Monday, December 12, 2011

Donate to the Como Zoo to support enrichment of animals - As seen on KARE!

Here is a link to more information:

Check out fabulous zoo keeper Liz on KARE!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the Polar Bears

Polar Bears Buzz and Neil enjoyed a post-Thanksgiving nap after the zoo keepers fed them their diet and a few Thanksgiving treats this Turkey day.

We are thankful to all the zoo visitors who came out to see us today. Happy Thanksgiving from the Zoo keepers and animals at Como Zoo.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Movember for the male keepers

For the second year in a row, many of the male zoo keepers of Como Zoo are growing mustaches to help celebrate Movember. By sporting these upper lip warmers, the Zoo keepers join a worldwide group of men dedicated to raising awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancers. Joining them in their mustached endeavours are the Emperor Tamarins. Emperor tamarins were named after German Emperor Wilhelm II, due to their long, droopy white mustaches. Zoo staff will have to work hard to rival the mustaches of the tamarins.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Como Zoo Enriches Animal Environments

Monday, October 17, 2011

Creepy Crawlies On KARE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In for the season

The seals and sea lion that reside on Pinniped Island for the summer have returned to their winter home.

After a summer spent basking in the sun, California Sea Lion "Subee" and her pool mates, Harbor Seals "Ginger" and "Fletcher" all went voluntarily into their crates to be hoisted off the island by the City of Saint Paul's Forestry department. From there, it's just a short ride into the Aquatic Animal Building to their indoor exhibit area. All three did great with the move and are swimming and eating as if nothing ever happened.

This will be the first winter for Fletcher, an eight month old Harbor Seal that was found washed ashore and abandoned only a few days old in Santa Barbara, CA. Due to permanent damage in his right eye, Fletcher was deemed non-releasable and placed at Como Zoo in late April. He has been incorporated into the operant conditioning training program and is learning new behaviors quickly.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gorilla construction underway

Walking into the zoo you might notice some changes around the primate building. The entrance on the Great Ape side has been closed off and a construction fence has gone up around the outdoor gorilla exhibit.

Construction has begun on Gorilla Forest, a new gorilla exhibit that will open in 2013. While still providing the up-close experience that Como Zoo is known for, this new exhibit will expand the outdoor area the gorillas have here at Como as well as providing them a brand new holding area with an off-exhibit day room and give an opportunity to house more than one troop of gorillas.

The dust of construction has just now begun to fly with the demolition phase as the site around the outdoor exhibit is prepared. The pathways have been pulled up and huge piles of soil are being piled up by the construction fence. So far the apes and monkeys appear to be taking it all in stride. Some show a bit of nervousness when the jack-hammering gets too loud, but others are trying to watch what's going on. Hopefully the weather will stay as beautiful as it is right now so the construction crew can make good progress with the new additions to the building before winter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sparky's Got A New Gig!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Creature Feature Featured on KARE-11

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And then there were three...

Yesterday we introduced the Grant's Zebras in hopes they will breed. The male Ulysses has watched the two females Thelma and Minnie for a year or two from his exhibit across the visitor path at the hoof stock area as they ran together in a display with the lesser kudu, crowned cranes, and yellow-billed stork. After making some minor changes to the yard to ensure a safe introduction, the three of them were united in the exhibit before the zoo opened for the day. Initially Ulysses was a bit confused as to where he was, then chased Thelma and Minnie around the display to say hello, followed by checking out the display on his own. Now, they are comfortably munching hay as if they'd always been together. Our hope is they will breed within a month or so at which time Ulysses will move back over to his display with the ostrich and the other inhabitants of the female zebras exhibit will get to go out for the season. Keep your fingers crossed for a black and white baby next year!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sparky Shows Begins This Weekend!

The zoo keepers in the Aquatics building are gearing up for the start of Sparky shows this Summer. Sparky and her trainers will be going on a "zoo hop" this year, pretending to visit a zoo and learning about and mimicing animals such as a kangaroo, crocodile, giraffe and more. Zoo keepers will also be participating in a weekly trash weigh in to see how much trash they produce in a week and see which zoo keeper can produce the least amount of trash. The Sparky show runs every day at 11:30 and on weekends an additional show occurs at 3 PM. Come cheer on Sparky and her trainers!

