official magazine of oakland zoo
ISSUE 45 • FALL/WINTER 2012
MONKEY MOMMY BUSINESS DAISY THE BABOON FIELD TRIP TO BORNEO ALL ABOUT THE TARANTULA
ZENA THE ZOOKEEPER:
Discover a Zoo in your own backyard!
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Celebrate at the Snow Building! Weddings • Receptions • Birthdays Holiday Parties • Graduations • Anniversaries Gorgeous views, ample parking, full kitchen, changing rooms The Snow Building sits atop a hill granting guests a sweeping view – from indoors and out – of the Bay Area and beyond. Floor-t0-ceiling glass doors offer an unimpeded scenic background. Planning a wedding? Oakland Zoo offers a free one-hour rehearsal 14 days prior to your wedding!
Snow Building Details Maximum guests: 250 standing, 175 seated Hours available: 8:00am – 12:30am Rate: Starting at $400 Banquet tables: 25 eight-foot tables Chairs: 250 total Round tables: 20 five-foot tables (additional fee) Kitchen: Full kitchen available (additional fee)
Reserve the Snow Building Today! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Call (510) 632-9525 x200, fax reservation to (510) 735-8840, or go to www.oaklandzoo.org
EAST BAY ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Steven E. Kane Chair Thomas P. Britanik Vice Chair William L. Marchant Secretary Jonathan M. Harris Treasurer Joel J. Parrott, DVM President & CEO Thomas J. Bjornson Daniel Boggan, Jr. Meredith L. Burke, CPA Lewis E. Byrd Sebastian DiGrande Erik Harris Cassady M. Hudson Justin J. Hurd Marianne Laouri, PhD Mark A. McClure Alison McDonald Rodrigo Prudencio Steven Schwimmer Charles H. Seaman B. Reid Settlemier Patrick J. Sherwood Lora R. Tabor Kirsten M. Vital Jim Wunderman FOUNDATION BOARD Skip Rhodes President JoAnn Harley Vice President Stacey Barsema Peter Bernhard Kenneth R. Betts Warren A. “Chip” Brown Ginny L. Hair Jason M. Knight Greg Lassonde, CFRE Cornell C. Maier Jack McAboy Robert L. Montgomery Eleanor Moore Gerald D. Overaa Jon Q. Reynolds A. Horton Shapiro Phillip H. Tagami James A. Vohs Fong Wan John M. Woolard George A. Zimmer
President and CEO, Oakland Zoo The animals at the Zoo need your help. During this busy election season, look for the Oakland Zoo’s Measure A1 on your Alameda county ballot, and vote YES for the animals! Back in July, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to place Measure A1 on the ballot to support quality humane animal care and protect children’s education programs. Now Election Day – November 6th – is almost upon us and many of you are even receiving your absentee ballots right around now. Please fill your absentee ballot out as soon as you receive it – VOTE YES on A1 – and mail it back right away. Voting YES on A1 is the easiest and most important action you can take to provide quality care for our animals and protect children’s education programs. YES on A1 has strict fiscal safeguards built in to ensure the money is spent as promised, for the purposes of funding: • Quality Humane Animal Care • Basic Animal Needs • Educational Programs for Children Measure A1 maintains the Zoo’s ability to care for and meet the basic needs of the animals, including providing food, heating and cooling, and repairing and maintaining aging animal shelters. Measure A1 allows the Zoo to continue to partner with wildlife conservation and animal rescue organizations to care for animals wounded in the wild and give sanctuary to endangered species, such as the California Condor, and retired circus animals. Additionally, as Sacramento continues to cut education, it’s more important than ever for local children and youth to have access to quality education programs that teach them about wildlife, science, and nature – in a way that just isn’t possible through books. Measure A1 makes it possible to double the number of school children served by the Zoo at a time when local schools are cutting science programs and field trips. Measure A1 maintains the Zoo’ s children’s educational programs and school field trips, providing science and nature education to students who often have none because of budget cuts to Alameda County schools. At only $1 per month, YES on A1 is a small price to pay to protect Zoo educational programs and ensure animals receive the quality, humane care they need and deserve. It’s Your Zoo, and only you can vote YES on A1 to protect it!
