May 26, 2013 · Uncategorized

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I can’t quite express the level of excitement I have with my new position at the San Antonio Zoo. The institution has hired me to run a new conservation and research program! I appreciate that they created a position for me. This job is really a dream come true. As I start the position and look through the live collection here, I am amazed with the diversity and complexity. I thought I’d put up a few shots I took after arriving here…

I got to meet one of the zoo's Okapi up close and personal.

I got to meet one of the zoo's Okapi up close and personal.

Oil from the Okapi fur on my hands after petting it

Oil from the Okapi fur on my hands after petting it

The Mexican Palm Viper, Bothriechis rowleyi, is endemic to southeastern Oaxaca, Mexico.  It inhabits elevated forests from 1,500 to 1,830 meters above sea level.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as "VU"€ or vulnerable. This individual was photographed courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo, April 2013.

The Mexican Palm Viper (Bothriechis rowleyi) is endemic to southeastern Oaxaca, Mexico. It inhabits elevated forests from 1,500 to 1,830 meters above sea level. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as "VU"€ or vulnerable. This individual was photographed courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo, April 2013.

The endangered Orinoco Crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) inhabits the Llanos of Venezuela and Colombia, inhabiting the Orinoco drainage system.  The average male attains a length of 11 feet where the record sized specimen, shot around 1800, was allegedly over 20 feet in length.  The species has suffered severe declines as they were exploited for the hide trade.  Orinoco Crocodiles are listed by the IUCN as a Critically Endangered species and is on CITES Appendix 1.  This specimen photographed in 2013 courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo.

The endangered Orinoco Crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) inhabits the Llanos of Venezuela and Colombia, inhabiting the Orinoco drainage system. The average male attains a length of 11 feet where the record sized specimen, shot around 1800, was allegedly over 20 feet in length. The species has suffered severe declines as they were exploited for the hide trade. Orinoco Crocodiles are listed by the IUCN as a Critically Endangered species and is on CITES Appendix 1. This specimen photographed in 2013 courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo.

The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a fish eating crocodile of the family Gavialidae.  The species is native to the Indian subcontinent. Several captive breeding efforts exist and Gharials are produced with regularity and repeatability; however, there is little habitat to release the captive bred animals into. Gharial are listed by the IUCN as a Critically Endangered species.  This specimen photographed in 2013 courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo.

The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a fish eating crocodile of the family Gavialidae. The species is native to the Indian subcontinent. Several captive breeding efforts exist and Gharials are produced with regularity and repeatability; however, there is little habitat to release the captive bred animals into. Gharial are listed by the IUCN as a Critically Endangered species. This specimen photographed in 2013 courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo.

I am impressed with all of the captive reproduction success stories at the San Antonio Zoo.  One of the successes involves the False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii).  The shot you see here is a close up of the mouth of a captive born juvenile.

I am impressed with all of the captive reproduction success stories at the San Antonio Zoo. One of the successes involves the False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii). The shot you see here is a close up of the mouth of a captive born juvenile.

The Texas River Cooter (Pseudemys texana) reaches a maximum shell length of roughly one foot.  The species ranges from Central Texas to the Gulf Coast.  This turtle is day active and feeds on small invertebrates and vertebrates.  This individual was captured during a turtle survey at Comal Springs, Bexar County, Texas, in 2013.

The Texas River Cooter (Pseudemys texana) reaches a maximum shell length of roughly one foot. The species ranges from Central Texas to the Gulf Coast. This turtle is day active and feeds on small invertebrates and vertebrates. This individual was captured during a turtle survey at Comal Springs, Bexar County, Texas, in 2013.

The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a large freshwater turtle of the family Chelydridae. The turtle ranges east of the rocking ans south into Mexico as well as north into Canada.  The species is known for its fierce diposition and considerable bite.  The shell length of these turtles can grow to over 20 inches and the turtle can weigh 75 pounds. These turtles are highly mobile and travel widely over land between all forms of water bodies.  They are predators and feed on any small vertebrates and invertebrates that they can catch.  This individual was captured during a turtle survey at Comal Springs, Bexar County, Texas, in 2013.

The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a large freshwater turtle of the family Chelydridae. The turtle ranges east of the Rockies and south into Mexico as well as north into Canada. The species is known for its fierce disposition and considerable bite. The shell length of these turtles can grow to over 20 inches and the turtle can weigh 75 pounds. These turtles are highly mobile and travel widely over land between all forms of water bodies. They are predators and feed on any small vertebrates and invertebrates that they can catch. This individual was captured during a turtle survey at Comal Springs, Bexar County, Texas, in 2013.

TSA turtle survey at Comal Springs and a Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

TSA turtle survey at Comal Springs and a Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

The springs of Texas have an amazing beauty below the waters surface.

The springs of Texas have an amazing beauty below the waters surface.

Hopefully lots of stories to post from my new position at the zoo!

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4 comments on “A new position with the San Antonio Zoo”

  1. Henry W. Robison:

    Hi Dante:

    Glad you are liking your new position in San Antonio! Loved the photos, especially the underwater ones from Comal Springs. Keep up your fantastic work my friend!


  2. Dante:

    This is a dream job Henry…I absolutely love it.


  3. jeremy guard:

    What a beautiful blog! Addictive.


  4. Dante:

    Absolutely love this new job! Thanks for the kind remarks.


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