Supporting Lion Conservation with Lion Landscapes

July 31, 2021

Lions have disappeared from over 90% of their historic range. It is estimated that there are only around 20,000 wild lions left in Africa, nearly 50% fewer than 20 years ago and 90% fewer than a century ago. Of those 20,000, almost half live in non-protected rangelands shared with humans. Lions can survive outside fenced areas within pastoral regions if communities gain benefits from wildlife. If we don’t help protect the landscapes where lions live, it won’t be long before they become extinct in nature.

Lion and other large carnivores share the same key threats, including:

• Habitat destruction and fragmentation
• Loss of wild prey
• Persecution in retaliation for killing livestock
• Illegal hunting and poachingLion Landscapes works with local communities and conservation partners in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia to ensure that ecosystems support people, lions, and their prey for future generations. Their vision is a world where people and viable lion populations can coexist and thrive.
A lion landscape is a landscape that encompasses viable populations of large carnivores, tolerant people and livestock, abundant wild prey and a healthy habitat. Lion Landscapes’ conservation and research efforts focus on how local communities, their livestock and lions can co-exist. This organization does this in 3 main ways:

• Building Partnerships – using available resources for conservation and collaborating between key stakeholders to more efficiently achieve shared conservation goals.
• Science and Data – providing science based support to large carnivore conservation and allocating resources based on data.
• Innovation – creating innovative solutions with financial and ecological sustainability in mind.Lion Rangers is a key component of Lion Landscapes activities in Africa. The Rangers are composed of local people who understand the communities and the culture. They monitor lion populations, provide advice on protecting livestock from carnivores, and mitigate human-lion conflicts through this monitoring and mentoring.

Seneca Park Zoo chooses to support the conservation efforts of Lion Landscapes as part of the African Lion SAFE Program. The money raised during Lion Weekend will be donated to Lion Landscapes to promote human-wildlife coexistence and support real-life conservation efforts. If you choose to make a donation you will be directly helping to save vulnerable African lions while protecting community livelihoods in Africa.

– Zoologist Sue Rea

* Banner photo by Kenneth Tryon

Polar Bear Blood Draw: How We Train with Anoki

July 19, 2021

Moving to Seneca Park Zoo in 2018, Anoki had a new environment and staff to adjust to.  Gaining an animal’s trust is the first step to training, so I spent as much time with Anoki as I could. Whether I was just sitting with her, feeding her food or giving her fun enrichment, that time allowed both of us to adjust to each other.  The treats that work best for her training are sweet potatoes and apple juice.  Anoki was trained for voluntary blood collection at her previous facility. We had a blood draw sleeve fabricated so that we would be able to continue her training, although our set up was a little different from what Anoki was used to before. This was another adjustment she had to make.

In April 2019, I started the first steps of her blood draw training.  I began with simply feeding her near the sleeve, letting her see it and investigate it.  She would lay down in front of it, which is exactly what I was working towards. I heavily reinforced this behavior so she knew that is what I wanted her to do.  Eventually, I started opening the door for the sleeve and asking her to lay down in front of it.  This is when I ran into the first issue with her training.  When the door for the sleeve was open, Anoki could not see me while I was sitting and asking her for behaviors.  I would sit to the side of the sleeve and ask her to lay down, but she would then position in front of me instead of the sleeve.  I started standing in front of the sleeve, asking Anoki to sit, and then asking her to lay down while I moved to the ground as well.  She would get confused every now and then, looking around the door to try and see me, but she eventually caught on. I would feed her through holes that were in the door so she knew her treats were coming still, even though she couldn’t see me.Anoki was trained previously to touch her paw to a stick when presented, so this was the next step of her training.  I started giving her the stick during other training sessions, to make sure she would always go to where the stick was.  I started offering the stick in the sleeve, reinforcing her each time she touched the stick. I would move the stick farther into the sleeve, having Anoki bring her paw farther into the sleeve each time.  I would also increase the amount of time she held her paw in the sleeve, making sure she held still so that eventually we would be able to safely touch her paw. This was also important because the sleeve was big for Anoki’s paw; it’s measured to fit a male polar bear paw, which is much bigger than a females.

