Announcing a brand new feature at your humble zoo-visiting weblog! This one. This is the new feature. In my avant-garde “New At The Zoo” section, I’ll summarize what is new at the zoo and Safari Park and take a look back at my own animal encounters. Read on for cheetahs, tiger cubs, Panda Trek and a chance to win an awesome stretched canvas.
• Early July heralded the opening of Cheetah Run at the Safari Park. Sprinting faster than anything else on land, up to 70 mph, the cheetahs are now run daily and it’s free for public consumption to those in attendance. For more information on this attraction, including photos and video, plus a taste of the VIP Cheetah Run experience, see my post on the matter.
• Also at the Safari Park, Lion Camp reopened in early July. Temporarily closed for a few months for various reasons, including the need to meet new AZA standards and due to nearby construction on Cheetah Run, the popular Lion Camp was upgraded with more shade trees and some newly graded grassy hills.
• The zoo’s African Kopje area got a slightly disjointed addition, a North Chinese leopard. The leopard’s brand new home was constructed in the place of a small aviary. More on this coming soon.
• Polar Bear Plunge got an arctic infusion on July 13 when donors stepped up to make an animal care wish list item come true. The three adult polar bears, the world’s largest land predators, rolled around in the man-made snow in gleeful fashion.
Animals and Baby Animals
• Two male Malayan tiger cubs born in early April are now on display in the zoo’s Tiger River from 9 am – 12 pm daily. The 3-month-old brothers ought to bring some instant excitement to the encounter.
• “What’s small, orange, fuzzy & absolutely adorable?” asked the zoo’s Twitter feed. The answer was the newborn female silver leaf monkey, Thai. Abandoned by her mother, Thai is being hand raised by the zoo’s attentive keepers, and is currently off exhibit. For more, see the zoo’s flickr stream.
• The Caribbean flamingo eggs continued to hatch near the front entrance of the zoo to mark the end of this year’s hatching season. New eggs will be laid and mounds built next spring.
• In the very same enclosure, the crested screamer family has returned, with three new chicks in tow.
• Just a few weeks before the big move to Panda Trek, the Sichuan takin herd welcomed a new member to the family, baby Duli.
• At the Safari Park, three Somali wild ass foals were born, the first on Independence Day and the last on July 11, bringing the heard up to seven members strong. These critically endangered species of African wild ass and their young can be seen from the Africa Tram.
A Zoo Visited
During the month of July, I offered up the following entries and updates:
Final Panda Trek Progress Report, Panda Trek Update – I was able to snap some photos of the construction progress in early and late July to accompany my previous documentation. In non-related panda news, an arsonist burned down the panda gift ship in the early hours of July 11.
Tropical Frogs – Poison dart frogs are a passion of mine, and I dedicated a post to the zoo’s collection of these and other beautiful frogs, including the extremely endangered Panamanian golden frog.
Red-Eyed Tree Frog Canvas Giveaway – I announced the first of what I hope are many contests by giving away a really cool 16 x 20 in. stretched canvas (seen on the right). Follow the link for more information on how to enter to win.
A Look Ahead
Panda Trek and the Flying Fox exhibit at the Safari Park are expected to open next month. Stay tuned for those.