Josh More / Flickr

It was just a few weeks ago that the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines facilitated the birth of a rare baby black rhino , and now the zoo says one of their four giraffes is pregnant. In this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with caretakers, veterinarian Dr. June Olds and large mammal supervisor Lou Keeley, about reticulated giraffe Uzuri's pregnancy and what they are planning for with the birth. "When a giraffe gives birth, she'll give birth standing up," he says. "So you can...

Animal Legal Defense Fund

African lionesses Jonwah and Njjarra have been removed from a roadside zoo in northern Iowa, and now reside at an animal sanctuary in Colorado. Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester has relinquished ownership of the animals after a settlement with the Animal Legal Defense Fund . ALDF accuses the unaccredited zoo of keeping animals in “cramped and deprived conditions.” The organization says it also believes a third Cricket Hollow lion died due to harsh surroundings. Court documents filed by ALDF...

Iowa Public Radio / Sarah Boden

A female eastern black rhino in Des Moines is expecting her first calf. Six-year-old Ayana at the Blank Park Zoo will likely give birth in late October or early November. Black rhinos are usually grey in color and have a prehensile front lip which they use to grab twigs and leaves. Blank Park’s Ryan Bickel says the zoo is very excited, since black rhinos are critically endangered and hunted in the wild for their horns. " One of the reasons we have rhinos at zoos is sort of as an ark," says...

courtesy of Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo euthanized one of its giraffes last Thursday. Shani, a 21-year-old female, had lived at the Des Moines zoo since 1996.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

He just could be the longest living animal in Iowa, not counting humans. His lifespan predates the end of World War Two and Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen found him living a life of luxury in Des Moines.

Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne

Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport. Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014. The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs. Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

The eastern black rhinoceros is an endangered species, but two eastern black rhinos --Ayana and Kiano --are safe and sound at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. Host Charity Nebbe visits with Ayana, Kiano and the staff of the Blank Park Zoo.

Legend has it that in 1903, for several nights in a row the small town of Van Meter was terrorized by a giant bat-like creature. One-hundred ten years later, Talk of Iowa tries to uncover the truth with author Chad Lewis , a paranormal investigator and co-author of the new book "The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown." Later, paranormal researcher and investigator Darcie McGrath joins the program. McGrath teaches paranormal studies at Kirkwood Community...


Apr 9, 2013
Flickr / big-ashb

What happens when doctors look at human medicine through the lens of veterinary medicine? While the gulf between the two disciplines is wide, there are many parallels between humans and our animal counterparts. Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and journalist Kathryn Bowers chat with "Talk of Iowa" about their new book "Zo0biquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health" which delves into the physiological and psychiatric similarities across species. Also, Pulitzer Prize...

Lions and tigers and bears and parrots--on todays Talk of Iowa well go into the wild with Jack Hanna, wildlife expert and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Hell be appearing in Des Moines later this week. Also on the program is Michael Hutchison, founder and director of the Iowa Parrot Rescue. He has helped over 700 birds in the past 15 years.