Tanzania or Tanzie for short is a very active and rambunctious adolescent. Many times she is the ruler of the chimps as all the adults seem succumb to her whims; some might call her “fresh” . She has mommy, daddy and Auntie Jingles looking after her and of course keeping her entertained. We do help them by providing daily enrichment for all the chimpanzees. Many of our visitors have asked us “what is that in their habitat”…well we are constantly providing all forms of enrichment for them to explore, play with and destroy! A lot of times there will be treats inside the enrichment where you will see them use tools to forage them out. Tanzie is very active and you can see her swinging from the tree, doing flips and somersaults in the grass, climbing, spinning and jumping all over…even on top of the other chimps. We think her chimp family adores and spoils her! Of course, we do too!
You may have noticed our peacocks roaming around the zoo. Many of our guests have commented “Your Peacock escaped the zoo!” This is because they have free range on our entire zoo property including inside and outside the zoo! They especially love to posture and display in the zoo parking lot first thing in the morning right next to the entrance doors and you may find them many times there late afternoon as people leave for the day! Their plumage is full at this time of year and they will start to drop the feathers as the summer winds down. They display mainly for mating purposes but sometimes they will display to intimidate to appear bigger when startled. Our peacocks enjoy roosting on top of our entrance building…so look up when you enter. They love to give out a loud call early mornings and throughout the day. Our peacocks especially love windows, mirrors or shiny surfaces where they can see and peck at themselves! We do ask that you please do not chase them as this is their home and if you’re lucky you may see them walking right through the entrance building…they think they own the place!
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!
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!