Dr. Joel J. Parrott, DVM President and CEO, Oakland Zoo
IN THIS ISSUE President’s Message..................................................................................... 3 Upcoming Events........................................................................................... 6 Animal Spotlight............................................................................................ 7 News at the Zoo ............................................................................................ 8 Peepers, the Zoo’s new squirrel monkey mommy Outreach Spotlight . .................................................................................... 10 ZooMobile Board Member Spotlight . ............................................................................ 11 Kristen Vital Yes on A1 ......................................................................................................12 It’s Your Zoo Story of Daisy . ............................................................................................ 14 Daisy the baboon needed a new home. She ended up with much more. Conservation Efforts.................................................................................... 16 Presenting our three new Quarters for Conservation projects Adventures in the Wild . ...............................................................................17 Oakland Zoo’s teens head to Borneo Picture This.................................................................................................. 22 Friends of the Wild 2012 Reception Giving Back.................................................................................................. 23 Great gift ideas for the holidays that support the Zoo
ZENA THE ZOOKEEPER’S KIDZONE Ask Zena...................................................................................... 18 Backyard Zoo............................................................................... 19 Fall and Winter ZooCamps ..........................................................20 Activity Zone: Word search ......................................................... 21
OUR MISSION Oakland Zoo’s mission is to inspire respect for and stewardship of the natural world, while providing a quality visitor experience.
STAFF Executive Editor Managing Editor Art Director
Nancy Filippi Nicky Mora Everard G. Strong
CONTRIBUTORS Heather Baker
Dr. Joel Parrott, DVM
Bo De Long-Cotty
Emma Lee Twitchell, CFRE
Amber Frisbie Amy Gotliffe
Zena the Zookeeper
ROAR is the official publication of the Oakland Zoo. Published three times per year, it is exclusively made available to the Zoo’s members. For more information about this magazine or on becoming a member, contact the Zoo at (510) 632-9525 or visit us online at www.oaklandzoo.org. All content property of the Oakland Zoo. No part of this publication may be reproduced without express permission of the Oakland Zoo.
Follow the Oakland Zoo Online
oaklandzoo.org/blog If you have a smart phone, scan in the QR code and you will be taken to the website.
Cover Photo: Peepers the squirrel monkey mommy with her new baby. Read her story on page 8. Photo: Nancy Filippi
EVENTS Fall / Winter 2012 OCTOBER
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walkathon (www.jdrf.org) Sunday, October 14 9:00am – 2:00pm
Santa at the Zoo Daily, December 1 - 24 10:00am – 4:00pm CA Revels – Yule at the Zoo Saturday, December 1 1:00pm
Conservation Speaker Series Bats: Beyond the Myths and Mystery Thursday, October 18 6:30pm
ZooLights Saturday – Monday December 1 - 31 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-Up Saturday, October 20 10:00am - 12:00pm
Zoo Closed – Christmas December 25 Winter ZooCamp Wednesday – Friday December 26 - 28
Coati exhibit opening Saturday, November 3
10:00am – 12:00pm Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-Up Saturday, November 17 10:00am – 12:00pm
Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-up Saturday, January 19 10:00am – 12:00pm Winter ZooCamp Wednesday – Friday January 2 – 4
Thanksgiving ZooCamp Monday – Wednesday November 19 - 21
East Bay Zoological Society – Annual Membership Meeting Wednesday, January 23 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Zoo Closed – Thanksgiving November 22 ZooLights – Begins Friday, November 30 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Spring Break ZooCamp Monday – Thursday April 1 – 4
Animal Encounters in the Clorox Wildlife Theater Saturday, Sunday April 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 11:30am–12:00pm; 12:15pm–12:45pm
Walk in the Wild 2013 Reservations online Tuesday, March 5 (Walk in Wild on June 22) Summer ZooCamp Online Registration Begins – Members Monday, March 11 8:30am
ZooLights – Closed Monday – Tuesday December 24 and 25
Boo at the Zoo Saturday – Sunday, October 27 and 28 10:00am - 3:00pm
Animal Amore Tour February 14 & 15
Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-up Saturday, February 16 10:00am – 12:00pm
Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-up Saturday, March 16 10:00am – 12:00pm Summer ZooCamp Online Registration Begins – NonMembers Monday, March 18 8:30am Conservation Speaker Series: River Otters in the Bay Area Thursday, March 21 6:30pm Feast for the Beasts Saturday, March 30 9:00am – 3:00pm Spring Break ZooCamp Monday – Thursday March 25 – 28
Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-up Saturday, April 20 10:00am – 12:00pm
Earth Day Saturday, April 13 10:00am – 3:00pm Conservation Speaker Series: YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip Film Thursday, April 18
Arroyo Viejo Creek Crew Clean-up Saturday, May 18 10:00am Celebrating Elephants Day Saturday (exact date TBA) 10:00am – 3:00pm Animal Encounters in the Clorox Wildlife Theater Saturday – Sunday May 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26 10:00am – 3:00pm Celebrating Elephants Evening Reception Saturday (exact date TBA) Always check www.oaklandzoo. org for updated information, dates, and times.
AT THE Spooky Scavenger Hunt with a mystery fun goodie bag • Children in costume under 15 years receive a free ride ticket • Make treats for the Animals • See the Zoo animals celebrate Halloween • Face Painting in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo • Costume Parade at 11am and 1pm • Gerald the Magician in the Clorox Wildlife Theater Thank you to our sponsors: Comcast Safeway 997. Now!
