Wednesday, October 28, 2009

george update!

george, now offically able to claim his given name of bali (by a public vote) made his debut at his new home at the point defiance zoo on saturday. here is a local news article with all the details and a photo! ... i miss you georgie!

Big cat delights crowd at zoo
New tiger: Despite a ‘mob scene’ Bali takes his first appearance in stride

Judging from the intensity of his eyes, Bali, the newest Sumatran tiger at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, enjoyed a meat-sicle at his debut Saturday as hundreds of visitors watched the spectacle.

Published: 10/25/09

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium’s newest Sumatran tiger made his big debut Saturday.

Bali, an 11-year-old transfer from the San Francisco Zoo, lounged around in the 4,950-square-foot Asia waterfall display, unperturbed by curious zoo visitors.

“We had a big mob scene,” zookeeper Andy Goldfarb said. The number of tickets sold on “Tiger Day” was not available Saturday night.

Bali’s brother Java and the resident female tiger Jaya also were on display - in separate exhibits. Zoo officials hope that Bali and Jaya will produce offspring to bolster the Sumatran tiger population, which is listed as critically endangered, with about 70 living in captivity in North America. (About 250 live in the wild.)

Bali first arrived at the zoo mid- September and spent a month in quarantine, which is standard zoo practice. Goldfarb said that Bali handled the transition admirably.

“He’s been a good boy. He gets excited, but he’s never charged the mesh (barrier) at us.”

One quirk: the 294-pound Sumatran shares his brother Java’s affinity for the special treat whipped cream – only the real kind.

“They won’t eat the fake stuff,” Goldfarb said.

On Oct. 14, Bali and Jaya had their first meeting, separated by a mesh metal gate. Although the 6-year-old Jaya seemed apprehensive, Bali was relatively relaxed.

“When he saw Jaya for the first time, he chuffed,” a puffing sound used as greeting among tigers, Goldfarb said. “Java took a year before he chuffed at Jaya.”

Bali and Jaya will continue living in side-by-side enclosures, and zoo staff will monitor the new tiger’s behavior when Jaya goes into estrus, or heat. If Bali shows signs of interest over several of Jaya’s estrus periods, zoo keepers will place the tigers together for breeding.

The odd tiger out, Java will depart at an undetermined date for the Los Angeles Zoo, where he will be partnered up with a female tiger who has littered before.

Meanwhile, visitors get to enjoy the spectacle of three tigers at the zoo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

boo @ the zoo day two

the big cats are always great to watch get treats because they really get into them. i watched kimani and tunya come out first. kimani went straight for the treat (frozen bunny) and tunya went right for the big cat nip (rhino pee scent hay)! kimani turned her back and guarded her food, like most kitties like to do, while papa got high rolling around and making the most adorable faces :) and his signature "tunya" pose, to which kimani said "my dad is silly!" so cute! jahari and amanzi got their sheep legs today. it was hard to get good snaps of jahari and amanzi since so many people were around the enclosure, but i watched jahari fight with the one tied to the tree. he must have defeated it and drug it to the ground where he was enjoying it when i came past the second time. amanzi had hers in a far corner, closer pix were obstructed by her party box. i love these cats.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

boo @ the zoo day one

today's featured pumpkin treats were scheduled for the chimps, meerkats and spectacle bears. since i saw the chimps on wed at the preview, i went late and got there for the meerkats. i haven't done a post on these little guys yet, so i'll post alittle info on them here. they live in the children's along side their neighbors the prairie dogs. at past boo events, the meerkats are always fun to watch get their treats, pumpkins filled with meal worms! yum! our group of meerkats (called a mob) consists of three females and three males. the girls names are, victoria, ness, and okeechobee. the boys names are, saro, huron, and bailko. they are all named after rivers. ... i was disappointed when i got the schedule for this years event and saw that many animals (tigers, polars, lemurs, gorillas,) who usually get treats would not be, but i also thought maybe some might still even if they weren't listed and i was right. while wandering around visiting all the friends, i caught this female patas enjoying her pumpkin. the tamarins had treats too and i heard there was pumpkin remnants at gorilla world. as well when i left i saw displays at the lemurs, so maybe tomorrow for them? the lions will get their halloween treats tomorrow but had sheep legs today! its a bit too much nature for me, but they seemed to really dig them, especially kimani who grabbed hers and headed to the bushes with it. ... before wishbone and annie (spectacle bears) came out, it seemed the gulls were stealing all their treats ;( , but thankfully when they got at em, there were still enough fruits and veggies for them! i love when i get snaps of wishbone with his tongue out! do you see his tongue in the pumpkin? these two are so precious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the name game

our male sumantran george aka bali moved to the point defiance zoo in tacoma last month. he is set to leave quarantine and debut this saturday. the zoo is having a vote to decide which of his two names he will be called by them. here's the link, if you want to cast your vote. ... i voted for bali. i have only called him george, that is becuz that was the name i first came to know him as before i knew his given name was bali. he will always be my georgie, but i think bali is what he truly knows and i think the keepers still used this name. becuz i think he knows bali to be his name, its only right. i don't like when animals have their names changed. ... often zoo animals will have a "public" name and a given name. the public name is chosen by someone who has donated money to a zoo for the naming rights to an animal. if its a name given at birth it usually stays with the animal while at the zoo it was born. if an animal is transferred, like george was, the animal staff will most likely still use its given name and then if there's a "new" name, that name becomes the name the public will know the animal as.