This training continued on and off until March 2020.  When Covid hit our area, we needed to ensure the safety of our staff and animals, so we stopped all training.  I was able to start up on her training again in July 2020.  Luckily, Anoki picked right back up where we had left off; she was offering her paw in the sleeve when asked and holding still.  I asked our vet tech, Robin, to start coming to sessions.  She started with sitting next to me while I worked with Anoki, giving Anoki time to adjust to a second person being present. I always had Robin feed her to help build their relationship and trust as well.  Anoki would get confused occasionally when laying down again, moving over to be in front of me instead of the sleeve now that there were two of us.

When Anoki seemed comfortable, Robin began touching her paw.  Anoki would pull her paw away at first, but soon got used to the feeling of being touched. She couldn’t see Robin working with her paw because of the door for the sleeve.  Anoki was still moving her paw around quite a bit, flexing her toes or just moving her paw side to side in the sleeve as if she was trying to grab onto something.  We thought about different things we could do to fix this problem.  We played with the idea of adding an insert that would bring Anoki’s paw up to the top of the sleeve so Robin wouldn’t be reaching in as far.  We decided that as long as Anoki was holding still, it was safe for Robin to be reaching down into the sleeve.  We did add a bar inside of the sleeve for Anoki to grab on to. Once the bar was in and readjusted to fit her paw comfortably, Anoki hooked her claws over it and she held still.Robin’s Perspective:

Getting Anoki used to me touching her paw was only the first step in the process. While Anoki was allowing me to touch her, we still didn’t have a comfortable spot for everyone. Anoki was very focused on Randi and would only glance at me occasionally, however, we needed to get better angles on her foot. After several different trials, we found that having Randi on one side of the sleeve with me on the other and slightly centered was best. With this set up, Anoki could clearly see Randi, I had the best angle for her foot, and Anoki was comfortable. The next step was to get her used to feeling more than my hand. We started with a blunt needle. She began pulling away when we would apply pressure and again through different trials, realized that she was slightly startled by the needle. By touching her with my hand first and then using the needle, we eliminated the surprise. Now on to an actual needle.

We started with a 22g butterfly needle on a syringe. Anoki reacted to this every time by pulling away. The needle was too large. We dropped down to a 25g to get her used to the new sensation knowing we could work our way back up. The butterfly wasn’t easy to maneuver in the tight space that I had so we switched to a regular needle and syringe. We continued to acclimate Anoki to the needle sticks and finally were able to settle on a 23g regular needle with syringe. Training sessions continued with everyone in the right spot and equipped with the right tools. Randi and I would let Anoki tell us what she wanted to do that day and we always made sure we ended our sessions on a positive note whether we were able to attempt the blood draw or not. Each session allowed us to fine tune our technique and through the use of palpation, radiographs, and patience we were able to successfully draw blood from her foot.

With the sample we collected, our veterinarian is able to review results from a full test panel. This includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and full chemistry analysis. The results can provide information on her general well being including organ function without the need of anesthesia.  The results from the recent sample that was collected shows that Anoki is in good health!  Being an older polar bear it is important to monitor any changes that may occur and testing can now be done at routine intervals. We can also contribute research projects presented through the Polar Bear SSP.

– Randi Krieger, Zoo Keeper & Robin English, Veterinary TechnicianDonate

* Banner photo by Kenny Krieger

Happy Birthday to African Elephant Lilac!

June 25, 2021

With so much activity here at the Zoo lately, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate a very special and loved lady here at the zoo. Lilac turned 43 last month (May 1st)! Orphaned as a calf in South Africa, Lilac joined our family here at Seneca Park Zoo in 1979 with Genny C. Since then, she has been a favorite of guests and keepers – I’d even go as far to say she is an icon here in Rochester! She is our smallest elephant, currently around 7,000 pounds, and if you look closely you can see her hair is actually red. Don’t let her small size fool you, she is affectionately known as a “little packet of hot sauce” and completes our herd as being the sassy, spunky one who loves to keep her caregivers on their toes.One of my favorite things about Lilac is that she is motivated more by her relationships with us than by food. This means that she won’t just come over to you because you have food; she comes because you have spent the time for her to get to know you. This is why she is usually the last elephant that new keepers train with. But because it requires so much time and effort, the relationship with her is the most rewarding. It is a highlight of my career when I knew we hit that mark.

Turning 43 is a big deal in the elephant world. The average life expectancy for African Elephants is around 39 years old, so all three of our elephants are considered geriatric. That’s why it is so important to take that time to build a relationship with all of them, so we can ensure they age gracefully and are able to provide whatever care they need. My favorite thing about her is that you would never know she is 43 – she still acts like a young calf running around and playing with her enrichment.

