Zookeeper Michelle Reports

Zookeeper Michelle with the Capybaras!

We are very excited as Spring wraps up and Summer is just around the corner.  The capybara, the largest rodent in the world, are  fan favorites here at the zoo!  They are supposed to be moving in with the the Brazilian Tapirs this summer….however, we are still not sure if we will be moving them.  This is the first time other than the African Plains that we will be attempting to put two different species together in a habitat.  We are a little hesitant as we don’t know how the Tapirs will react to the Capys! We’ll keep you updated!  Thanks to everyone for their donations.  We are still looking for towels and blankets (used is fine)!

Gearing up for Zoo Opening…Zookeeper report!

There is a lot of activity at the zoo this week.  We are opening on Saturday and it takes a zoo wide effort to make sure we are ready.  As Zookeepers, it is our job to see to all the animal habitats, transfer animals from their winter quarters to their summer habitats while documenting and adjusting to their physical, behavioral, and social needs.  Enrichment activities continue and we are always looking for some new ideas..we’d be happy to hear your enrichment suggestions. Some of our new animals have started to arrive and we are very excited.  The Brazilian tapirs have arrived and they are currently adjusting to their new home. We are not sure if they will be on exhibit right away…we’ll keep you posted.  Brazilian Tapirs are native to South America and a distant relative to the rhinocerous!  They are very good at diving and swimming.  They live along the water and will occasionally run into the water to evade predators. They can grow to 550 lbs and to around 6 feet in length!  Here at Southwick’s Zoo the capybaras and tapirs will be co-existing in an exhibit like in their native habitat!  Here is a sneak peek!

Southwick's Zoo welcomes Brazilian Tapirs.

Tapir's are here...sneak peek!