Petco Natural Balance Pet Food
Sysco Parents’ Press Univison
Plum Organics Ghirardelli
Saturday – Sunday October 27 & 28 10:00am – 3:00pm
Photo: Adam Fink, Oakland Zoo Archive
Margaret Rousser : Zoological Manager
rachnophobia – an irrational fear of spiders – is ingrained on many people, thanks in no small way to pop culture portrayals of spiders like the tarantula. Unfortunately, because of this, the tarantula has received a mistaken bad reputation. Believe it or not, tarantulas provide many potential benefits, beyond eating insects we consider pests. Medical researchers are using tarantula venom for many uses. Chilean rose tarantulas – the kind seen at the Oakland Zoo – can grow up to six inches across, and are covered with tiny urticating hairs that can cause itching and stinging to its victims. Despite the pretty pink color that gives them their name, they can appear very intimidating.
The good news is that the venom of the Chilean rose tarantula is showing promise for several new medical treatments for ailments ranging from heart attacks to muscular dystrophy. Its venom has also been found to prevent muscle cell deterioration, and has helped dystrophic mice gain strength. So next time you visit the Zoo, stop by the Bug House in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo and visit our very own Chilean rose tarantula – and thank her for the many benefits she brings to our lives.
NEWCOMERS Erica Calcagno : Animal Keeper III Squirrel Monkey Babies akland Zoo is responsible for the health and wellbeing of 126 different species of animals; these animals are important ambassadors for their wild counterparts, inspiring us to care about our environment now and in the future. Within these species, there are over 660 individual animals – give or take a millipede or two (we had over one-hundred of them hatch this past summer): it’s the zookeeper’s responsibility to care for each of these animals on a one-on-one basis. This relationship between keeper and animal was best exemplified by the quick response taken by our squirrel monkey keepers this past summer.
In the temperate forests of South America, wild squirrel monkeys live in large groups – troops – of between one- and three-hundred individuals. Our Zoo’s troop is not this large; however, there are twelve very similarlooking petite simians that make up our group. Their keepers are able to identify each individual, knowing not only who they are but their unique personalities as well. So when two females became pregnant, the keepers were able to closely monitor them throughout their five to six months of gestation. On June 12, our first expectant mother, Peepers, gave birth, and while all
seemed to go well, vigilant keepers began making some observations that caused them some concern. On June 14, Peeper’s odd posturing and rubbing of her abdomen indicated something might be amiss, including a potentially retained placenta. Keepers quickly conferred with our veterinary staff and after further observations, our veterinary staff performed an emergency hysterectomy on Peepers. Squirrel monkey babies need to cling to their mothers while they move through the forest canopy. To replicate this, and instill this behavior, keepers rotated shifts during the surgery, placing and steadying the baby on its surrogate mother (a stuffed animal) and gently rocking it, mimicking the natural movement of its mother. Keepers also needed to supplement the infant with formula every ninety minutes to keep the baby hydrated while the mother was in surgery. Baby and mother were reunited before Peepers awakened from anesthesia. Post-surgery overnight and early morning observations confirmed the mother was recovering and, most important, tending to her baby. Keepers were relieved when they were finally able to return the pair to the exhibit, once they passed their medical checks. Peepers and her infant son, Pythagoras, are doing well and were soon joined by a second healthy baby, a girl, Patricia, born (without incident) to mother, Pele. The squirrel monkeys are on exhibit next to our chimpanzees – see if you can tell all fourteen apart.
Photo: Nancy Filippi, Oakland Zoo Archive
November 30 – December 31 5:30pm – 9:00pm No celebration of the season is complete until you experience ZooLights at the Oakland Zoo: magical evenings filled with lights, sights, and sounds of the holiday season.
Santa will be at the Zoo every night!
Sit on his lap and let him know what you want this Holiday Season.
Members – Half-Off Tickets
Receive 50% off tickets from Monday, December 3 – Thursday, December 6. (Tickets available at the door.) Exception: ZooLights will be closed December 24 and 25 so staff members may spend the holiday with family. *Please note that Oakland Zoo animal residents will be in their night houses and not visible to the public.
Find out more at www.oaklandzoo.org
The ZooMobile Conservation ZooMobile; preserving our world’s precious wildlife and resources one inquiring mind at a time Heather Baker : Major Gifts and Grants Associate
or two decades, Conservation ZooMobile (CZM) has been setting up shop at elementary schools, libraries, and senior centers around the Bay Area, sharing fun activities that teach people about the incredible living ecosystems of the world; the ways they are threatened due to population, pollution and overconsumption; and the ways we can help through the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (Compost). Best of all, participants meet real live wild animals such as a tortoise, snake, chinchilla, hedgehog, or even a cool giant millipede.
years ago is to prepare the audience before introducing an animal. I was at an elementary school and turned my back to get the snake out and when I turned around with it, the entire front row nearly jumped out of the roof. SL: Everyone really loves it. They are very enthusiastic and ask us to come back. Some people have been to the Zoo but not all, so this is a great introduction to what the Zoo is all about, especially for those that may not be able to visit.
