2022 Summer Wild Magazine

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welcome! By Stacey Johnson Executive Director, RWP Zoo and RI Zoological Society

I say it every year: how

Connected to the effort by Brazilian wildlife authorities to

is it summer already?

rescue GLTs from extinction, a Species Survival Plan® was

I think springtime is

initiated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to build

my favorite season

a reserve population in zoos with the intent to contribute to

because of the burst

any return-to-the-wild efforts. Although the wild population

of activity we see outdoors in all the plants and wildlife, but

still faces major challenges to its survival, its numbers have

then summer comes and the days truly fly past. There is just

risen to approximately 2,500 animals – thanks, in part, to

so much going on!

some 150 zoo-born tamarins that were trained in survival skills and sent back to Brazil for release. Pretty cool stuff!

As I write, ZooCamp is in full swing and by the time you read this issue of Wild Magazine, our 30th Zoobilee will be in the

Meanwhile, back at the Zoo, we have wild encounters in

rearview mirror. (I hope you were able to join us and that you

store! Have you had an opportunity to visit our newest

had a blast!)

exhibit, Connection Corner? This encounter area allows kids and adults of all ages to meet and touch an armadillo or a

This spring, we enjoyed another wildly successful

tortoise! It is almost as much fun watching the other guests’

Endangered Species Youth Art Contest with over 300

reactions as it is observing the animals in action.

submissions from children across New England. It is reassuring to see such talent being directed toward wildlife

Finally, you probably noticed that most of our birds have


been off display for several months. This year’s version of the avian influenza virus that usually infects only waterfowl

As we look ahead, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating

and ground fowl (like pheasants and chickens) was able

National Zookeeper Week during the third week of July.

to spread to hawks, eagles, vultures, owls and other bird

I could go on at length about the nearly overwhelming

groups that are normally immune. Unfortunately, there is

variety of responsibilities that zookeepers bear but

no vaccine for avian influenza. So, to protect our Zoo birds,

suffice to say that in addition to maintaining clean, healthy

the veterinary and animal care team implemented parts

animal habitats they must also be natural history experts,

of its safety response plan including moving the Zoo’s

dieticians, behaviorists, public speakers, handy men and

most susceptible species of birds off exhibit to indoor

women, diplomats and detectives. There was a time when

fully meshed enclosures. Though no wild bird deaths

zookeepers were considered to be unskilled laborers. Not

have been attributed to avian influenza in Rhode Island,

today. The modern zookeeper combines science, empathy

a number occurred within a 35-mile radius of the zoo in

and hard physical work to manage the welfare of animals

Massachusetts. The welfare of our animals continues to

in the zoo which contributes directly to protecting their

be our top priority and as we move further into summer,

counterparts in the wild.

the risks of keeping our own birds indoors outweigh the benefits, so you will begin seeing them return to their


In fact, Golden Lion Tamarin Day is August 2nd. This is a

habitats. We thank you for your patience and understanding

species whose numbers in the coastal forests of Brazil

as the Zoo team works hard to provide the best care for all

dwindled to fewer than 500 individuals in the early 1980s.

our animals!

Zoo Happenings Summer 2022

Visit rwpzoo.org for details on each event



• 13th: Sip & Stroll Food Truck Night

• Fridays: Weekly Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village

• 16th: Bowling for Rhinos • Fridays: Weekly Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village

AUGUST • 5th: Puparrazzi Night at Food Truck Friday • 6th: Yoga with the Elephants

• 3rd: Breakfast with Elephants • 17th: Yoga with the Elephants • 24th: 150 Gala • 29th: JACK-O-LANTERN SPECTACULAR Opens

• Fridays: Weekly Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village • 27th: Brew at the Zoo




With fur like this, these guys sure do live up to their name!

found anywhere else in the world. In addition, 18 of Brazil’s

The golden lion tamarin is a small New World monkey from

77 primate species are found here as well.

the Callitrichidae family. Native to the dense and humid forests of Southeastern Brazil towards the Atlantic coast, they

Your Roger Williams Park Zoo is home to a family of

live primarily in the treetops of rainforests. These pint-sized

four golden lion tamarins. We spoke to long-time RWPZ

monkeys usually weigh between 17 and 24 ounces with an

zookeeper, Jennifer Hennesey, who’s assisted with many

average length of 6 to 10 inches and a tail length of 12 to

of the Rainforest and Tropical America species here for

15 inches. They also feature long narrow hands and feet,

many years.

