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!
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!
On 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!
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!
Since Mother’s Day is this weekend we wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day to our friends and family. We are amazed each day by our animal moms and surrogate moms here at the zoo. Tabitha is an amazing MOM to Tanzie….even when Tanzie does not leave her alone! Auntie Jingles is also a great mom to Tanzie. On Mother’s Day, our moms will get a special treat! We have a lot of new babies here at the zoo including monkeys, aoudads, goats, kangaroos, sheep and so many more to come too! We are asking for large cat boomer balls www.boomerballs.com for our lion cubs as a donation if anyone would like to make a donation to the animals! Thank You!
We thought it would be great to share a picture of our Bengal tigers, Kya and Taj at play. Kya and Taj are sisters and came to us as cubs from World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix, AZ! As you can see they have adapted to our New England weather and enjoy playtime out in the snow. Like many animals, they love fresh snow and can be seen pouncing on each other during playtime!
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)!