How did you become a volunteer at the Zoo? Harry Santi: My daughter first told me about the Zoo’s docent program; I’m glad I checked it out because I really love animals and also I love talking with people, so it’s perfect. Sonya Lee: I had been following the story of Kijana, the African elephant male that was born at the Zoo in 1995. I enrolled the following year because it inspired me so much to learn more about wild animals.
Why do you think it is important to teach children about animals and conservation? HS: It is important to educate people that education and conservation programs are a prominent part of the Zoo. Also, it is very important children have safe contact with wild animals. Many kids in Oakland do not get to see wild animals very often and therefore might be afraid of them, which alienates them from the natural world. People who have contact with wildlife early in life are much more likely to be passionate about protecting it as they get older. SL: Our world is changing so much. Over the last 30-40 years, many animals have become endangered. Drought, earthquakes and these types of problems are hurting the environment and causing a lot of animals to die. Teaching and warning kids about protecting animals by conserving our use of resources is very important.
What reactions do you get from children and adults? HS: They really enjoy the experience. Bringing the Zoo, its animals, and the information to the people is why I volunteer. Speaking of reactions, one lesson I learned many, many, many
If you are affiliated with an elementary school, library, or senior center and are looking to host a Conservation ZooMobile, call (510) 632-9525, ext 220, or email EducationReservations@ oaklandzoo.org.
The CZM program would not be possible without docents, a volunteer group of dedicated adults who love animals and welcome the opportunity to share their knowledge and passion with people of all ages. Harry Santi, has been a CZM docent for nearly twenty years, while Sonya Lee has been a docent since 1996.
SPOTLIGHT Kirsten Vital
East Bay Zoological Society Board of Trustees Heather Baker : Major Gifts and Grants Associate
he Oakland Zoo is proud to introduce one of the newest trustees, Alameda Unified School District Superintendent, Kirsten Vital. Ms. Vital joined the Board of the East Bay Zoological Society in January 2012, and as a life-long educator, brings to the Zoo family a passion for inspiring young people to explore and learn about the natural environment and the world around them.
Photo: Erwin and Muir
What prompted you to join the East Bay Zoological Society Board? Kirsten Vital: I love animals and the Zoo, and I have a strong belief in providing service to others. This seemed like a great opportunity for me to learn more and to be able to provide my volunteer time to such a great effort. How does your service, and the Board’s oversight of the Zoo, benefit the community? KV: As a long time teacher, site administrator, district administrator and now superintendent of schools, I bring a wealth of experience to the Board in educating young people in California, and working on past parcel tax measures. Measure A1, on the upcoming Alameda county ballot, will help the Zoo better care for and meet the basic needs of its animals, and ensure the Oakland Zoo continues to offer accessible and affordable programs to our young people. It will also support the Zoo in continuing to provide quality science education programs to its visitors, including students from throughout Alameda county. What role do you feel the Zoo plays in the education of young children and youth? KV: I believe Oakland Zoo provides a tremendous value and educational contribution to children and families in our county. Our young people need these opportunities. The Zoo engages children, youth, and families in quality science learning that happens in ways that are not always possible in district classrooms. Young people go to the Zoo and are excited about what and how they are learning. This excitement inspires our children to be future scientists, animal caregivers, naturalists, and conservationists.
“Oakland Zoo engages children, youth, and families in quality science learning that happens in ways that are not always possible in district classrooms.” What opportunities do you see for the Zoo? KV: I see the upcoming California Trail project as a huge opportunity for the Zoo and for our community. The Zoo is already known for our humane treatment of animals and in the future plans it will be known as an even greater treasure for our conservation efforts, new exhibits and upcoming Veterinary Medical Hospital. I am honored to be part of these plans. What is your favorite Zoo animal? KV: The giraffe are my favorites! They are tall, beautiful, and so elegant. I wish my eyelashes were as long as theirs. When you feed them – their tongues feel like a slug and sand paper all at the same time. I didn’t know how much they loved carrots before I visited the Zoo.
YES on A1
In front of a packed room and following an outpouring of community support for the Oakland Zoo, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously placed Measure A1 on the November 6th ballot. Supervisors were presented with over 7,000 support cards from community members from every city in the County advocating for community funding to support Zoo animals and education programs.
