Monday, October 24, 2011

Welcome new Supervisor of Collections!

By Tonja Swank, Public Relations Coordinator

The Sacramento Zoo has welcomed Matt McKim as the new Supervisor of Collections. McKim came from Micke Grove Zoo where he served as Zoo Curator for six years.

Being Supervisor of Collections requires a very skilled individual. He will oversee the complex task of transferring and receiving animals, a job that requires a lot of paperwork, careful consideration into how to transport an animal and working closely with other zoos. McKim will also hold the responsibilities of an onsite supervisor which includes working with the Zoo’s Keeper-Aide Program, coordinating staff development, supply acquisition, acting as the Zoo’s registrar and coordinating records of the Zoo’s animal collection.

“I am optimistic and excited to continue to work in a field that I love as part of this successful and respected organization. I look forward to contributing to the future of the Sacramento Zoo as a world class conservation institution.” said McKim.

McKim graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in animal ecology and environmental studies. After graduation he began working for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. From there he made the shift to zoos as a zookeeper at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IA and then moved west to become a zookeeper at Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi, CA. In 2005 McKim accepted the position of Zoo Curator at Micke Grove Zoo which he held until his recent transition to the Sacramento Zoo.

Another bright spot of this new opportunity for McKim is the chance to work in the community in which he resides. McKim said, “I have called Sacramento home for more than 11years. My new position allows me a wonderful chance to give back to the community I live in by joining the Zoo’s efforts to serve as the local go-to source of conservation education for both children and adults throughout the area”.

Matt with Twilight the Western Screech Owl

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Buy Books for a Good Cause

By Brooke Coe, Greater Sac AAZK Member

“The great objection to new books is that they prevent our reading old ones.” – Joseph Joubert

Tired of reading the same old books? Greater Sac AAZK, Sacramento’s chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, is hosting their First Annual Book Sale this Saturday, October 22, from 10 am to 3 pm. The zoo keepers will be stationed just outside the Zoo’s front gates with a wide selection of books in all genres. You’ll have an opportunity to find excellent books to read while supporting a great organization. Come and join us!

Greater Sac AAZK Book Sale
Saturday, October 22, 2011
10 am to 3 pm
Sacramento Zoo’s Front Entrance

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sacramento Zoo Grieves for Orangutan

By Tonja Swank, Public Relations Coordinator

The Oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the U.S., Ginger, Dies

Sacramento Zoo is saddened by the death of Ginger, their female Sumatran orangutan. Ginger, born in Sumatra in 1955, died the morning of October 18, 2011. She came to the Sacramento Zoo in 1984 where she surpassed all expectations, becoming the oldest Sumatran orangutan in the the age of 56.

Leslie Field, Supervisor of Mammals, noted, “Ginger has always been a strong personality…even with keepers, she could be strong-willed. As the matriarch of the orangutan group, Ginger was a spectacular ambassador for wildlife; she inspired and motivated Zoo visitors to take an active role in conservation.”

Ginger was being treated for age-related illnesses, including arthritis, for some time. More recently, Sacramento Zoo veterinary and animal care staff attempted to treat neurological issues which had affected both her eyesight and coordination. Ginger was not physically able to move inside from her habitat last night. Discussion today focused on Ginger’s quality of life and potential for improvement. After careful consideration between Zoo administrators, animal care and veterinary staff, the decision was made to euthanize her to avoid any suffering.

Sumatran orangutans are native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They are listed as endangered and are especially vulnerable to loss of habitat because they are only found on one small island. Current estimates indicate that there are only 20,000 to 30,000 orangutans left in the wild. Orangutans can live up to 30 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.

Ginger will be missed by visitors and staff alike.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Who's Studying Whom?

By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper

The Sacramento Zoo has made quite a splash with the newly renovated North American river otter exhibit. We just had to share this comment from a Zoo member and the pictures of her inquisitive son with an equally inquisitive river otter!

"We had a great time at the new Splash exhibit, here are some pictures of our son RJ and your otter “studying” each other."

Leslie Morris
Sacramento Zoo Member