Hisashi Sasaki

For Hisashi Sasaki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Keepers teach orphaned elephants to raise young

Dec 16, 2013

Keepers teach orphaned elephants to raise young

African elephants brought to zoos in Japan are often unable to raise their offspring because many lost their parents to poaching by ivory hunters. But they are smart enough to learn from their keepers, said Osamu Shiina, who cares for the animals at a ...

Zookeeper helps pad the rhino digs

Nov 19, 2013

Zookeeper helps pad the rhino digs

To help save the rhino from extinction, a young keeper at Kanazawa Zoo is striving to make the captive environment for the mammals as close to what their natural habitat in the wild would be. “I hope visitors to our zoo will sense the ...

Art, with the stroke of a heated pen

Oct 23, 2013

Art, with the stroke of a heated pen

As an artist working in the medium of pyrography, Soji Hamada must execute every stroke of his heated pen with precision as he burns images of birds and animals into wood. Pyrography does not permit “another try once you make a mistake in drawing ...

Zoos a haven for wild animals, keeper says

Aug 22, 2013

Zoos a haven for wild animals, keeper says

Zoos play an increasingly important role in the preservation of wild animals, says Daisuke Kiryu, a keeper of reptiles at Yokohama’s Nogeyama Zoo, which is known for successful artificial breeding of turtles designated as endangered species. “We succeeded in breeding the radiated tortoise and ...

Red pandas thriving at Nagano Chausuyama Zoo

Aug 1, 2013

Red pandas thriving at Nagano Chausuyama Zoo

Ko Tanaka likes to answer questions from children about the nearly 20 red pandas he helps look after at Nagano Chausuyama Zoo. But he recalls being stumped once when asked if the raccoonlike mammals, also known as lesser pandas, yawn like cats. Luckily, just ...

Aquarium chief takes own path to saving sea turtles

Jun 25, 2013

Aquarium chief takes own path to saving sea turtles

Naoki Kamezaki, head of Suma Aqualife Park, Kobe’s municipal aquarium, is known as an expert on sea turtles, a status he acquired by being an academic maverick. Raised in the coastal cities of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, and Oita, Kamezaki, 57, was attracted to sea ...

Flying flamingos still top draw at Miyazaki zoo

May 3, 2013

Flying flamingos still top draw at Miyazaki zoo

Miyazaki City Phoenix Zoo is charming visitors with a flamingo show in which the pink birds actually fly. The Flying Flamingo Show began last spring after the zoo suspended the original one to repair its aged facilities, according to Toshihisa Deguchi, head of the ...

Tokyo aquarium exhibits Antarctic icefish with see-through blood

Apr 4, 2013

Tokyo aquarium exhibits Antarctic icefish with see-through blood

The Antarctic Ocean-dwelling ocellated icefish is an anomaly in the natural world, as the only vertebrate with transparent blood. Icefish have “no hemoglobin that carries oxygen into the blood,” said Naoaki Kawahara, a fish keeper at Tokyo Sea Life Park, the only aquarium in ...