Fall News and Updates

IMG_7792The end of August is approaching quickly! Certain rides, gift shops, and food stands will begin their Fall schedules after Labor Day weekend.

 

Here is a list of updates for the next few weeks:

 

A few things may close or operate on a different schedule, but Autumn is one our favorite times of year here at the zoo! The weather is cooler so certain animals are more active, and it tends to be a little more quiet here September – October. It’s also a wonderful place to enjoy the beautiful New England fall foliage. We also have some pretty fantastic events coming up!

  • Sunday, September 7th is Massachusetts Day
    Massachusetts residents are eligible for Buy One Get One Free general admission tickets. This offer is only available here at the zoo, and not online. Valid ID is required.
  • Sunday, September 14th is Rhode Island & Connecticut Day
    Rhode Island and Connecticut residents are eligible for Buy One Get One Free general admission tickets. This offer is only available here at the zoo, and not online. Valid ID is required.
  • Friday. September 19th is the 9th Annual EARTH Bash 4pm-10pm
    This is EARTH Ltd’s annual fundraiser hosted at Southwick’s Zoo. Tickets are on sale now and include: jeep tours of the zoo, an open bar, food (there’s going to be some pretty impressive things to try this year!), live and silent auctions, and live music! Note: this event is 21+ only.IMG_8021
  • Sunday, September 21st is New Hampshire, Vermont, & Maine Day
    New Hampshire, Vermont, & Maine residents are eligible for Buy One Get One Free general admission tickets. This offer is only available here at the zoo, and not online. Valid ID is required.
  • October 20-26 are ZooBoo Days
    This is an entire week of Halloween fun! Kids 3-12 wearing costumes get free admission this week and can trick or treat in the zoo! Certain animals receive pumpkins and corn stalks. Check back in October for a list of animal and pumpkin days.

 

 

 

 

Summer Safari Scavenger Hunt

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Our annual Summer Scavenger Hunt is Sunday, August 24th! Test your zoo knowledge and win a prize! We will have scavenger hunts for different age groups. This event is included with normal zoo admission.

ZooKeeper Clara

1We recently had a very special visitor here at Southwick’s Zoo. The Make-a-Wish Foundation contacted us about a little girl named Clara who loves elephants and wished to be a zookeeper for a day. Of course we wanted to do whatever we could to create a memorable day for Clara and her family.

They arrived to the zoo in a limousine and met up with Betsey and one of our zookeepers/education coordinators, Sarah. The weather was perfect and sunny, and the day was off to a great start!

 

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A kangaroo encounter was first on Sarah’s list of zookeeper activities. Clara, her younger brother, and her parents go to get up close to our resident mob of red kangaroos including Rufus the joey.

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Clara also got to meet a number of our other animals such as our sloths, Aldabra tortoises, and giraffes!

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The highlight of the day was riding the visiting elephants Tai and Rosie! Clara even received her own t-shirt painted by one the elephants.

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After exploring the zoo some more, we decided to take a break for lunch. Clara was surprised by an amazing cake donated by Hannafords!

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After lunch we took Clara for a second elephant ride, and then headed to the train station for a relaxing ride on the Woodland Express. Clara ended her zoo adventure by taking a spin on the carousel.

DSC_4150We couldn’t be happier with how the day progressed. We feel honored that we were able to make this wonderful little girl’s wish come true. If you would like to help other kids reach their dreams, please visit the Make a Wish Foundation Massachusetts and Rhode Island website to see how you can contribute.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I’m sure all of you are aware of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge to build awareness of and raise funds for the ALS Association. Southwick’s Zoo was recently challenged and of course we didn’t back down. We received a little help from visiting Indian elephants, Tai and Rosie. Check out our video, and some great photos, below!

 

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Intern Diary #3

Intern Diary #3

Deanna R.

 

When people think of internships at Southwick’s Zoo, their minds may automatically go to animal care positions. However, there is a lot more to running a zoo than just the animals. I am fortunate enough to have a marketing internship here at Southwick’s Zoo and I can say that it is a truly unique experience. My job changes from day to day depending on what events are coming up and what is deanna new to the zoo. Although I primarily work in the office, I get the chance to take breaks during the day to walk around the zoo to take some photos to share with our fans on social media.
I also get the chance to help out with the planning of the larger events here at the zoo. I am able to talk to employees and owners of the zoo and help out with brainstorming how to best promote the event. For example, I was able to help out with Lions, Tigers, and Beers which turned out to be a huge success and it was something that I learned a good amount from. I also worked on Earth Awareness Day and advertised for the Earth Bash booth to encourage visitors to purchase discounted tickets to the event that day. Unfortunately, the weather did not work out like we had hoped, but it is something that everyone who deals with an outdoor venue must cope with. We still made the rainy day work and we hope that our visitors still enjoyed their visit!

 

Finally, although I’m more on the business side of the zoo, I do get to interact with the animals on a more personal basis. Sometimes, the zookeepers allow us to hold the animals, or go “behind the scenes” to take some pictures that no one else is able to get. For example, I was able to take a picture of Cricket, the baby tapir, before he was even let out into the exhibit. It’s amazing to be able to be so close to these beautiful creatures and it’s something that I wouldn’t be able to do at any other internship.

