Thursday, June 30, 2011

IKEA Solarbration

By Jaime Wilson, Green Team Member

IKEA has been a Sacramento Zoo partner for years, supporting our Cell Phone Safari program and revamping the Discovery Room for all our guests to enjoy. They have made their mark with their public recycling programs and by phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs.

On June 28th, IKEA in West Sacramento made another huge step in sustainability by officially plugging-in 65,000 feet of solar panels that will produce almost 800,000 kilowatts of clean electricity annually. That's enough to power 69 homes for a year or the equivalent of reducing 630 tons of carbon.

"This investment by IKEA to purchase its own solar photovoltaic energy system and to install and operate it atop the West Sacramento store will lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid, and represents the eighth completed solar energy project for IKEA in the United States. There also currently are plans underway to install systems at four other IKEA locations in California as well as eight more in the Eastern U.S." - Official IKEA press release.

IKEA partnered with Gloria Solar, the City of West Sacramento and PG&E to make this project happen.

The Sacramento Zoo is proud to partner with a company that values sustainability and we applaud IKEA and their solar project.

Have you ever noticed the solar panels on top of the Zoofari Market gift store? Next time you are at the Zoo see if you can spot them!

PG&E representative, West Sacramento Mayor & IKEA Store Manager

Only a small portion of the solar panels

Friday, June 17, 2011

King of Feasts - Eat, Drink, Hula!

By Marisa Hicks, Marketing Coordinator

Eat, Drink, Enjoy!
Break out your luau attire and come support the Sacramento Zoo at King of Feasts on June 25 from 6 to 9 pm! It’s a fun night to EAT, DRINK and HULA your way through the Zoo while sampling the wide selection of local beers, wines, premium spirits and mouth-watering specialties offered by the Sacramento region’s finest restaurants. New this year, local mobile–food truck, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen as featured at Sacramento Mobile Food Festival in April, will be joining us with some of his famous culinary bites. Visit the King of Feasts webpage for a full list of vendors and to purchase tickets.

Silent Auctions
As the food and drink flow, stop by the three silent auction locations throughout the Zoo. You are sure to find some one-of-a-kind items to get a deal on. Just a few of these treasures include: A singed 6L Imperial of 2002 Terra d'Oro Zinfandel, four admission tickets and behind-the-scenes tour at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, three cases of Lost Coast Brewery beer, and a tour and tasting for 20 people at Scribner Bend Vineyards.

Entertainment & Hula Hoop Contest
Throughout the night there will also be Hawaiian inspired entertainment from Ukulele players to Polynesian Dancers. The Zoo will turn into a tropical paradise for a night. You can also see what you’ve got at 7 pm for the first King of Feasts Adult Hula-Hoop Contest at the Tiki Lounge on the Reptile House Lawn. Contestants will be judged on their endurance, enthusiasm and style. Special prizes will be awarded to all the winners with the best shakin’ hips! If you don’t want to compete, stick around for the Tiki Lounge Dance Party throughout the evening.

Red Lotus After Party
After you’ve had you have picked up your silent auction items, had your fill of food and drink and feel like bringing the party on the town, keep the party going after 8:30pm at Red Lotus Kitchen and Bar at 2718 J Street in Midtown Sacramento. When you present your King of Feasts Ticket stub you will receive 15% off your entire purchase! One coupon per party please.

Enter to Win Free Tickets
Some fabulous Sacramento food blogs will be giving away a pair of tickets to King of Feasts. Visit their blogs for details on how to enter.
Awake at the Whisk, Cakegrrl, Cowtown Eats, Girls on the Grid, Munchie Musings & Sac Foodies.

By the way, with all this “PARTY” we encourage the grown-ups to come out and play and highly recommend those to be 21 and over.

And here's a slideshow from last year!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Twilight Thursdays Return!

By Tonja Swank, Public Relations Coordinator

Twilight Thursday is every week from June 16 through July 28. The Zoo will stay open late until 8 pm for extended summertime entertainment including live music, car shows and the animals!

Entrance into this fun filled event is included in general Zoo admission and the music starts at 5:30 pm. Bring your own picnic basket or your family can enjoy the evening’s Dinner Special. Please note that alcoholic beverages may not be brought into the Zoo but can be purchased once inside.

I love the 80’s - June 16th
The series will kick off June 16th with “I love the 80’s,” featuring music from Superlicious, Sacramento's hottest 80's flashback cover band. After emptying your picnic basket or tasting the dinner special, Southern fried chicken and waffles, you can check out the Volkswagen car show. You can also stop by and speak with Education First, an organization that offers a range of educational programs from language training, educational travel and academic degrees to cultural exchanges.

Swing Swing Swing! - June 23rd
June 23 will include live music by Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums. Arrive by 5 pm and participate in swing dance lessons from Midtown Stomp. Then dance your way through the display of antique cars and trailers. The dinner special for the evening is a deli sandwich with turkey, ham, cheese and garlic lemon aioli with macaroni. UC Davis Children’s hospital will also be in attendance, be sure to stop by their table and learn about the wonderful services they provide and how you can help.