today the zoo had a pre- boo @ the zoo event for the press. the chimps were the lucky recipients of halloween treats! i took alot of pix, but these were my immediate favs! ... come out to the zoo (or check your local zoo if out of the sf area) for the annual boo event this weekend! i love halloween, mostly becuz i love pumpkins! so seeing the animal friends get pumpkins and other hallo themed treats is most enjoyable for me. will post more pix from the event next wk!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

another note about respecting animals

kudo's to the zoo for finally posting a "respect the animals" sign at the gate house (entrance). it is long over due. i hope they take the initiative to post such signs at every enclosure. i have written how its a daily occurrence that someone is violating these animals homes, whether it is vocally (yelling, roaring) or physically (slappin/tappin walls and glass). i wish zoo's would band together and support one another to finally go the un-PC route of having to bow to society when some Ahole, whether mentally challenged, stupid or just downright evil, invades an enclosure and post a sign the basically says "IF YOU ENTER AN ANIMAL ENCLOSURE ON YOUR OWN (IE NOT FALLING IN) YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK. STAFF WILL ATTEMPT TO EXTRACT YOU, BUT NO ANIMALS WILL BE HARMED IN THIS ATTEMPT." ... this comes in the wake of the guy who invaded the grizzly girls home a couple weeks ago. he may have been deemed mentally challenged in some way, but he was able to calculate how to get in there, so for me he is responsible for his actions. the sad thing is, if one of the girls didn't find a "distaste" for him, she may have paid for his actions with her life. that is very wrong and its time to change the way these incidents are handled.

giant eland

since i posted about the new rhino enclosure, i'll add bugsby, the giant eland, who lives next door. bugsby came to the sfzoo from san diego in 2007. my bad for not knowing more about this guy, but he is beautiful to see an photograph. probably the most magnificent looking horns i've even seen.

speaking of baby lions

here's some pix from my archives. ... 1997 cub who wanted to play ball with me. seriously, it batted the ball from the other side til it got close to me. it was in front, but when it hit the fence it rolled a bit back. very special moment to me. a keeper recently ID as baby kita! kita was kimani and jahari's mama. even though at the time i didn't know them by name, when i heard she passed, i just knew that it was her who i shared that interaction with and i really felt her passing. i feel lucky to have had that moment and to have this photo of her.... spotted cubs from 2003. baby kimani and jahari! jahari is the one with the dark spots. he looks like a leopard! you can still see spots on kimani's legs but none on jahari. kimani still rules the rock!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

animals on the move

several residents got new homes within the zoo in the past few weeks. ... first, the male snow leopard rigel, who has been living at the fcc for a couple years since coming to sfzoo, has moved into padang's old digs, the corner enclosure on the eastern side of the lion house. he is still getting used to his new surroundings and can most often be viewed just hanging out or napping in the semi secluded corner closest to the path. ... the new black rhino enclosure across from the big cat grotto's is finished! and the moving of this couple has begun. gene was moved first and is still getting used to his new home, venturing out for short periods at a time. to date ellie hasn't been moved yet, becuz they are doing some alterations to the floor in her night quarters. will update this post when she is moved in!

puente al sur

since i mentioned lady capybara in the previous post, now is a good time to add this section. this exhibit is now home to only angelo, the anteater and various types of birds. the mountain tapirs who were living here went back to the la zoo where they were on loan from. in the main outdoor area where angelo has access to, there are swans and whistling ducks that live in the pond. on the opposite side outdoors lives walter the stork with his roommate the turkey vulture, who is a rescue. indoors lives a pair of great currasows.

resident updates

first, very sad to say the capybara passed away. everytime i pass the puente now i miss her. i've been told two names for her, janie or lottie (she has a sister who lived there too, that passed away a couple years ago). so sadly as well i don't even know which name was hers, but she had a sweet face and it was always nice to stop and say hi to her and wish her a good day. ... another friend i'll miss is george (bali), who moved to the point defiance zoo in tacoma a few weeks ago. he is the highest sumantran male on the SSPs breeding list for his genetic contribution, so he's gone there to get the job done! his brother java is there and its with java's mate he is intended to breed. java and jaya, his reccomended mate didn't get along, so they called in the stud lol! can't wait for him to have more babies! i also hope one day he might come back to us. ... i went to my first joint zoo committee meeting last week. very informative about the way the zoo runs and the intricacy involved in all decisions. the best news for me was that the SSP has (finally!) given the go ahead for jahari and amanzi to breed! so hopefully someday soon we will have lion cubs! when i saw jahari the other day i said,"go make babies with your woman!" amanzi was sunning her belly across the way. jahari just looked at me and smiled. ... jahari and amanzi are pretty cute when they affectionately rub heads, but possibly the cutest sign of affection i've seen at the zoo was between cobby and tallulah. they were sitting near eachother and tallulah put her hand on cobbys chin and went in for a kiss! cobby gave her a smooch back and it lasted pretty long! i had my camera out and ready but i was so taken by this moment i didn't get a snap ;( it was VERY sweet!