Hi everybody !
This month of september has been very busy for me with the visit of about 20 new animal collections in 4 countries I had never been to, namely Italy, Luxemburg, Poland and Portugal. Amongst these zoos, Wroclaw Zoo (in Poland) stands out as being Europe’s second biggest animal collection (and still growing). This zoo alone brought me more than 100 new animal taxa for Pierre Wildlife (a really rare occurence nowadays), raising my total number of animal taxa photographed to more than 10400.
One of Europe’s only breeding group of Angolan giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis) in Lisbon zoo.
I also got the opportunity to take better pictures of many taxa including Angolan giraffes in Lisbon Zoo (Lisbon zoo houses a very interesting collection of species from former Portuguese colonies), Ocean sunfish in Oceanario Lisbonne and many more. My visits in Rome, Lisbonne and Wroclaw were done to prepare Joel Sartore’s upcoming European tour for the National Geographic Photo Ark project. Joel will be attending events and giving lectures throughout Europe during the last two weeks of October. You can find more about the National Geographic Photo Ark project by clicking HERE. For those of you who would like to see Joel working, a series of small movies called “Rare – Creatures of the Photo Ark” have been released by PBS and can be viewed on National Geographic Channels throughout the world and on different streaming websites.
One of the great surprises of my Polish scouting trip: This Red-knobbed imperial pigeon (Ducula rubricera) treated me with perfect views (the species is usually very shy and lives high in the canopy of trees), in Warsaw Zoo.
Later in September, I spent two full weeks to scout most bigger zoos and aquariums in Poland for future National Geographic Photo Ark scoutings and in order to add more collections from this country in Pierre Wildlife. I was amazed by Warsaw zoo’s impressive bird collection featuring many European species, a few rare tropical birds and some great breeding successes recorded (amongst them one of the only captive breeding for Congo peafowl in Europe this year).
The impressive Ocean sunfish (Mola mola), star of Lisbon’s Oceanario. This specimen can still grow much bigger but weighs already 90 kilos. The species (and many other fishes from the main tank) has been trained to get food directly from its keepers so that its feeding habits can be monitored.
Concerning the Pierre Wildlife website, I have added a few new species pages in the reptiles section, particularly monitors and pitvipers. Feel free to check them out as some are quite rare in captivity and in the wild ! You will also notice a new format for species pages ; I still have to update the already-published pages and turn them into this new format. This will require time and patience but I will, of course, keep you all posted !
More exciting events are being currently scheduled so stay tuned for future updates ! Until then, take care and, as always, thanks a lot for your support !
Pierre de Chabannes
Founder, Pierre Wildlife