LOGO Our Animals need YES on A1! Animals in the Zoo deserve quality humane care. YES on A1 maintains the Zoo’s ability to care for and meet the basic needs of the animals, including: • Ensuring animals are safe and enclosures well maintained • Providing animals food, heating/cooling, and clean, fresh watering systems • Repairing aging animal shelters and deteriorating sewage/ drainage systems, some of which are 40+ years old • Retaining quality veterinarians to care for sick and aging animals YES on A1 retains specialists to adequately care for sick and aging animals, many of whom live significantly longer in a zoo than they might in the wild, which creates unique veterinary care needs. YES on A1 allows the Zoo to continue to partner with wildlife conservation and animal rescue organizations to help save, protect, and care for vulnerable wildlife, including giving sanctuary to endangered species such as the California Condor and retired circus animals.
to Support Zoo Animals and Education Programs Our Kids need YES on A1! One of the essential missions of the Oakland Zoo is to educate children and youth about wildlife, and nature in a way that’s just not possible through books. With devastating State cuts to education, the Zoo must maintain affordable and accessible education programs, including school field trips for children who are already underserved by budget cuts in Alameda County schools. About 350,000 children and youth participate in the Zoo’s educational programs annually. YES on A1 doubles the number of school children served by the Zoo at a time when local schools are cutting science programs and field trips. YES on A1 maintains children’s educational programs and school field trips. YES on A1 provides science and nature education to students who often have none in schools.
OFFICIAL MEASURE A1 BALLOT QUESTION: OAKLAND ZOO HUMANE ANIMAL CARE/EDUCATION PROTECTION MEASURE. To maintain/upgrade humane animal care and basic needs (food, medical, heating, cooling, safe enclosures); retain veterinarians/animal specialists; care for wounded/endangered animals; support wildlife conservation; maintain children’s educational, nature/science programs, field trips; and keep entrance fees affordable; shall Alameda County levy a tax of $12/ parcel annually for residential parcels and comparable commercial/ industrial rates, with low-income senior exemptions, mandatory audits, and citizens’ oversight? Minimum size
Paid for by Yes on A1 for Animal Care. Sponsored and major funding by East Bay Zoological Society. ID #1350927
Coming Up Daisy Daisy the baboon needed a new home. She ended up with much more than that. Margaret Rousser : Zoological Manager
t was almost a year ago when Oakland Zoo received a phone call from the curator of a neighboring Northern California zoo looking for a new home for Daisy, their 30-year-old Hamadryas baboon. She had been born at that zoo and lived her entire life there alongside her brother BamBam. Unfortunately, BamBam, who was older than Daisy, was declining rapidly in health. Baboons are extremely social animals. Hamadryas baboon societies in the wild can number up to 200 individuals: these large groups are divided up into small units, consisting of a single dominant adult male and his harem of females and offspring. Each society adheres to rigid rules â€“ every baboon knows its place.
With her brother’s health declining, Daisy was in danger of becoming a solitary female baboon – unheard of in the wild, and a very confusing situation for her. Daisy needed other baboons in her life; thankfully, Oakland Zoo had just the troop to fit her needs. When moving elderly animals, some risks are almost always involved, and in this case it was the physical aspect of travel for an elderly animal suffering from arthritis. In addition, it was discovered in her pre-shipment medical exams that Daisy was in need of some extensive dental work. There is a danger that the move would be too emotionally stressful, and she might have trouble adapting to her new group. Once she arrived, there was a possibility that our existing group might not accept her. All parties agreed the move would take place after BamBam passed away, which occurred in January. On February 1, Dannielle Stith (the Zoo’s primary baboon keeper) and I loaded up a crate and some other supplies into a ZooMobile, and went to meet Daisy for the first time. We spoke to her keepers and got caught up on her diet, medications, and supplements.
We decided Gordon, our eldest male, would make a perfect companion for her. Once they were introduced and the two bonded, the two of them were brought into the rest of the group. Today, we are glad to say Daisy is now successfully integrated, and all the baboons are living together as a single troop. You can see Daisy and the rest of the troop in our expansive Nyani Miambi Baboon exhibit, located down the hill from the warthog enclosure. Like many elderly animals, Daisy needs medication every day to manage her arthritis, and her food must be specially prepared – so she can properly chew it. Many zoos would not have taken on the burden of an elderly baboon with so many health problems, not to mention the stress of introductions to an existing and stable troop. Oakland Zoo not only took Daisy in, but we brought in specialists from UC Davis Veterinary School to do the necessary dental work – three times. Daisy the baboon deserves nothing but the best, and that is exactly what she is getting. Welcome to your new forever home, Daisy. Oakland Zoo is your Zoo now.
Photo: Nancy Filippi
As her keepers tearfully loaded Daisy into the crate, they made sure she had her favorite toys with her. After good-byes, we headed back with Oakland Zoo’s newest baboon. Even though Daisy had to spend the first thirty days in quarantine, we didn’t want her to be completely alone, so we kept her where she could see and hear the other baboons. While she was being quarantined, we discussed with several other baboon keepers throughout the country the best way to introduce Daisy to our existing troop of two males and three females.
