2021 Winter WILD Magazine

Page 1



welcome! By Jeremy Goodman, DVM Executive Director, RWP Zoo and RI Zoological Society

2020 was another incredibly successful year for the Zoo. I know those words sound awkward if not crazy coming from the director of an institution that was completely closed for several months and lost millions in much needed revenue. However, success is not always measured in just dollars and cents. Thankfully, much of our staff stayed healthy and the few that got sick were detected early and fully recovered. Our zoo was delighted by the presence of a thriving baby boom that included our first-ever baby tamandua, our first flamingo chick in over 20 years and of course Beany, our superstar baby sloth. We also had tremendous success in pivoting our education programs and camps to a highly engaging virtual platform. Most importantly, we were able to open back up and be there for you, our community. The ability to provide New Englanders with a fun and safe escape to take their minds off the pandemic even for just a few hours was priceless. The creativity of our staff and our partners to change the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular into a drive through and the creation of our all-new Holiday Light Spectacular, gave our community a place to celebrate the magic of the Halloween and holiday seasons and boosted everyone’s morale.

You - our community - were there for us. You donated to our emergency appeals in record numbers and helped us get out of the immediate crisis at hand. Now as we enter our recovery phase, I am confident that we will continue to be there for each other and get each other through the remainder of this pandemic. Like everyone, your Zoo will be forever changed by the events of this year, but I know we will have grown stronger by getting through this together. I would like to express my gratitude to Maribeth Williamson who has been the chair of the Rhode Island Zoological Society Board of Trustees for the last 8 years. Under her leadership the board has done a remarkable job fulfilling their mission of oversight and support of your Zoo. We welcome our new chair, Pat LeBeau who will undoubtedly continue to strengthen the board and help us achieve great things. I look forward to seeing you at the Zoo!

click to donate!

a message from the chairman It has been a great privilege serving as a member of the Rhode Island Zoological Society Board of Trustees for the past several years and I am deeply honored to now step into the role of chair. Thanks to Maribeth Williamson’s leadership over the years, we have continued to support the Zoo’s mission in saving wildlife and wild places while serving as a valuable resource for our community. I’m proud of our past accomplishments and look forward to what our future holds. I would also like to express my appreciation of the Zoo’s staff and volunteers whose unwavering passion and dedication to this incredible institution shone bright during a year that was filled with so much uncertainty. I am excited to work alongside such talented and invaluable team members to further contribute to the Zoo’s success for many years to come. Pat LeBeau is a Managing Director and Private Client Advisor with Bank of America Private Bank in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to joining Bank of America Private Bank (formerly U.S. Trust), Pat held positions at RBS/Citizens Investment Services, including senior vice president and director of the northeast market, and director of its fixed income trading desk. An ardent supporter of both foster youth and animal conservation efforts, Pat also serves as vice president of the board of directors for Foster Forward. 1

An emblem of hope for the world’s most endangered canine Diego (formerly known as MJ) meet Brave! We are thrilled to welcome Brave, a 4-year-old female red wolf into the Roger Williams Park Zoo family. Born at the Henson Robinson Zoo prior to moving to the Wildlife Science Center where she spent the last couple years, Brave has been recommended by the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program. The goal of this SSP and all species survival plans is to build and maintain a Brave continues to acclimate to her new environment and she and Diego are getting along wonderfully. See them both on your next Zoo visit and stay tuned for more updates on our social media pages.

healthy and genetically diverse population. This pairing plays a significant role for the future of this critically endangered species. Once the southeastern United State’s apex predator, red wolf populations have declined so dramatically that it is estimated only a handful remain in the wild. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of AZAaccredited and other partner facilities across the United States, the captive red wolf population has once again risen steadily to nearly 250 wolves! Even though breeding is a main component, Diego and Brave also serve to educate and bring awareness to the plight of their wild counterparts. Now solely native to the coast of North Carolina, the red wolf faces many threats to their survival including hunting, human encroachment on their habitats, and the loss of prey due to urbanization and overhunting. Your Zoo is just one of many organizations acting as vocal advocates to raise public awareness of this species’ fight from extinction. As a part of our Zoo community, YOU play an important role too! Each time you visit our Zoo or any AZA-accredited institutions you are investing in research and conservation efforts to help ensure the survival and future of the red wolf and many other endangered species. We encourage you to speak up and share the importance of animal conservation with friends and family. The more people are aware that red wolves face extinction, the more we can advocate for better protections, fund research efforts, and safeguard this species role in our ecosystem. Together we are a voice for wildlife.

