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It’s Triplets!  BECOME A FACE OF THE RAINFOREST  what do animals at the zoo eat?  TIPS FOR A GREAT SCHOOL VACATION VISIT


Show off your superhero powers and become a Zooper hero with a monthly donation.

By Jeremy Goodman, DVM

Executive Director, RWP Zoo and RI Zoological Society

The next time you visit your Zoo don’t just look at the animals – take a close look at everything around the animals as well. Notice the toys in the exhibits. Observe the types of furnishings in the animals’ habitats. Witness the skilled staff interacting with the creatures they so passionately care for. Take in all of the support facilities like our state-of-the-art veterinary hospital and incredible team that together keep our animals healthy and happy. That team includes not only animal care and veterinary staff, but also an operations staff that is on call 24/7, a behavioral specialist, an enrichment coordinator, a life support specialist, and professionals overseeing diet and nutrition, just to name a few.

Your commitment supports the Zoo’s environmental education, global conservation and topquality animal care.

Ever wonder what it would be like to work at a zoo? If you have a passion for animals and the environment, and enjoy being around people who share your excitement, Roger Williams Park Zoo may just be right for you! CAREERS:

ZooCamp Counselor

Our Big Backyard Safety & Play Specialist

ZooCamp Junior Counselor

Roger Williams Park Zoo has proudly been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for more than a quarter century. That means that our Zoo is one of the top 10% of zoos and aquariums in the country and meets the rigorous standards of the association in animal care, conservation, education, and the visitor experience. So when you next visit your Zoo, be very proud of the way that we treat our animals and stop to take notice all of the little things that go into making that happen.

Group Sales Coordinator

I look forward to seeing you at the Zoo.

ZooCamp Conservation Heroes Counselor

ZooCamp Inclusion Specialist ZooCamp Conservation Heroes Lead Counselor Wild Bunch Animal Ambassador Seasonal Horticulturalist Seasonal Building & Grounds

Wild Bunch Exhibit Staff

INTERNSHIPS: Conservation Internship

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: Zoo Crew (Students in grades 7-12) Events Volunteer (Ages 18+) Play Partner (Age 16+)


Please visit for more information.

party for the

planet sponsors

It’s Triplets! Three times the love, three times the cute, and three times the fun! Roger Williams Park Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three – one male and two female – North American river otters to mother Mishi and father Clyde. The pups were born on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

ready to meet dad. Clyde will begin to spend time with his pups once the little ones learn to swim. Often times the new dad will take on the role of playmate, joining the pups on daily swims.

“This had been a long time coming,” stated animal keeper, Matt Fugate. “North American River Otters experience a delay in implantation of 8 to 10 months, so we did not know for certain that Mishi was pregnant until a fetus was seen during an ultrasound exam on January 24th. That’s roughly 11 months after the last time Mishi and Clyde were observed breeding.”

These spirited triplets have more growing up to do. River otters are very intelligent and curious animals known for their great sense of smell, hearing, and natural swimming ability. Pups wean by three or four months, and usually stay with mom for almost a full year. They will start to walk at five/ six weeks, begin eating solid foods and start learning to swim at six to eight weeks, River otters’ whiskers and become swimming detect movement in the aficionados around three water, tipping them off months.

After several days of observations, the pups had a physical exam – checking their overall healthy appearance, weight, and gender. It is always preferable for Zoo staff to stay as hands-off as possible, as long as the mother is tending to the care of her offspring. Mishi is a first-time mom and she is giving her young lots of love and affection. As with any Zoo birth, there are special arrangements to keep new mom and pups comfortable and allow them to thrive during this crucial stage of their development. A visual/contact barrier is in place between Mishi and Clyde’s stalls, and a few husbandry modifications allow keepers to manage Mishi and Clyde separately until the pups are

Did you know?

Zoo visitors can continue to visit with father Clyde on exhibit, but will not be able to see Mishi or the pups until the week of April 29.

to fish and other prey.


