Waco, Texas – Cameron Park Zoo will hold its annual Wildlife Wonderland Saturday November 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wildlife Wonderland focuses on animal enrichment for the animals at Cameron Park Zoo and how it enhances their lives. Guests can watch different animals enjoy their enrichment items in their exhibits as their keepers give informational talks.
Children of all ages are invited to help make enrichment items for the animals in front of the Macaw exhibit as well as make their own orangutan handimal painting in front of the Education Office starting at 10:00.
Animal art, which is part of enrichment activities and include canvas paintings, ornaments, picture frames, and refrigerator magnets, will be on sell in front of the Zootique gift shop. All proceeds go toward purchasing enrichment items for our animals.
Keeper talks and Animal Enrichment schedule:
10:00 Mukah’s picks
10:30 Hoofstock – at the giraffe deck
1:00 South America
Wildlife Wonderland is included with regular Zoo Admission.
Ocelot born at Cameron Park Zoo
Cameron Park Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a baby ocelot kitten. The kitten, a male named Aztec, is the first infant born to Cameron Park Zoo ocelots, Maya and Gustavo. He is truly a miracle baby. Maya is 14 years old, an age which is considered somewhat past the prime age for successfully producing offspring in ocelots. Ocelots reach sexual maturity at 2-21/2 years of age and their life expectancy is 7-10 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.
November 1, 2012 Cameron Park Zoo welcomed a team of veterinary specialists from the Center for Conservation and Research for Endangered Wildlife (CREW), a division of the Cincinnati Zoo that performed a reproductive assessment on Maya. Even though she was past what would be considered her breeding prime, Maya was still cycling and the assessment showed that there could be a slight chance of a successful pregnancy. The team, along with Cameron Park Zoo veterinarian, Terry Hurst, collected semen from the male ocelot, Gustavo, and performed an AI procedure on Maya using a new laparoscopic oviductal AI technique. Unfortunately the AI procedure was not successful, and the assumption was that because of her age and the condition of her ovaries, Maya would not be able to be impregnated.
On May 31, 2013 Maya’s keeper, John Abernathy, kept her inside for the day because she had been observed regurgitating that morning. Later that morning Zoo staff members were surprised and excited to find a baby ocelot had just been born when they entered the ocelot night house at 11:00 am. Maya was given a nest box and hay for bedding her infant and then left alone to allow her time to bond. Keepers checked back at intervals throughout the next 36 hours to insure that Maya and the infant were well and that the infant was nursing. Apparently, Gustavo and Maya had their baby “the old fashioned way” and Maya has proven to be a healthy and attentive mother.
Since the baby is so small, the exhibit yard could be hazardous to him. Aztec and Maya currently have access to the indoor night house and the off exhibit outdoor area. Cameron Park Zoo officials will announce when Aztec can make his public debut in the exhibit yard.
Mother: Maya, born June 2, 1999 Father: Gustavo, born July 19, 2007 Kitten: Aztec, born May 31, 2013
Jeffrey the Giraffe
Cameron Park Zoo is deeply saddened to announce the death of Jeffrey, a 21 year old Reticulated giraffe, who died Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:50 am. Jeffrey was under veterinary care for arthritis due to his advanced age. The exact cause of death is pending the completion of the necropsy (animal autopsy).
Jeffrey arrived at Cameron Park Zoo just prior to the zoo’s opening in 1993 and he has been a favorite of staff and guests alike. Jeffrey lived a long and prolific life, siring 7 offspring during his lifetime. The average lifespan of Reticulated giraffes is 20-25 years old, but some have been recorded to have lived up to 30 years.
Geriatric care of animals is an increasing emphasis at Cameron Park Zoo, because many of the animals at the zoo have lived here since the zoo opened and are reaching the end of their lifespan. Although, we understand that no animal lives forever and the increasing age of the animals in the collection means we will eventually have to say goodbye, it is still very difficult and all of us at Cameron Park Zoo are mourning Jeffrey’s passing.
Since giraffes are herd animals, and Jenny has been with Jeffrey since she was a youngster, zookeepers will be especially focused on her needs and providing her with additional enrichment. Zoo officials are working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Giraffe Species Survival Program to procure another pair of giraffes as companions for Jenny.
Zoo Visit to Lake Air Montessori
Posted on 04/02/2013
The Cameron Park Zoo Education Department received a grant to provide a free ZooMobile programs to schools in McLennan County, and Jessica Gabler, a senior at Baylor University and employee of the Cameron Park Zoo, brought the ZooMobile to Lake Air Montessori students in late February and mid-March after Spring Break.
