Female mourning geckos do not need males to produce young: they are able to reproduce via parthenogenesis (virgin birth), which means that eggs and young have only a mother, and no father. Eggs and hatched baby mourning geckos can currently be seen in the ‘Australis’ house at Basel Zoo.
Basel Zoo regularly provides the border patrol service dog programme with odour samples from its animals (e.g. hairs or feathers), used to help train CITES sniffer dogs for their work at the border. CITES sniffer dogs sniff out animals and plants (or parts of them) brought in to Switzerland which are protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). A group of CITES sniffer dogs and their trainers came to Basel Zoo to demonstrate their training and how they act in an emergency situation.
Basel Zoo’s spiders are hard at work, whether in the animal houses or between the enclosures. Typically for late summer weather, fine spinning threads float through the air on a walk through the zoo. These are threads from money spiders, members of the orb-weaver spider family. Basel Zoo is also home to some other spiders, including the huge gold silk orb-weaver which lives in an Etosha house terrarium with the horned vipers, or the wasp spider which can be seen outside between the enclosures. The Australis house contains a terrarium for a very dangerous spider, the black widow.