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Ibaraki University, Kamine Zoo, and Chiba Zoological Park launch new zoo journal to share the intellectual resources of zookeepers and veterinarians


The three institutions will launch a new scientific bulletin — "ZOO SCIENCE JOURNAL." It consists of collaborative research and case reports from zookeepers and veterinarians and is available online for public perusal. This is the first time in Japan that a zoo's scientific bulletin has been published across institutions. A commemorative symposium was held on March 25.

Ibaraki University and Hitachi City Kamine Zoo began full-scale joint research and education activities in 2015. In 2020, the project was launched under the name "ZOO SCIENCE HUB" (ZSH), and Chiba Zoological Park was added to the project. Students and faculty from Ibaraki University have used the zoo as a research site. They have received direct guidance and assistance from zookeepers and veterinarians and conducted joint research on issues facing the zoo (for example, countermeasures against blood-sucking insects).

Associate Professor Daisuke Kohari of the College of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, a key member of the project, said, "There are many good intellectual resources, such as tacit knowledge and techniques, that have been cultivated by frontline zookeepers and veterinarians, but many of them have been passed down orally or through the apprenticeship system and have ceased to exist on a nationwide scale."

In addition to beginning to record such resources, the first issue of an academic bulletin was planned and prepared about two years ago. The inaugural issue of ZOO SCIENCE JOURNAL will include several articles by Ibaraki University students and faculty, as well as zookeepers and veterinarians from each zoo. The first issue includes case reports from both Hitachi and Chiba zoos, including a report on the early return of chimpanzees to the herd after artificial care and the effects of changes in feeding methods on the behavior of the ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua.)

In addition to the articles, the bulletin also has a writing section with no page limitation where zookeepers and veterinarians of the two zoos participate. In this writing section, they can write what they notice during the performance of their duties throughout the year to propagate information on the zoo.

Kohari added, "We can begin with the three parties without difficulty, but in the future, it could become a more open journal. Or if a similar system could be created in other areas."

One issue will be published annually, and it will be available free of charge on the ZSH website.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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