Saturday, September 27, 2008

An amazing parrot!

by SacZoo Web Keeper

Get to know one of our favorite Eclectus parrots:

Robbie, the Eclectus parrot, was born April 8, 1992. He is one of the animal ambassadors of the Zoo and can be seen showing off in one of the two stage shows at the amphitheater. Although he talks a lot when no one is looking, he only does two on-command vocalizations: “Hi” & kissing sounds.

One of his favorite activities during the day includes the “pick a hand game.” Robbie looks for his seed reward by choosing the keepers hand with his kissing sound. He also loves to be sprayed with a hose and will chase the hose around the building fluffing out his wings.

Robbie is a curious bird and will look into every kennel, always nosy to find out who is inside, maybe wondering where they are off too. His favorite foods are celery and peanuts and the Zookeepers sing Robbie a lullaby every evening as part of the end of the day routine. Check out this past blog.

The Eclectus parrot wild habitat ranges from Eastern Indonesia, Palau Islands, Australia, New Guinea and its offshore islands in rain forests, lowland forests, tree clumps in the savanna and woodlands. They can live up to 40 years and their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, biscuits, seeds and nuts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wild Affair & Smart Car Auction

By Zoo Blog Keeper

Our 13th Annual Wild Affair is coming up on Saturday, October 4 and we are very busy getting ready for a fabulous evening of delicious foods, behind-the-scenes tours, silent and live auctions -it really is a great party!

We have two big announcements!

1) The event is almost sold out with over a week til the event. If you are interested in attending, buy your tickets now!

2) We are auctioning off a Smart Car Fortwo Passion Coupe! That's right, this hot little car has a huge waiting list and we have one up for auction at Wild Affair.

All the proceeds from this event will go towards the Giraffe Habitat Renovation and Expansion.

Do good, and have a great time.

We hope to see you there!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sam, Interpretive Center Staff - Video Blog

By Zoo Web Keeper

Sam is one of the hard working, friendly staff in the Interpretive Center here at the Sacramento Zoo. They write and preform in the stage shows, speak with the public during animal talks and take the Animal Ambassadors to schools. They also care for all their animals every day.

Here Sam tells us why his first stage show is his favorite Zoo memory.

Find out more about the Animal Ambassadors here, and check to see the schedule of shows and animal talks at the Calendar by Day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Karter's 9th Birthday - for the Chimps!

By Lindsay Walsh, Membership Assistant

Did you know that we have a Zoo Parent program here at the Sacramento Zoo? Karter did!

Karter is 9 years old and really into Chimpanzees. She decided that for her birthday this year she wanted to raise money for the conservation of these amazing primates. The special thing about Karter is that she asked her friends and relatives to donate money in place of presents! She raised a grand total of $145!!

Her mother enclosed a very kind note, praising her daughters’ ceaseless compassion, and explaining that Karter was hoping the money could benefit the chimps here at the zoo as well as ones all over the world! Part of the money Karter’s raised was put into the Zoo Parent Program, which will contribute to the feeding, cleaning and exhibit upkeep of the chimps here at the Zoo. The other part was put into the Species Survival Program (SSP), a program put in place to help ensure the survival of selected wildlife species!

If you have any questions or want to get involved by becoming a Zoo Parent, visit the Zoo Parents webpage or call the Membership Office at (916) 808-5888.
Thanks again Karter!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A New Feathery Female Friend

By Leslie Field, Animal Care Supervisor

Have you seen the ostriches at the Zoo? Our ostriches live in the same exhibit with the Zebras. These large flightless birds mix well with African hoof stock and can live into their 40's. You can tell the difference between the male and female by their colors; the male is feathered with black and white plumes and the female with brown feathers.

When our female ostrich died, we decided to get another female "friend" as a companion for our male. The plans to pick her up became a family affair, when I got my husband Andy to volunteer his skills from hauling our three horses.

When we arrived to pick up Marzipan, she was already sectioned off with another female in the herd waiting our arrival. Once our trailer was lined up with their ostrich chute, she was led into the trailer, with hay and horse mats to cushion her ride. Then, off to the Sacramento Zoo we went.

We easily unloaded her into our veterinary hospital for her quarantine (every animal coming on Zoo grounds must complete at least a 30 day quarantine period). After all her medical tests, and a clean bill of health, zoo keepers arranged for her introduction to the zebra exhibit. To introduce her to our male ostrich, the zebras were moved to an off-exhibit holding area and the female ostrich was herded up the hoof stock work road from the veterinary hospital. She spent a number of hours next to our male ostrich separated by a fence, so they could get to know each other. The pair was then put together in the exhibit while the new female got the lay of the land. The next day, the zebras were allowed back in the exhibit and since then all has gone very well.

Come meet our new female ostrich next time you are at the Zoo. And don’t get them confused with the emus in the Australian Outback. Emus are smaller, they have mostly all brown-grey feathers, plus they are native to Australia unlike their African cousins.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Deaf Awareness Day

By Roy Kinji, Corporate Sponsorship Manager

The Sacramento Zoo strives to be a place for all families to enjoy and learn about animals and conservation. So last Saturday was a day of inclusion for our deaf and hard of hearing friends. It was our third annual "Deaf Awareness Day" in conjunction with NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard Of Hearing. All visitors were greeted by a signer welcoming them to Deaf Awareness Day at the Zoo. There were interpreters at the Wild Life Stage show, giraffe, big cats, and Reptile House lawn. The interpreters worked with our Docent staff and provided signing so that everyone could understand and learn about our animals.