The next time you are at the zoo, please stop by elephants and wish our gorgeous, little gal a BIG Happy (belated) Birthday!

– Zoo Keeper Hanna Kaiser

*Banner photo by Hanna Kaiser 

Giraffe Training: A TALL Order

June 19, 2021

At Seneca Park Zoo, positive reinforcement training is a critical part of our interactions with the animals – it’s good for them and helps us take better care of them. Each species and each individual brings different challenges that we have to work through. With the height of a giraffe, two trainers are needed.  As the primary trainer, Lindsay positions herself at the giraffe’s head communicating to the giraffe on what we want them to do and providing the rewards for the correct behaviors.  The secondary trainer, Jenna, simultaneously interacts with the giraffe and communicates to Lindsay what is needed from the giraffe so that they can be reinforced at the right times.  Because the two trainers usually cannot see each other, their communication is key to getting the giraffe to perform the correct behavior.All the Giraffes are trained to present both front feet on a “hoof block”.  This allows us to file their hooves.  When the Giraffes present the correct hoof, a whistle lets them know they did the correct behavior, and they receive an immediate reward of a piece carrot or a handful of grain.  When the secondary trainer approaches the Giraffe’s hoof and starts filing the hoof the Giraffe is rewarded continuously.  Using this behavior as a foundation, we moved on to a blood draw from the giraffes’ fetlock, or the upper knuckle of the foot, as a large vein runs along this area. As we developed this behavior, we had to work with the giraffes’ preferences. For example, Parker and Kipenzi seem more comfortable presenting their right hoof while Iggy is more comfortable presenting her left hoof.

As the secondary trainer, Jenna “desensitized” each giraffe to a “poke” on the large vein on the fetlock. We kept the steps simple, working from just pushing on the vein with a finger to using a hoof pick to poke the vein. This is a tool that they are used to seeing for their foot care, so touching them with it was already familiar to them. Lastly, after little to no reaction to the other stimuli, a needle was used for the blood draw. The prick of a needle is very similar to the bite of a fly to the giraffe, so as long as they were rewarded with the grain at the proper timing, the giraffes have little to no response! While the blood is being collected, the giraffe enjoys the grain until they choose to leave the session!This behavior is so important for a number of reasons. First, it gives us a good picture of the health of each giraffe. We can see the number of each type of cell in the blood, and get information about their kidney, liver, and other organs’ function. Second, we can store plasma and blood from our giraffes that might be needed in case of a health problem, either in our giraffe here at Seneca Park Zoo or as part of the Giraffe Blood Bank, a group of accredited zoos who have agreed to provide blood products to other zoos. Finally, blood donation helps us our giraffe contribute to the conservation of giraffe in the wild. For example, we are contributing a study examining genetics of giraffe spot patterns and how it impacts survival in the wild.

– Zoologist Jenna Bovee, Assistant Curator Lindsay Brinda & Assistant Zoo Director Dr. Louis DivincentiDonate

* Banner photo by Walter Brooks

How Oil Spills Effect the Ocean and What We Can Do About It

June 12, 2021

Surprisingly, oil spills are more common than you might think. Thousands of oil spills occur in US waters every year, yet most of these spills are small. Many people normally think of major disasters, like a pipeline burst or a drilling operation gone wrong. However, small spills, such as refueling a ship, can still cause damage to an aquatic ecosystem, especially if these small spills happen in a sensitive environment. Oil spills can occur anywhere that oil is drilled, transported, or used, and with most of the world using oil – it can really happen anywhere!Oil spills generally effect wildlife in two ways. Oiling is a term for oil physically harming a plant or animal. We all have seen TV commercials related to dish soap that is used to remove oil from an otter’s coat or a penguin’s feathers. The effected animal’s survival depends on how much oil they have coated on them. It will be difficult for an animal to survive coated in large amounts of oil. Animals may also accidentally ingest oil when attempting to clean themselves. Fish that comes into contact with oil can become unsafe not only for animals like sea lions, but for humans as well. Wildlife can be silently harmed through oil toxicity. Oil compounds are toxic and can cause a variety of health issues, such as immune system deficiencies, in humans and animals.