Get to know the red wolf Named for their red-tinged fur, red wolves are smaller than their better-known cousins the gray wolf, and larger than the coyote. They most often hunt smaller mammals including raccoons and rabbits, but they will occasionally prey on deer. Beyond howls, red wolves communicate through scent marking, facial expressions, and body posture.


b a B 2020 Justin, JC, Lance, Joey NINE-BANDED ARMADILLOS Named after the members of a certain 2000s boy band, these lively armadillo pups joined the Zoo family in April. The rambunctious armadillos are since full-grown and off to their next adventures at Capron Park Zoo, Buttonwood Park Zoo, and even the Desert Museum.


Franklin the adventurous baby tamandua joined us in November. Born underweight and requiring medical attention, Franklin has since grown healthy and strong and loves to explore and play with his keeper friends behind-the-scenes of Faces of the Rainforest.


LINNE’S TWO TOED SLOTH Since joining us in May, Beany, along with mom Fiona has been one of the stars of the Faces of the Rainforest show. True to her name, she loves snacking on green beans, along with hibiscus flowers and other tasty treats!


BABY SAKI Sookie, one of the Zoo’s newest babies, joined her mother Suni and siblings Gigi and Luke in December. Saki monkeys are quick learners, usually becoming independent by the age of four to six months.


a z o o l a P by Piper




The first female howler monkey baby to join the Roger Williams Park Zoo

This adorable little porcupette joined parents

family, the adorable Piper joined her big

Pierre and Flora as the newest addition to the

brothers Tucker and Ryder, and parents

Zoo’s porcupine family in November. Fun fact:

Ramone and Finley in December.

Nounours means “teddy bear” in French!


In October, Francis became the first flamingo chick born at Roger Williams Park Zoo in 22 years! Baby Francis may not look like a typical flamingo, but around 2 years old those juvenile



grey feathers will turn into that

Born in December, Ruth is one of our newest

trademark pink plumage.

Zoo babies, and will spend most of the next year hitching a ride around her Faces of the Rainforest home on mom Delilah’s back!


GOLDEN LION TAMARIN Playful and mischievous, Magnus the golden lion tamarin joined his big brother Angus and parents Raff and Kyle in the Faces of the Rainforest treetops in April. This growing family brings hope for the future survival of this endangered species. 4

Conservation means compassion and does not stop at wildlife While we may be based in Rhode Island, Roger Williams Park

“Even during the lowest point in our 106 year history, while we

Zoo funds and participates in conservation programs around

were fighting for our own zoo’s survival, we never wavered on

the world. One such program, Project Selva, helps to provide

our commitment to conservation and specifically the Bora” said

a continuous revenue stream to indigenous communities

Tim Morrow, President & CEO San Antonio Zoo “San Antonio

in the Amazon. Founded by San Antonio Zoo’s Center for

Zoo has staff in the Amazon and staff from San Antonio Zoo

Conservation and Research, a key component of the project

visits regularly. The Bora have become our friends & family,

is that the support does not involve timber harvest, mining, or

and we will do all we can to ensure this indigenous group nor

oil extraction – activities that damage the rainforests where

their lands disappear from earth.”

indigenous communities, like the Bora, live. This, in turn, relieves financial pressure so that they are less inclined to allow removal of rainforest from their territories.

never forget my decades’ long relationship with these brilliant

Realizing the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on

people. No one knows these forests like the Bora.” said Dr.

global environmental conservation partners, Roger Williams

Danté Fenolio, Vice President of Conservation & Research at

Park Zoo and the Center for Conservation and Research at

San Antonio Zoo. “We need to work with indigenous groups if

San Antonio Zoo provided emergency relief including food

we want our conservation efforts to experience success.”

and medical support for the Bora, an indigenous people from the Amazon Basin of Peru, whose livelihood has been disproportionately affected.

