The Smithsonian has sent out a press release purporting to update the public on this week's escape of Rusty, a red panda (Ailurus fulgens), from a supposedly secure enclosure at the National Zoo. It is a masterpiece of tautology and obfuscation, designed to conceal the fact that the zookeepers have no idea how an animal with a sub-three-inch brain got away from them.
Orangutans, they're just like us. No, really. Smithsonian.com's blog Around the Mall has a story today on apes at the museum's National Zoo that have been playing with iPads for recreation, using specially designed apps that allow six orangutans to make music, draw and play games to improve their cognitive skills. I'd note that the apes at the National Zoo are now literally more productive on a day-to-day basis than me, but they probably were even before they got the iPads.
In what will surely be the greatest press release of ths week, the National Zoo offers a catalog of how various animals reacted to yesterday's earthquake. In it, we discover that the range of animal quake reactions is roughly the same as the range of human quake reactions, from startled shrieking to baleful hiding:
After leaping over a fence at D.C.'s National Zoo, a small deer evaded capture by two hungry lions, drawing elated cheers and joyous tears from hundreds of onlookers. And then, they read the tale's horrible conclusion in today's Washington Post.