The U.S. Coast Guard is primarily responsible for cleaning up oil spills, however, as we learned in our science experiment presented on social media, not all of the oil can be removed from waterways. It is a delicate balance between removing the oil, and making sure the ecosystem isn’t being damaged by the removal process.

Together, there are small steps we can all take to prevent oil spills into our waterways. These steps include various suggestions, such as:

  • Properly dispose of used oil and oil filters
  • Do not overfill fuel tanks
  • Immediately contain spills and using absorbent pads for any cleanup
  • Support reputable organizations that rescue wildlife from oil spills, such as SANCCOB Saves Sea Birds. Many ecosystems are shared, so helping one species usually helps out another!
  • Connect with water conservation groups at a local level, such as participating in a local cleanup held by Seneca Park Zoo! All pollution is a threat to wildlife.

– Morgan Saidian, Zoo Keeper

Keeper Connection: Sea Lion Stranding & Marine Mammal Care Center

June 11, 2021

In 2015, there was a mass stranding of California Sea Lions due to the rise in temperature in the ocean. The fish sought out the cooler water, and the female sea lions that gave birth that year left their pups to hide on the rocky shores for days leaving the pups hungry for their mother’s milk.The pups began swimming while weak with hunger. They would eat anything they could find in the ocean and at this time it wasn’t fish. Thousands of sea lions were being washed up on shore in record numbers. Sea lions get the water they need to live by the fish they eat, not by drinking. Not consuming fish left them dehydrated as well as emaciated. The older animals began consuming trash such as straws, plastic bags, zip ties, fishing line, cigarette butts and balloons just to name a few.

I know this not only from watching the news, but also because I went to the Marine Mammal Care Center in California to volunteer during this catastrophic event. I assisted the staff and other volunteers in removing trash from these very ill animals. There was a fishing net wrapped around one sea lion’s neck cutting into her skin. Pups were brought in by the dozen in vans. We would weigh them, give them fluids, enemas and open their mouths to remove the trash. We took their temperatures and gave them various medications by injection. We made a fish gruel and tube fed the weak.

Some animals were at the center for a week or two recovering when I arrived. For these animals we would prepare and feed them frozen fish. We did not linger, just feed them and leave so humans were not associated with food, therefore the sea lions would not approach humans when released.You may be wondering why humans are potentially dangerous to sea lions besides the trash we produce. Fishermen and sea lions have been competing for fish for as long as humans have been fishing. In fact, one of the California sea lions in our care at the Zoo today, Lily, was rescued at the San Pedro Marine Mammal Care Center in 2010 where the veterinarian staff removed a bullet from Lily’s right flipper. Someone shot her when she was just a small pup. Thankfully, she survived and was brought to our zoo. She is eleven years old now. I have known her since she arrived and can tell you she is intelligent, gentle, healthy and the mother of her only offspring, Bob.

If you find yourself in California and love the ocean and sea lions I encourage you to volunteer at any of the rescue centers in California. If you don’t have the time, donations are always welcome. Many of these centers run solely on donations, hard work and big hearts. I met some wonderful people there and learned how important our oceans are to all of us.

– Mary Ellen Ostrander, ZoologistDonate to Ocean Conservation

Protecting Our Planet: The 30×30 Plan

June 8, 2021

In 1992, the United Nations hosted the Earth Summit. This gathering resulted in over 170 countries agreeing to two treaties for environmental diplomacy: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention of Biological Diversity.  Since then, 15% of our land and 7% of our oceans have been protected.  Unfortunately, our planet is facing many different threats right now.  We are seeing a loss of clean air and drinking water in communities around the world.  Forests around the world remove 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, and when we clear forests for agriculture and urban development, we are removing these carbon sinks.  We are also destroying vital habitat for species, many of whom are endangered.  Climate change is causing stronger, more frequent natural disasters.  There are over 200 million people around the planet who rely on the protection of coral reefs against flooding.  The Campaign for Nature is committed to securing a better future for our planet, our wildlife and ourselves.The Campaign for Nature is a partnership between the Wyss Campaign for Nature, National Geographic, and over 100 conservation organizations. They are calling on civic leaders to create new policies to protect 30% of the planet by 2030.  By conserving areas that are biologically diverse and represent all of the world’s different ecosystems, we can reverse the damage that has been done and help these areas recover.

