Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By Jessica Hinton, Teen Coordinator
Monica Nordstrom, a second year veteran of the Zoo Teen Program, is the creative genius behind the impressive burrowing owl cupcakes created for the 2009-2010 end of the year Zoo Teen party.
Monica is a highly involved Zoo Teen - she was a Mentor during training, she is the program’s Vice President and was voted the “Career-Corner Queen” for her exceptional articles written for the Zoo Teen Monthly Newsletter.
Monica one day hopes to become a veterinarian and her favorite thing about volunteering at the zoo is being involved in the community & helping the public to better understand conservation concepts.
When asked why she chose to make burrowing owl themed cupcakes for the Zoo Teen party, she replied “I had gotten the newsletter and read that we had owl chicks and I got really excited. I find owls fascinating and thought that bringing the cupcakes would be a cute way to celebrate their arrival with the Zoo Teens. I got the idea for making the mini cupcakes because of the babies. I was really happy about how they turned out and glad that everyone enjoyed them.”
We are so thankful for volunteers like Monica who not only work hard, but also bring enthusiasm and excitement to the Zoo everyday. Thank you!
Friday, May 14, 2010
By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper
The seven Burrowing owl chicks born in the beginning of April are growing up fast! They were seen venturing out of their burrow at night, but scampered back in as soon as they heard the approaching zoo keeper. They should start to explore their exhibit more soon, so keep an eye out when you are visiting!
In the meantime, here is a video of dad and the chicks.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper
At six weeks old, the female tiger cub is even more active and spends part of her days playing with mom. She is also getting used to drinking water from the Lixit water spout in thier den.
Friday, May 7, 2010
By Zoo Keepers Amanda, Christine & Leslie
Have you ever wondered how zoo animals were transported? Read along to hear of the keepers adventures as they prepared the transportation vehicle, picked up 10 flamingos, and introduced them to their new home. Read "New Flamingos, Part 1: Transportation" and "New Flamingos, Part 2: Picking up the Birds!" to find out where we started.
Part 3: Quarantine & Going on Exhibit!
All the birds did very well on the drive which was great! Offloading the birds into quarantine was the next step. Two keepers entered the back of the van through our shade cloth “door” and as each bird was caught, they were handed one at a time to our vet staff. Every bird was weighed and basic condition checked as well as bands and other identifiers. The group then entered our quarantine area in our hospital to start their 30-day stay. Every animal that comes into the zoo must go through a quarantine period where we do fecal testing and a physical exam during this time to make sure they are healthy and pose no health threat to our resident flock.
Fourteen Animal Care staff as well as Veterinary staff convened in quarantine for the final leg of the new flamingos to our exhibit. As each bird was caught, the birds were weighed, quick once-over, identifiers checked and off to lake they went. One bird per keeper plus an extra keeper tagged along for the walk (in case someone needed help). It’s not that the birds weigh very much (only 6 – 11 lbs) but they can bite (pinch really) if you don’t loosely hold the neck and be very wiggly as they kick and protest about being held.
Once at the lake exhibit, the group was let go on the lawn area inside the exhibit and off they went! It wasn’t long before the San Diego birds were integrated with our resident flamingos.
Thanks for joining us in the journey of 10 flamingos from San Diego!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
By Zoo Keepers Amanda & Christine
Have you ever wondered how zoo animals were transported? Read along to hear of the keepers adventures as they prepared the transportation vehicle, picked up 10 flamingos, and introduced them to their new home. Read "New Flamingos, Part 1: Transportation" to find out where we started.
Part 2: Picking up the Birds!
We continue the journey with more communication and collaboration between the Sacramento Zoo and the San Diego Zoo and Sea World! The zoo keepers spent hours speaking with the San Diego Zoo staff in order to coordinate last minute details regarding loading and transport. Preparations over the past few weeks for paperwork, transfer of records were finished. We also spoke to their flamingo keepers to understand how they took care of the flamingo since they were fed in a slightly different manner with a different type of food than the Sacramento Zoo uses.
The morning finally came and off we drove with food (for us), phones, and lots of CDs to keep us entertained along the way. After resting in a hotel overnight, we arrived at the San Diego Zoo veterinary hospital at 6:30 am ready to go. Working alongside their keeper staff we gave each bird a quick physical exam, weighed them and made sure their leg bands were taped up. Flamingo legs are thin and fragile and can be injured by the band if they fall. With the leg bands held in place, it is one less thing that could hurt them.
The two Red-breasted geese from Sea World arrived outside the zoo gates to meet us. Thanks Sea World staff!
In case of injuries along the way, we had in the van a bird first aid kit that included gauze, hemostats, quick stop, and vet wrap to use for any injuries or broken blood feathers. Last but not least, a spray bottle with water to cool off the birds if they become stressed.
Loaded and ready to go with two geese in crates, and ten flamingos in our specially designed pens, we headed out at 7:30 am. We carefully drove back to Sacramento through the wind and rain, stopping only once for gas and food.
In case there was a bird medical emergency, we had zoos along the way notified that we were driving north in case we needed their help. While one of us drove the other periodically peaked into the flamingo pens to make sure all the birds were doing well. During the trip the Red breasted geese would call out and one of the flamingos would respond every time. It makes for a different kind of drive!
Stay tuned for the next installment: Part 3, Quarantine & Going on Exhibit!
Monday, May 3, 2010
By Zoo Keepers Amanda & Christine
Part 1: Transportation!
We rented a large Ryder metro van to transport the birds. The van had to be large enough to make sure the flamingos could comfortably stand and move around slightly during the drive back to Sacramento. As you probably know, the inside of these types of vans are not exactly flamingo friendly! There are holes in the walls, wheel wells to trip over and no padding.
Stay tuned for our next installment: Part 2, Picking up the Birds!