SPECIAL TO WILD MAGAZINE Behind the Scenes of the Rainforest By PJ Jones & Lynne McLain

In the last issue of WILD Magazine, our readers learned about

(the monkeys like to steal the diets of other animals), routinely

the new animals that will be in our Faces of the Rainforest space

weigh our animals, easily catch them for trips to the vet, and

as well as choices anyone could make to help the rainforests

introduce new animals to the space. Why is it up high? Most of

survive. Now, we want to take you behind the scenes and

our birds as well as our two species of free-roaming primates are

discuss some of the great features in the new exhibit.

arboreal – that means they live up in the trees. This caging area

Our dynamic state-of-the-art exhibit will bring a completely new level of interaction for guests. Faces of the Rainforest is

level where they could feel vulnerable.

creating an atmosphere that comes alive. Guests won’t just

The giant otters have many features specifically designed for

walk through a structure with animals; instead, they will witness

them including a special coating on the floor to protect their

an open concept design with technological advancements.

feet, lots of dirt to dig in, and windows along the back wall of the

As we conceptualized the structure and began the design, we

building so the otters have natural light. A separate food prep

visualized the perfect space for all our animals. That means we

area in the main kitchen of the building (including a sink, table

knew which key species, including giant otters, black howler

and fridge) will allow us to prepare diets of the other animals in

monkeys, and two-toed sloths, would be coming to our Zoo

the same place where we will prep the yucky fish.

before any design of the building even started! So let’s go behind the scenes and see what is there…

Our much-loved giant anteaters will have two separate holding areas located on opposite sides of the exhibit. This is for

One of the key building components guests will see is actually

flexibility during the breeding season when the female and her

right in plain view – the giant triangle of glass. This glass allows

offspring require separate housing from the male. It will allow for

UV light to go through it (normal glass blocks UV rays), which

all the animals to alternate time on exhibit, but still live quietly in

is critical for the health of all of the live plants in the space and

two separate spaces.

important for the health of our animals. Just like us, our monkeys need UV light to metabolize vitamin D. You may notice that it appears opaque – that is for the safety of both our birds inside the Rainforest and the wild birds outside. This marking on the glass makes it visible to birds in a way that regular glass does not. That means no birds will be flying into the glass and getting hurt. What about some of the elements you cannot see – like the series of enclosures on the second floor next to the primate exhibit? We will use this system of enclosed spaces to help us care for all of the free-roaming animals in our aviary. It will allow keepers to make sure our animals are eating the correct diets 3

is up high, exactly where they feel the safest, instead of floor-

After working with an entire team of artists, animal experts, architects, builders and the whole Zoo staff – we cannot wait to be able to move our animals into this amazing new space! Moreover, we are looking forward to seeing all of our members and guests share our excitement when we open the Rainforest this summer. PJ Jones is the animal care manager at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Lynne McLain is the manager of interpretations & graphics at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

on Threads: g Architecture & Natural Habitat:

Join Us In Making A Difference And Become


al similarities: • patterns • layers • geometry • connections Opening this summer at Roger Williams Park Zoo, the new rainforest exhibit will educate • structure things”community on how the many faces of the rainforest all play a role in sustainability • “volume from flatyour • network from animals, to native peoples, modern industry, and YOU! • variation • order • repeat As a rainforest supporter and donor, you will be one of the first invited to experience • system the exhibit and your name will be included on the donor wall, joining the growing list of • order • overlap individuals who are committed to helping our environment and the rainforest.*

So don’t delay! Add your name or your family’s name to the wall and be a face of the Rainforest. *Please note, gifts of $250 or more will be recognized on the rainforest donor wall. All contributions, no matter the size, are greatly appreciated.


What Do All the Animals Eat? and Who Prepares the Food? A quick glance into the commissary at Roger Williams Park

Dr. McBride does explain that because some of the animals

Zoo and the casual observer would be impressed with the

interacting with guests end up getting treats they should not,

fruits and vegetables being prepared, and even speculate

that the animal often rebuffs the appropriate diet. The goats,

the staff was enjoying healthy and delicious lunches. Look

otters, and giraffe somehow get treats, especially in the

more carefully and chat with the commissary staff, and you

summer, as guests visit. These “treats” can be deterimental to

surprisingly learn that all the food preparation is for the

the health of the animal.

animals in the Zoo.

Once Dr. McBride submits the diet for each animal, the

Dr. Michael McBride, director of veterinary services at Roger

two-person commissary staff prepares the food each day.

Williams Park Zoo, develops the appropriate diet for every

PJ Jones, animal care manager, says, “We follow the same

animal based on species, age, and size. “I work in conjunction

guidelines, in our kitchen, regarding the temperature of food

with the animal keepers and Dr. Kim Wojick, an associate

and sanitation as do restaurant kitchens serving food to

veterinarian on staff. I need to make sure that the diet I

humans. We check the temperature in the refrigerator and

recommend provides each animal proper nutrition, and is safe

freezer two times a day; we never freeze food, thaw the food

and palatable for the animals. Every animal, like every human,

and re-freeze, and like a restaurant, have strict quality control.”

has an ideal body weight, and like humans, that ideal weight may vary from animal to animal.” As a result, Dr. McBride, Dr. Wojick, as well as the deputy director of animal programs Tim French and the keepers, determine the optimal weight for each animal, and then design appropriate diets.