Show off your car!
Do you have a hot car that you would like to show off during a Twilight Thursday? You can visit the Twilight Thursday webpage or call 916-808-5888 for more details and to register.

Win 4 tickets and a $20 food voucher!
Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets and $20 in food for the first Twilight Thursday on June 16, 2011. Just leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite Sacramento Zoo animal and we will pick a random winner Wednesday 6/15 at 5pm.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Artist Fred Krakowiak Visits the Zoo

By Mary Healy, Zoo Director

Wildlife artist Fred Krakowiak was the featured guest speaker at the Zoo’s annual Benefactor’s Reception for special supporters of the Sacramento Zoo on May 6th. Fred lives and paints in Scottsdale AZ.

Fred was formally trained in the ancient Japanese art of sumi that uses a weasel-hair brush to paint. Over ten years ago, he took his first trip to Africa, a trip that proved to be a life-changing experience for him.

His unique style of wildlife art enables him to capture the feeling of movement and vitality of the animals.

At the reception at the Zoo, he shared stories about how experiencing wildlife in Africa shaped his future, and became a journey of personal discovery. The next day, Fred displayed his work to Zoo visitors who stood in awe as he painted a crouching lion using fabric dyes on silk. The painting will be featured in the Zoo’s Wild Affair auction on October 1, 2011.

On a related note, the Zoo now has a self-guided tour of art pieces throughout the site that can be enjoyed alongside the animal habitats and lush gardens.

Krakowiak signing books.

Krakowiak, Zoo Director Mary Healy and Steve O'Brien

Krakowiak, Zoo Director Mary Healy, Zoo Board President Starr Walton Hurley

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Keeper Profile, Amanda in Carnivores

Learn more about the talented and dedicated individuals that take care of the zoo animals in our newest installment of the Keeper Profiles series. Missed the first ones? Check out all the past blogs here.

Amanda Mayberry

What area do you work?

What is your favorite part about the job?
I would say that my favorite part of my job is training or operant conditioning. Not only is it rewarding to have a personal interaction with the animals I work with (behind mesh) but I have seen firsthand what a huge impact training animals to get on scales or show their feet can have on their well being.

What is your favorite animal and why?
That’s like asking a parent which child is their favorite! I love them all and for many different reasons. The ones that have had a big impact on me as a keeper are our hyena, otters, pandas and our newest tiger cub. They have all taught me so much.

How long have you worked at the Sacramento Zoo?
I started as a volunteer and have been working as a full time staff member for 5 years!

What would you tell someone who wants to be a zookeeper?
Don’t be afraid of hard work because the little things make our job so worth it! Education is very important as is experience. I highly recommend volunteering at your local wildlife rehabilitation facility, zoo, or any other animal related facility that could use the help and give you the experience. It is a competitive field but don’t give up. Hard work pays off!

When did you know that you wanted to be a zookeeper?
Well I told everyone I wanted to be a zookeeper when I was 3, but it wasn’t until my second year of college that I realized it was the only career that would make me happy.

Why is your job important?
I believe my job is important for many reasons. The animals we work with are here to be ambassadors for their species and help the public connect with the world around us. Our job is to help educate the public on conservation issues and how they can help preserve habitat for their wild relatives. My job specifically is important because I am responsible for making the animals lives as good as they possibly can be. Whether that be making them comfortable when being treated for a medical issue or being creative and coming up with new toys and enrichment items.

Tell me something interesting about one of the animals you work with. It can be something factual or a personality quirk.
One of the most interesting things I have found in personalities is the food preferences between cats. As treats the cats (and hyena) will get mice or fish a couple of times a month. We have learned that the lions LOVE fish and the tigers LOVE mice. They however, do not like the opposite. You will get evil looks from both species if you mess up.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Newly Designed Browse Garden

By Tonja Swank, Public Relations Coordinator

While at a conference in San Diego, the Zoo’s horticulturalist, Michaele Bergera, had a thought.

“What if the Sacramento Zoo creates a browse garden? It could be a space that beautifies and includes plants that can be used for animal feedings and enrichment…”

Last week that idea turned into reality with the help of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers Sacramento District (APLD), and the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA), who donated their time and resources to the development and labor required for the task.

Those who also donated plants and other resources include Moodey, Inc., Landscape Liasons, Bloomin’ Landscape Designs, Cascade Rock, Village Nursery, AmeriCorps, and our very own Zoo Teens.

With the help of volunteers, the garden was landscaped in a day. The Browse Garden is located near Big Cat Row and the Orangutans. It includes a large fork statue by artist Terrence Martin of Jagged Edge Metal Art, a dry stream bed and plants, such as camellia and coprosma, that can be used to feed and enrich various animals.

Next time you’re at the Zoo, be sure to stop by the Browse Garden and see if you can identify any of the plants.


Volunteers helping plant and landscape
The finished garden