Mr. Cross’s first, second, and third grade students thoroughly enjoyed the live animal presentation. The students in Mr. Cross’s class wrote to Jessica drawing pictures of their experience of seeing and touching the animals and thanking her for her time.
Anna C. wrote, “Thank you for bringing in unusual animals that we don’t find in our backyard.” Bolton G. wrote, “Thank you for coming to our school. I liked the python. I also liked the Eastern Screech Owl.” Taylor F. wrote, “I enjoyed the animals a lot, especially Mr. Squiggly McCloud. I’m glad the zoo is so nice to come and show us all the beautiful animals!”
Thank you, Cameron Park Zoo, for enriching our students’ lives and their appreciation for these beautiful and interesting animals. Story reported with the help of Adriann Freeman, Assistant in Mr. Mark Cross’s Gr. 1-3 classroom.
Cameron Park Zoo Programs & Exhibits Curator, Terri Cox, was interviewed today by Tomo Machi, Director of Fuji TV Station and his interpreter, Keiko Tamura. Fuji Television is based in Japan and is interested in the Cameron Park Zoo orangutans’ iPad use. The interview took place via Skype and focused on Cameron Park Zoo’s participation in the Orangutan Outreach Apps for Apes program. (http://redapes.org/multimedia/apps-for-apes/) Most exciting was the fact that the orangutans also got to Skype with Fuji TV! It was the first time that the orangutans have Skyped and they responded to it very well. Mei even came down to the front of her enclosure when Keiko Tamura called her name via Skype.
The orangutans received the donated iPad from Connie and Russ Kassner in August 2012 and all them have taken to the devise very quickly. Mei, the female, particularly enjoys the iPad. The orangutans enjoy a variety of applications ranging from musical apps to “Fruit Ninja.” The males seem to enjoy the music applications the best.
This is a wonderful enrichment tool for the animals and also an excellent way to observe cognitive abilities of orangutans. When zoo visitors watch the orangutans enjoy their iPad it gives our keepers an opportunity to share information about the plight of orangutans in the wild. Both species of orangutans (Bornean and Sumatran) are critically endangered due to poaching for the pet trade and habitat destruction for logging, farming, and mining. Palm Oil is perhaps the largest threat to orangutans. About 5000 orangutans have been killed or have died in recent years as palm oil plantations take up their habitat. To learn more about palm oil and how your choices affect orangutans visit: http://www.cmzoo.org/conservation/palmOilCrisis/.
Green Mountain Energy Solar Video
The Cameron Park Zoo and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club worked together to bring yet another solar array group to Central Texas. This large solar array allows the Zoo to continue our mission of conserving natural resources, while also serving as a teaching tool about alternative energy sources. See this video to learn more about our partnership and energy savings!
Cameron Park Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three Sumatran tiger cubs. The cubs, two females and one male, were born April 19th. This is the second litter for Maharani and Kucing, the zoo’s adult tigers. Maharani gave birth to two cubs in August of last year, but rejected the cubs and they had to be hand raised by zoo staff members. Rejection of one or more cubs in a litter is not unusual for a young tiger’s first pregnancy.
It is unusual for the zoo to allow another pairing so soon after an animal has given birth, but since Maharani was not rearing her cubs, and being kept separate from her mate Kucing was causing her stress, the zoo decided to allow the pair to be reintroduced. The Species Survival Plan (SSP) that makes breeding recommendations for zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) requested that the female not be fitted with a birth control implant since she is in her reproductive prime and her bloodline is important to the SSP and the future of captive Sumatran tigers. It was decided that if breeding activity occurred we would separate the tigers, but if a pregnancy occurred we would try to allow Maharani the opportunity to rear her own cubs.
The keepers observed breeding activity two different times and both times separated the tigers. However, it was evident by early April that Maharani was showing signs of pregnancy. By checking the dates that the two breeding activities occurred, the zookeepers could accurately predict the due date and a baby watch began. Sumatran tigers have an average gestation period of 103 days.
This time Maharani did everything correctly. She immediately began cleaning and caring for her young and has been a very attentive mother during this critical first month. Maharani and her cubs are healthy and have developed a strong bond and in a few more weeks the babies will be large enough and strong enough to navigate the exhibit yard first under the supervision of zookeepers, then with their mother’s guidance.
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