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.