Great Plains Zoo

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In the Moment ... May 1, 2017 Show 083 Hour 2

The Koalas are coming, and it's all part of a global conversation effort that includes zoos across the world. With us today is Elizabeth Whealy. She's President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls. We talk about how to move a koala and the role of zoos in global conservation efforts.

The Cincinnati zoo is deflecting criticism for killing a gorilla last weekend.  The animal had a four-year-old child in its grasp—the toddler had gotten past several barriers and tumbled into the gorilla exhibit.  The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls is prepared to take measures to keep visitors safe.

Elizabeth Whealey is Executive Director of the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls.  Whealey says it’s unfortunate the gorilla died, but she recognizes workers there had to make an immediate decision.

The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls has two new black bears. After repeatedly raiding camp sites at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, park officials decided it was time the bears find a new home.

President of the Great Plain Zoo Elizabeth Whealy says the zoo acted fast to bring two troublemaker bears to Sioux Falls. The bear and her cub had been reported 17 times in the past three years snooping around picnic areas and campsites looking for food.  Whealy says park officials were eager to relocate the bears.

Wikimedia photo by Mark Dumont

This summer visitors to the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls can see a rare Komodo dragon. Four-year-old Natasha made her public debut earlier this month and is on display until September.

The Komodo dragon is a ferocious, carnivore from the islands of southeastern Indonesia. It’s the world’s largest living lizard. Females can get up to six feet long with an average weight of about 150 pounds. The average size for males is eight to nine feet and about 200 pounds.