There Have Been Way More Fireflies in Philly This Year

Thanks in part to a wet spring, there have been way more fireflies in Philadelphia this year. Neat! You’ll have to get a bigger jar to keep them in this year. (Make sure to poke holes in the top. Or, whatever, don’t they just die anyway when you do that? Yeah, wait: Don’t keep lightning bugs in a jar at all! Let them be!)

In addition to the humid weather this year, invertebrate scientist Karen Verderame says the city’s decision to use fewer pesticides have helped the firefly population. “People have been getting more connected to their environment, planting local species in their gardens, that could contribute,” she adds.

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Four Lion Cubs Born at Philadelphia Zoo

On June 26th, four new African lion cubs were born to two first-time parents at the Philadelphia Zoo—making it the first time lion cubs have been born there in 18 years. More from a press release I received this morning:

Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to announce four new members of its animal family: African lion cubs born to Tajiri, the Zoo’s 4-year-old female, during the early morning of Thursday, June 26th. This is the first litter for Tajiri and 6-year-old male Makini, and marks the expansion of the pride in First Niagara Big Cat Falls. These are the first lion cubs born at Philadelphia Zoo since 1996, continuing the Zoo’s successful breeding of big cats over the past few years.

Mother and cubs are doing well. Like newborn humans, lion cubs are essentially helpless, relying on their mother for care. Tajiri has been in almost constant physical contact with her cubs since their birth, and appears confident and relaxed as a first-time mother. Zoo staff continues to monitor them by video camera during this crucial time, giving Tajiri almost complete privacy in her off-exhibit den.

Woman’s Bobcat Escapes for Third Time

A New Jersey woman was cited once again after her bobcat escaped for the third time, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

Yeah, you know that friend in grade school who told you about his uncle’s neighbor who owned a wolf? This woman actually owns a bobcat.

Ginny Fine, of Stafford Township, will appear in court next Friday. The bobcat, named Rocky, was missing for about an hour.

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Zoo Acquires New Stud Gorilla, All 432 Pounds of Him


The Philadelphia Zoo recently acquired a silverback gorilla, Motuba, in a breeding deal with the Henry Doorly Zoo of Omaha, Nebraska. It was set up by the Gorilla Species Survival Plan. Why, it’s the biggest acquisition this town has made since Chip Kelly signed on as Eagles coach!

The zoo is attempting to breed Motuba, 29, with 14-year-old Kira. Frankly, this is well out of the “half your age plus seven” general rule for dating — but since gorillas are endangered, I shall let it slide.

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