“While the guidelines for the commissary are the same at restaurants,” says Jones, “once you get past the fruits, grains and some meat – and look more closely you will see food humans generally do not consume including crickets, mice, and rats. The rodents, mice and other items in that category come from companies that specialize in food for animals. Companies raise the rodents specifically as feed so they are disease free and nutritious. The produce, however, is of the same quality found in any supermarket. The produce delivery is two times weekly.” Both McBride and Jones explain that during animal training the keepers may use special treats. For instance, Riley the Linne’s two-toed sloth responds to scrambled eggs, while other animals love dried fruits. It is always a matter of finding a balance between what is good for the animal, and what they enjoy eating. The commissary is not in an area guests regularly visit, but


“I also need to consider if the animal likes the taste and smell,”

is instead in a staff-only section of the Zoo. Later this year,

says Dr. McBride. “If an animal does not like the food that

thanks to a generous donor, the Zoo will have a new spacious

animal will eat around the fare. Animals are not that different

commissary located behind the current Meller-Danforth

from humans. They like salt and sugar, and may not want to eat

Education Center to accommodate the growing population of

what is good for them.”

animals calling Roger Williams Park Zoo home. Bon Appetite!

What’s Happening at the Zoo and Carousel Village • • • April • • •


Rock-A-Baby Concert: April 7


Party for the Planet: April 16 – 20

for the

Zoo Camp: April 16 – 20 Includes: Tadpole Academy and Spring Adventures

• • • may • • • Rock-A-Baby Concert: May 5 Bronx Zoo Day Trip: May 12 Mascot Meet and Greet Day at the Zoo: May 19 Scout Safari Night: May 19 Scout Safari Snore & Roar: May 19 – 20

Suggestions for a great visit to Roger Williams Park Zoo we are excited to welcome members and their guests for April School Vacation Week! Here are some tips on how to enjoy the Zoo during this busy time of year: • For fastest entry, members should have their active membership card and matching photo ID in hand when they arrive.  • Still without a membership card? Show a receipt or confirmation email with matching ID for express entry.  • Once on-site, staff will direct you to our members-only express entrance.  • Renew online beforehand for speedier entry on high volume days! 

• • • june • • •

• Need to buy a ticket? Pre-purchase Zoo tickets online beforehand for faster entry.

Rock-N-Roar – Outdoor Rock-A-Baby concert: June 19

• Adjust your membership ahead of time to avoid delays. Need to upgrade a membership, appoint a caregiver, or order a replacement card?  Call the Zoo’s membership department at (401) 785-3510 ext. 375 before you plan to visit.  Be sure to ask for a confirmation email to present to Admissions staff with a matching photo ID. 

ZooCamp: Monday – Friday June 18 – 29 Zoobilee: Saturday, June 30

• Come early! The Zoo opens at 10:00 am, though lines start forming as early as 9:30 am.


• Come later! Crowds are often lighter in the afternoon.

April 1 - June 30 Weekdays: Noon – 6:00 pm Weekends: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

• Download the free mobile app for Roger Williams Park Zoo. Enhance your visitor experience with an interactive map of the Zoo; receive updates on special events, exhibits, animals, and more right at your fingertips.

July 1 - Labor Day Daily: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Post Labor Day - Oct. 31 Daily: Noon – 4:00 pm November 1 - December 31  Weekends: Noon – 4:00 pm Please Note: School Holidays & Vacation Weeks 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS at the Carousel May – September 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm May 4, 11, 18, 25 June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Special Food Truck Friday, April 20

Roger Williams Park Zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Roger Williams Park Zoo will close early on: Saturday, June 30, 2018 for Zoobilee; Saturday, August 25, 2018 for Brew at the Zoo. For complete information on closings, please visit; or follow us on Facebook.

Make your child’s birthday extraordinary!

• Finish your day at Carousel Village (open daily 11 am – 6 pm), members get a discount on Carousel ticket packages.

If you are not a member - JOIN TODAY! Members receive free daytime Zoo admission, discounts on popular events (like the beloved Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, presented by Citizens Bank) and express entry during peak times. 

Plan your child’s birthday bash at Roger WIllIams Park Zoo or Carousel Village. we can help plan a party that fits any personality. Contact


Kids’ Corner

Backyard Nature Fun DIY Pinecone bird feeder Grab the kiddos and get outside with this fun and interactive craft project. These super simple pinecone bird feeders are a great way to use natural resources and make something nice and delicious for our feathered friends this spring!

