Zookeeper Report

max1Meet Maximus “Max” born 4/3/14 to mom Pinda and father Midas.  Max is the third giraffe born here at the zoo since January joining siblings (from Midas) Daisy born 1/11/14 and Rocket born 2/19/14.  Max’s mother Pinda is a great mom and they are both doing well.  Unfortunately, Daisy and Rocket’s mothers (Dotty & Mazey) did not bond with their calves and therefore would not let them nurse so their milk and colostrum dried up quickly causing us to take them to Tufts Cummings School where they received the vital antibodies and nutrients needed for survival.  We are happy to report that they are doing great and are growing tall and strong.  Max will stay with Pinda as long as she continues to nurse and do well.  We hope the weather is warm enough to be able to let all the calves out into the outdoor yard…fingers crossed!  We have been really busy getting all our animals’ outdoor homes ready for the zoo opening this Saturday.  The weather is looking good so today we focused on the kangaroo, capybara and monkey exhibits!

Hope to see you this weekend for opening!

Giraffes, Giraffes, Giraffes

It has been a busy off season here at the zoo with the birth of 3 giraffes!

Daisy was born 1/11/14, Rocket born 2/19/14 and Maximus “Max” born 4/3/14!  All the calves are doing very well and are growing big and strong.  Hopefully we will be able to let the calves out into the outer yard for opening, but we do have to be careful of the weather and make sure it is nice and warm for their safety!

Reminder: Giraffe Encounters will begin in MAY (weekends only)

Rocket and Daisydaisyrocket

Rocket was born February 19, 2014

Max born 4/3/14

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Zookeeper Report

wolfguenonWow, only 10 days till we open!  We are so excited and it is always a crazy time here before we open.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate!  We have to move out of the freezing temperatures before we can move the monkeys to their summer habitats safely!  It has been a long winter and let us wish for warm sunshine and the wonderful scent of Spring!  On another note, our lion cubs (not so little anymore!) have been moved to the big lion habitat!  They are adjusting well and we can’t wait till you see them in their new home!

Zookeeper Report

Taj (left) and Kya (right) with enrichment snowman

Taj (left) and Kya (right) with enrichment snowman

Well it is almost Spring and we still have snow here at the zoo.  The snow is slowly melting when we get the beautiful sunshine. Many people have asked us about enrichment for the animals.  I think we enjoy enrichment as much as the animals do as it is a way to be creative and fun!  We made different types of snow creatures for the animals this winter since there was A LOT of snow.  We stuff the snow creatures with goodies for the animals so they have to dig around, destroy and find the treats.  Above, we used marrow bones for the big cats.  After this picture was taken, the girls destroyed the snowman to get to the goodies.  We want to thank you for sending emails asking us if we would like donations for the animals.  We say YES!  If anyone is looking to donate for enrichment, we are looking for big Boomer Balls for the large animals and small boomer balls for the smaller animals.  We are also looking for blankets and towels.  We can’t thank our supporters and visitors enough for their love of animals and generosity!

Zookeeper Report

1890653_10151681060022465_843054183_oWe recently celebrated the 5th birthday of Molly, a reticulated giraffe.  We made her a “cake” of carrots, sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce and grain to celebrate her special day.  She devoured the goodies, but we were able to share some with the rest of the giraffes!  As you have probably seen, we have had two baby giraffes born here since the New Year.  Daisy was born on Jan 11, 2014 and was very sick shortly after birth.  However, with the help of Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Daisy is a healthy giraffe and stands at over 7 feet tall!  Rocket was born on February 19, 2014 and was smaller than Daisy at birth, but we think he will grow big and strong. We are really excited about the babies and can’t wait to share them with our visitors in April.  This has been a long winter for all of us and we are ready for Spring!

Zookeeper Report

Watusi

Happy Valentine’s Day!  When working with animals, there are definitely times when “Love is in the Air” around here!  We are proud of our successful breeding programs here at the zoo and for those who do not breed, successful companion relationships.  The picture above is of our Watusi (Ankole Cattle) native to Africa.  As you can see they handle the winter very well!  The male is larger in weight and stature, but the female has longer horns.  This pair had a very beautiful calf born last summer and many of our guests were able to witness the amazing birth.  As many of you know, we recently had a few babies born like Daisy the giraffe and a pair of African Crested Porcupines.  We’ve also had a llama born and a Debrazza guenon.  As zookeepers we are very lucky to be able to witness these exciting events and to care for these wonderful animals…and we are expecting a few more babies before we open!  Again, THANK YOU for sharing our love for animals on this cold, snowy Valentine’s Day!  We are looking for some towels, boomer balls and blankets as donations for the animals!

Zookeeper Report

Hyena in Winter

Hyena in Winter

We have been getting a lot of questions about how the animals handle the colder/snowier than usual winter.  Yes, the temperatures have been colder and we have seen a lot of snow but the zoo has been here for over 40 years and we have faced a lot of extreme weather from hurricanes and droughts to blizzards.  Because we are in New England, we are prepared for the changes in the weather.  Animals are amazingly adaptive as their survival instinct is very strong.  We take every precaution and provide all that they would need to make their winter warm and cozy but sometimes even we are surprised how some of our animals choose to venture outside their warm dens to brave the winter…like the hyenas pictured!  The biggest challenge for zookeepers is to keep the water supply from freezing by refreshing it often.  Hydration is very important during the winter months for the animals as the air is much drier.  We also make sure the animals get additional vitamins and proper nutrition to keep them strong and healthy during the winter that they may not need during the summer.  However, if you’re a yak, you are in your element.  They thrive in this weather and surprisingly so do the camels!

Zookeeper Report

daisy1_17_14On Saturday, January 11, 2014 , our reticulated giraffe Dotty gave birth to a calf we named Daisy (150 lbs, 6ft).  Dotty was not interested in her calf.  She has never seen a calf before (Dotty was born here at the zoo and is the second youngest female here) and we believe she didn’t quite know what to do after the birth!  Our veterinarian made a quick, life saving decision to take her to Tufts so she can get the urgent care she needed.  We get constant updates from Tufts and one of us goes up there to check on her each day.  Great News!  She should be coming home very soon, maybe today!  We are really excited and a little bit apprehensive as she is a large calf that will need constant care and attention.  However, this is one of the reasons we do what we do.  It is amazing to be able to see new lives born and grow into the most beautifully amazing creatures, we are blessed.  Thank you to everyone who have been asking about Daisy and her mom.  Dotty is doing very well and her milk has dried up so we will have to feed Daisy till she is off formula.  Can you keep a secret?  We may have another blessed event here at the zoo soon…we’ll keep you updated!

Baby Giraffe Born at Southwick’s Zoo

On Saturday January 11, 2014 we welcomed an amazing little female giraffe “Daisy” to the Southwick’s Zoo family.  However, right off our veterinarian realized that Daisy needed some immediate attention.  Her mother Dotty was not taking an interest in the 150 lb, 6 foot baby and she was getting lethargic and weak.  He made the decision to take her to the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine where she would get the specialized care she needed.  The first few days were very touch and go as she had a low white blood cell count and fighting an infection.  We are happy to report that each day she is getting stronger and hopefully will be back with us soon.

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Zoo is Closed but will Open on April 12, 2014

We may be Closed for the Season and will reopen on April 12, 2014, but we are currently booking field trips, zoomobiles and birthday parties for 2014.

 field trip postcard front (2)