It is a fact that protected areas can be restored.  After wolves went extinct in Yellowstone Park, the landscape began to change because of overgrazing by elk and other herbivores.  After 70 years, wolves were successfully reintroduced into the area and the habitats recovered.  Elk were not avoiding the areas wolves hunted, allowing both terrestrial and aquatic habitats to recover.  This is only one example of many success stories.

We can take action today to help protect our planet.  You can join the call for 30×30 and let your civic leaders know you want to protect our planet by signing the petition.   The UN’s Convention of Biological Diversity will be meeting in Kunming, China later this year, where there will be discussions on increasing the areas that are protected. World leaders need to work together with local governments and Indigenous Peoples to make sure that conservation practices are lining up with these protected areas.  This includes providing the proper funding for management and scientific studies for these areas.In the last 50 years, we have lost over 60% of terrestrial wildlife on the planet.  In the last 100 years, we have lost 90% of big ocean fish.  It is not too late to protect what we still have.  By being responsible with our resources and protecting biologically diverse areas, we can make a difference and ensure future generations of both people and animals have a safe, healthy world to grow up in. Join the call for 30×30 today and let your voice be heard by signing the petition!

– Randi Krieger, Zoo KeeperDonate

* Banner photo by Walter Brooks

Keeper Connection: National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation

April 26, 2021

In 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in the Climate Alliance Program hosted by Polar Bears International. Through the program, I learned about polar bear natural history and travelled to Churchill, Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world.  While seeing polar bears in their natural range was an amazing experience, I took something else away from this trip as well.  I realized that my job as a zookeeper is not only to care for the animals here at Seneca Park Zoo, but it is also my job to teach our guests and inspire them to take action to protect these amazing animals and their habitat.For this program, PBI had teamed up with the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation.  So not only was I learning about polar bears, I was now learning evidence-based communication methods about climate change.  I knew that a major loss of sea ice was the biggest threat polar bears are facing, but didn’t know how to confidently talk about climate change.  Climate change can be a topic that scares people, they think it’s too political, or that discussions will always turn into arguments; this was my train of thought.

Through NNOCCI, I learned about the science of climate change and how to explain it in an easy way for everyone to understand using metaphors and explanatory chains that are relatable.  The ocean circulates moisture and heat throughout the planet, similar to how the heart circulates blood through our bodies.  This maintains temperatures throughout the world and helps keep the climate stable; but the burning of fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas disrupts this stability when these emissions build up in the Earth’s atmosphere.  This build up causes the oceans and Earth to heat up, so the ocean pumps too much heat and moisture to some parts of the planet, other parts receive too little.  This is what causes droughts, flooding, and crazy weather patterns.If we think of the ocean as the heart of the climate, we realize that we need to take care of it just like we take care of our own bodies.  The best way to start is to decrease our use of these fossil fuels.  By making easy, common-sense decisions in our everyday lives, we can start to help the planet. Switching to solar and wind power will greatly reduce our carbon emissions. Making sure we are being as efficient as possible with our appliances and even making sure we have energy-efficient windows installed in our homes are easy steps we can start to take to make sure future generations can enjoy our beautiful planet.

Coming home from the program, I jumped right into my keeper chats using everything I had learned.  I can now teach guests how we can be responsible with our resources to reduce our carbon emissions.  I encourage everyone to talk about climate change with their friends and family, just having a conversation is a step forward in working together to help stop climate change.

– Randi Krieger, Zoo KeeperDonate

World Penguin Day 2021 – Keeper Thoughts

April 25, 2021

What is World Penguin Day? For starters, it’s a day for us to acknowledge our love for all things penguin, a day for us to admire this quirky little bird who can’t fly, has a most humorous walk, sounds like an angry donkey, and swims like a torpedo. But it’s also a day for us to acknowledge the sad fact that penguins around the world are in sharp decline and some could potentially disappear in our lifetime. To ignore this part of the story is to resign ourselves to the idea that we can’t do anything about it.What can we do in Rochester, New York to help save a bird that lives over 8,000 miles away?

One of the most important steps we can take is to support organizations that are on the ground where these penguins live. Here at the Seneca Park Zoo, we have a colony of African Penguins. These penguins can be found at the very southern tip of Africa. While there are a number of organizations working with African penguins, there is one that stands out to us. The Southern African Foundation for Conservation of Coastal Bird, better known as SANCCOB. In their 53-year history, they have treated more than 97,000 seabirds, most of which were African penguins. So, rest assured, as you pay your entry fee, membership dues, or donate to one of our penguin days fund-raisers you are helping to save these amazing birds.

