Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I wish everyone a very Happy Holiday! I will probably not be posting much until the new year but I do hope to get out to the Columbus Zoo sometime next week so hopefully that will be the first new update in 2010! See you then!

Discovery Kingdom's Baby Giraffee First Steps Video and Naming Contest

The first giraffe calf born at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in 17 years made its entry into the world on December 14, 2009. Here, mom Makali gently nudges the little male as he stands up for the first time; then see as he gets his running start!

You can name our new baby giraffe and win four admission tickets and a private meet and greet with the new giraffe, a framed photo, certificate plus a giant giraffe stuffed animal of your very own.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Discovery Kingdom’s newest addition: Baby Giraffe

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has announced a new addition, but it’s not a new coaster or thrill ride like you might be thinking…

VALLEJO, CA (December 18, 2009) Christmas has arrived early at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom as park officials announced today the December 14th birth of a 126-lb., five-foot-tall baby – giraffe, that is. The male reticulated giraffe’s auspicious arrival marks the first giraffe birth at the park since 1992 and brings the giraffe herd to six individuals. Guests to the park will have limited viewing opportunities to see mother and baby starting December 26.

“We are thrilled to welcome this new addition to our family,” said Eric Gilbert, Park President. “This may be a cliché’, but the miracle of birth, especially of this remarkable species, is truly something to behold. I give credit to our dedicated staff for all of the work they did to ensure the comfort and safety of the mother and baby during the birthing process.”

The young male, whose birth was witnessed by animal and veterinary staff inside a temperature-controlled indoor barn, was born at 2:06 p.m., Monday, December 14. Staff members, eagerly anticipating the calf’s arrival, were monitoring the mother around the clock. On this particular day, keeper Michael Owyang had finished cleaning out the giraffe barn just after noon when he saw a pair of feet encased in an embryonic sac conspicuously dangling from the four-year-old female, Makali. Within two hours, what appeared to be a head poked out of the standing mother and within minutes, the baby giraffe was born.

“This was an exciting moment for us,” said Amy Clancy, Land Animal Manager. “Makali stayed calm and appeared quite comfortable during the entire birthing process. We’re really impressed with the exceptional maternal skills she’s exhibited and her gentleness. We couldn’t be more pleased and overjoyed.”

The female, Makali, was born at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, Calif., and the arrival in 2008 of the six-year-old sire Nyumekye (pronounced NOO-MEH-KEE) from Safari West in Santa Rosa, Calif., provided the herd with a proven breeder. With this birth, Discovery Kingdom, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is now an active participant in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the population management of giraffes. The newborn offers a new bloodline to continue genetic diversity in the North American captive population.

The reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) is the most familiar of the nine giraffe subspecies and are characterized by their unique polygonal patterns outlined by narrow cream-colored lines. Males can reach up to 18-feet in height and weigh up to 4,200 lbs., females can grow up to 15 feet and weigh up to 2,600 lbs. Reticulated giraffes are native to northeast Africa, Somalia and northern Kenya.

In addition to Makali and the newborn, Discovery Kingdom is home to four other giraffes, the oldest, Nairobi, a 20-year-old female was born at the park in 1989 and was present in a separate stall during the birth. She and 22-month-old female Rosie and two-year-old male Nakuru, were among the first to greet the yet-unnamed calf — reaching through and over adjoining stalls, to lick his head and sniff his face.

With the arrival of the new giraffe calf – the first born at the park in over 17-years – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will be conducting a naming contest to launch in the coming weeks.

“We are looking for a special name for a special individual whose birth during the height of the holiday season is a wonderful Christmas present and the perfect end to the 2009 season,” said Gilbert.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pictures from the Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna

This African themed resort is located adjacent to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. It allows guests the opportunity to watch wildlife graze outside their rooms and public areas in the resort within proximity, conveying the feeling of being in an African savanna. Enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is the attendance of American Zoos?