with their fingernails resembling claws, rather than the flat and wide fingernails most primates have. This allows them

According to Jen, Kyle who is the father of

to climb more easily, as well as dig and scavenge for food

the group and the dominant male, loves

such as bugs, fruit, and small invertebrates in hard-to-reach

to act tough around the neighboring


howler monkeys and is always very excited (and a little


Golden lion tamarins get their name from their long orange-

agitated) when he sees them

reddish fur, unique mane, and their long and sharp canine

playing. Kyle will often do

teeth. These creatures are also part of their own category of

what is called an arch walk

monkey species, simply called tamarins which can be found

and strut around with his

across Central and South America. In total, there are at least

back arched like a cat to

18 different species of tamarin all unique in appearance and

seem larger and more



The location in which these creatures are exclusively found,

Next, we have Raff, who

the Atlantic Coastal Forest, is very similar to another famous

is the mother and is easily

and neighboring biome, the Amazon Rainforest. This habitat

identifiable by the kink in

is home to 7% of the world’s species, and at least 52% of

her tail which doesn’t seem to

Atlantic Forest trees and 158 species of bird that can’t be

cause any disturbance or bother

to her. Then we have Angus, who is the oldest son, and Boudica who is the youngest female. Each weigh somewhere around 600-700 milligrams. Much like his father, Angus is also unique in that he is laidback for a GLT and often will let the keepers touch him. GLT’s are interestingly able to have children rather quickly. The typical breeding gestation period is around 4 months. Raff can give birth and two weeks later, become pregnant again. If they chose to do so, they could have up to 6 children a year since they typically give birth


to twins. However, GLT’s are very cautious about when


they reproduce as they are always worried about how

can look for

much food is available and if they have enough family

food and travel

members to care for the offspring. The adult breeding

around safely.

female will suppress the female from ever cycling so she can’t breed unless there’s such an excess of food where

Unfortunately, the golden lion tamarin is one of the

they can handle two breeding females.

most endangered primates in the world. In the 1960’s the species was almost completely extinct with only

GLT’s rely on the whole family to support the children

200 surviving members of the species. Thankfully, due

since the mother could not handle all of it on her own.

to consistent and successful conservation efforts, the

For the first two weeks the mother will exclusively carry

species’ have increased to a

the kids since they must nurse frequently. Afterwards,

population of 3,700 in 2014.

dad will take turns carrying the baby. These tamarins have around 30 different vocalizations they use for various communication needs such as a loud whine to warn against predators. Golden Lion Tamarins are also arboreal, which means they almost never leave the trees or high perches in the air. This is an adaptive behavior they developed to avoid predators on the forest ground, and to remain safe in the trees

However, this number

Fun Fact:

was brought down to around 2,500 with the outbreak of yellow fever in 2018. Since the outbreak began, many golden lion tamarins have been vaccinated against the disease and we

There are four different types of lion tamarin: golden lion tamarin, golden headed lion tamarin, the black lion tamarin, and the golden headed black lion tamarin. All of which can be found only in Brazil.

are hopeful that with the help of conservation partners around the globe, the numbers will continue to grow. Though 2,500 may not seem like a large population, it’s still an impressive milestone considering how close they were to extinction.


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF THE 2022 ENDANGERED SPECIES YOUTH ART CONTEST! The Zoo’s 5th annual contest received over 300 art submissions from creative and talented young artists from across New England. Big thanks to the countless teachers who helped their students participate in this year’s contest and for helping us raise awareness of endangered species everywhere. We hope that you enjoyed learning about these amazing species and the importance of protecting them and their wild habitats in your creative process. And thank you to our co-partner, Jerry’s Artarama of Providence, for their continued support and for empowering artists. See their works in the Zoo’s Big Backyard building!


Gina Yang (Green Sea Turtle, 9-12) Indigenous to Hawaii, the green sea turtle is critically endangered and experiencing unprecedented rates of extinction. One of the main threats to the turtles has been the danger of entanglement in fishing nets. As man’s exploitation of the environment is affecting the green sea turtle population, it is our responsibility to protect the green sea turtle as an integral part of the ecosystem. 5



Samantha Thibeault (Polar Bears, 9-12)

Anna Cherepowich (Sumatran Tiger, 6-8)

I believe that saving Polar Bears from extinction is incredibly important. Because the ice is melting in the arctic area, they are already endangered. If the ice fully melts, Polar Bears would be forced to live on humanoccupied land, and would live an unhealthy life. No animal should be forced into extinction, including Polar Bears.

