I thought it was time I gave a quick update on the zoo and how things are going. I can't believe the summer has past and fall is here. It has been a rather hectic year so far with Baikal leaving us and the new female Siberian Tiger joining us. I guess one of the animals that I feel I have neglected in introducing to you is Lucas our new Species Survival Program monkey. He is a male Black Handed Spider Monkey that arrived the same day and the Siberian Tiger and perhaps that overshadowed his arrival. Lucas is a rare species listed on appendix 1 of the Endangered Species List. We are actively searching for a female to introduce to him. Sounds easy, well it's a little more complicated than one might think. We require a female that is unrelated in any way, she must have registered blood lines and has to be registered with the International SSP Commission. On top of that Lucas has to get along with her and just because a male and female are put together does not mean it will be a good match. So the hunt continues and I hope in the near future I can announce that we have the perfect mate for him. Lucas has endeared himself to everyone and is full of personality and vigor. He really wants a mate, I know this because he has demonstrated breeding postures since he has arrived. I hope this bodes well for when we find a female for him.
Our other new arrivals this year were three Miniature Donkeys. I have to say personally the male Ben has a special place in my heart already from the day we first saw him. Despite being miniatures these animals are strong and our Animal Enrichment Volunteers have been working with them and they are coming along nicely. The females Lily and Belle seem to pick up training much faster than Ben, not because Ben is less intelligent, but because Ben is stubborn and being the strongest of the three uses his strength when he wants to. I know that Ben will soon settle down and has come a long way since his first training lesson. We have a beautiful cart just waiting for the day these three will be trained to pull it and I really look forward to seeing that.
We had to purchase boots for the front hooves of the Miniature Horses this year as the gravel pathways were causing problems. Again, should be easy one would think, but after a lot of research and thank heavens for the Internet we finally found boots for them from the Ozarks.
They have taken quite well to wearing them and don't mind when we have to lace them up just like sneakers, in fact that is what they look like. When we first found the boots the price said $65.00 US and foolishly I thought this meant a pair but was soon set straight that it was per boot. Who would have thought that you buy one boot at a time? I guess it's live and learn.
I am getting ready to head to Edmonton, Alberta for our Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums National Conference. It is held in a different place each year and I'll have to be honest when I say I have no idea what to pack but I have the feeling it will be cold and will rain. Before I head out next week I have to make sure that everything is taken care of here at the zoo, including my two Boxers. I will write some more about the conference and the meetings and of course the zoo people that we get to see once a year to exchange ideas, ask about surplus animals (keep your fingers crossed for Lucas), and to learn new ways of doing things. Guess that is it for now. Keep checking for my next post. One last thing, Please don't forget World Animal Day on October 4 Th. The Cherry Brook Zoo will be celebrating so please check out the web site and also give the zoo a call at 634-1440 for more details.