On behalf of the zookeeping staff at Southwick’s Zoo, we’d like to thank everyone for a great summer. The weather was very good and we have been very busy. Thank you to the folks who have donated items for the animals, we truly appreciate it as you can see from some of the pictures of the chimpanzees, all the spare towels, bedding and t-shirts go to good use! We have completed the cotton top tamarin exhibit and are working on a new wolf’s guenon exhibit (they are in a temporary exhibit at this time) and we can’t wait until completion so these amazing primates will have lots of space to live and play! We also wanted to remind everyone that it is rut season for the deer and elk. This means that we are separating out the big, dominant males from the population so it will seem that there are less deer in the deer forest. Also at this time of year, the deer generally slow down or stop feeding in the afternoon so we suggest to visit the deer forest earlier in the day!
We are in that time of year again when the male deer start to get antsy as the mating “rut” season is approaching. For your safety and the safety of the deer, we will be moving the male deer into a temporary exhibit. The females and young will be in Deer Forest where you can walk among and feed these beautiful creatures. It does take some time to move these animals so if you see a male or two, don’t worry and just be aware of their antlers! You also may notice that the antlers may have blood on them. This is because they will be shedding their velvet, this is perfectly normal and healthy. Our Elk may also be rubbing their racks too! It is a very exciting time for these animals and we are happy to share them with you, just use caution when approaching the deer!
Many of our visitors have been asking how the animals do in this extreme heat. Actually, they handle the heat much better than humans! Just like with humans we have to keep a closer eye on baby & senior animals and make sure all the animals have plenty of water. The zoo is situated under some really tall oak trees and the shade has kept all of us very comfortable. We took this picture yesterday of the Muntjac deer reaching for some leaves. Muntjac deer, also called barking deer, are native to South East Asia are a very small species of deer (less than 2 ft tall and under 40lbs) and are the reported as the oldest deer species appearing 15 – 35 million years ago! Our little family of Muntjac deer are located right next to the zebra cafe and are one of the first animals you will see as you enter the zoo!