Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Year’s Resolutions - Zoo Style

Kampala Café is now palm oil free!

At the beginning of every year, Sacramento Zoo staff make personal, and work-related resolutions that range from getting fit to living a greener life. In 2014, the Zoo’s Kampala Café (operated by Service Systems Associates - SSA) joined in, resolving to become palm oil free. From cookies and ice cream to cosmetics and soaps, palm oil can be found in just about any consumer product. Because of this high demand, much of the forests in Borneo and Sumatra have been cleared to create palm oil plantations. This deforestation has caused an alarming decline in Orangutan populations, bringing this species to the brink of extinction.

With many products, it was easy for SSA to switch brands or continue with current ones. However, there was one holdout the ever-popular churro. After many months of research, SSA finally found a palm oil free one! The Zoo and SSA are proud to announce that as of early December the resolution to have a palm oil free café has been checked-off the list.

For more information about the palm oil crisis and to download the sustainable palm oil shopping guide app visit

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lion Cub Update & Photos - Six Weeks Old

It's a boy! And a girl! And another girl!

At six weeks old the three African Lion cubs received their first veterinary exam. The female cubs weighed in at 10 lbs and 10.7 lbs while the male is 13.75 lbs! The male is not just heavier but also larger than his sisters even at this young age.

The three play a lot, nipping each other, pulling on one another and attacking mom's tail. They still tend to sleep near one another, often in one big cub pile.

Photo by Erik Bowker
Photo by Erik Bowker

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Give the Gift of Zoo!

This holiday season get all your holiday shopping done at the Sacramento Zoo! Check out the gift guide below for something for everyone on your list.


Treat your family or friends to a day of fun with the Sacramento Zoo coupon book. Just $45, the book includes four admission passes, six ride tickets for the train or carousel, and coupons for the gift store and concessions! Available at the Member & Visitor Services office or call (916) 808-5888.

Give the gift of visits to the Sacramento Zoo for a full year! Go to the Member & Visitor Services Office or visit for more information.

Give a purr-fect gift of a Zoo Parent animal sponsorship! Benefits are given to your loved one and it also helps our animals. Go to the Member & Visitor Services Office or visit for more information.

Give the gift of a lasting legacy with a personalized message for all visitors to see. You have your choice of honoring someone with a personalized engraved brass walkway plaque, a bench plaque, a Conservation Carousel animal, or a Tall Wonders Giraffe Hoof. Visit for more information or call (916) 808-5888.


Tribute and memorial gifts are a thoughtful way to celebrate a loved one during the holidays. Your gift will be acknowledged with a letter letting the recipient, or their family, know a donation has been made in their honor or memory. Visit for more information.

Donate your used car, truck, RV or boat. Free towing is provided. Call (866) 570-7318 for more information.

Gifts of goods or services help offset the Zoo’s operating budget by supplying needed items and materials from generous donors like you. Visit for more information.

Your tree and plant clippings can be donated, instead of going in the green waste bin, to provide delicious browse (non-toxic leaves and branches) that help feed our animals. Visit to find out how to donate and what plants or trees are needed.

Visit and click on the link to Amazon. They will automatically donate a percentage of your purchase to the Sacramento Zoo at checkout at no extra cost to you!

*All donations to the Sacramento Zoo are tax-deductible. For more information on giving opportunities, visit the Member & Visitor Services Office, call (916) 808-5888 or go to

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lion Cub Update & Photos - Five Weeks Old

At five weeks old, the trio of African Lion cubs are very active! They wrestle with each other and spend a lot of time jumping and chewing on mom. Their canine teeth are starting to erupt which you can see in the photo below. The cubs have spent the last week having nose-to-nose contact with their father in preparation for introducing them to each other. Lions are the only cat that live in prides or groups. All other species live a more solitary life and the sires are not involved with raising the young.

Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters

Monday, December 1, 2014


“The light was just beginning to creep in as I woke up that morning. I could tell something was different about this day as I lifted my nose in the air to smell the faint whiff of morning dew and something sweet. I jumped up and woke my parents and siblings, excitedly nudging them out of their sleep. As the sun continued to warm the air, the aroma was getting stronger and I just had to find out what it was. As the door opened, I couldn't believe my eyes! There, in the yard was a smorgasbord! There were pies made of sweet potatoes (my favorite!!) and cups filled with apple juice. Plates were piled high with delicious yams and grapes and tasty leafy greens. My family and I devoured the scrumptious feast. The two-leggers (you call them humans) certainly out-did themselves this time!”

Holiday Magic as seen by a Black & White Ruffed Lemur 

Special enrichments like this are just one of the ways the Sacramento Zoo inspires a connection with wildlife, giving the animals a chance to get a special treat while taking you back to those moments in your life when you couldn’t contain your excitement for a holiday or special occasion. The connections you or your children make on these special days will last a lifetime.

Your gift to the Sacramento Zoological Society on #GivingTuesday allows us to continue to provide food, shelter and medical care for the animals while also underwriting education programs and critical conservation efforts.

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Celebrate giving in our community by sending a donation to the Sacramento Zoo on December 2nd at

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lion Cub Photos & Video - Four Weeks Old

The three African Lion cubs born on October 24th are growing fast! Here are some four week old photos followed by a video of them in their nest box with mom.

Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Photo by Amanda Watters
Video of the three cubs and mom in the nest box at three weeks old.

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Winter Mini-Camp

By Kathryn Hensley, Education Program Coordinator

One of the most fun parts of my job is running the summer camp here at the Sacramento Zoo. Our camps are unlike any other in that the kids leave with real knowledge and understanding of the natural world. We hear over and over from parents how their kids come back to the Zoo and act as tour guides and teachers for the whole family! Our camps and classes offer experiences not available on a regular visit or field trip, and are taught by science educators who are experts on the Zoo and our animals.

I love to see our camp families who come every summer and see the kids grow each year. I am extra excited this year because I get to see some of those kids in December! This year we are having a Winter Mini-Camp on December 21st. It is going to be a lot of fun! We will be learning all about nocturnal animals, including some of our newer animals: Straw-colored Fruit Bats, Aardvark and Fennec Foxes.

This camp will be structured similarly to a day of Summer Camp: silly songs, fun games, and some special nocturnal crafts. We will also be going on Zoo walks to learn about the animals and see them in person. In addition, some of our Zookeepers will be holding a private show for us to meet some Animal Ambassadors up-close and personal.

The Winter Mini-Camp will be on Sunday, December 21st from 10 am to 2 pm and is geared towards 1st to 6th graders. We know this is a busy time of year so while you are finishing your holiday shopping or attending events, drop your kids with us! They will have a fantastic day and learn all about animals in the process!

We hope to see familiar faces and meet many new friends on this fun day! Visit the Winter Mini-Camp webpage to learn more and register.