Critter Profile: Genghis!
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Critter Profile: Genghis!

Overview!

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Name: Genghis

Species: Chortoicetes terminifera (Australian Plague Locust)

Primary Caretaker: Terrestrial Team, Karl Heller

Diet: Maize, rice, other crops; Genghis appears to prefer corn

Housed: Greenhouse 4 and 5

Creature Features!

'Genghis' is our name for an Australian Locust who's settled down 'ere in good ol' Oregon. Assumedly after Australia, he lived in neighboring Wasco County, where his swarm caused a crop shortage. He was found when our experts determined that Genghis's swarm was growing at an unusually fast rate.

Now, another thing that caught our attention was that Genghis was an Australian Locust! These locusts are only found in Australia and New Zealand and for good reason. Genghis is more adapted to the climates and conditions found down under. We were surprised that he survived, let alone thrived here! Our experts (yes, we've got some) wanted to run some tests, and that's where Genghis's specialities were discovered!

Genghis is able to "replicate" into two locusts! Once Genghis eats enough food, he splits right in two. Genghis and the new locust appear to be visually identical. To tell them apart, we gave Genghis a lil' splotch of tagging paint on his underside which doesn't seem to carry over. You might think Genghis doesn't split that often, but boy does he eat a whole bunch! He especially loves it when Karl brings corn - that's Genghis's favorite, if I didn't tell you already. Genghis doesn't do much besides that, but there are certainly many things that can be done with it.

History!

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A locust swarm identified as 'chortoicetes terminifera americanum', circa 2015.

As mentioned earlier, we discovered Genghis and gang in neighboring Wasco County. If you dig a bit deeper, however, you'll find records of the rare 'chortoicetes terminifera americanum': roughly "American Australian Plague Locust", for you non-sciency folk. These records go back several years; the earliest being about 13 years ago - around 2008. Of course back then Genghis wasn't really active, but sightings around the lower west coast seem to collaborate with our predicted movements of Genghis's swarm.

We actually started tracking the new "species" in January 2021, but it wasn't until March that we actually got a chance to see Genghis's swarm in person. No sooner than our contact in Wasco let us know about the swarm, the Terrestrial Team was already driving out that way. When we got there though, his swarm had been sprayed with pesticides; we corralled up a couple of the still-kicking locusts. The transport back was rushed, as we were trying to get as many alive locusts as we could - it would be a real shame if they all died. When we got back to Boring, there was only one alive locust left. Karl Heller was assigned to make sure the locust would be alright, and as you can tell he's doing great!

After we got the little fellow back, Karl asked me if he could name him after his favorite band, which I really had no objections to (I do the same myself sometimes). When he started calling the cute guy "Dschinghis Khan", however, I asked if he could shorten it to "Genghis". And that's how Genghis got his name!

Special Needs and Accommodations!

Genghis spends his days in Greenhouse 4 along with a couple of of his fellow locusts, while the rest of his swarm is located in Greenhouse 5. We keep them in good order with plenty to eat: we receive shipments from Dant, full of crops. Karl brings in batches of corn every now and then as well, and by golly - they don't last more than a day!

Now, we don't like messing with an animal's natural habitat. So, we decided that every now and then we'd drive them to a special field in Wasco, where they can roam around as well as still be contained! There's a special mesh fencing around the place, so it's like a large greenhouse! That being said, although, we just don't want Genghis and his swarm getting hurt; we don't want them to destroy our fellow neighbor's crops in Boring, either. So we see our current greenhouse plan as a win-win until we can find a safe habitat for Genghis and crew.

Unfortunately, Genghis's swarm gets a tad bit too big sometimes, so we have to sell them off to scientific corporations for testing. It ain't in our hearts to sell Genghis's buds out like this, but it's what we got to do.

Notes about Ghenghis!

Karl Heller, Genghis's caretaker, is suggesting Greenhouse 6 is given to Genghis's swarm for habitation purposes so we can allow more locusts. The suggestion is pending review.

INCIDENT: On 3/06/2021, Genghis and his swarm escaped containment after Karl Heller's transport van was caught in a multiple car crash on a turnpike in Maupin. Karl was headed to our free-roam containment area in Sarbrick and was carrying Genghis and swarm in a special containment van; the van sustained heavy damage and released their occupants. We have contacted our Supervisors to help re-contain Genghis and swarm. This has been a difficult loss for the terrestrial department, and especially for Karl.



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