 

Being a marketing intern here at the zoo is a rewarding job. Each day, I think about what I can do to keep visitors interested in the zoo and how to ensure that they visit us again. I get to spend time taking beautiful, and sometimes humorous, photos of our animals and share them with our fans. Sometimes, our visitors get the best photos though. We get to share photos that professional photographers take, or the average visitor takes on a day with perfect lighting at just the right moment. It is so tapirrewarding when visitors send us photos of their favorite moments of their visit and express how much they loved their experience, and it’s even better when we get to share those positive messages with the rest of our fans.
I have learned so much from this internship and it has been a great summer here at Southwick’s Zoo. I encourage anyone interested in getting an internship to apply, because working at this zoo is an experience like no other.

Intern Diary #2

Intern Diary #2

Kelly D.

As an intern at Southwick’s zoo, I have spent plenty of time being completely amazed by many of the magnificent creatures that inhabit our zoo. One animal that I have spent a lot of time around is a nine month old Red Kangaroo called Rufus. Rufus was hand raised by zookeepers after being found out of his mother’s pouch in the kangaroo habitat over the winter. He was completely hairless and weighed less than a pound!

DSC_3797Since that day the zookeepers have acted as Rufus’s mom feeding him a bottle and making sure he was well taken care of. Today, eight months later Rufus is a strong, healthy, and handsome kangaroo who seems to be growing bigger every day! Over the past week, Rufus has been slowly introduced to the kangaroo habitat and the all the other kangaroos that live here; so far Rufus has done excellent with meeting and greeting the kangaroo mob. It has been a fantastic experience for myself, and many others at the zoo, watching him grow and begin to integrate into the mob. Next time you come and visit, be sure to take a close look at our kangaroo exhibit, you may see Rufus out and about socializing with his kangaroo family.

9th Annual EARTH Bash

We’d like to thank everyone that attended Lions, Tigers, and Beers Friday night and everyone who made it to the zoo despite less than desirable weather on Saturday for EARTH Awareness. Now it’s time to start getting ready for our largest event here at Southwick’s Zoo. This is of course 9th Annual EARTH Bash! The zoo will be open to explore during the event and up at the main tent there will be cocktails, food, live music, and live and silent auctions!

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This is your chance to party for a good cause! This year’s EARTH Bash will be held on Friday, September 19th from 4pm-10pm. Proceeds from this event go towards EARTH Ltd. EARTH is a nonprofit that in a way serves as the zoo’s education department. They run a number of educational programs such as Wild Adventure Summer Programs, ZooMobiles, and Junior Zookeeping. They also train docents and interns that work here at Southwick’s Zoo.

You need to be 21+ to attend EARTH Bash. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased HERE at EARTH’s website.

Fall Internships 2014

Intern Diary #1

We’re doing something a little different. The next few entries are going to be written by our interns.

 

Intern Diary #1
Lisa D.

Being an intern at Southwick’s Zoo is definitely a dirty job at times, but more often than not, it is very rewarding. Over the past couple months I have learned quite a bit about the animals around the zoo, and I’ve learned even more about the animals in the EARTH building where I spend a majority of my time. We are responsible for roughly 60 animals at the Earth Discovery Center. This includes feeding them, cleaning their enclosures, training them, and creating enrichment for them.IMG_2031

One animal that I have been working closely with over the last few weeks is a blue and gold macaw named Spaz. Spaz is 22 years old and was hatched here at the zoo! He and his half-brother Merlin have lived with us ever since. Spaz has fascinated me since I started my internship back in May. He is extremely intelligent (as most birds are) and knows many different words and phrases such as “cracker”, “hello”, and “goodbye”. He can even laugh and roar! I watched one of my supervisors bond with one of our other birds in the building by spending time with him and sharing her lunch with him on occasion. I learned that the act of sharing food with the bird resembles what some birds do for each other, which is regurgitating food for one another in order to bond.

To build a relationship with Spaz I began spending more time with him doing different things such as sharing snacks, talking to him, and asking him to roar or say things like “cracker” for small treats. This went on for about a week until one of my supervisors decided it was time to test the bond. He was going to see if Spaz would step up onto my arm. This definitely requires trust on both sides. Blue and gold macaws are large birds that have a bite strength of 500-700lbs of force! Needless to say, this was a little intimidating at first. After learning exactly what I had to do in order to make sure I giving all the right signals and commands to Spaz, in a way that he and I would both be comfortable, he stepped up onto my arm. It doesn’t sound like much, but knowing the power that these birds have in their beak, it was pretty exciting. The fact that he did step up meant that he remembered who I was out of all the interns and, according to my supervisor, actually likes me! I have never known much about birds and what they are capable of, nor had much experience handling them. I cannot wait to continue to work with Spaz and build our trust bond even more.

Lions, Tigers, and Beers…oh my!

Lions + Tigers + Beers = a pretty amazing Summer evening.

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EARTH Ltd‘s popular fundraiser is back for a second year! Join us on August 1st 5pm-8pm for Lion, Tigers, and Beers for a beer tasting here at Southwick’s Zoo. You’ll be able to walk around the zoo then head up to the event tent to try a variety of beers, ciders, and wine! Event admission also includes food (snack type foods such as chips, nachos, and hotdogs) andnon-alcoholic beverages.

Participating breweries include:

Last year we sold out right before the start of Lions, Tigers, and Beers so we suggest stopping by or calling the EARTH Discovery Center at: 1-800-258-9182 ext 208 to reserve your spots on the guest list. You can pay using credit card over the phone or when you check in the night of the event. Prices are $25 for EARTH Members and $35 for nonmembers. Remember, this event is 21+ ONLY and ID is required for entry.