth of new chicks is, above all, a good indicator of adequate animal welfare as it demonstrates that all the necessities of the animals are effectively and properly covered, and they can reproduce normally.
Loro Parque considers every single detail when it comes to animal care. In PlanetPinguin not only that their natural habitat is recreated, with 12 tons of snow generated daily, but also the Antarctic light cycles are respected all throughout the year. Presently, the penguin family at Loro Parque is enjoying the polar summer with plenty of light and longer days than in winter.
Mark your calendars.
The 2018 Medway Scholarship applications will be due April 30, 2018. Now is the time to start thinking about suitable projects and lining up potential students for 2018 summer projects
We will be opening dues renewal for the 2018 calendar year beginning on November 1, 2017. If you are new to IAAAM and join between November 1 and December 31, 2017, you will also receive complimentary membership for the rest of 2017, so no need to wait until January to renew.
As you hopefully have heard, there is a slight increase in dues for next year with full membership increasing from $75 to $85 and student membership increasing from $40 to $45.
The increase will be used to offset increased expenditures for accounting software with on line access for officers and accountant, a business mailbox enabling IAAAM to maintain a permanent physical address not associated with an officer's facility, Increases in officer/association liability insurance, increases in cost to maintain website and credit card transactions, and to cover cancellation and liability insurance for the annual conference.
Jay D. Hyman, DVM, passed away August 1, 2017. He was a beloved son, father, brother, husband and generous philanthropist. He endowed a chair for Wildlife Health at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, supported and helped curate exhibits at Cornell's Johnson Museum of Art. He was a founding member of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine and the major initial donor for the IAAAM Medway Award. He supported the Touch the Jungle/Earthways Foundation, and the Cornell Esbaran Field Laboratory. He founded the Society for the Advancement of Latin American Arts and supported the Palm Beach Zoo as well as many other charities. He was a member of the Explorers Club. He showed us all how to conquer adversity. He will be remembered for his courage, dedication, adventurous spirit and love of life.
Neylan Anthony Vedros
Professor Emeritus, Medical Microbiology and Immunology,
University of California at Berkeley, School of Public Health
Vedros Biosciences Laboratories
Dr. Neylan Vedros, a long-time member of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, a world-renown microbiologist, and a dear friend and colleague passed away in Healdsburg, CA in late June 2017 at the age of 87.
Born in the bayous of Louisiana, Neylan was the epitome of grace and class. He had an intellectual curiosity that infused his collaborative and diverse scientific research. His earliest research in the 1970s, while stationed at the Naval Bioscience Laboratory in Oakland, CA, focused on meningococcal disease in humans and established a Neisseria Reference Center for the World Health Organization.
During the 1970s, he also became enamored with marine mammals and the marine environment, publishing manuscripts on San Miguel sea lion virus and leptospirosis in pinnipeds, as well as examining antiviral substances in California marine algae, and calicivirus (SMSV-5) infections in opaleye fish.
He expanded his marine mammal work in the 1980s and 1990s, working with Ocean Park in Hong Kong and DolphinQuest in Hawaii, developing quantitative assays for determination of immune system health in bottlenose dolphins, as well as investigating pharmacokinetics in healthy bottlenose dolphins, and designing a polysaccharide vaccine against Pasteurella multocida for sea lions, fur seals, and dolphins.
After his retirement from UCB in 1991, he founded Vedros Biosciences Laboratories, where he created and marketed topical demulcents for use on viral and inflammatory skin diseases, in particular, topical dermatological products, such as medicated shampoos, and skin and hair lotions for use on domestic animals, reptiles, birds, and horses.
I met Neylan nearly 40 years ago when I tracked him down at UCB to ask him questions and work in his lab (gratis) investigating leptospirosis in California sea lions. Our first meeting initiated a long-term friendship and collaboration with him, his family, and his laboratory. I was honored to housesit his dog, fish, and birds at his Alameda, CA water-front home, when he and his wonderful wife Beryl, were away on travel. My husband and I saw both Neylan and Beryl at their home in Healdsburg, CA in summer 2015, and were happy to see he retained his jovial humor and his pipe-smoking professorial demeanor!
He was a member of the American Society of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, where he served as IAAAM President from 1985-1986.
His creative wit, his humor, and his collaborative spirit will be sorely missed.
Leslie A Dierauf, VM