Monday, May 16, 2011

RibbitZibit & Tropical Encounters on KARE-11

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Getting my ducks in a row for Summer

Nothing says Spring like ducklings. This past week we got in 4 ducklings of various breeds. They will participate in the Creature Feature show this Summer which highlights animals' natural behaviors in a story type format. Initially the ducklings were anxious when I was around, scurrying away and peeping at me. Now though, they perk up at the sound of my voice and look up at me. Come see them this Summer in the Creature Feature show. Of course by that time, they won't be ducklings but full grown ducks!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

KSTP Phone-a-Thon

Next week on Wednesday, 13 April, KSTP and Como Friends will host a phone-a-thon for Como Zoo. Call in to sponsor an animal at the Como Zoo and help support your favorite zoo resident. Your contribution will be used to enhance animal habitats and maintain the best care possible for all of Como Zoo’s animals. Animal sponsorships are available in many affordable price ranges. This year two residents of Como Zoo will make the push to become the most sponsored animal of the year. Two-toed sloth "Chloe" and African Penguin "Cupid" will be making appearances on the 11:00 and 4:30 news to help encourage the public to support Como Zoo. There are many animals that can be sponsored. Which one is your favorite?

Monday, March 28, 2011

TOAD'ally Awesome Amphibians on KARE-11

Monday, March 21, 2011

Office Visit

Yesterday I had a special visitor to my office. The conversation was pretty one sided and I ended up doing most of the talking, she just hung out under my desk and ate fish!
It was as you can tell by the picture an African Penguin. BJ is our resident Penguin Ambassador and charms people young and old with her visits to schools, libraries, and more. The zoo keepers take her out so she can interact with us to keep the relationship strong between us and keep her comfortable around people. BJ spent most of the afternoon with me as she dozed and ate under the desk before returning to the penguin exhibit for the night to spend some time with her penguin buddies, especially her mate Fluffy. Maybe today I'll have a different animal visitor in my office...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gorillas in the snow

The gorillas ventured out to their outdoor exhibit today despite the snow being hip deep in parts. This opportunity is possible because of the warm March weather we are currently enjoying. Both Togo and Schroeder made their way around the perimeter picking up hand-fulls of snow to eat and munching on the diet the zoo keepers scattered in the yard. After getting some fresh air and brain freeze from eating snow, they made their ways back inside for an afternoon nap.

Is this a sign that Spring has finally sprung?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prickly but adorable!

The Animal Support Building zoo keepers welcomed some new additions into the zoo collection on February 28th; Baby Hedgehogs! These little cuties are actually born with quills, but they are soft to make for an easier delivery for Mom. The quills start to harden shortly after birth. They will stay with Mom for 4-6 weeks before they start venturing out on their own and will be used by the education staff for programs once they are weaned.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Long distance love for the flamingos?

Como Zoo's Animal Support Building provides winter housing for the ducks, geese, and flamingos of the bird yard. There are several large holdings where the birds are housed with pools for swimming and deck space for sleeping, eating, etc. We have 17 flamingos here at the zoo and they can't all fit into one holding, so they are split into two groups. Recently during the morning cleaning, we discovered that at least two of the flamingos think they should be in a different holding area. "Grace" did go back into her correct holding, but it was fun to watch her venture out into the hallway and watch for "Beau" to stick his head out. Maybe there are some sparks between those two!

"Grace" and "Beau" peeking out of holding while they think the keepers aren't watching.

"Grace" getting brave and venturing out into the hall.

"Grace" thinking about making a break for the other holding to be with "Beau".

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lion's Mane Exhibit Now On Display!

We are proud to present “The Lion's Mane”, now on display in the Bonsai Gallery through May 1st.

Why does the lion have a mane? Does the King of Beasts need his mane for protection or is it a signal of his power and fitness? University of Minnesota researchers Craig Packer and Peyton West were the first to test these two theories—and their research reveals surprising facts about the mane's true purpose and its role in attracting a mate.

The Lion's Mane is a traveling exhibit designed to engage visitors in the steps Packer and West used as they searched for the answer to what at first appeared to be a simple question. To test their hypotheses, the researchers devised a number of experiments including one using life-sized, dummy lions with interchangeable mane "wigs." By observing how lions reacted to the dummies in various guises, Packer and West determined that female lions preferred males with darker manes, while males were most threatened by longer, darker manes.

The Lion's Mane enables visitors to learn about lion biology, behavior and field research by following the scientific process. The exhibit areas feature a Land Rover Research Station, Lion Identification Game, and Dummy Lion Experiment. The exhibit appeals to a general audience and is accessible to children who visit with their school groups, families, clubs, or other social groups.

National Geographic, National Public Radio, CNN, BBC, Science, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle have featured Packer and West's research.

The Lion's Mane exhibit was made possible by the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment and was created by the Bell Museum of Natural History.