San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio, TX, United States

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San Antonio, TX, United States
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Love D.,Wilds | Madrigal R.,Texas A&M University | Cerveny S.,San Antonio Zoo | Raines J.,Dallas Zoo | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2017

Although Salmonella spp. infection has been identified in captive and free-ranging rhinoceros, clinical cases in black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) calves have not been described. This case series describes clinical salmonellosis in four black rhinoceros calves. Two calves developed self-limiting diarrhea, recovering after treatment. The other two cases were fatal. One of the fatal cases had a short clinical course, whereas the other case was protracted, with signs reflecting multiple organ system involvement. In all cases, diagnosis was by fecal culture and/or quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A variable clinical presentation, which is typical for salmonellosis in domestic hoofstock, was a feature of these rhinoceros cases. Similarly, postmortem pathology in black rhinoceros calves was consistent with domestic neonatal ungulates with salmonellosis. Potential predisposing factors for infection were considered to be primiparity of the dam and failure of passive transfer in the calf. The case investigation included attempts to identify the source of infection, which was aided by organism serotyping. In one case, the patient's dam and another conspecific in the facility were shown to be asymptomatic shedders of the organism strain responsible for disease in the calf. Further surveillance of captive rhinoceros Salmonella spp. carrier status is needed to inform screening recommendations for this taxa. © Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Fenolio D.B.,San Antonio Zoo | Niemiller M.L.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Gluesenkamp A.G.,San Antonio Zoo | Gluesenkamp A.G.,Texas Parks and Wildlife Department | And 2 more authors.
Southeastern Naturalist | Year: 2017

Cambarus cryptodytes (Dougherty Plain Cave Crayfish) is an obligate inhabitant of groundwater habitats (i.e., a stygobiont) with troglomorphic adaptations in the Floridan aquifer system of southwestern Georgia and adjacent Florida panhandle, particularly in the Dougherty Plain and Marianna Lowlands. Documented occurrences of Dougherty Plain Cave Crayfish are spatially distributed as 2 primary clusters separated by a region where few caves and springs have been documented; however, the paucity of humanly accessible karst features in this intermediate region has inhibited investigation of the species' distribution. To work around this constraint, we employed bottle traps to sample for Dougherty Plain Cave Crayfish and other groundwater fauna in 18 groundwater-monitoring wells that access the Floridan aquifer system in 10 counties in southwestern Georgia. We captured 32 Dougherty Plain Cave Crayfish in 9 wells in 8 counties between September 2014 and August 2015. We detected crayfish at depths ranging from 17.9 m to 40.6 m, and established new county records for Early, Miller, Mitchell, and Seminole counties in Georgia, increasing the number of occurrences in Georgia from 8 to 17 sites. In addition, a new US Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrologic Unit Code 8 (HUC8) watershed record was established for the Spring Creek watershed. These new records fill in the distribution gap between the 2 previously known clusters in Georgia and Jackson County, FL. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that deployment of bottle traps in groundwater-monitoring wells can be an effective approach to presence-absence surveys of stygobionts, especially in areas where surface access to groundwater is limited.


Cerveny S.N.S.,San Antonio Zoo | Harper J.,Texas Specialty Veterinary Services | Coke R.L.,San Antonio Zoo
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

A 21-yr-old female red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) was presented with swelling and disuse of the right manus. Severely displaced fractures of metacarpals II-V were diagnosed radiographically. The fractures were surgically stabilized with intramedullary Kirschner wires attached externally with an acrylic external fixator and a bone plate on the dorsal aspect of metacarpal III. The fractures of metacarpals II-V were predominantly healed on radiographs obtained 12 wk after surgery. However, diffuse disuse osteopenia and phalangeal contracture were present, with possible osteomyelitis. An exercise regimen of the affected hand was initiated due to the incomplete extension of the phalanges. After 4 wk of therapy, the extension of the phalanges had improved and the fractures appeared radiographically to be nearly completely healed. Although metacarpal fractures are common in nonhuman primates, they are reported infrequently in the literature. Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Niemiller M.L.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Glorioso B.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Fenolio D.B.,San Antonio Zoo | Reynolds R.G.,Harvard University | And 2 more authors.
Copeia | Year: 2016

