Thursday, May 28, 2009

82 Teens Getting Ready for Summer Camp

by Robin Baker, Teen Coordinator

It’s that time of year again! Everyone involved with zoo camp is getting into gear for our Camp Counselor Training this Sunday, May 31st. We are all very excited to meet and get to know our new teen volunteers, as well as welcome back some friendly and familiar faces. This is our biggest summer camp ever for volunteers as we are expecting to have around 80 teens attend, not including teachers and staff. We will be doing introductions, playing games, learning important facts about zoo camp, and, of course, eating a large amount of pizza. Make sure to check for the pictures in a few weeks!

Amanda and Robin - Your Summer Camp Leaders!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Swingin' Safari - Golf for a Purpose

by Roy Kinji, Marketing Director

The weather was perfect last Thursday, which was a big change from last year's sustained winds and the year before when is was 100 degrees and the A/C was not working. Swingin' Safari is our annual golf tournament fundraiser at Teal Bend Golf Course. For all those golfers who may not have been having their best round, Pyramid Brewery made sure it was a great day for all.

Del Rogers came out to the course and did two live newscasts at noon and again at 6 pm. We found out he is actually pretty afraid of snakes. Our Pacific gopher snake wiggled his way out of his gate right in the middle of the live broadcast and Del was startled to see him slithering across the grass. The Zoo keeper set him back in the gate and all was fine after that.

The winning foursome was Kevin Stillman, Andy Heekin, Dennis Nunes, Matt Brooks. The winner of the putting contest and longest drive was Tracy Nichols, and this was her last tournament before going pro and joining the Canadian LPGA. All the golfers tried their shot at the hole-in-one Honda prize, but there where no winners this time.

The raffle and auction are the great conclusion to a fun day. Our MC, Steve Bernstein got so excited he added an item at the last minute - his barbershop quartet singing at your home or party.

Thank you to all our golfers and sponsors this year!

Friday, May 22, 2009

From Keeper to Veterinary Technician (3 weeks)

By Alison Mott, Zoo keeper/ Veterinary Technician

I have been a Zoo keeper for 4 years and have worked here at the Sacramento Zoo for the last 2 1/2. I also have my veterinary technician certification and have worked in our veterinary hospital on occasion, so when our resident vet tech had to go on medical leave I was able to fill her shoes for a few weeks.

A typical keeper day starts out a lot like a typical veterinary technician day. Check on the animals in your care and prepare their diets. One big difference is that as a keeper I was taking care of many animals in one day. Now I am taking care of only one. Our new Red river hog, who is going through his quarantine period before he is placed in his new exhibit. If you ever stop by the hospital and see us wearing purple scrubs then you will know that we are working with an animal that is in quarantine.

From there my days are very different and are never the same. I have to get the hospital ready for the day’s procedures. So far one of the animal procedures I assisted with is our North American river otter annual exams. We start by putting them to sleep. They have sharp teeth and they know how to use them, so for our safety and theirs we work on them while they sleep. We do an all over check, their fur, eyes, teeth, ears, feet and so on. We will draw blood and take x-rays. I monitor the Otter and the anesthesia during the procedure and help out whenever the veterinarian needs me. After everything is done the otter wakes up in their crate and later that morning is taken back to their exhibit.

Some mornings include going around the Zoo and checking on animals that have been seen by the veterinarian. Sometimes I help give medication to these animals, other times it’s just to stop by and see how they are doing.

The afternoons are usually busy with laboratory work. You may see me running blood through our chemistry machine or using a microscope to look for parasites in fecal samples. This is all very important to help keep the animals here healthy.

Ask our front gate staff is an animal exam is scheduled on the day of your visit or peek into the viewing windows at the vet hospital.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Conservation Carousel Grand Opening

by Lauren Kraft, Public Relations Coordinator

Today was the official opening of the Zoo's Conservation Carousel. The carousel is really a sight to see. The hand-carved animals are beautiful and the kids are so excited to ride on their favorite animal and then go out into the Zoo to see the real thing. Everyone who purchases a ride ticket today will also get a free Pink Popcorn and will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of Ice Cream Safari tickets.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Amazon Parrot Greetings Return

by Lauren Kraft, Public Relations Coordinator

I heard a familiar sound today in the Zoo again... "meow, here kitty kitty, come here." It was not the group of school kids on a field trip looking in the tiger exhibit, or even the family talking about the jaguars. It was coming from a small green bird just down the way; the Amazon parrots are back out on exhibit! A visitor favorite, Jasper, the Plain-colored Amazon parrot, is chatting away and amusing everyone visiting on these warm spring days.

The two Amazon parrots were off exhibit during the winter while Jasper recovered from a respiratory issue. Now that the weather has warmed up and Jasper has been given a clean bill of health, he and his female companion are back out in the Zoo. So don't forget to say "Hi" next time you are visiting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gus Says: Commute Another Way

By Gus, the Green tree frog and Zoo Mascot

Be Green this May and Bike, Carpool, Skate, Bus or Walk to Work! Since 1956, May has been recognized as National Bike Month. At the Sacramento Zoo, we are encouraging our staff to use any alternative method of transportation besides driving alone in a gas guzzling car. Reduce pollution and traffic while getting some great exercise or bonding with coworkers on your commute.

Why should you bike to work this week?
Biking to work builds morale, encourages camaraderie, and is a great way to get active in your community.

Active employees are more alert, take fewer sick days, and are more productive.

Biking reduces your carbon footprint, reduces traffic congestion, and can save you money.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Welcome Amber the Anteater - Slideshow

By Lauren Kraft, Public Relations Coordinator

The Zoo's female Giant anteater is now out on exhibit with the male. She arrived over a month ago and spent 30 days of quarantine in the veterinary hospital before given a clean bill of health. She moved up to the Giant anteater den a couple weeks ago and started getting acclimated to her new companion, and her new exhibit. The two anteaters were introduced to each other on the exhibit and are getting along just fine. The female does like to sleep in and usually does not come out until 10 or 11 am. Giant anteaters are nocturnal, so she is just catching up on her beauty rest.

With a tongue that moves in and out 150 times per minute, the Giant anteater can eat up to 30,000 insects in a single day!

When the weather is warm, look for these two bathing in their pool - it is amazing to see!