Attendance: 35 Zoos

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 9.5 million
Busch Gardens Tampa – 4.4 million
San Diego Zoo – 3.4 million
Lincoln Park Zoo – 3 million (free zoo)
St. Louis Zoo – 3 million (free zoo)
National Zoo – 2.7 million (free zoo)
Bronx Zoo – 2.1 million
Brookfield Zoo – 2 million
Denver Zoo – 1.9 million
Columbus Zoo – 1.8 million
San Diego Wild Animal Park – 1.6 million
Oregon Zoo – 1.6 million
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo – 1.6 million
Los Angeles Zoo – 1.6 million
Houston Zoo – 1.6 million
Philadelphia Zoo – 1.4 million
Indianapolis Zoo – 1.4 million
Phoenix Zoo – 1.3 million
Milwaukee Zoo – 1.3 million
Cincinnati Zoo – 1.3 million
Minnesota Zoo – 1.2 million
Cleveland Zoo – 1.2 million
Rio Grande Zoo – 1.2 million
Central Park Zoo – 1.1 million (only 6 acres!)
Woodland Park Zoo – 1.1 million
Lowry Park Zoo – 1.1 million
San Francisco Zoo – 1.1 million
Detroit Zoo – 1.1 million
Memphis Zoo – 1.1 million
Fort Worth Zoo – 1 million
Pittsburgh Zoo – 1 million
San Antonio Zoo – 1 million
Riverbanks Zoo – 1 million
Utah’s Hogle Zoo – 1 million
Toledo Zoo – 1 million

Lion cubs at the Columbus Zoo and a new mystery species!

Here's an article from November 24th:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio zoo is ready to show off its newest additions — a trio of lion cubs.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said that beginning Tuesday Kitambi (ki-TAHM'-bee) and his two sisters, Adia (AH'-dee-uh) and Mekita (meh-KEE'-tuh), were allowed to roam in an outdoor habitat.

The cubs were born Sept. 22 to first-time mother Asali (uh-SAH'-lee) and were the first African lion cubs born at the zoo in nearly a quarter century. Their father Tomo also lives at the zoo.

Kitambi was named by zoo staff, using the Swahili word for "pride" to reflect the cub's take-charge personality. The names for the two females came from winners of a name-the-cubs fundraising auction.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Video from YouTube:

I also read this information on ZooChat:

Also, the Bornean Sun Bear from Seattle, Edwina, has finally arrived and so has our male Red River Hog. We anticipate the Polar Bears to arrive within a month (yes, we are getting Aurora and Anana from Pittsburgh). Still no word on what male we will be receiving or when. The Brown Bear boys will also be in their new home by the end of the year. We also added a non-releasable Hawksbill Turtle to Manatee Coast recently.

I'm also proud to announce Columbus has once again become the only zoo to house a very rare and special species (but you'll have to wait to find out what it is).

How very exciting!

Also, I promise to not make this blog solely about the Columbus Zoo, just give me some time and if you have any updates you would like to share feel free!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Columbus Zoo Polar Bear Exhibit Model and Construction

The Columbus Zoo is adding a new bear exhibit and the Ohio State University Theme Park Engineering Group took a trip to see the initial ground work. They also saw some of the models used to plan the upcoming expansion.
Scale model of what it will end up looking like:

You can view the rest of the cnostruction pictures here.

Detroit Zoo Video 2008

This is my video from the Detroit Zoo shot in 2008. The center piece of the zoo is the best polar bear exhibit in the world. See for yourself:

New Best Zoo Attraction Poll!

Please take a moment to vote in our new poll. Which zoo attraction is your favorite? Is your favorite not listed? Please comment and I will add your selection to the poll.

Columbus Zoo Trip Report Video

I might be a little biased but the Columbus Zoo is one of my all time favorites with its amazing collection of animals. Here is one of my first zoo videos from June 24, 2007.

Welcome to the Zoo Tails Blog!

Hello! Welcome to the Zoo Tails blog.  I will be exploring the wonderful world of zoos. I love animals and since I can’t afford to take a real safari to Africa what better way to see creatures up close than touring zoos? First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am originally from Columbus, Ohio so I would call my “home” zoo the Columbus Zoo (Jack Hanna’s zoo). I graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. As an engineer, I am very interested in the way exhibits are designed and the layout of the zoo in general. I hope to share with you my experience and knowledge about American zoos, including pictures, video, news updates, feature spotlights, and much more!


Feel free to contribute anything you would like. Please let me know if you would like to write articles or post pictures for this blog.