Salamander species that live entirely in subterranean habitats have evolved adaptations that allow them to cope with perpetual darkness and limited energy resources. We conducted a 26-month mark-recapture study to better understand the individual growth and demography of a population of the Big Mouth Cave Salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus necturoides). We employed a growth model to estimate growth rates, age at sexual maturity, and longevity, and an open population model to estimate population size, density, detectability, and survival rates. Furthermore, we examined cover use and evidence of potential predation. Individuals probably reach sexual maturity in 3-5 years and live at least nine years. Survival rates were generally high (>75%) but declined during the study. More than 30% of captured salamanders had regenerating tails or tail damage, which presumably represent predation attempts by conspecifics or crayfishes. Most salamanders (>90%) were found under cover (e.g., rocks, trash, decaying plant material). Based on 11 surveys during the study, population size estimates ranged from 21 to 104 individuals in the ca. 710 m2 study area. Previous surveys indicated that this population experienced a significant decline from the early 1970s through the 1990s, perhaps related to silvicultural and agricultural practices. However, our data suggest that this population has either recovered or stabilized during the past 20 years. Differences in relative abundance between early surveys and our survey could be associated with differences in survey methods or sampling conditions rather than an increase in population size. Regardless, our study demonstrates that this population is larger than previously thought and is in no immediate risk of extirpation, though it does appear to exhibit higher rates of predation than expected for a species believed to be an apex predator of subterranean food webs. © 2016 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.


Setser K.,University of Granada | Mocino-Deloya E.,University of Granada | Pleguezuelos J.M.,University of Granada | Lazcano D.,Autonomous University of Nuevo León | Kardon A.,San Antonio Zoo
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2010

Our understanding of snake biology is heavily biased towards species and populations occurring at higher latitudes. In particular, little information is available concerning the biology of the numerous species of Mexican rattlesnakes. We studied the reproductive ecology of female Mexican lance-headed rattlesnakes Crotalus polystictus in a montane (c. 2500 m a.s.l.) valley of the Rio Lerma, in the Mexican state of México. We collected data from 162 different females and 203 litters over 4 years (2004-2007). Parturition coincided with summer monsoon rains, with the majority of females giving birth in late June and early July. Larger females and females gestating larger litters typically gave birth earlier in the summer than did smaller females and females gestating smaller litters. Some females matured rapidly; 26 females reproduced as 3-year olds, 17 as 2-year olds and a single female reproduced at 1 year of age. Females commonly reproduced in consecutive years. Litter size and mean neonate size increased with maternal body length; however, the relative clutch mass did not vary with female size. The mean litter size was 7.3 neonates (range 3-15), and the mean neonate body length (snout-vent length) and mass were 198 mm and 8.7 g. Neonate size varied less than did other litter characteristics. Rapid maturity, frequent reproduction and synchronization of parturition with seasonal precipitation are consistent with previously observed patterns of snake reproduction at lower latitudes. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.


News Article | June 18, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

A very rare blind catfish species formerly known to live only in Mexico has been found in an underwater cave in Texas. The live fish, seen in a deep limestone cave back in May at Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio, were identified as the Mexican blindcat or the Prietella phreatophila. This small pair’s species was confirmed by ichthyology curator Dean Hendrickson of the University of Texas at Austin, and they have been brought inside the San Antonio Zoo. The discovery supports the belief that watery caves below the Rio Grande basin in Texas and Northern Mexican state Coahuila may connect the American state and Mexican parts of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer, which is the fish’s only known dwelling so far. Hendrickson said that rumors of blind and white catfishes being spotted in the area have been swirling since the 1960s — yet this is the first confirmed sighting of the species. “I’ve seen more of these things than anybody, and these specimens look just the ones from Mexico,” he said. Back in April 2015, Jack Johnson, resource manager for the Amistad National Park Service, first saw a number of the eyeless fish. From there he worked with a team of biologists to find more of the fish last month. The endangered Mexican blindcat is slow-swimming, grows up to 3 inches long, and maintains a light pink hue because its blood is visible through its translucent skin. It exists in groundwater exclusively. Where the cave-dwelling species reside, eyes, speed, and pigmentation do not appear to be necessary like they would be in surface creatures, as these fish have evolved abilities to successfully inhabit total darkness. This species was described originally back in 1954, a time when it was detected in springs and wells in Coahuila. Afterwards it was deemed endangered by the government of Mexico and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and was sought out in multiple expeditions in Texas and Mexico. The findings lead the total number of blind catfish species in the U.S. to three, all discovered in Texas. The newly spotted fish joins the toothless blindcat and the widemouth blindcat, which both reside in Edwards Aquifer. Johnson warned that aquifer systems supporting this unique fish are facing threats and challenges from contamination and the excessive pumping of groundwater. A look into the condition of the Amistad fish will lend insight into the overall condition of the aquifer along with related water resources. The fish have not been made available for public viewing and will be kept alive in a special facility that can accommodate aquifer and cave species at the zoo. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Niemiller M.L.,Yale University | Graening G.O.,California State University, Sacramento | Fenolio D.B.,San Antonio Zoo | Godwin J.C.,Auburn University | And 4 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2013