The Sumatran Tiger is one of the smallest of the tigers and also one of the most beautiful. It’s deep orange coloring is stunning. They are only native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia and they were listed as critically endangered in 2008 with less than 400 left. The main reasons: deforestation and poaching. Because humans are the ones responsible for this, it is our responsibility to raise awareness for these beautiful cats and ultimately, save them from extinction.



Olivia Yi-Jie Chen Rose (Giraffe, 3-5)

Madelyn Huggins (African Elephants, K-2)

The reason I choose to draw the giraffe is because they are cute and exotic animals that are going extinct. I want to support the giraffes because they keep the ecosystem in balance by eating the plants that other animals can’t eat. If the giraffes around the world go extinct, then the Earth will be unbalanced and these animals will be forgotten. Please save the giraffes!

Elephants are very important to their ecosystem. If elephants didn’t exist, a lot of other animals would suffer. It is wrong that elephants are killed for their tusks.






WILDLIFE PROTECTORS Susan Aguiar The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company Domenic & Sandy Coletta Dimeo Construction Company

Fastsigns First Hartford Realty Corporation H.P. & R. Co. Jonathan & Maya Nelson

NorthEastern Consulting Patriot Subaru Pranzi Catering & Rentals Saccoccio & Associates Architects

Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Maribeth Williamson

ANIMAL DEFENDERS Nancy J. Allen David Carlson & Tammie Griffin Coastline Trust Company

Meg Ferguson Pam & Bill Heffernan Massage Envy Spa Frank & Liz Mauran

Miles River Direct NEC Solar Jane S. Nelson Partridge, Snow & Hahn LLP

Ron & Joanne Patalano U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Wave Federal Credit Union

ZERO WASTE CRUSADERS Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Big Blue Bug Solutions The Bock Foundation Clean Water Adventures Eastern Ice Ferestein Feed + Farm Supply 7

Jennifer & Brett Foster Gilbane Building Company Hilb Group Navigant Credit Union New England Fence Company

Donna Ottaviano, Ed.D, East Bay Educational Collaborative Pier Fish Company Karen & Stephen Prest SDS Disposal Inc.

Spirol International Corporation Brenda Szeliga Warwick Mall David and Jill Wolff Woodland Gardens Florist

Thank you for supporting the 30th annual Zoobilee - Feast with the Beasts! Our 30th annual Zoobilee - Feast with the Beasts was a hit! Thank you to all who joined us for the fun-filled party last Saturday evening. With your wonderful generosity and support, Zoobilee raised much needed funds for the Zoo’s animal care, education outreach, and conservation initiatives.


National Zookeeper Week

July 17-23 Join us in celebrating National Zookeeper Week July 17-23!

interested, and up to date on conservation and wildlife

Every year, Roger Williams Park Zoo and other associations

stability is one of the most important steps you can take

affiliated with the American Association of Zookeepers,

to help save a species. The more people know, the more

recognize these incredibly dedicated professionals and

they can help. A zookeeper’s ability to form meaningful

raise awareness of this animal care profession. It goes

connections with curious visitors is a testament to the

without saying that they are a critically important part of

passion these individuals possess for what they do.

our institution. From everyone here at Roger Williams Park Zoo, we would Our zookeepers and animal care specialists work tirelessly

like to thank all our animal care staff for everything they

to ensure that our animals are comfortable, healthy, and

do. They inspire us every day with the dedication and

most importantly, happy. In a world that continues to

kindness they skillfully demonstrate.

struggle for the wellbeing of our ecosystems and wildlife, these individuals work diligently so that these beautiful

So, you want to become a Zookeeper?

animals will always have a place in this world and their species will not be forgotten.

If you’re in Elementary School:

Another fundamental aspect of their job is not only animal

• Take a trip to your local zoo, aquarium or natural history

care, but also educating the public and raising awareness for conservation initiatives. Keeping people informed, 9

museum - it’s never too early to start learning!

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ANNUAL MEDIA SPONSORS! • Read books and magazines, watch nature shows on TV and visit websites on natural history, wildlife and related topics. • Will your parents allow you to keep a pet? Taking care of a dog, cat, fish or other small animal can teach you a lot about responsible animal care. • Join your school’s science clubs, participate in scouting activities or find educational programs at your local zoo or aquarium. • Go outside - observe wildlife from your own backdoor. • Attend ZooCamp!