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EFFORTS Embracing Conservation Announcing the new 2012-2013 Quarters for Conservation Projects Amy Gotliffe : Director, Conservation
t has been an exciting first year of the Oakland Zooâ€™s Quarters for Conservation program, where guests save wildlife with each visit. Together, we raised funds for our first three projects: the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, the Budongo Snare Removal Project and the Ventana Wildlife Society. This year, we chose three new projects, and each is a model for successful and innovative approaches to conserving animals in the wild. Which will you vote for?
BAY AREA PUMA PROJECT We share our world with a beautiful keystone species, the puma. These native cats, also known as mountain lions, are in crisis, as habitat and movement corridors are increasingly invaded by human development. The time is now to research and better understand these apex predators and their vital role in our ecosystem. The Bay Area Puma Project, the first long-term study of mountain lions in the San Francisco Bay Area, works to track and record pumas, discovering their range, movement, feeding patterns, and the effects of human development on puma populations. The Bay Area Puma Project will utilize this research to develop new conservation strategies and engaging educational programs to foster a healthy co-existence between humans and this magnificent local lion.
BORNEAN SUN BEAR CONSERVATION CENTRE
ARCAS WILD ANIMAL RESCUE CENTER
Able to climb some of the worldâ€™s tallest trees with the help of its four inch claws, the Malayan sun bear is facing many threats to its survival. Clear cutting for logging and palm oil plantations destroys vital habitat, and poaching for the bear parts trade kills adult bears and leaves cubs orphaned. Many of these cubs end up in the illegal pet trade, destined to live their lives in small bare cages, never to see the sky or feel the forest floor beneath their feet. The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre rescues and cares for bears in need, providing lifelong care for some and striving to return others to the wild. Through public awareness and expansion of the sanctuary, the Centre is making a vital difference in the effort to save this extraordinary bear.
Illegal wildlife trafficking, often for the pet industry, has a devastating impact on animal welfare, species conservation, and ecosystems. Second to habitat loss, it is a major cause of species extinction. Many smuggled animals die in transit, and those that survive need constant care and attention. The ARCAS Wild Animal Rescue Center was created by Guatemalan citizens in order to rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals confiscated from smugglers operating in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Thanks to ARCAS, animals such as parrots, scarlet macaws, spider and howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars, and coatimundis have a chance to live free and fulfill their natural role in the Mayan forest.
IN THE WILD Of Bears, Borneo, and Teens Local teens visit Borneo to help Melinda Sievert : Teen Program Manager
I Photos: Melinda Sievert
n the farthest corner of Southeast Asia lies the island of Borneo, the third-largest island in the world, and one of its most biologically diverse ecosystems; Borneo’s rainforest is one of the oldest in the world (over 130 million years old), and is home to orangutans, civets, bats, and elephants. For two weeks this past July, Borneo was also home to eighteen Oakland Zoo teen volunteers and staff mentors. Our mission: visit one of Borneo’s most charismatic, but less well-known residents – the Bornean Sun Bear. Thanks to the Zoo’s three resident sun bears, guests and visitors are familiar with these charming and playful animals, the sun bear is relatively unknown in most parts of the world, and is the least-studied of the world’s eight bear species. Since 1998, Siew Te Wong – and his Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah – has been working to change this through research and education. Begun almost by accident when Wong was called to pick up orphaned and injured sun bears around Sabah, the Centre currently houses twenty-seven rescued bears; Wong plans to build an additional bear house and begin re-releasing healthy bears back into the wild. Volunteers spent their days working with the Centre staff, helping in any way needed: painting, digging trenches, and hauling rocks, as well as helping with research by interviewing visitors at a nearby orangutan center to assess their knowledge of Bornean wildlife and sun bears. We also got the opportunity to use skills we learned as Oakland Zoo volunteers to make firehose hammocks and papier-mâché enrichment toys for the bears. By the end of the week, we had been chased by an orangutan, and were sweaty and sore, but were happier with what we’d accomplished. When it was time to get on the long plane ride home, we took a wistful look back over the green expanse of forest, and vowed we would be back. Oakland Zoo will host a teen trip to Guatemala in summer of 2013. Informational orientations will be held on October 26 and November 2 at 7:00pm, in the Maddie’s Center for Science and Environmental Education, located by the Zoo’s lower entrance. For more information, contact Melinda Sievert at (510) 532-9525 ext 201 or melinda@ oaklandzoo.org.
