Saturday, December 29, 2007

108th Audubon Christmas Bird Count at the Zoo

by Amanda, Education Manager and Bird Enthusiast

Date: 22-12-2007
Time: 07:00-09:15
Temp: 40 deg. F
Cloud Cover: 50%
Wind: 1
Observers: Amanda C., Sara G., Ann H.

Tis the season to spend all day in the cold counting birds! We had a beautiful, clear, and very cold Christmas Bird Count today. We tallied 27 local bird species on Zoo grounds! Highlights included a pair of red shouldered hawks, two black phoebes, a lesser goldfinch, and three Nuttall’s woodpeckers. Yes, we count the mallards and wood ducks on the lake, they are Zoo visitors! Just off grounds at the nearest pond we found a pair of belted kingfishers, and spotted a black-throated gray warbler in an oak tree in the park. Happy Birding!

Find out more about the Sacramento Audubon Society:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Penguins march back to San Francisco

by Lauren, Public Relations

January 1st will be the last day to see Harry, Pepper, Putty & Patsy before they march back to the San Francisco Zoo. Come out and wish them farewell.

Pajama Party and Caroling

The holiday spirit and pajamas were abundant at the Sacramento Zoo on Christmas Eve. Over 4500 visitors came out to the Zoo to celebrate with their families and their favorite zoo animals. Some lucky visitors were even serenaded by our spontaneous-yet-not-always-in-tune Christmas caroling group.

All of us at the Sacramento Zoo would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

PS. The Zoo will be closed Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Share in the Spirit of Giving!

By Roy Kinji, Cooporate Relations Manager

The Sacramento Zoo teamed up with the U.S. Marines, Comcast, and Wolf Radio for our annual Toys For Tots campaign. The campaign ran November 23 - December 8th. It started with "ThankZoo" Day, the day after Thanksgiving with a live radio broadcast and a 7 ton Marine Truck to load up toys. Continuing until "Holiday Magic" December 8th, Zoo visitors filled our barrels with brand new unwrapped toys, receiving a free child's zoo pass in return.

If you missed the opportunity to donate a toy, don't worry... you still have time. Join KSFM's Live Radio broadcast as morning man "Trejo" stays 12 days in a shed collecting toys in front of Circuit City on Arden Way near Howe Avenue. He'll be there until Christmas eve morning. This morning he was handing out free zoo passes to those who donated toys. It's the "World Famous Morning Show" toy drive, and you can donate toys 24 hours a day. For more info listen to KSFM 102.5 fm, or go to

Friday, December 14, 2007

I pledge to be "green"

By Jaime Wilson
Sacramento Zoo Green Team Member

At the beginning of 2007 the Green Team offered up a volunteer challenge to the staff.

“I believe in reducing my environmental impact in 2007. Therefore, I pledge…”

We left the pledge up to the individual and were blown-away with the creative and great ideas that came out of it. Here are the six pledges, all of which were accomplished and (most impressively), all of which are ongoing, or will be done again this year.

Alison: Replace all the incandescent bulbs in my apartment to compact fluorescents. – she did this and started seeing the energy savings within one month.

Delta: to not buy new books but to borrow from the library or from friends – she has significantly reduced her new book purchases to just reference books.

Harriet: Print the large and copious financial statements double-sided. – she saved over 1500 pieces of paper this year.

Leslie: To decline bags at any stores. – she has had to argue with a few businesses to let her take stuff without bags, but as she said, she always wins. Her family and friends have starting doing this as well.

Amanda: To replace all of her chemical household cleaners for greener, safer versions. – she has found that the home made cleaners actually work better, and with a new baby in the house she feels good about her decision.

Jaime: I didn’t buy anything new for over three months (food and consumables were exempt). I borrowed, bought used and figured out that I just didn’t need to consume most of the things I usually bought. I keep a list of all the new items I bought since then and it fits on one-side of a page in my day planner. I plan to do it again starting January 2nd.

As a reward for all of those who took a green pledge we rewarded them at our end-of-year staff meeting with a lovely Swiss-made Sigg aluminum bottle for all their hydration needs. Congratulations to them all for doing their part, and inspiring others!!!

Think about what you could do in the new year, and we will work on our new pledges too!

