Friday, June 19, 2009

Sparky visits the Doctor!

The 2009 Sparky Shows have started and are going well! This year the show is about how we prepare Sparky and all of the Como Zoo pinnipeds for visiting the doctor. We walk the audience through a visit to the doctor after Sparky pretends to hurt her flipper. The audience learns how we collect a blood sample on sea lion, how we prepare her to visit the opthamologist as well as all about the many other things we do to keep Sparky healthy. This year each show is a little different to help keep Sparky and her audience interested, but of course we finish with some high energy favorites performed by Sparky!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baby giraffe, meet your adoring fans!

The baby giraffe at Como Zoo finally made his debut to the public this morning. Born a month ago today, he had to get used to his surroundings and his zoo keepers before being put on display. After a rough start in life due to septicemia, an infection of the blood, the little male was taken to the University of Minnesota where he was given round the clock care to clear up his infection. He lived at the U of M for 10 days before coming back to the giraffe barn.

Introductions with his mother, Clover are ongoing, but due to the extent of his illness and the length of stay at the U of M, she was unable to nurse him. He is being raised by the zoo keepers and will readily drink up to 4 liters of milk at a time from a bucket.

After initially just peeking at his adoring fans from the doorway, he mustered up enough courage to come out onto the display when a camera man arrived. He will be on limited display with the choice to go back into his holding for a while until his hooves toughen up to the concrete floor. Later this summer, the zoo keepers will work on introducing him to the outside yard and the rest of the giraffe herd.