Monday, August 20, 2012

New Animal Signs!

By Ann Geiger, Education Director

Who knew it would “take a village” to install animal identification signs at the Zoo!

We have placed 63 new identification signs with a lot of helpers and I’m so excited to see this project in real life. We have been writing, editing and designing for months now and finally get to see the finished product.

The team of staff editors was great to work with and Serina, our graphics coordinator, took over and did her magic. Color Solutions Inc. was next; they produced the signs. While they were working on the signs, Dimensional Graphics made the posts and hardware so that everything would be ready for ICON Install to place the signs at the Zoo. Once the signs were at the Zoo, Serina worked with animal care staff to shift animals inside when needed since we crossed over fences (the installers were very happy about this part).

Animals, staff and vendors alike cooperated seamlessly and now we have beautiful new signs!

Next project…directional signs to help visitors find their way through the Zoo.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ashley Williams and the ZooMobile

Ashley Williams, reporter and weekend coordinating producer for Good Day Sacramento, visited Foulks Ranch Elementary School in Elk Grove this week.  Ashley attended Foulks Ranch when she was in elementary school, and greatly enjoyed her experiences there. When she discovered that she could visit Foulks Ranch with the ZooMobile and visit Mrs. McLean, her old teacher, she was ecstatic!

Full of energy and excitement, Ashley began the visit by telling Mrs. McLean’s class stories about her time at Foulks Ranch and answering questions from the wiggling fourth graders. Ashley’s appearance was followed by a ZooMobile presentation that included a visit from animal ambassadors. The visit was a real treat for Ashley, Mrs. McLean and her class.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Grey Fox as Animal Ambassador

The Interpretive Center has a new addition to its Animal Ambassadors, a non-releasable Grey Fox kit. Grey fox are common, although rarely sighted, in California and are a versatile species that can live in most habitats, eat a variety of foods and can even climb trees!

Lando is only four months old, but he is learning quickly and already has a some trained behaviors including sit, hold (aka stay), kennel and come. His favorite training treat, you ask? Mango and plum, believe it or not.

Lando will be in quarantine until the end of August in our vet hospital, lounging around with his toys and stuffed animals and learning the ropes of a life of fame, with his keepers visiting him three times a day. Once he is cleared from quarantine,  you can catch him in training sessions and shows at the amphitheater. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ann Littlewood Reveals another Zoo Mystery

Author Ann Littlewood just release her the third book, Endangered, a zoo mystery series. Ann brings 12 years of zookeeping experience to her books.  Last week Ann was in Sacramento for her book tour and decided to make a stop at the Sacramento Zoo (she also visited in 2008 when Night Kill was released).

While at the Zoo we asked her some questions:

Q. When did your interest in animals begin?
A. I have always had an interest in animals. My father was a fan of Elmer Aldridge, famous for his research on birds. I think that is where my interest began.

Q. Do you ever use events or people from your zookeeping days in your books?
A. Only one person in my books is based on a real person. I can tell you that Arnie is the character, but I don’t think I should give away who the real person is. Also, my books are certainly based on experiences and knowledge that I learned as a zookeeper as well as what I learn from current zookeepers.

Q. What animal are you looking forward to seeing at the Sacramento Zoo?
A. I just saw the Red Pandas and they were amazing; I also plan to stop and see the Black and White Ruffed Lemurs.

Q. Do you have a favorite zoo?
A.  Portland Zoo is my home zoo, but really my favorite is whichever zoo I happen to be in at the moment. So, right now it is the Sacramento Zoo.

Q. What conservation message would you pass on to our audience?
A. I would encourage people to fight to leave natural habitats alone. Every community has tough issues at hand when considering natural habitats, but they should still do what they can to preserve those habitats.

Q. Do you have a particular animal story that you like sharing?
A. I certainly have an intense experience that I remember well.  In Portland an Indonesian sailor got off a ship with a young orangutan and tried to sell it to the zoo. Of course this was illegal, so the orangutan was confiscated and ended up in our care at the Portland Zoo because we were the closest facility equipped to take care of him. I remember holding this orangutan, knowing that the mother had been killed in order for it to get to us. Later the orangutan went to Cincinnati where he became a daddy.

For more information on her books, please visit Ann Littlewood's website.

Zoo Director Mary Healy with author Ann Littlewood