Ask Zena I
n honor of Fall, Halloween, and all those wonderful, long nights, I’ve decided to answer some of the questions ROAR readers have sent me about our nocturnal Zoo family. Maybe you’ve wondered about some of these things, too. How come butterflies are only around during the day, but most moths are only around at night? – Traci Great question, Traci. Scientists don’t know every reason why this is so, but they have discovered some of the flowers moths get nectar from are flowers that bloom only at night. It makes sense moths would be active at times when their food is available. Also, most of the predator animals that eat moths are only active during the day, so moths are safer flying at night. Moths also see really well at night, so that may be another reason. Do hyenas make a laughing sound because they are happy? Did someone tell them a joke or something? – Devonne That’s pretty funny, Devonne. Actually, it’s just the opposite. Hyenas generally make a laughing or giggling sound when they feel threatened or nervous. Another sound they make is called a “whoop.” A whoop is a “sliding” sound, it starts out low and ends up higher. Each hyena has its own special whoop that other hyenas use to identify each other when out of eyesight. Mother hyenas also sometimes use a soft, low growl to call their babies out of the den.
Have a question for Zena? Send it to email@example.com
One of the bats at the Oakland Zoo | Photo: Adam Fink Moth
| Photo: Public D Are all bats blind? – Yani omain/w w w.sxc.h Glad you asked, Yani. We have two kinds of bats at the Zoo who aren’t blind at u all. In fact, they see very well during the day and at night, and don’t need to use echolocation (animal sonar) to find their food or get around in the dark. These bats are the Island flying fox and the Malayan flying fox. People call them that because their faces look kind of like a fox’s face. They live high up in trees, and fly out as the sun is setting to look for food – mostly fresh fruit and flower nectars (contrary to rumors, they don’t suck blood). They are also among the largest of all the kinds of bats. The island flying fox has a wingspan of three to four feet. That’s about as long as the outstretched arms of a second-grader. Malayan flying foxes have an even bigger wingspan. The spread of their wings is five to six feet – the same as the outstretched arms of a full grown adult. Whoa, those are some big bat wings!
Backyard Zoo I
love this time of year because the nights get longer and all my nocturnal friends here at the Zoo get more time to forage (look for food) and play. Nocturnal is what we call animals that sleep during the day and are active at night. You might think the Zoo is a quiet place at night, but that’s not the case at all. Our spotted hyenas, lions, and great horned owls can be heard whooping, roaring, and hooting off-and-on from sundown to sunup. At night in the Bug House, you can hear New Guinea walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and giant African millipedes skittering around in the dark, looking for food. And then there are my favorites: our beautiful bats, called Island and Malayan flying foxes. We also house nocturnal frogs and geckos. Other non-Zoo nocturnal animals have made their homes at the Zoo; we hardly ever see them during the day, but we often hear or see them after dark. If you wait patiently, look and listen carefully, and don’t fall asleep, you may see some of these same nighttime visitors right in your own backyard or walking down your street.
Zoo Archives Hyena | Photo: Oakland
A family of skunks lives near Maddie’s Center for Science and Environmental Education Center, by the Zoo’s lower entrance. Skunks are crepuscular – they are most active at sunset and sunrise. They are omnivores, and eat just about anything: lizards, mice, nuts, berries, roots, and plants. You name it, they’ll try it. That’s why they come to our backyards and neighborhoods. Whether you have grass, a garden, or a garbage can, you have something yummy to offer a skunk.
DID YOU KNOW: Humans can smell the odor skunks spray for protection from more than a mile away? Raccoons are another Zoo and backyard nighttime visitor. Like skunks, they are omnivores and have adapted to live almost anywhere. Raccoons used to be found only in forests, but today they can be found in almost every city and suburb, they are at home whether living in an attic, a storm sewer, or inside a pile of rocks. Raccoons are easy to recognize because of the black rings around their tails and the black mask around their eyes. They have that mask to protect their eyes from sun glare – that’s the same thing football players do!
Skunk | Photo: Public Domain
When you see a racoon holding pieces of food under water, they’re not really washing their food before they eat it. They’re using the water to help them feel their food and know better what they’re eating. They make the same motions before eating whether there is water or not. Another nocturnal animal we see at the Zoo – and one you might see in your backyard – is the rat. Although a lot of people think rats are creepy and dirty, this isn’t true. Rats are very intelligent and learn some things even faster than humans. They are also very clean, and like cats, spend hours every day ‘washing’ themselves. Rats also make really great pets, and bond well with people.
DID YOU KNOW: Most rats are right-handed, and they laugh when they are tickled (just like you)? Domain Raccoon | Photo: Public
FALL & WINTER Make Your Kids’ Fall and Winter Breaks Memorable If your child hasn’t had the opportunity to experience being an Oakland ZooCamper yet, they don’t have to wait until next summer to find out what they’ve been missing – we offer camp workshops during school breaks throughout the year! Thanksgiving Break ZooCamp: November 19-21, 2012 Winter ZooCamp: December 26- 28, 2012 January 2- 4, 2013 To register for any of our ZooCamps, visit www.oaklandzoo.org/ZooCamp.php, or call (510) 632-9525 ext 208.