If you’re in Secondary School: • Begin preparing for your zoo career! Continue to read about animals, observe them and associate yourself with other “animal” people and organizations. • Tell your middle school or high school guidance counselors that

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 Department of Marketing and Public Relations Corrie Ignagni Vicki Scharfberg Nate Amaral

Designer Sara Beatrice Tandem Designworks Photo Credits Roger Williams Park Zoo

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 rwpzoo.org.

you’re interested in pursuing an animal-related career. They’ll help you choose the right classes to help prepare you for further education in college. • If you’re old enough to get a part-time job, consider working or volunteering at a local animal shelter, veterinary hospital, horse stable, Zoo or aquarium. This kind of work can help you gain valuable experience that could be helpful in a zoo career. For more information on the Roger Williams Park Zoo’s volunteer opportunities, click on volunteer.

If you’re in College: • Take courses in fields that will prepare you to be a zookeeper, such as life sciences, biology, animal science, natural resource management, veterinary medicine, environmental studies, etc.

2022 RHODE ISLAND ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY BOARD OF TRUSTEES Officers Patrick T. LeBeau, Chair Nancy Allen, Vice Chair Sandra L. Coletta, Vice Chair Margaret Ferguson, Secretary Kristen Adamo, Treasurer Board of Trustees Martha Bower Douglas Caniglia Cheryl Cohen Barbara S. Cottam Sarah Denby Marta Gomez-Chiarri Pamela W. Heffernan Kimberley M. Little Liz Rollins Mauran Jeffrey Mello Howard Merten John J. Palumbo Steven M. Parente Karen Silva, Ed.D., CHE Maribeth Q. Williamson

Ex-Officio Stacey Johnson Executive Director Rhode Island Zoological Society/ Roger Williams Park Zoo Wendy Nillson Superintendent of Parks Providence Parks Department Chairman Emeritus Sophie F. Danforth* Trustees Emeritus Margaret E. Curran, Esq. Thomas P. Dimeo* Jocelin Hamblett James S. Harper III, VMD* Bradford B. Kopp Arthur D. Little Nancy G.R. Moger Richard Nadeau Jane S. Nelson Cate M. Roberts Philip A. Segal, Jr. Robert F. Stoico *deceased

• Get a part-time job or internship in an animal-related facility, including vet hospitals, wildlife rehabilitation centers, zoos or aquariums. Probably the most important factor in being hired into a zookeeper job is the amount of on the job experience you have working with exotic animals. Rarely does anyone (no matter what their education is) get their first paid full-time position without have some sort of work experience to back up their knowledge.

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 www.aza.org

Please follow us online and share your photos and stories! 10

Kids’ Corner

Snake Chain - Fun and Easy Summer Paper Craft (From Silly Fish Learning)

Materials: • Colored Construction Paper

Can you answer these WILD trivia questions?


• Scissors • Glue • Black Pen

Which Primate develops fatty tissue or “flanges” on their face to show maturity? a. Chimpanzee

• Fold and cut the paper in half. Cut the paper into strips of equal width.

b. Gorilla c. Bonobos d. Orangutan



At one time these animals roamed all the way to the US-Mexico border but are now only occasionally sighted in Texas and Arizona. Most are now found in the Amazon River basin. a. Cougar b. Jaguar

• Use two wider strips for the nose and tail. Make a small tongue and glue inside one end. Glue the ends with a flat join and cut to shape.

c. Bobcat d. Panther


Which type of North American bird inflates its gular sacs located on its chest, during elaborate mating rituals? a. Wild Turkey b. Trumpeter Swan

• Stick on two small squares of white paper as eyes and draw pupils.

c. Turkey Vulture d. The Greater Sage-Grouse


• Glue the other strips into circles by feeding a new piece of paper through each loop and gluing to close.

This animal can replace each of its 80 teeth over 50 times. a. Great White Shark b. Crocodile c. Giant Armadillo d. Barracuda Answers located on bottom of page.

Guess Zoo? Can you identify these animals? 11






Wild Trivia Answers: 1: D • 2: B • 3: D • 4: B; Guess Zoo Answers: 1. Anteater 2. Bison 3. Dyeing Poison Dart Frog 4. Gharial Crocodile 5. Gorilla 6. King Vulture 7. Komodo Dragon 8. Panther


Answers located on bottom of page.