Thanks, everyone, for your comments! Here are some answers to questions about Koza the lion cub and his future canine companion, Cairo the Italian mastiff (shown here with Autumn Nelson, an animal care supervisor at the Wild Animal Park).
Archive for 2005
Our curriculum today was packed with primates. We spent most of our time in camp just monkeying around. Our day began with a visit from Tipu the tamandua (lesser anteater). Of course an anteater is not a monkey but tamanduas do have some new-world monkey-like adaptations: prehensile tail, strong arms, waterproof coat. Tipu climbed all over his climbing structure looking for honey. He was so calm, cool, and collected he even let all 58 campers give him a pat.
It’s the end of the year and Su Lin seems to be settling in rather nicely with her new schedule. She’s on exhibit in the mornings now, and uses the time to play and explore. By the afternoon, she is pretty worn out and spends many hours asleep in the bedroom attached to the exhibit.
Campers were buggin’ today, kickin’ it at the bottom of the food chain. Camp was all about invertebrates, the itty-bitty beasts that rule the world. We started the day with some cool”“n-creepy foreign creatures: the dead leaf mantis from Malaysia and the giant millipedes from Africa. Delia, the dead leaf mantis, has a perfect form of camouflage for her jungle habitat ““ a dried, unsavory dead leaf. To catch a meal she would wait on a branch for something to move by and then WHACK, her lightening quick reflexes would catch her unsuspecting prey in her trap-like front legs. Pretty impressive- she has the ability to eat other insects, reptiles (like lizards), and even small mammals. Next we saw the after dinner clean-up crew ““ the millipedes. Decomposers extraordinaire! The millipedes eat dead and rotting material making the world a much cleaner place. |inline
I am pleased to report that Koza, our six-week-old lion cub who is being raised at the Wild Animal Park’s Animal Care Center, now has a buddy! In previous blog entries I mentioned the possibility of aquiring a canine companion for our little lion, as he has no littermates to play with. Lions are very social animals and it was decided that another social animal would provide the closest match to life in a normal lion pride.
A scaly, slithery, slippery ssssssuper time was had by all campers today! When we first got to the San Diego Zoo’s Otto Center this morning, Sunni, a Zoo educator, met us with an American alligator named Legarto. Sunni was holding Legarto on her arm – he’s still a baby – just about two feet (60 centimeters) long, and we all got to see and hear him. Sometimes he makes a low croaking noise just like when new hatchlings call to momma from the nest. Legarto was amazing with his (or her, we really can’t tell yet) gaping smile. Legarto will be too big for class in just a couple of years, but until then he (or she) sure makes a great impression.
Wow, what a day – BEARS ARE BEST! Today was all about bears. We started the day by creating bear dens, as winter is here and some bears have some serious sleeping to do. Some bears hibernate or sleep during the lean winter months when meals are few and far between. For example, a brown bear will find a natural cave or create a burrow and make the place nice and homey for a long winter’s nap. Leaves, dirt ,and debris help to keep the bears snug and warm.
It’s been an exciting time at the viewing area of the Giant Panda Research Station. As visitors to Panda Cam may have noticed, the animal care staff is transitioning Bai Yun and Su Lin from their back areas to the viewing area for short amounts of time each day. Su Lin is proving to be a very smart little bear, finding her way in and out with great insight, if not great coordination. Not quite 5 months old, she is still practicing her crawling skills, with lots of tumbles to come.
Well, today was for the BIRDS! If you ask me the whole day was just fowl! No really, camp was all about birds. We had such a fun-filled feathery day. Rio, a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot, greeted us first thing in the morning and from there the day just flew by.
The newest member of Tiger River, a two-week-old Malayan tapir, has been spending some time out on exhibit with his dam, Rose (see previous post, A Tapir is Born!). They first ventured out to the exhibit on December 8 around noon, when the temperature was above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), which is a husbandry guideline for baby tapirs. The young calf, named Chukai, was very frisky his first day out on exhibit. He ran around in a couple of circles at first, but then remembered that he needed to stick close to mom, so quickly went back to her side.