Photos: Oakland Zoo archives
Sarcosuchus (aka Sarah Cramer) : ZooCamp Director
What It Means To Be a ZooCamper
NIGHTTIME ANIMAL SOUNDS Nighttime animal sounds can be spooky, soothing, startling, and even funny. Circle the names of the animal sounds you might hear in the middle of the night.
hen one of our campers learned last summer about the various enrichments we give Zoo animals, and how they encourage the animals to do their natural behaviors (the things they enjoy doing in the wild) and prevent them from getting bored, he started thinking about what he could do. When his grandparents gave him money for Christmas, he decided to pay it forward and ordered a bunch of enrichment toys for our Zoo animals, including food trays for our toads, pictured above. You don’t have to donate money to help wildlife. ZooCampers create and build all kinds of wonderful enrichment to help our animals live healthier, more active lives (sometimes reusing old cardboard boxes, toys, and blankets). They learn through their camp experiences that you don’t have to be an adult to get involved and help wildlife – you just have to have a heart for animals. Stories like this just go to show that ZooCamp makes a lasting impression and a real difference in kids’ lives.
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U I P D H I S S M N M D G H P Z R Y D W J O Z U V
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WORD LIST bark chuff croak cry giggle groan growly hiss hoot laugh moan roar scream screech skitter snarl squeak squeal thud thump trumpet wheeze whistle whoop
Friends of the Wild
n August 23, 2012, the Oakland Zoo hosted many community leaders and philanthropists at our annual Friends of the Wild donor reception. The evening highlighted the generous contributions of our supporters to the Oakland Zoo. Guests were treated to a sunset train ride through the Wild Australia exhibit and a special animal enrichment viewing of our sun bear exhibit.
All photos this page: Rick Camargo
CAPTIONS 1 Skip Rhodes, President of the East Bay Zoological Society Foundation Board and Dr. Joel Parrott show support for “Measure A1 –for Animal Care.” 2 Zoo Docents Jonah Cochran and his father Jay Cochran, enjoying the festivities with Linda Cochran. 3 Mary Ann Smith, Ralph Valle, Lois De Domenico, Claire Nelson, (seated) and Jacqueline Boggan with East Bay Zoological Society Board of Trustee members Tom Bjornson and Dan Boggan. 4 Dr. Joel Parrott guides a sunset train ride through the Zoo’s Wild Australia exhibit. 5 Guests were entertained by some of the Zoo’s live animals present at the event. 6 Guests enjoying a beautiful evening in Flamingo Plaza. 7 Dr. Joel Parrott with Zoo supporters John Moore, Barbara Moore, Erica Bernhard, and East Bay Zoological Society Foundation Board Member Peter Bernhard.
From the Zoo to You
Shop our gift shop for some unique and memorable items
On August 4th, the Oakland Zoo held an Ice Cream Social in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo to express appreciation to all the people that participate in the Zoo’s Adopt-An-Animal donation program. If you’d like to learn more about this fun program, visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org or contact (510) 632-9525.
Stuffed animal with a 56” x 46” soft blanket Great for newborns or young toddlers, these soft blankets will give them soft to hug while the detachable cute animals will watch over them as they sleep. $19.95 at Oakland Zoo’s gift shop.
Give the Perfect Holiday Gift! Give an Oakland Zoo Membership Last day to order is December 14, 2012 Porcelain Animal Keepsakes Cute porcelain scultpures adorn keepsake boxes, each of which contain a surprise animal figurine inside! Great for collectors, conservationists, or Zoo lovers. $14.95 at Oakland Zoo’s gift shop.
Share the joy of Oakland Zoo this holiday season and give someone you love a year of wild adventure. Every membership comes with a year of free admission, free parking, personalized membership cards, free or discounted admission to over 120 zoos and aquariums nationwide, and ride passes good for the train, roller coaster, or carousel. To purchase a gift membership online, visit www.oaklandzoo.org. To order over the phone, call (510) 632-9525 ext. 150 or 154. You may also order gift memberships at our Membership Booth, located at the main entrance, or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Bay Zoological Society P.O. Box 5238 Oakland, CA 94605
Please remember Oakland Zoo in your will and trusts.
Adopt An Elephant Celebrate the holiday season by adopting one of our Zoo animals, and help provide funds for quality animal care, conservation programs, education, and ongoing research.
November 30 – December 31 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Santa will be at the Zoo every night!
For just $40, you’ll receive a personalized adoption certificate, photo of the animal, fun fact sheet, and an elephant plush animal. For a complete list of other Zoo animals to adopt, visit www.oaklandzoo.org. Please note: all adopted animals remain at the Oakland Zoo.
Members – Half-Off Tickets
Receive 50% off tickets from December 3 –December 6 (Tickets available at the door.)
Follow Oakland Zoo Online
For more information about making a gift or adopting a Zoo animal, contact Mary Burns: (510) 632-9525 ext 159 or email@example.com. www.facebook.com/OakZoo www.oaklandzoo.org/blog twitter.com/oakzoo