“The Roger Williams Park Zoo is proud to be partnering with San Antonio Zoo on this very important project. If we are to conserve the rainforests, we must also take care of the

Relying heavily on tourism, the Bora immediately felt the

indigenous people that live there and who need our help

damaging effects of the global pandemic. As travel restrictions

now more than ever,” said Roger Williams Park Zoo Executive

caused tourism to come to a rapid halt, as did their primary

Director Jeremy Goodman.

source of income.


“It is an honor to help support the same indigenous group that I’ve had the privilege of working with since I was a kid. I will

“Conservation doesn’t work if you ignore the people living in

Assistance also included educating the Bora on the

the forests you’re trying to protect. It’s an honor to support

Coronavirus and providing information they needed to endure

these amazing people and the biodiversity inhabiting the same

the pandemic. The Bora was also given San Antonio Zoo face

forests,” said Lou Perrotti, Director of Conservation Programs,

masks, which was something they did not have access to.

Roger Williams Park Zoo.

What is Project Selva? Project Selva’s co-operative approach to the conservation of the Amazonian rainforest, helps develop skill sets and opportunities for indigenous artists along with providing a much-needed revenue stream for their communities. Gyotaku, the ancient Japanese method of printing, is being used by the indigenous groups of the Amazon Basin to make their handmade crafts which are exported and then sold in the San Antonio Zoo’s gift shops. Learn more about Project Selva at www.projectselva.org.

Unfortunately, since the Conservation Center’s last visit to provide emergency assistance, the Bora have faced many hardships including considerable damage to their boat, which has been a key means of labor and survival. We were also deeply heartbroken to learn that one of the projects fellow artists and friends lost a child due to sudden illness. Our heart goes out to the Bora during this difficult time as we continue to work hard to support these indigenous communities with the help of our collaborative partners. Thanks to our friends at the Providence Art Club, we hosted a successful fundraiser to give local community members the opportunity to learn about Project Selva and the importance of this global effort. With your help, we will continue to help our indigenous friends and provide an alternative revenue stream for their communities while supporting their culture and the rainforests. If you are interested in purchasing a Gyotaku fish print, please contact Lou Perrotti at lperrotti@rwpzoo.org. Proceeds benefit Project Selva. Photo credits: San Antonio Zoo


(Zoo) School is in session! Last Spring, the face of education programs around the world

each episode focused on animal care, training, enrichment and

changed almost overnight. As a pandemic spread across


the globe, schools and institutions worldwide were left with a question: how could they continue to provide meaningful programming educational experiences outside of the traditional classroom setting? Many Zoo staff members were forced to work at home in the early stages of the pandemic.

to take a different approach to sharing the staff’s expertise and knowledge, turning over the reins to an enthusiastic and inquisitive audience of children. “The idea for Kids Q&A came from looking to the kids in our own lives,” said Rudolph. “I have a son and daughter and they

“We knew that our visitors were missing our animals as much

love making and watching YouTube videos. They also ask the

as we were,” said Ambassador Animal Programs Manager (and

BEST questions. So, when we were planning this season, we

Zoo School host) Jen Rudolph. “We wanted to provide a way

looked to the real stars of our lives, our kiddos!”

for them to continue to connect with the animals they love, which we know is integral to wellness.”

Each episode of Zoo School: Kid Q&A will feature similar behind-the-scenes looks at Zoo animals and exhibits, this

Enter Zoo School. Like countless other organizations, Roger

time giving the children at home a voice in what topics will be

Williams Park Zoo’s education department was forced to find


a way to provide the same level of educational programming geared toward a younger audience as they normally would through their hands-on interactive outreach programs. “Covid-19 has presented challenges that none of us could have imagined,” said Rudolph. “Through it all, the kids have been AMAZING! They have made us laugh. They have shown us how resilient they are. They have continued to work hard on their educations, whether at home or at school.”

