Cheetahs have come to Southwick’s Zoo! Soon you will be able to meet Kate and Logan who are 1 1/2 yr old cheetahs who have come to us from another facility. We are very excited to have them here and we are in the process of building an exhibit for them to be ready soon. Cheetahs are amazing creatures and they are already here off exhibit waiting for their new home to be ready. They are very even tempered animals and they are built for strength, speed and agility….and are incredibly beautiful! We are so happy to have them as a new addition to the zoo!
Deer Forest – Enter at own risk!
Zookeeper Duane Reports that the male deer in Deer Forest are starting to shed their velvet (the deer will rub their antlers on trees and rub off the soft outer coating called “velvet” . The antlers may bleed at this time (perfectly normal!). This sparks the beginning of “rut” or mating season. The males will become more aggressive and easily startled. The males are trying to get the female’s attention and show dominance over other males. This means that we may have to close deer forest at some point but for right now we are at “Enter at Your Own Risk”. Please read all signs before you enter. When a deer is startled or being chased they may knock people down (especially small children) in effort to flee. Males have large antlers and sharp hooves that can harm so be very careful… do not approach the males at this time. Keep small children away from the males and let the deer come to you! We ask that everyone make an effort to please stay on the pathway as this is their home.
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)!
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!