Wednesday, December 30, 2009

kimani update

after 4 unsuccessful attempts to get info via email from the tautphaus park zoo where kimani went to, i called them. the gal said "they do not give out info on the animals?!?!?" but i got some info on kimani (and sukari-see new lioness in the house post for update) ... kimani was just out of quarantine (odd since she left us on nov 18th and our quarantine is 30 days. anyway, today was her first day on exhibit and "everything is fine." i was hoping to get a bit more than that and try for another update at a later time, but i don't think that's going to happen. hopefully they will communicate with the keepers at the sfzoo periodically so her fans can monitor her progress and take joy in any offspring news! ... she has yet to see her new beau who is sukari's former husband, a younger male named dahoma. ... i have made a contact via flickr with a gal who's hometown zoo is the t-park and next time she makes a visit she said she will get pix for me (and you!). thankx denise! ... i hope kimani is happy in her new home and has many cute babies with dahoma! ... update 12.31.09 added photo of dahoma. born (in a litter of five, two girls and three boys) at henry villas zoo in october 2004, his name means long life in swahili. he moved to t-park zoo at just over a year old to be their resident females (sukari) mate. please see the post, new lioness in the house for info on his and sukari's cubs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the tale of mishaki and the christmas tree

today's winter treat enrichment was for the black rhino's. the winter gone wild schedule isn't really helpful, since they seem to be changing it daily. black rhino's were supposed to be on sunday and they were switched to today. as well the time was changed. no matter, the male, mishaki aka gene, put on quite a show and it was well worth the wait! he was in the back part of the enclosure zeroing in on his goods and as soon as the gate was opened, he went right to the front and got down to business! he had a christmas tree with fruit and veggies attached to it and more goods on the rocks. he started gobbling right away and after a bit, the tree fell forward towards him and startled him. he gave it a look then went back to eating. he wasn't done but i think he felt that tree needed to be taught a lesson, so he marked it a few times, then started pushing it around with his head. he went over to the keepers for a pat and an ear rub, then back to finish off all the yummies! after that he gave that tree a stomping, peed on it some more, dragged it about more and said "take that!" he had alot of fun with his holiday gift! mishaki, you're adorable!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


sukari was out in the grotto today! she must have made some real progress overnight as far as her comfort level. when i got there she was just getting up onto the ledge above the cave entrance. she settled in and stayed there looking out, just taking it all in. it must be hard being moved from one home to another without any say in the matter, but she looked calm. she makes cute little tongue hangin faces like my kitten and tony! here's some of my famous snaps from tv of video. thankfully i had the video camera or any sighting of her via naked eye or still pix would have been hard to tell much about how she looks. at second sight, her face kinda reminds me of a mountain lion/cougar. really look forward to seeing her out roaming the grotto and eventually interacting with tunya!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

new lioness in the house!

