Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The most popular exhibit at the zoo!

I don't know what the fascination is, but visitors to the zoo love to watch zoo keepers work. This past weekend the aquatics keepers and I were in the empty island exhibit breaking up the ice and sweeping up leaves preparing to get seal island open for the season. At times there were larger crowds watching us clean and taking pictures of us then there were at exhibits with actual animals! Zoo keepers are very used to the comments of "what kind of animal are you?" or "Look, a human exhibit!" We've heard most of them before, but that doesn't stop people from saying them. I enjoy getting the more unique comments like "look at the beautiful plummage on that one" or "look a hippie preserve!" Good to know we can entertain the visitors even without animals.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Fun in the Primate Building

Holidays are always a great time in the primate building at Como Zoo because we get to do fun enrichment for the animals. At Christmas, they'll get gift wrapped boxes, for New Year's they'll get party hats and noisemakers. This year for St. Patrick's Day, I went to the store and purchased several festive hats and cups. The primates' morning diet filled the cups as well as green jello and green Gatorade. The hats were placed in the orangutans' and tamarin exhibits and as you can see by the pictures, were a big hit. Jaya ended up wearing one hat and looked like a little leprechaun. Every one is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day, even the monkeys!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gorillas in the snow

This past weekend was simply gorgeous! The warm weather brought crowds of visitors to Como Zoo and allowed us the opportunity to let the gorillas outside for some fresh air and sunshine. All three came out quickly and while it appeared they didn't really like standing in the snow, they made there way up the rocks in the exhibit grabbing handfuls of snow to munch on and sat on their wooden structure to watch the crowds. It didn't take long until the entire exhibit was ringed with visitors all watching the boys enjoy their "snow cones".

We will be able to let them out for a few more days until the ground starts to thaw then they will have to stay on their inside exhibit until the ground dries in the outside yard.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mr. Tarantula, are you ready for your close up?

This past week photographer Nathan Lovas, http://www.nathanlovas.com/ came to Como Zoo to do a photo shoot. Many of the animals that are used for education were brought up to the "studio" that had been set up in one of the classrooms. Some were more eager to participate than others. BJ the penguin was a bit shy at first, but eventually began to work the camera. Consuela the armadillo was a superstar and uncurled for the camera in record time. The rainbow boa was a bit more difficult to work with as the feel of the fabric from the backdrop must have felt a bit odd on her scales. The best client by far was the versicolor tarantula. Having just recently molted, her coloration was beautiful and she held perfectly still while Nathan shot frame after frame of her. We are planning on doing another session and bringing more animals for Nathan to photograph. I can't wait to see the final pictures.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daniel J. Cox

Daniel J. Cox is visiting Como for the opening of the Polar Bear Arctic Ambassador Photo Exhibition this weekend. He is doing public presentations Saturday, March 7 at 10:30 & 12:00 for FREE.