Friday, May 30, 2008

Sleep at the Zoo

by Katie, Overnight Coordinator

The 2008 Overnight season is well underway and both Zoo staff and Zoo animals are getting settled into the routine. The theme for this year’s Overnight Safaris is “Endangered Species Success Stories” and we are learning all about endangered species around the world. Zoo P.I.’s assistant needs your help to check in on the endangered species here in the Zoo and see what people around the world are doing to help them recover.

We are meeting some of our endangered ambassadors that help out in the education department as well as some of their counterparts out in the Zoo. We have been learning about the Thick-billed parrot Species Survival Plan (which is run by our very own Sac Zoo keepers); our Bongo that is now living out in Kenya; the amazing comeback of our very own state reptile, the Desert tortoise, and so much more!

We have fun new games to play like an animal sounds game, a bean bag animal protection game, and a fishing themed game of tag! We also have some brand new enrichments and additions to some old favorites. And of course we are still spending time with all of our favorite scaled, fuzzy and feathered nocturnal friends.

Everyone has been having a great time so far this summer and we hope that you can come and join us too. There is still room to sign up for the first Family Overnight of the season on June 13 so sign up now and join in on the fun!

Family Overnight Dates:
June 13th and 21st
July 5th, 12th and 18th
August 2nd, 8th and 15th

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wild Affair...already?

By Zoo Blog Keeper

Wild Affair is our gala fundraising event that happens in October (the 4th to be exact) and includes behind-the-scenes tours, live and silent auctions, gourmet dinner and much more!

So, why are we talking about it in May?

Well, we have been working on it since February, the excitement is growing with the staff and we just thought we would share!

The silent auction is halfway full, and I spent a lovely afternoon driving around the foothills picking up a very nice assortment of donated wines from Camino, Fair Play and Plymouth. Next on the list is Napa and Sonoma. You probably guessed by now, we will have some great wine in the silent auction, including Silver Oak Cabernet and six different Jeroboam (3.0L) bottles.

The night will be themed around frogs, with the proceeds going to the Tall Wonders giraffe exhibit renovation, and Dave Bender will host the evening and live auction.

Keep an eye out - we will be building a webpage for Wild Affair soon, the save-the-date postcards are going out and there will be a booth and raffle at King of Feasts.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 4th, and check out the slideshow below for some highlights from last years fun!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baby Lemurs

By Zoo Blog Keeper

It's a girl, and a boy, and another boy! They are endangered Black and white ruffed lemur babies! They were born on May 4th and right now they are still inside their building - but sometimes you can see them jumping and playing through the access door. They will be let into the outdoor enclosure to join their father and siblings as soon as they are big enough to explore the exhibit on their own in a few months.

Check out the video below and see them when they were only two days old! Two of the babies move around the whole time, while the third sleeps through the whole thing.

And, you can watch them grow at our Lemur Baby Webpage. We will have up-to-date videos, pictures and details.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Question about lemurs and response

Reply by, Leslie Field, Animal Care Supervisor
(in response to question below)

Jennifer,
We agree that the Ring-tailed lemur exhibit is outdated. As an 80-year-old Zoo, exhibit designs have changed since this was originally built around 50 years ago. We are challenged to find new ways to work with existing structures and we plan for future renovations.

Ring-tailed lemurs are more terrestrial than other lemur species and the Zookeepers change furniture and platforms from time to time and provide enrichment to encourage this natural behavior. In the Spring and Fall a good deal of sun gets through for sunbathing and their exhibit is one of the coolest in the Zoo when its 105 degrees outside in the Summer.

Renovating or expanding this exhibit is on our long range planning list and would include a complete rebuild of the existing structure. One big project currently underway is a brand new giraffe barn and exhibit renovation. We hope to have that complete in 2010 and will continue renovating older exhibits around the Zoo.

Question:

I have a question about one of your lemur exhibits. While the exhibits for the black and white ruffed lemurs and the sifakas seem to be very enjoyable for them, I was disheartened to see the ring-tails in their small shaded enclosure with a dirt floor. They weren't very active and one of them had to manuever quite a bit just to capture a little patch of sunshine! From reading the blog, I discovered that their enclosure was recently renovated with added platforms. But for a lemur species that spends a good amount of time on the ground as well as a good amount time sunbathing, it just seemed as if neither one of those items were as well addressed as they should be. Are there plans to further renovate or expand their enclosure?