What you need:

WILD Trivia 1

• Pinecone • String/Twine • Mixed bird seed • Peanut butter

How long can a river otter stay under water? A. 5 minutes

Follow these easy steps:

B. 8 minutes

1. Tie your string onto your pinecone.

C. 10 minutes

2. Now the fun (and kinda’ messy) part – spread the peanut butter onto your pinecone bird feeder, filling in all the gaps.

D. 12 minutes


How many vertebrae make up the neck of a giraffe?

3. Once completely coated, roll your peanut buttery pinecone in the bird seeds – making sure it’s nice and compact.

A. 6 B. 7

4. And presto – your pinecone bird feeder is done! Before you know it, your new feeder will be the talk of the trees, and because they are so quick and easy to make, as soon as all the treats have been eaten off one cone, hang another for their hungry appetites!

C. 9 D. 15


What is the largest mammal in North America?

Try this:

A. Moose

• Have a backyard bird watching adventure! Discover how many bird species you can recognize. Use the Audubon’s Guide to North American Birds as a helpful reference.

B. Polar Bear C. Bison

• While you’re on the backyard hunt for pinecones, see what other natural items you can find – rocks, acorns, shells, leaves – and bring them to Nature Swap located within Roger Williams Park Zoo’s “Our Big Backyard.” Bring in your found items to collect points toward swapping for items in our collection like fossils, antlers, and pressed plants!

D. Black Bear Answers located on bottom of page.

Guess Zoo? 1




These photos show close-up views of Roger Williams Park Zoo animals. Can you identify what’s in each picture? Answers located on bottom of page.




Wild Trivia Answers: 1. B - 8 minutes; 2. B - 7; 3. C- Bison; Guess Zoo Answers: 1. Ankole-Watusi Cattle; 2. White-Cheeked Gibbon; 3. Komodo Dragon; 4. Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth; 5. Chicken; 6. Wrinkled Hornbill; 7. Red Panda; 8. Radiated Tortoise



join us in celebrating Presented by

Saturday, June 30, 2018

7-11 pm* 

at Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, RI

feast on food and beverages

prepared by 50+ restaurants and caterers and Zoobilee’s own ZOOTINI Bar!

bid on valuable and exciting 

silent auction packages online at

groove to the music of World Premiere Band Member tickets: $100 • Non-member tickets: $125 • 401-941-3910 x453 *VIP early admission 6 pm

Zoobilee is a 21+ event

Please follow us online and share your photos and stories! Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence Editorial Roger Williams Park Zoo Marketing and Public Relations Department Corrie Ignagni Diane Nahabedian Beth Pincince Missy Wade

Designer Sara Beatrice Tandem Designworks

Photo Credits David Silverman Missy Wade

WILD is an online publication of the Rhode Island Zoological Society, Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island 02907-3659 For membership information call (401) 785-3510 x375 or visit

2018 RHODE ISLAND ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY BOARD OF TRUSTEES Officers Maribeth Q. Williamson, Chair Howard Merten, Vice Chair Sandra L. Coletta, Treasurer Margaret Ferguson, Secretary Board of Trustees Kristen Adamo Nancy Allen Douglas Caniglia Barbara Cottam Dana L. Goldberg Suzanne M. Hall Mark Haskins Lisa P. Koelle Patrick T. LeBeau, CFP® Kimberley M. Little Liz Rollins Mauran John J. Palumbo

Trustees Ex-Officio Jeremy Goodman, DVM Executive Director Rhode Island Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo Wendy Nillson Superintendent of Parks Providence Parks Department

Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit

Chairman Emeritus Sophie F. Danforth Trustees Emeritus Margaret E. Curran, Esq. Thomas P. Dimeo Rosalie Fain* Jocelin Hamblett Stephen Hamblett* Bradford B. Kopp Arthur D. Little Nancy G. R. Moger Richard Nadeau Jane S. Nelson Michael C. Noble Cate M. Roberts Michael A. Salvadore, Sr.* Philip A. Segal, Jr. Robert F. Stoico * In Memoriam


2018 spring wild magazine  

WILD Magazine is a print publication produced by Roger Williams Park Zoo to provide our members the inside scoop on Zoo news, which includes...

2018 spring wild magazine  

WILD Magazine is a print publication produced by Roger Williams Park Zoo to provide our members the inside scoop on Zoo news, which includes...