santa barbara zoo

A zoo is bringing the world’s top animal researchers to the South Coast to educate the community in a very unusual way. Science is melded with comedy to create a unique program for the public.

This is IMPROVology at the Santa Barbara Zoo where more than 100 people have gathered to learn science through improv comedy.

Groups around the world are working to save gorillas from extinction. This week, some experts from around the globe are in Santa Barbara to talk about those efforts.

South Coast Zoo Gets Cute (And Rare) New Residents

Oct 16, 2017
(Santa Barbara Zoo photo)

There’s a tiny mammal that’s been disappearing around the world, but now there’s a few more of them thanks to a South Coast zoo.

Three Asian small-clawed otters were born at the Santa Barbara Zoo. It’s part of a breeding program by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The otters are not listed as endangered, but their population is near that level.  They are found in Southeast Asia, but the problem is they have been victims of loss of habitat, and hunting.  The otters spend most of their time on land, and live in extended family groups.

It was the story which captured the imagination of kids and adults, and now may help foster the understanding of what it’s like to live with a disability.

A little Humboldt penguin born at the Santa Barbara Zoo had a birth defect. Lucky the Penguin’s right foot didn’t develop normally, and he had trouble walking, and swimming. The zoo teamed up with locally based shoemaker Teva to come up with a custom-made penguin shoe, which has allowed Lucky to lead a normal life.

For decades, zoos were often rows of small, cramped cement cages where animals were kept in prison cell like conditions.

A researcher, and former Atlanta Zoo President who’s speaking on the South Coast Thursday night is credited with helping to change that culture, and create more natural environments for animals.

In 1984, Dr. Terry Maple, a noted Georgia Tech animal behaviorist and zoo expert, was asked by Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to take the reins of the city’s troubled zoo.

(National Park Service photo)

There is a new video game with a mission much more ambitious than just having fun.

“Condor Country” is being called the first mobile game to simulate real life efforts to save an endangered species.

The Santa Barbara Zoo has two very fierce looking new residents who are part of an effort to save their species from extinction. The zoo received two endangered Western Lowland gorillas this week.

The gorillas, which are named Nzina and Bangori, are brothers, and come to Santa Barbara from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. They’re among more than 350 gorillas now at North American zoos as part of a conservation effort to increase the population of the species.

A popular gibbon at a South Coast zoo which was familiar to generations of zoogoers has died.

Gulliver died Tuesday at the Santa Barbara Zoo, following a brief illness.

The white handed gibbon was born at the zoo in 1976, and died just days before its 40th birthday.

White handed gibbons are found in Thailand, Malaysia, and Sumatra, and live in tropical rain forests. They’re known for their spectacular gymnastics as they move through the forest, and make loud whooping sounds as they communicate with each other.

She was perhaps the Santa Barbara Zoo’s most famous resident.

Even though she’s no longer alive, the zoo has a new tribute to her.

Gemina was a giraffe, which was enough to make her a star to many people, but nature gave her a unique twist which made her special even among giraffes.

A giraffe born at the Santa Barbara Zoo has died in Ohio.

Santa Barbara Zoo officials said Asha, one of the zoo's Masai giraffes, had to be euthanized Sunday.