Ocean Park Hong Kong

Arrived in Hong Kong from Chengdu last night local time. Spent most of today at Ocean Park, a zoo and aquarium here that is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Although most members of this accreditation-based association are in the US, where AZA itself is based, a number of zoos and aquariums from other countries have applied and passed the comprehensive accreditation process. It's always a benefit to visit other AZA organizations, for new ideas on animal care, exhibit design and guest amenities. And since it seems unlikely I'll get back to Hong Kong anytime soon...

At Ocean Park, it was great to see a major emphasis on conservation communication. Lots of focus in particular on climate change, with many parallels to our own initiatives to engage our Philadelphia Zoo guests as partners in "saving energy to save wildlife". I'm including a photo of a couple of their many signs and interactive exhibits on climate change.

ocean park hong kong conservation sign

ocean park hong kong conservation sign


Also saw some great examples of positive reinforcement training. I'm including a short video showing part of a demonstration/training session with a walrus—not something you see every day! Training like this can create very exciting demonstrations, allowing keepers to show natural behaviors and abilities of the animals they care for. But most important is how it can contribute to good animal care. For example, we use these same techniques to train a number of our animals, including big cats, great apes, antelope and even kangaroos, to accept voluntary injections, for vaccinations or anesthesia. This is much less stressful than the traditional use of a dart gun for many such injections.


Heading out for a recommended restaurant for dinner, after failing to track down traditional Hong Kong egg waffles this morning.

09/14/2013 : Forest reserves near Hong Kong

Last full day in China, spent at one of the forest reserves near Hong Kong. Hong Kong has quite a bit of green space, both inside and outside the main urban area. And with Hong Kong subtropicalcloser to the equator than Havanathe forest is luxuriant.

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09/13/2013 : Ocean Park Hong Kong

Arrived in Hong Kong from Chengdu last night local time. Spent most of today at Ocean Park, a zoo and aquarium here that is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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09/12/2013 : The Moon Bear Rescue Center

After speaking on the Zoo's trail system yesterday morning, I went with the rest of the conference attendees to the Moon Bear Rescue Center outside Chengdu.

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09/11/2013 : The final speaker at the 2013 CAZG meeting

Official role today as the last speaker for the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens 2013 meeting.

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09/10/2013 : Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens Dinner

 There's also a very appealing protocol in China at dinners or gatherings like this of repeated toasts to each other's health. One can make one at your own table, or wander over to another table to toast an individual or the entire table. Results in a very congenial and interactive atmosphere, and opportunities to be introduced to and exchange cards with Chinese colleagues.

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09/09/2013 : Arriving in Chengdu

Arrived in Chengdu today. Chengdu is the 2000-year-old capital of Sichuan Province, in south central China. Sichuan Province is home to most of the world's remaining giant pandas, and tomorrow is likely to be all about pandas, with plans to visit the Chengdu Panda Base, one of the leading organizations in giant panda conservation. 

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09/08/2013 : Beijing

Spent a good part of the day at the Beijing Zoo. The zoo reports more than 6 million visitors a yeareasy to believe with the crowds on this Sunday.

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09/06/2013 : Traveling to China

I've been asked to speak about our animal trail system at meetings of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, which are in Chengdu next week. Currently in the O'Hare Airport in Chicago, waiting for flight to Beijing.

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