the new lioness is out of quarantine and now living in her new home in the lion house. sukari was moved to the lion house last wednesday and spent her first day getting exams and settling in. for now she will only have access to the night quarters in the lion house while she gets used to her new surroundings, keepers, neighbors and companion. her access to the outside grotto exhibit im told will depend on how soon she feels comfortable inside. tiny steps to success! ... her new roommate is intended to be tunya, pending how well they do in howdy gate intro's. right now she is still shy and per the keeper has not ventured far out of her secluded night quarter which at necessary times is used as the nesting box area for pregnant felines and newborns. the cage door to the next cage is open and she can come out into the lion house when she wants and is in the caged area next to tunya, with one cage room between them. ... i went thurs and the lion house was closed, was bummed not to get to see her. today, lion house was open and she was in the nesting area and not visible. i thought i wouldnt get to see her but when i went back over there she was sitting and looking out thru the keepers door and i could see her pretty good! yea! she looks cute and big! i stood there for some time talking low to her saying hi and that we cant wait to meet her and that her keepers are nice and her new boyfriend is a sweetheart ;) she stared at me the whole time. then tunya came in and she looked at him once and then back over at me. after awhile i left so that she would look at tunya. he seems most interested in her! so i think they will be a good match when she gets comfortable. ... i think that our zoo has a unique situation in the lion house, where visitors are closer up than in most zoos. that said i think it may be awhile before she gets used to that. ... i have tried to get more info on her by email to the zoo she came from, but they have not responded to 4 attempts. will keep trying. ... stay tuned for pix as soon as i get some. i took a couple (no flash!) but i know before even looking at them they arent going to be great. heres one, open bigger to see her best. ... i cant wait til shes out in the yard and as happy to be here as we all are to meet her! welcome sukari! ... also see november post, new lioness in town! ... updated 12.30.09 i called the zoo she came from (tautphaus park) and they said "they don't give out any info on the animals?!?!?" odd but i worded stuff in such a way that i got this much, she is not yet 6 yrs old (they said younger than kimani), she was not born there, although the gal said something about oklahoma and mentioned a sister, but would have to "look it up" to be certain. she did breed with a male named dahoma, who was brought in at just over a year old to be her mate. they produced two litters, one female in each litter. she didn't have the info on where those two babies went. i thanked her for this info and i think its all we are going to get. ... updated 12.31.09 the first baby girl born in july 6 2007 and is named mfisha (meaning fighter), the second named ahadi (hope) was born in january 2008. they were both hand raised and moved together to the henry doorly zoo in omaha on a future ssp breeding recommendation. there's a pic of them here they are cute! and clearly one looks like sukari and one like dahoma.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

snowing in san francisco?!

it did for andy and pike, the two polar bear companions! monday the san francisco ice company once again gave a generous donation to the zoo. they donated enough ice to spray the girls grotto with snow! i wasn't able to go on monday morning and attempts by phone to the zoo to confirm whether there was still snow on tuesday were useless, BUT i went out there this morning and there was still a good patch of snow and i got some great video footage of pike making snow bear angels (thankx susan for this tag!)! she seemed more interested in the snow, although maybe andy had her fill over the past two days. ... when i first got there neither was in the snow, so i said hi to them and then asked them to go play in the snow so i can first hand witness the beauty of it. after a few minutes pike went over and then andy followed. then what followed is my money shot of the day, the two of them rubbing their faces together! soooo cute! then andy walked off and went to take a nap! pike commenced to really getting her groove on in the snow! it was a beautiful sight to see her having so much fun and just really loving the feel of it. i could watch her play like this all day long. after she was done, i went and said hello to the other bear friends and came back three more times over two hours. each time i was able to watch her play some more. rolling her whole body in it, feet up in the air! rubbing her face in it with her eyes closed and a huge smile! it was joyful! i am so glad i got to see then experience this. if i won the lotto, i'd buy them a snow machine.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

lions get holiday treats!

this was the first day of the zoo's holiday season event called winters gone wild. there is a schedule posted on the zoo site of who gets what when. i've been sick so yesterday was the first day i was able to go. i almost said, my pix didn't come out as great as i'd hoped, but now looking at them again they arent bad. the window ones could have been better. i tried a new thing since i'm still taking video these days, i tried to take still pix at the same time, but my camera focused on the window too much instead of the cat ;( never had that happen before, must be a hazard of the one handed attempt. so these are the best stills, but my video is great! although i have mention my disappointment in the behavior of visitors once again. the graffiti etched into the glass around the big cats is disgusting and disturbing. while taking video at the corner exhibit, the etchings were clearly highlighted more than you can see when just standing there with the naked eye. as well there is excessive damage to the grotto windows. what is wrong with people? i can't answer this by even just using some vulgar name tag. people who do stuff like this, along with the continuous disturbing of the animals, really must just have brain damage in some way. sorry for the mini rant, back to the event. it was also member's morning with big cat focus. there was training demo's with most of the cats. i hung out chatting with tunya. poor guy is still waiting for his new girlfriend to come out of quarantine. i just reassured him she's there and will be meeting him next week :) then i blew him some kisses and he responded back! he tilted his head back and opened his mouth a bit and with a grin made a soft vocal sound. soooooo cute! when the lions were let out i went to the window first cuz tunya's prizes were on the hot rock (which is in front of a viewing window. he came right out and got to business. he loved his stuff and after walked around and did his morning roar. i went over to see what jahari and amanzi were doing and they had already had their bones and their backs turned hording them as they munched. so no good footage or pix of them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hasani's great grandma turns 53!

