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Local News

Green Roof at Zoo, Solar Lights at Bus Stops Get Funding

The Louisville Zoo will begin installation of a new ‘green roof’ at its herpaquarium, thanks to an earmark secured by Congressman John Yarmuth.  

Yarmuth was on hand to present a check for more than 142-thousand dollars to the Zoo.  It will be used to build a roof at the zoo that is covered in plants, which provides insulation and better water runoff.    

The Congressman says such a project project is good for the environment and for the country’s economic future.

“This is the direction in which the Congress is going to proceed,” says Yarmuth, “trying to fund new technologies, new techniques that will save us money, create energy independence and provide a cleaner environment.”

Yarmuth also announced a new project to place solar panels and lights at thirteen bus stops in Louisville where schoolchildren have to wait in the dark for their bus.  Thirteen school bus stops in the Louisville area will soon get solar-powered street lights.  It’s an effort to make those stops, which do not have lighting, safer for students who may have to wait for a bus in the dark.  

Congressman John Yarmuth says it’s exactly the type of project Congress wants to support.

“No economic recovery can be anything more than quick fix if our nation continues to relay on the same old sources of electricity,” says Yarmuth.

Mayor Jerry Abramson says the more than 190-thousand dollars for the project will be used to put the solar panels and lights in place by fall.

Yarmuth says money for both projects comes from earmarks in the U.S. Department of Energy’s budget.

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Local News

Timmy the Gorilla Turns 50

The Louisville Zoo will hold a birthday party today for Timmy the gorilla, who turns 50. Timmy moved to Louisville in 2004 from the Bronx Zoo. He is a silverback leader and has three females in his group.

Cynthia Cole is a keep at the zoo’s Gorilla Forest. She says Timmy sometimes has to keep the peace in the community.

“He does it with – usually he doesn’t have to do much to calm everything down,” says Cole. “He does his job well and also interacts with the females, and you’ll see them all in a big gorilla pile in the corner, or everybody sitting in the same room. They just enjoy each other’s company as gorillas go.”

Cole says life expectancy for a silverback leader in the wild is about thirty years. Timmy is the oldest living male gorilla in North America.

For today’s birthday party, the gorillas will be served an ice sculpture with some of their favorite foods inside.

“They’re very food motivated, and Tim is definitely one of them,” says Cole. “The females in his group are probably going to get the biggest kick out of jumping on the ice and doing stuff with it. But he will definitely enjoy the food that is put inside the ice, I’m sure he’ll be able to get a couple pieces of that.”

Cole says Gorilla Forest will also celebrate by playing with a piñata. The party starts this morning at eleven.

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Blog Archive Environment Blog

Oldest Male Gorilla in N. America Turns 50

Timmy, the Louisville Zoo’s western lowland gorilla, has led a pretty good life, considering. He’s got a posse of females, a dependable food supply, adoring fans. And he doesn’t have to worry about hunters, loggers, or the ebola virus, all of which are endangering his brethren in central Africa. Timmy is the oldest male gorilla in North America; he lives at the Louisville Zoo.

A new outbreak of ebola, the horrifying hemorrhagic fever, has just been confirmed in Congo, part of the gorillas’ range. It’s not likely a gorilla could catch the disease from a human, but the disease has been found in the animals. Slaughtering them for bush meat could help spread the disease.

You can learn more about Timmy this Sunday on Studio 619; that’s when host Stephanie Sanders talks with Timmy’s keeper.

You can also efforts to protect gorillas at the World Wildlife Fund’s web site, ; learn more about the ebola outbreak and how health workers are trying to contain it at Doctors without Borders’ site.

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Local News

Louisville Zoo Tiger Euthanized

A 17-year-old female tiger has died at the Louisville Zoo.

Sinda the Amur Tiger was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in the roof of her mouth in September. Curator Steve Wing says zoo officials consulted several vets and other doctors, all of whom determined the cancer was inoperable.

“We kept an eye on her, all this time, and gave her some extra attention, she was on some medications and things like that. And unfortunately it just progressed to the point where we needed to euthanize he,” says Wing.

Sinda arrived at the Louisville Zoo nearly ten years ago, and was mother of two cubs born in 2004.

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Arts and Humanities Local News

Cultural Attractions Reduce Admissions this Week

Many cultural attractions around town are offering free or reduced admissions while power in Louisville area many homes and area schools are closed. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The Frazier International History Museum, the Louisville Science Center and the Louisville Zoo are among the organizations offering reduced or free admissions until schools reopen.

Mark Zoeller of the zoo says visitors can see almost all of the zoo’s exhibits, even though it is dealing with several consequences of Sunday’s wind storm.

“We’re still doing clean up so when people come out to the zoo they need to understand that we’re without power so we are reduced in some of our offerings and some of the pathways are still closed while we’re doing some of that tree removal,” Zoeller says.

While the zoo and the Louisville Science Center are offering discounted prices. The Frazier International History Museum is offering free admission. Mark Zanni is with the museum.

“We saw that a lot of people were unfortunately out of power,” Zanni says. “We were one of the fortunate ones that did have power, so what we decided to do is offer the museum up for free, for all families until schools reopen, free admission to the museum.”

Public schools in Jefferson, Bullitt and Oldham counties and those with the Archdiocese of Louisville canceled classes Wednesday. Greater Clark schools in Indiana are closed for the rest of the week.