New Orleans, Feb 6 (AP/UNB) — The jaguar that escaped last summer and killed nine animals is back on display at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.
Valerio apparently chewed a hole in the 4-inch-wide (10-centimeter-wide) steel mesh roof above a column in the exhibit sometime before the zoo was to open July 15.
"We're assuming he probably went up to chase a possum or a raccoon or a cat or something that was walking across the top of his habitat," said Joel Hamilton, curator and vice president at the zoo.
Now the walls and roof are of 2-inch (5-centimeter) mesh, too small for Valerio's jaw. The twisted steel is also thicker.
The zoo also installed four video cameras and an electrified wire around the roof, including around the tops of internal columns. The "hot-wire" is used on a number of exhibits, but hadn't been installed in the jaguar exhibit before Valerio's escape.
"We have added that as another level of precaution," Hamilton said.
Tuesday was the 3-year-old adolescent's first time on public view since his July escape, when he killed five alpacas, an emu and three foxes. He had been allowed into the habitat for about an hour Monday, a day the zoo is closed.
Valerio spent a while Tuesday morning exploring a new ramp, two new platforms and snarfing chunks of meat that keepers had placed on them.
"That's his new playground," Anne Zwerner of New Orleans told Bonnie Jane Zwerner, 3, and her 2-year-old brother, Ryan Kent Zwerner. Their 6-month-old brother, Carson James Zwerner, shared a double stroller with Ryan Kent.
After Valerio ate the biggest chunk from the top of the ramp, he investigated the damp wood where the food had been set out.
"What is he eating right now?" asked Bonnie Jane.
"You know, like how you can lick the plate? He was licking his plate," her mother said.
Valerio is alone in the display. The zoo's female jaguar, Ix Chel, who had given birth to five cubs, was euthanized in September because of kidney failure. The zoo is looking for another female who is genetically compatible with Valerio, Hamilton said.
In the meantime, Hamilton said, the animal doesn't mind his solitude: "Jaguars, like most large cats — other than lions — are solitary animals."
Bonnie Jane wanted to know about the small crowd of reporters, photographers and videographers who had cameras and cellphones aimed at Valerio.
"He's famous today," Zwerner said. "He's always famous. But he's extra-special famous today."
New Delhi, Jan 26 (AP/UNB) — Thousands of Indians have converged on a ceremonial boulevard to watch a display of the country's military power and cultural diversity amid tight security during national day celebrations.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest Saturday at the Republic Day parade, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India's Constitution in 1950. India had first invited President Donald Trump but U.S. officials declined, citing a scheduling issue.
Schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through the capital's parade route on a cold morning, followed by the military hardware display.
The spectacle ended with Indian air force aircraft whizzing past the saluting base.
The theme of the parade was the 150th birthday of India's independence leader, Mohandas Gandhi.
Washington, Jan 24 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Greenland has gone through an "unprecedented" period of mass ice loss within the last two decades, according to a latest study.
The study, published earlier this week in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, suggested that the largest sustained acceleration in ice loss from early 2003 to mid-2013 occurred in southwest Greenland, a region about which scientists were not concerned before.
Based on data collected by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) satellites in 2003-2013, the study found a four-fold increase in mass being lost from Greenland's ice sheet.
Grace, consisted of two Earth-orbiting satellites, was launched in March 2002. It is a jointed mission between NASA and the German Aerospace Center.
"Continued atmospheric warming will lead to southwest Greenland becoming a major contributor to sea level rise," the study said.
According to the study, the decadal acceleration in mass loss in south-west Greenland arose due to the combination of sustained global warming and positive fluctuations in temperature.