***My bonus pledge that I decided to do was to see if I could make it through a year and not buy bottled water. A very small percentage of all those bottles are recycled which means that most of them end up in the landfill. I thought I would do my part and use a reusable bottle. How did I do? Over all of 2007, I only bought one bottle of water after a long hike. I had shared my reusable bottle of water with my friends and didn’t have enough water for the rest of the day. This was the inspiration for the Sigg bottle gift for everyone.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Day Sacramento Video

Check out this video clip from Good Day Sacramento about the tiger cubs birthday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tiger Birthday Cake

by Lauren Kraft, PR
As part of Holiday Magic on Saturday, December 8th, the Sacramento Zoo celebrated the 1st birthday of our three tiger cubs! Looking back, it has been extraordinary to watch them grow up.

On the morning of November 24, 2006 – the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest visitor days of the year – our carnivore keeper heard the tiny cries of a newborn cub in the tiger den. Although the keepers looked in on the mother, she was left undisturbed and allowed to give birth on her own, just as she would have done in the wild. The next morning our keepers confirmed the birth: three tiny cubs – all looking healthy and strong, and mom doing a great job providing for them. Sumatran tigers being one of the world’s critically endangered animals, we were ecstatic!

The trio of tiger cubs made their public debut in February of this year, and the response was… well, extraordinary. Thousands of people showed up that first weekend, to see the three tigers chasing their mom, their tails and anything else that moved.

From that day on, the tiger cubs have been a delight for families to watch as they grew bigger than their mom, while still playing rambunctiously like kittens.

Celebrating the first birthday of the tiger cubs brought out hundreds of visitors as they signed a large birthday card and watched the trio tear into their cardboard birthday cake. The visitors also got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus bring our Zoo animals’ one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, from wrapped boxes and decorated trees to treat-filled stockings and acacia wreaths. The orangutans received stockings filled with jam and fruit; the Black & white ruffed lemurs clamored through decorated gifts and ice to find their treats; and the bongos and addax seemed to enjoy ramming into their Christmas trees.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Cardboard Cake...Yummy!

by Jaime Wilson, cardboard builder extraordinaire

It is the night before Holiday Magic, and I have spent my day making cardboard into a giant mouse, a 4-tiered birthday cake, a jungle gym and a food dispenser. I don't think "wild-animal-plaything" was one of the main reasons cardboard was invented, but let me tell you, the animals love it!

The Zoo animals regularly receive enrichments (something outside of their normal routine to stimulate them and get them thinking), in the form of food they have to find, toys or puzzles they can play with or solve and many other things. Tomorrow we are getting into the holiday spirit with enrichments of presents, wreaths, stockings, Christmas trees and more.

Enrichment of the cardboard variety will be featured at the Ground hornbills, where they will get a giant cardboard mouse filled with some tasty crickets and the Tigers, where we are celebrating the three male tiger cubs turning 1 year old! The cubs and mom, will get a 4-tiered birthday cake made of boxes that will hide treats for them to find. It will also be surrounded by ice to really make them think!

Check out the Holiday Magic enrichment schedule and come on out and be part of the fun.

Tis the season…

by Sam Curtis, Interpretive Center Education Assistant

That’s right, it is officially pumpkin season, and here at the Sacramento Zoo we know how to celebrate with style. With Halloween and Thanksgiving past, the zoo animals get to enjoy one of their favorite things; surplus pumpkins. These wonderful orange squash are safe for almost every animal in the Zoo and make great enrichment items. They can be scooped out to make a great container for treats; giraffes will kick them like a soccer ball; tigers chew them up; and of course they are also delicious to eat. Big or small, carved or whole, it doesn’t matter if you are a Thick-billed parrot like Julia! With December underway, the season for giving is already in full-swing for both our staff and animals. With holiday magic coming up on the 8th promising winter treats and fun for all the Zoo’s residents, the excitement is almost too much to bear!

Julia is always a "ham" for the camera. Even while snacking on a mouthwatering squash, she will pose for the camera. Check out some of her buddies in the Thick-billed parrot exhibit accross from the penguins!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Great gifts that feel good

by Lauren, PR

The Sacramento Bee published an article today about gifts that make you feel good and one of the suggestions was giving a Zoo Parent package from the Zoo. Read the full story at

Get that special someone in your life the gift of parenthood with a special Zoo Parent gift. It is a great way to help the Zoo this holiday season, while putting a smile on that animal lovers face.