The Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global were expected to announce Tuesday the development of a breeding program for rare and endangered species on 1,000 acres south of this city, bringing herds of antelope, okapi and Masai giraffe to graze on the banks of the Mississippi River, the New York Times reports.
The breeding site, which will be among the largest in the United States, represents the latest version of a wildlife conservation model based on the finding that certain species mate more successfully when allowed to roam in herds rather than when paired off in captivity, something to which many visitors to Bourbon Street could probably attest. It also brings two of America’s most prominent zoological organizations together from opposite sides of the country.
Public access is likely to be somewhat limited, as the facility is intended primarily for breeding and research, and for this reason the species do not have to be, as one scientist put it, the most charismatic kind. But among the more than two dozen species expected in the program, which is slated to begin in 2014, are lions, flamingos, storks and several kinds of antelopes.
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