I really understood what the day was all about when I saw visitors enjoying the zoo and signing to their friends and families. Unlike many disabilities that require a wheelchair or other helpful tool, deafness isn't quite so obvious. I saw many deaf visitors that I didn't realize were deaf until I saw them signing with their friends and families. I learned that when addressing someone who is deaf, it's important to make eye contact and speak directly towards them so that they could read my lips. It was easy to read their lips as they all turned into smiles.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Savannah Snacks Update

By Zoo Blog Keeper

Back in July, we posted a blog on Savannah Snacks, our new concession stand that will replace the old Ice Cream Station Zebra. There has been a lot of progress so we thought we would share!
Demolition of the old building started about a month ago and took some time. It also included some trenching for an updated fire hydrant line. Once that was cleared there was electrical and plumbing work and finally pouring the concrete slab where it would live.

Like all construction, there were some bumps in the road that slowed us down a little but we are expecting to have the Savannah Snacks module delivered soon! We are very excited to see how it looks in it's new home.

It will take some time to set up the station once it is installed, but we are well on our way! Here are some pictures of where Ice Cream Station Zebra used to be, and the new Savannah Snacks. We will update you again soon!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tigers Playing in the Pool - Video Blog

By Zoo Blog Keeper

The three male tigers will be 2 years old in November, and as you can see in this video, they are still quite playful.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Question & Answer

Dear Zoo,

This will be my Grandson's first visit to a zoo. He is now in 1st grade and I thought it would be a wonderful experience. He wants to be able to pet some of the animals. However I can't seem to find a "petting zoo" in your information. Do you have one? Please let me know we are planning to visit on September 13th. There will be 5 adults and 1 child, however all of us are children when it comes to the petting zoo.

Thank You
Grandma Montgomery

Grandma Montgomery, The Sacramento Zoo does not have a petting zoo. For a great up close experiece check out our stage show at 11 am or if you want to learn more about our animals meet up with the Zookeepers at the afternoon exhibit talks, 2:15, 2:30 and 2:45. Check out the event board at the front of the Zoo for details.

Best, Zoo Web Keeper

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to School or Back to the Zoo

by Amanda Casteneda, Education Manager

As autumn approaches, thoughts in the Education Department turn to a favorite time of year – back to school. With ZooMobiles, classroom presentations and field trips, we’re wild about learning at the Sacramento Zoo!

Our ZooMobile can come to your child’s classroom and deliver an interactive, educational program with guaranteed up-close animal encounters. We have prepared themes for you to choose from, or we can tailor our program to almost any animal-related theme your class is studying. A ZooMobile visit also makes a great birthday gift at school - what a great way for your child to celebrate his or her birthday with the whole class.

For the full Zoo experience, a field trip is the way to go. Fall is the best time to visit the Zoo. The crowds are smaller, the days are cooler, and the animals are out enjoying the break from the heat of the summer. Field trip groups enjoy exploring the Zoo on their own or with a Docent Educator guided tour. Start the school year off on the right foot with a trek around the Zoo to inspire your student’s imagination and interest.

Find out more here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Zoo visits the Rivercats

By Roy Kinji, Corporate Sponsorships Manger

Labor Day weekend, it was a perfect Sunday for baseball. The last homestand for the Sacramento Rivercats before they headed into the post season. Game time was 6:05 but the festivities started long before then. You see, the Rivercats Foundation was gracious enough to give the Sacramento Zoo a check for $2,500 to help fund our teen education program, and we were there on-field to accept the check before the first pitch. The Zoo's official mascot "Gus the Green Tree Frog" was there along with our Director, Mary Healy and Education Manger, Amanda Castaneda to accept the giant check. Thanks Rivercats!

But- the real excitement started outside of Raley Field as Rivercats fans stopped by the Sacramento Zoo booth to pick up discount tickets and information about the Sacramento Zoo. You see- we share a lot in common. Many of the Rivercats fans were Sacramento Zoo members. In fact, one family had just come from the zoo and recognized Valentina in the booth who had signed them up earlier. In August, over 200 Rivercats fans came to the Sacramento Zoo as part of our "Staycation" program.

Then, like a rockstar, Gus the green tree frog strolled out front after receiving the check. Kids lined up to give Gus a "high five" or a hug. Teens stopped and had their friends snap a cell phone pix of them and Gus. many of you have gotten your picture taken with a six-foot tall frog smiling from ear to ear???

Monday, September 1, 2008

I see the Hyena!

By Zoo Blog Keeper

If you have been to the Zoo, you know that sometimes, it's hard to get a glimpse of the hyena. She is quite reclusive, and avoids the heat by laying in her inside den that is much cooler. We happened to get a quick video of her walking around her exhibit first thing in the morning. Take a look and you too can see the hyena!