Monday, September 26, 2011

Ground Hornbill Chick Update

By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper

The Abyssinian ground hornbill chick that hatched on June 15 is growing fast! He looks like an adult but is still learning how to move around. In the video below at week 7, you'll see him use his wings to keep his balance as he learns to stand. Ground hornbills stay in the nest until they are able to fly away from predators. So despite his large size, he is still learning the basics.

Once he was walking, zoo keepers moved him from the tub (which he would start trying to jump out of), into a larger pen. In week 10 you can see him starting to use his wing, hop around and move faster.

We'll keep you updated on his progress!

Read all the hornbill chick blogs here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Digs for River Otters!

By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper

September 9, 2011 marked the opening of the newly renovated North American river otter habitat that we call SPLASH! The existing concrete pool was about the only thing that made it into the new exhibit. More land was added, a decorative rock background was installed, a new water fall and most striking is the all-glass viewing area for the public.

Not only can you see the otters in a more up-close-and-personal way, they can see you! During their first week, Zoo staff has been thrilled to see them playing and exploring in their new space and surprised at how much of an interest they take in the visitors.

Thank You!
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to make this project possible. Especially to Otto Construction and River City Glass that have done so much for this project and many others.

Make sure to come visit the Sacramento Zoo soon and see the river otters in their new digs!

Here's a video of the new exhibit and the otters enjoying their new space. Or watch on Youtube.

The old otter exhibit

The framing and ground work are done

The stone work finally made it look like an exhibit

More land means more landscaping

The new exhibit

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Keeper Profile, Scott

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.

Scott Rammel

What areas do you work?
Birds, Reptiles, Primates, Carnivores and Ungulates.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is getting to see the animals I care for everyday. It's pretty amazing when I stop and think about how cool it is to work with exotic animals.

What is your favorite animal?
I think Meerkats are awesome!

How long have you worked at the Sacramento Zoo?
I have been here for seven years; 2 as a volunteer, 2 as a part time keeper and 3 as a full time keeper.

What would you tell someone who wants to become a zookeeper?
Do not get into this field for the money. You have to love the job.

When did you know that you wanted to be a zookeeper?
Ever since I was a kid.

Why is your job so important?
It is important to educate the public about the threats to the species at the zoo. We also maintain viable populations of the species in case they do go extinct in the wild.

Tell us something interesting about one of the animals you have worked with.
One of our Himalayan Monals was the reference for Kevin in the Pixar Studios movie, Up.

What would you say to people who may not be as interested in looking at the birds in the zoo?
Birds are important and need to be protected for conservation as well. There are many threatened bird species that need our help.