colo, a female gorilla at the columbus zoo will celebrate her 53rd! birthday next tuesday december 22nd. i read about her (for the first time) yesterday in an article that i found via a twitter post by, zoo and aquarium visitor, one of the animal organizations i follow. i shared it with some friends as i thought it was special that she was not only reaching this great ape age, but that she was the oldest living gorilla in a zoo and the first western lowland gorilla in the world born in a zoo! she is quite the icon! turns out one of my friends has not only met colo, but told me that she was our own zura's grandmother! this news was very interesting to me, as when i was reading the article i wondered where her other grandkids were. was it just my curiosity about zoo friends relatives? i usually only pursue that info on sfzoo friends, so why did i have this thought? must have just been a psychic notion that there was a familial connection to one of ours! it turns out that zura and jonesy (half sibs) are both the children of colo's son oscar, making colo, hasani's great grandma! ... happy birthday colo and many more! ... article below or view at

World's First Zoo Born Gorilla, Colo, Celebrating 53rd Birthday at Columbus Zoo

Tue, 12/15/2009 - 10:39 AM

By Jennifer M. Wilson

Columbus, OH - Colo, the world’s first western lowland gorilla born in a Zoo, not to mention oldest gorilla living in a Zoo, will celebrate her 53rd birthday at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, December 22.

The public is invited to attend the festivities which begin at 1 p.m. at the indoor gorilla habitat located in the Zoo’s African Forest region. Keepers will be giving Colo a birthday cake in addition to special treats for her and her gorilla family.

Colo has resided at the Columbus Zoo since her landmark birth on December 22, 1956. Weighing a mere three pounds and five ounces at birth, she became an instant celebrity. Her name came from a national “Name the Baby Gorilla” contest. The winning name, which is short for Columbus, Ohio, was chosen from over 7,500 entries. “Having been at the Columbus Zoo her whole life Colo has also earned a few nicknames,” said Dale Schmidt, Director of the Columbus Zoo. “The keeper staff often call her ‘Boss’, ‘Grandma’ and ‘Granny Pants’.”

Since her birth, Colo continues to be a local, national and worldwide celebrity. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Colo gave birth to three children and now her family tree includes 16 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. While one daughter, two grandchildren and one great grandchild reside at the Columbus Zoo many of Colo’s offspring can be found in zoos across the country.

Today, Colo endures arthritis but she is still charming guests of all ages. Please join the Zoo in wishing her a happy birthday!

end of article * * * * *

there is also a pbs documentary on colo and one of her great grandkids, who like hasani was raised using a surrogate. read about it at

here's a great link to a video from her bday bash! thankx joanne! , its a beautiful thing!
what a special gal she is. it brought tears, just watching her and knowing her legacy now and just how much they love her there. wonderful! she had a great looking cupcake too!

Friday, December 11, 2009

and we got face!

i'm going to stop apologizing for my wacky screen caps taken off tv with my cell phone, cuz so far, these are the only pix posted of this week old baby's face! so, im inclined to kudo myself and say i rock! ... it was the sweetest interaction! baby was clinging to mama (as it will do for a long time) and sister lupe came over and stuck her head right near the baby and the baby turned and looked! lupe kissed the babys head then on the lips and baby stuck its little tongue out to kiss back! then smiled! sooooooooooo cute! my fav cap was the one with the tongue out, but i think its the last one with the smile. this baby has a different face than baya did as a baby. its very happy looking, almost unreal! did i say sooooooooooo cute?! ... lupe so luv's the babies. she was very into baya when she was young and still clinging to mama. she would sit with diamond and pat baya and lean in for kisses. the howlers, papa bosco included, seem very much family orientated.

