This month’s episode of “New At The Zoo” recaps a largely quiet month at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, outside of the opening of Panda Trek. Following a flurry of zoo births in spring and early summer, the dog days of summer brought a few new, low-profile additions to the zoo family. Read on for my Panda Trek video, baby warthogs and more.
• I had been chronicling the construction of the Panda Trek exhibit since the early days of this blog, so its opening was of great interest to me. I happened to have my fancy new Canon HD video camera with me to film my first, erm, trek through Panda Trek. The Mang Mountain pitviper’s arrival remains TBD.
• The North Chinese Leopard has been relocated to a brand new home very near to the African Kopje. This happened in late July, but I feel like it should get a little more attention because its probably a glimpse of the future of a renovated Cat Canyon. I like the look of the enclosure and the glass front was a good thought, but unfortunately the angle of the glass was a major miscue. The glare/reflection is extreme when it is sunny and hinders visibility greatly. Originally, I thought the big cat was a new zoo addition, but now I’m pretty sure this is the same leopard that was in Cat Canyon. The mountain lions were moved one house down into the leopard’s old home. Not sure if this is a permanent or temporary move.
• The Safari Park’s Summer Safari ended in the middle of the month, along with the extended summer hours, Summer Safari photo contest and the mobile SCVNGR hunt game. This year’s photo contest winner (right), as voted by the people, was Mr. Alex Thomson. He won a Caravan Safari for his efforts.
• The opening of the new Flying Fox house at the Safari Park been revised to Fall 2011, according to on-site signage. It was previously listed to open in July. In case you are wondering, a flying fox is a bat. The attraction will be the first large bat house at either the zoo or the Safari Park. I’m excited.
Animals and Baby Animals
• Famed giant panda Yun Zi celebrated his second birthday on August 5 with a fancy cake.
• I’m not sure when they were born, but the three warthog piglets at the zoo are oodles of cute. You can find them on display with their parents in Cat Canyon about midway up.
• The rock hyrax had several babies in the African Kopje. They were too small and far away for me to count–perhaps three or four.
• The Safari Park saw the birth of Paisley, a lowland paca, on August 6. They are nocturnal animals so it will be difficult to spot her during the day, but feel free to try. The pacas are located near the front entrance, up against the outside of the aviary.
• Reminder, Christopher and Connor, the zoo’s Malayan tiger cubs born in April, are on display daily from 9 am – 12 pm in Tiger River. At some point I expect them to be on display full time.
A Zoo Visited
During the month of August, I offered up the following entries and updates:
Yun Zi the Giant Panda - This is a brief slideshow of the prized giant panda on August 4, the eve of his second birthday.
Panda Trek Opening- As mentioned above, I cruised through Panda Trek shortly after it opened with my video camera and threw together a short video.
Monterey Bay Aquarium – Ironically, a few days before I departed on my trip up the California coast to Monterey, the zoo tweeted the latest Klout scores for members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo and MBA tied for top marks in the nation. Read my write-up on my August 13 visit.
A Look Ahead