For Rudolph, the new season of Zoo School also represents an opportunity to inspire the next generation of animal scientists and activists. “When we come to work every day, we ask ourselves: How can we save wildlife and wild places? A huge part of achieving that goal is getting future generations involved. We know that the natural world was not given to us by our ancestors, it is borrowed from our children. Someday, they will be the ones

First launched in March, Zoo School’s first season turned

making the decisions that ensure

an unforeseen situation into an opportunity, giving viewers

all living things on earth have

a unique look at what goes on behind-the-scenes at Roger

clean water, fresh air, and safe

Williams Park Zoo. Episodes featured interviews with

places to care for one another.

staff across many Zoo departments, including education,

We hope to get kids excited about

horticulture, animal programs, administration, graphics, and

animals and give them a voice.”

marketing - teaching viewers what goes into operating a Zoo and learning new things they may not have known. In addition, Zoo School highlighted the stars of the show at any Zoo – the animals. From exotic rainforest creatures like giant anteaters and boa constrictors, to animals like opossums and chickens that children may find in their own communities, 7

Heading into its second season, the Zoo School team chose

“When kids are in charge,” she

“When kids are in charge... we all have fun!”

added, “we all have fun! For more information on Zoo School: Kids Q&A, visit rwpzoo.org/zooschool and see how kids can submit their own questions.

donor spotlight Meet Clayton, a five-year-old with a love for snow leopards and a big heart for wildlife. After saving up his allowance, Clayton expressed his wishes to donate it to the Zoo. His mom and dad were so proud that they matched his gift. Thank you, Clayton, for helping all our Zoo animals with your thoughtful donation. You are what makes our Zoo so special and we are honored to have you as part of the Zoo family.


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 Department of Marketing and Public Relations Corrie Ignagni Andrea E. McHugh Sam Vaccaro

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.

2021 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

Jeffrey Mello Howard Merten John J. Palumbo Steven M. Parente Karen Silva, Ed.D., CHE Maribeth Q. Williamson

Board of Trustees Martha Bower Douglas Caniglia Barbara S. Cottam Teresa A. Crean Sarah Denby Dana Goldberg Marta Gomez-Chiarri Kimberley M. Little Liz Rollins Mauran

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

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

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


Kids’ Corner

Sloth Valentine’s Day Craft (From iheartcraftythings)

Suggested Supplies: • 12-inch x 12-inch blue cardstock or construction paper (for background)

Valentine’s Day is a day of love, affection, and togetherness. Get into the spirit of the season and see if you can answer these WILD trivia questions!


• Brown, tan and cream-colored cardstock or construction paper (for sloth) • Red and pink or purple cardstock or construction paper (for hearts)

Some animals form mating partners and stay with the same companion for their entire life. How romantic! Which of the following animals tend to mate for life?

• black marker • scissors

a. Swans b. Beavers c. Gibbons d. All of the above


• glue

Instructions: 1. Have a parent or guardian help you to cut out pieces of cardstock or construction paper to make your sloth and a branch for them to rest on.

Elephants are very social animals that spend a lot of time interacting with other members of their herd. They have even been known to show affection to one another by: a. Fluttering their eyelids b. Wrapping their trunks together c. Spraying water on each other d. Stomping the ground


The human heart is about the size of a fist and generally weighs less a pound, while the largest heart in the animal kingdom can weigh up to 400 pounds and is around the size of a piano! Which animal does this massive heart belong to? a. African Elephant b. Great White Shark c. Blue Whale d. Walrus


The _____ is known for its “mating dance”. Males will curl their tails around their female partner before they spin and twist around each other, ending with fertilized eggs deposited into the male’s pouch, where they will be carried until they hatch.

4. Cut out details like twigs, leaves, and hearts to decorate your Valentine’s Day craft and glue them to the background.

Most sloths are similarly colored to the one in the picture, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be! Get creative, use your imagination, and make your Sloth Valentine look however you want!

Answers located on bottom of page.

Guess Zoo? 2

Can you identify these cuddling animals? Answers located on bottom of page.




Wild Trivia Answers: 1: D • 2: B • 3: C • 4: B; Guess Zoo Answers: 1. African Elephants 2. Sea Otters 3. Macaque Monkeys 4. Pandas 5. Parrots 6. Penguins 7. Polar Bears


3. Glue your sloth and their branch down onto a piece of cardstock or paper background.

Try this:

a. Howler Monkey b. Seahorse c. Blue-Tongued Skink d. Duck-Billed Platypus


2. Once you have your pieces cut out, glue together your sloth pieces and draw on a face, claws, and other details.