happy birthday handsome!

tuesday was baby gorilla hasani's (meaning handsome) first birthday! if you don't know hasani's story, in short, he is the first born to papa jonesy and mama monifa. his mom wasn't quite into it, so the primate staff stepped in and hand raised him (kudos!). during this time, veteran mama troop mate bawang showed interest in the baby and the staff began to train both hasani to take a bottle from the keeper through fencing, and bawang to present hasani to the keeper for the bottle. bawang has been a real hero (bravo!) in completing this journey so that hasani could be integrated into the troop and grow up around his gorilla family. ... here are some screen caps ( i know i'll figure out how to put the crisp video footage up sometime!) from my fav moments of the "party"! the gorillas were treated to ice treats of fruit in a huge ice cake and ice cupcakes! compliments of sf ice co. who did a great job in creating the tasties! hasani only tasted a bit of one, sticking his finger in a cup cake to get the yogurt! but all the big gals loved it! nneka tried to steal the cake and rolled it over to the tree she sometimes makes a nest in. she looked up, but i guess just couldn't figure out how to get it up there! i know she wanted to tho! poor papa jonesy i think was too preoccupied with all the humans (not his fav's) to chill enough to enjoy the treats. hopefully after hours he got some, as it was soooooooo cold i'm sure it took all day for those treats to melt, if they even did at all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

photos of the day!

i've said it before, but i'll say it again, elly loves her new home! i have not seen her sitting down once, and that is all she used to do in the old black rhino enclosure. everytime i go by there she is still doing the happy prance! today i got this great shot of her, looking straight at me and she has a smile on her face! i love the captures of the zoo friends with smiles! i like how her little back hoof is up in the air ;) enlarged you can even see her eyelashes. she is precious. the photo ops in the front yard are fantastic in this new enclosure. i just love this snap of her. she looks happy and youthful! ... this is one of my fav photos of today, becuz in the old digs, i just never got good pix of her. in fact i don't think i knew what she really looked like! see the post right before this about the new howler family addition to see my other fav's for today. the pix of mama and her babies are sweet!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

congrats! to the howler family!

the new baby monkey arrived yesterday! i got the news en route to the zoo today, as a friend texted me after seeing the tweet announce! i didn't even hear mama diamond was pregnant til last weekend, so this was super unexpected. most of the time i was there trying to catch a glimpse, the whole family was snuggled together keeping the baby warm, so it was impossible ;( hope i get to see it soon! i was able to see baby baya (aka lincecum) the day she was born, last thanksgiving day. speaking of, it doesn't seem like baya wants to pass the baby baton just yet. she was trying to get mom's attention today and they got in a bit of a rumble. i don't think she gets there's a new baby. poor little baya. hopefully she adjusts soon. congrats again to mama and papa (bosco) and big sisters lupe and baya! ... baby is four days old and i finally got pix! if only i had a lens that diffused fencing, but still very sweet moments captured. diamond came right up in front of me to get the cold days sun, and baby was clinging to her chest. you can't see baby's face, but it resting on mama's chest is adorable. then big sis one year old, baya came over and was fussing with mama, saying "but i'm the baby", she finally settled down and sat quietly with mama and baby and this pic captures her kissing the baby's head (enlarge and you can see her tongue on the baby's head! so precious!) and mama with her hand on baya's, comforting her and reassuring that she's still her baby too. it was all very heartwarming. .