For more information check out their web site here.

What is the biggest threat to the African Penguin?

Over the years, they’ve had to overcome many threats including egg collection for food, guano collection for fertilizer, massive oil spills from shipwrecks, and human encroachment on their nesting site, but these days, their number one threat by far is lack of food!

A combination of commercial over-fishing and changing water temperatures have left the African penguin on the verge of starvation. As adults struggle to feed themselves it becomes harder and harder for them to feed their chicks. Many chicks are left to starve in the nest as parents are forced to make the hard decision of survival.This is where SANCCOB steps in. While their legal teams work with local officials to change fishing regulations, their rangers work to remove starving chicks from the nests to be taken to one of SANCCOB’s two rehabilitation facilities. Here they’re fed and cared for until old enough to be released back on the very same beach they were hatched on, thus ensuring the next generation of penguins.

How can we help change fishing behaviors?

Here at the Seneca Park Zoo, we encourage everyone to check out seafoodwatch.org. By downloading the Seafood Watch app, you’ll be able to make sure you’re making sustainable choices when shopping for seafood.

– Kevin Blakely, Zoo Keeper

Here’s the Dirt on the Baboons’ New “Digs”

December 2, 2020

If you’ve been to the Zoo lately, you may have noticed our incredible new baboon habitat. The baboon habitat opened as part of the A Step into Africa expansion in 2008, and, apart from some cosmetic work, it was largely unchanged since then. Our animal care staff noted that the baboons needed something new, so they made a plan to add a couple of new platforms. When Assistant Zoo Director Dr. Louis asked for help from Parks Director Patrick Meredith, Assistant Parks Director Chris Kirchmaier, and Horticulture Superintendent Mark Quinn, and the Zoo Docents contributed an enrichment grant to help make it possible, the plan exploded. The creativity of the Parks Department staff resulted in an environment rich with options for the baboons. By repurposing fallen trees from throughout Monroe County’s Parks, they used sustainable and naturalistic materials to build in new furniture throughout the habitat. Even more impressive, the Parks crew worked through nearly two weeks of daily rain and mud, placing large logs mostly by hand to facilitate a naturalistic but fun new design.  With the job complete, the results are amazing! So, a huge shout out to our amazing Monroe County Parks Department!Unlike what you see on your favorite home improvement shows, our baboons didn’t have to move out during renovations. They were able to enjoy their new home, and supervise the progress, as it was being constructed. The Parks crew was especially sensitive to ending each day at a “baboon-friendly” stopping point, so that the animals could assess the quality of each day’s work! And on the final day, it was a sight to see when the baboons were able to fully explore all the new additions to their home, and they continue to do so on a daily basis.

The new baboon abode provides an endless number of novel opportunities for digging, climbing, jumping, foraging, bouncing, lounging and just plain “hanging out”. You may not have known that baboons like to dig for insects and worms in the dirt, and they now have plenty of new soil to dig in!

Unlike other monkeys, baboons spend a lot of their time on the ground but they do sleep, eat, hang out and keep watch up high. So, we added logs and trees for climbing and sitting. Baboons also have a playful side, and we accommodated that too! For instance, there are hanging platforms and trampolines for jumping and swinging.

The novelty of the habitat enhancement is sustainable because we have options for hanging different enrichment items, like swings, that provide interest each day to enhance and improve the lives of our troop. Providing this enrichment on a daily basis is a very important aspect of what we do because it gives the animals choices in how they spend their time, control over their environment, and the opportunity to express their natural behaviors. In turn, this effort enhances their wellbeing.

While we’ve seen all the baboons up on new perches and trees, one baboon in particular has taken an extra liking to the trampolines! Kalamata bounces on the trampolines and makes his way from one side of the enclosure to the other by jumping off all the new platforms, without even touching the ground! He also uses the trampolines to lounge in the sun. It’s been amazing to watch him enjoy one of the structures we were most excited about!

So, please share in our excitement and plan a visit to the zoo so you can see for yourself how the baboons are doing in their new “digs”.

– Dr. Louis DiVincenti, Assistant Zoo Director – Animal Care & Conservation; Zoologist Jenna Bovee; Zoo Keeper Clare Belden; Zoo Keeper Linda Velasquez

Header photo –  by Clare Belden