Thank you for your time!
Jennifer

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hi, I'm Gus!

By: Gus the Green tree frog

Hello everyone, I'm Gus the Green tree frog! Some of you might have met me at Wings of Spring on May 3rd. That was the first time I was out saying hi to folks and spreading my message: BE GREEN!

I'm just here to show you how to be green and hopefully inspire you to do it too!

You might know that there are tons of plastic water bottles out there and that almost all of them end up in the landfill. Since it takes them hundreds of years to break down, you can imagine the mountains of bottles we are just throwing away!

One solution, is to recycle! That plastic water bottle can have a whole new life as a new bottle, bag or scarf.

Another solution is to use a reusable container and and bring your water with you! That's what I do, and as a frog, I need a lot of water!

Since I like to use my own water bottle, I actually made one featuring me! They are a nice lightweight aluminum and come in red or blue.

If you want one, the nice folks at the Sacramento Zoo Membership office are selling them. They are just $8 for SacZoo Members and $10 for everyone else.

Stop in and pick one up! Start doing your part to be the solution.

Soon, I will have my very own webpage at http://www.saczoo.com/ and of course, I will keep blogging here (I'm the blog frog). Until then, look for me at the next Zoo event and remember, Be Green!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Coquerel's sifaka video

By Zoo Blog Keeper

Did you know?..... the Sacramento Zoo is one of only 4 AZA accredited zoos to exhibit Coquerel's sifakas. Like many other types of sifaka, the Coquerel's sifaka is in danger of extinction in Madagascar.

A fun fact: With their powerful hind legs, sifakas can propel themselves more than 30 feet in a single jump! Come out and see our two sifakas on your next visit. Learn more about sifakas!


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lullabys for parrots

By Interpretive Center Staff

It’s a web like a spider’s web
Made of silk and light and shadow
Spun by the moon in my room at night.

It’s a web meant to catch a dream
Hold it tight ‘til I awaken
As if to say, dreamin’s all right

-A song sung to Robbie, Eclectus parrot


As we leave for the day we give some extra love and attention to our Animal Ambassadors. Just as your child may like a bedtime story, our animals have nightly rituals that must be completed before they can sleep. Believe it or not, our birds enjoy a sweet lullaby before they tuck in. Of course we are happy to oblige; lucky for us they don’t care about pitch!



Lara sings to both Robbie and Julio (Blue and Gold Macaw) each and every night. Robbie enjoys it so much that he actually sings along. However, his lyric repertoire is limited to one note: La.

Brooke, our newest IC staff member, felt that the American Kestrel, Herbie, needed his own lullaby. Initially, the song was developed to calm him down when he was screaming, but it is now sung to him every night. In order to hear the song better, Herbie comes right up to the side of the cage (sometimes with dinner still in beak). He also puffs his feathers and bobs his head while she sings. After all the singing is completed and the lights are turned off, the staffers say “Go to bed, Julia” or “Goodnight, Julia” to our Thick-billed parrot, which she answers with her special goodnight call. She then climbs into her specially-made sleep sack, meant to simulate a tree nest and is off to sleep.



Friday, May 2, 2008

Gus, the Green tree frog

Welcome Gus, the Green tree frog!!!!! Making special appearances at all your favorite Zoo events.

This Saturday at Wings of Spring, stop by the Make a Website Video booth (in front of the lake) and visit with Gus after you record your favorite SacZoo memory.
Gus Says: Be Green!
Turn off the lights when you leave a room:)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Make a Video - Starring YOU!

By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Web Keeper

Come out to Wings of Spring this Saturday (May 3, 9am to 4pm), and make your very own video that will be featured on the saczoo.com homepage. We will be set up in front of the lake and will do all the work! You just have to come on out and tell us your favorite Sacramento Zoo story, animal or memory.
To thank you, you will also get a lovely Sacramento Zoo shopping bag, made out of 100% organic cotton canvas!

W
e want to hear your story! So come out and bring the kids - to share some memories and make new ones.

All the Wings of Spring activities are included with Zoo Admission. If you are a Sacramento Zoo Member, you can enjoy it all, just by showing your membership card!