Sunday, November 29, 2009

happy 20th birthday padang!

padang celebrated a milestone birthday today, turning the big 2-0! ... last week i was with follower andiecatt who gave padang's keeper barb two new blankets for her to give her today. thankx to barb! who had padang's area done up with her blankets layed out and some new toys and a big stuffed dog! all scented with spices and perfumes that are pleasing and interesting to her. she had a great time checking out all her prizes and loved the dog especially, carrying it to her bed for a tussle! hope you enjoyed your day padang! happy birthday and many more! ... these pix are screen caps from the video i took, since i didn't take any still photos. ... want to note that her gifts were set up indoors cause the weather has been unpredictable. she and the other big cats are not always behind bars. these are their night quarters in the lion house, which some cats have access to for a few hours during the day so visitors can get the opportunity to see these magnificent cats up close!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

video snips

here are some clips from video i took yesterday. i hope to eventually have all my zoo friends captured in action so i can dub the footage together and make a nice tape. i say tape cuz i'm using my old school technique of vcr to vcr! its the only way can do it for now with the equip i gotz! but it all works for me. anyway, i was able to feed the footage from yesterday to my imac imovie ap and catch these snips with the little memory my old imac has. i got some great stuff, so in this case, size doesn't matter! only thing is they run quick and not sure why ;( ... gauhati was out and about for hours lookng cute as can be while enjoying his morning grub! ... jahari was more interested in sniffing his hay than showing his face, but he gave us a bit! ... ulu was in her meadow and happy as can be! ... goober was chowing on his alfalfa and when he was done made his cutest goober faces!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

new lioness in town

last week our female lion kimani was sent to her new home at the tautphaus park zoo in idaho falls. she is going there on a breeding recommendation. its very sad that she won't be here anymore and i will miss her. and her spunkyness! she was born here and has lived with her papa all her life. the deal was a swap and we are getting their female as a companion for tunya. her name is sukari. from this pic she looks like kimani aittle and her mama kita. she is already here in quarantine, where she will stay for thirty days. i just feel bad that tunya will be alone for a month. as well poor kimani will be too (in Q) in her new home. its heartbreaking but that's the way it goes since the program (species survival) is trying its best to keep the lion population thriving and diverse. ... here is a pic i found online. attempts to get concrete info on kimani's boyfriend or photos of either (from Tpark zoo) have not been sucessful ;( .... will post pix of her when i see her in person, hopefully by the time they give out christmas enrichment's! add note> i have been in contact with a fan of the Tpark zoo and sometime soon, she will go there and check on our kimani and get some further info, plus pix of her and her new boyfriend! so, stay tuned for updates.

rhino fever

both of the black rhino's have been moved to their new home! they are giving each time to adjust to their new surroundings and they seem to really like it! i've seen them both now, today being the first time i've seen miss elly out. she was prancing around looking like she just loved the place! so happy to see her in good spirits. she is an older gal and in the old enclosure it kinda showed. she just layed there most of the time and never really had the ambition to do much. now it seems she's got a new zest! i had my video camera and she dashed by with a smile on her face :) i've seen gene (mishaki) out several times in the past week and he too seems to be loving exploring (and marking!) the new digs! i'm glad they are happy! ... photos above of gene checking it all out! below short clip of elly strolling about, can you see her smiling!?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

all about roo's

this is my first post about the kangaroo's that live at the zoo. i think i mentioned one that appeared last winter, in the "babies, babies, babies" post, but this is all about roo's. ... today i was lucky enough to see babies! one baby out with mama and the other at first with only its hind legs out of the pouch! the keeper said that since the babies are estimated to emerge from the pouch at six months, the one fully out is prob about seven months and the undecided one about six. after standing there quite sometime, the undecided one, decided to give mama a break and jumped out and about for a bit! they are both very cute, i wish they were alittle closer and my pix were alittle clearer of the undecided one. both are red kangaroo's, which there are twelve total, including two breeding females, the father and the offspring. the other walkabout residents are two female grey kangaroo's and a male/female pair of wallaroo's. ... i heard this about kangaroo's, but just thought it was a "capable of" thing, not something that is continuous, but kangaroo's can be in three different stages of motherhood at the same time. they can have one baby in the pouch, one newborn suckling in the pouch and one in utero. so since our two red females are breedable right now, they are constantly pregnant! mama to the seven month old male is a three time mama and the six month old is its mama's fifth! ... thankx to keeper heather for standing there in the gorgeous, but nippy weather to answer all my Qs!