The delimitation of cryptic species and lineages is a common finding of phylogenetic studies. Species previously considered to be of low conservation priority might actually be comprised of multiple lineages with substantially smaller geographic ranges and smaller populations that are of much greater conservation concern and that require different conservation strategies. Cryptic biodiversity is an especially common finding in phylogenetic studies of subterranean fauna; however, most cryptic lineages remain undescribed and have not been subjected to conservation assessments. As many subterranean species are of high conservation concern, the conservation assessment of cryptic lineages is important for developing effective conservation and management strategies. In particular, some lineages might be in need of immediate conservation action even before formal taxonomic description. Here we explore this issue by conducting IUCN Red List and NatureServe conservation assessments on recently discovered cryptic lineages of the southern cavefish (Typhlichthys subterraneus) species complex. We ascertained threats associated with extinction risk, identified priority lineages and populations for immediate conservation efforts, and identified knowledge gaps to expedite the development of conservation and management strategies before formal taxonomic description. Most cryptic lineages are at an elevated risk of extinction, including one lineage classified as "Critically Endangered." We identified ten threats impacting cavefish lineages that vary in both scope and severity, including groundwater pollution, hydrological changes from impoundments, and over-collection. Our threat assessments and recommendations can be used by stakeholders to prioritize effective and appropriate management initiatives aiding in the conservation of these lineages even before they are formally recognized. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


McAllister C.T.,Eastern Oklahoma State College | Bursey C.R.,Pennsylvania State University | Fenolio D.,San Antonio Zoo | Niemiller M.L.,Yale University
Comparative Parasitology | Year: 2013

One of 4 Georgia blind salamanders (25%), Eurycea wallacei from Dougherty County, Georgia, U.S.A., were found to be infected in its small intestine with a Bothriocephalus sp. tapeworm; a single E. wallacei from Jackson County, Florida, U.S.A., was negative. Because the internal anatomy of this worm was immature, species identity was not possible. This is the first definitive report of any parasite from this G2 ranked (globally imperiled) host and a new distribution record for the genus.


PubMed | San Antonio Zoo
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians | Year: 2013

A 21-yr-old female red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) was presented with swelling and disuse of the right manus. Severely displaced fractures of metacarpals II-V were diagnosed radiographically. The fractures were surgically stabilized with intramedullary Kirschner wires attached externally with an acrylic external fixator and a bone plate on the dorsal aspect of metacarpal III. The fractures of metacarpals II-V were predominantly healed on radiographs obtained 12 wk after surgery. However, diffuse disuse osteopenia and phalangeal contracture were present, with possible osteomyelitis. An exercise regimen of the affected hand was initiated due to the incomplete extension of the phalanges. After 4 wk of therapy, the extension of the phalanges had improved and the fractures appeared radiographically to be nearly completely healed. Although metacarpal fractures are common in nonhuman primates, they are reported infrequently in the literature.


PubMed | San Antonio Zoo
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians | Year: 2013

A 16-yr-old male clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) was presented for lethargy and anorexia. A cutaneous abdominal mass extending from the pubis to just caudal to the xiphoid process was present. A biopsy revealed histologic lesions consistent with an atypical mycobacterial infection consisting of diffuse, severe, pyogranulomatous dermatitis and panniculitis, with clear vacuoles and 3-5 microm, intravacuolar, faintly eosinophilic, filamentous bacilli that stained positively with FiteFaraco modified acid-fast stain. The clouded leopard had biochemical findings suggestive of chronic renal failure and euthanasia was elected. Histological evaluation of tissues collected at postmortem examination revealed multicentric B-cell lymphoma involving the oral cavity, liver, spleen, and multiple lymph nodes, bilateral testicular seminomas, thyroid follicular cell adenoma, thyroid C cell adenoma, and biliary cystadenomas. Bacterial culture and molecular sequencing identified the causative agent of the cutaneous abdominal mass as belonging to the Mycobacterium fortuitum group.

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