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My Life Is A Zoo

This is where I will post interesting (or not so interesting) things that happen in my life. The subject matter will include any random things that I decide to put in (including animals, my work, my hobbies and my family).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tiger Fun

Last Sunday, the Tigers got the same toy that the lions got on Saturday - the toy from Aussie Dog (see post below for more info). The tigers were not quite as destructive (mainly because we made sure they couldn't reach to high on the toy!). This is one of the tigers checking out their new toy.

We think they enjoyed it. They kept coming back to play with it for quite awhile. :)

And here's a video of them playing with it.

Lion Fun

On Earth Day last weekend we gave the cats some fun enrichment. One of them was a toy (called The Lion Sam 1 Hanging Lion Toy Complete with Bungee (Version 2) by Aussie Dog) purchased for us by Waste Management. You can find out more info about it here. They have all sorts of fun things for all animals (both zoo and domestic).

Celesto didn't quite seem to understand the point of the toy....

She proceeded to grab it and chew through the rope holding it all together...(okay, so we have a bit of an oops moment and the toy ended up a little lower than originally intended!)

She then gnawed on a few of the parts and then proceeded to strew them all over the exhibit. :) You just gotta love her...

The important thing, though, is that she had fun doing it! (and, luckily, we were able to retrieve all the pieces, intact, and restring it so that the tigers could play with it on Sunday!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The clouded leopard exhibit

Here are some pictures of our clouded leopard exhibit. We completely re-propped it for him. This is the exhibit that used to house our snow leopard. She was moved one exhibit down so that Rama would have a place to live. :) This picture to the left is what the west end of the exhibit looked like prior to being propped (when facing the exhibit, this is the left side of the exhibit). These pictures were all taken from inside the exhibit so I could get some good shots of it without the mesh. I will try and get some pictures of it from the guests view soon so that you can see what it looks like from the front. I just don't happen to have any right now.

Here's what it looks like now:

This is much better suited for a clouded leopard. And he is definitely enjoying all the logs and branches.

Here's what the east side of the exhibit (on the right when facing it) looked like before we propped it:

This is what it looks like now. The big tree in the foreground is in the center of the exhibit when you are facing it.

And here we are finishing it up. We are so thankful to our Horticulture staff who came and helped us move all the big heavy logs and to our maintenance staff who came and peeled back the exhibit mesh so we could get the big heavy logs into the exhibit. At one point, our maintenance staff had to remove part of the barrier fence too....the log wouldn't go in otherwise...We are very lucky that they like us! :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

A video of Celesto and the 'giraffe'

Here's a video of Celesto taking down the 'giraffe' on Wednesday. I think she did pretty good! :)

Earth Day

On Wednesday, our lions did a media event for the Zoo's Earth Day celebration (April 21 and 22). No, they didn't get to go into the studio and meet all the news anchors. Instead, the media came to the lions. Waste Management is sponsoring the Earth Day Celebration at the Zoo this year. So we decided to make a cardboard giraffe and tree (with the Waste Management logo on top of the tree). Josh actually did all of the building of it. He is an extremely creative guy.

Anyways, here are some pictures from the media event we did. We let Celesto out first and then, after she was settled, we let Jonathan out. This was Celesto's first time being able to actually take down a cardboard animal. Every other time she had to compete with Lindi. She went immediately for the giraffe and knocked it down.

When Jonathan came out, he very carefully walked past Celesto and went to the tree - which he proceeded to lick clean of meat.

Then he decided to check out what was on top of the large rock. One of the keepers had placed a large pile of ground meat on top of the rock for them.

After he was done checking those things out, he wandered off and Celesto wandered over to check out the tree.

Which she proceeded to knock over, like any good hunting lion would do.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bye Dan!

Our resident Australian is leaving us...sigh. He was offered a job back at his old facility in Australia and he just couldn't turn it down. His last day was the 10th and he'll be leaving for Australia on the 25th. His wife, Jackie, will be joining him at some point. I think she's still working out her visa stuff.

We decided to send him off in true style - had a going away party at a local bar. :) Lots of people showed up, including the CEO and the Director of the zoo. I also think there was a representative from every department in the zoo. Not bad. We are definitely going to miss him...Not only is he an all around nice guy but we also love hearing him talk on the radio. He has a very nice Australian accent. :)

Here are some pictures from his party on Tuesday.

He kept videotaping everything....It was crazy....

No idea...but ya gotta love him anyways...

Just hanging out...

Mike (Aquarium) and Sabrina (Sea Lions)

Group shot....the lady in the center is his wife, Jackie.

Good luck in Australia Dan. We'll miss you!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Pet Food Recall

As many of you are aware, there are many foods that have now been placed on the recall list due to the bad batch of wheat gluten that made it on to the market. This means that many people are now searching for a new food to feed their pets. The following website has a list of brands that are *NOT* on the recall list. The website also list whether or not the food contains wheat gluten and if that brand was made at the Menu Foods plant. Click here to check it out.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just 'cause he's cute....

So the other day I had the closing shift at work...This means that I work 830a-730p. It's a little annoying to not come in until 830 but I found it pretty relaxing to be there until 730. There weren't a lot of people roaming around the zoo and I was able to get some stuff done without a coworker or supervisor wanting me to do something else...So, one of the things I decided to do, since I had the time, was to take some pictures. Here a couple I took of Tuco.

First, I got this one....I had to add the words, it was just too appropriate...

Then, he decided to taste test my camera....

Luckily for me he decided it probably wasn't edible....

More on Rama's name...

Rama (rāma in IAST, राम in Devanāgarī, can be pronounced as Ram in some modern Indian languages), also referred to as Ramachandra and honorifcally as Sri Rama, is a legendary/historical king of ancient India. In Hinduism, he is considered to be the Seventh Avatar of Vishnu and an important manifestation of God.

He is one of the most popular heroes of Hindu mythology and folktales in South and Southeast Asia. The majority of details concerning Rama come from the Ramayana, one of the two great epics of India. Born as the eldest son of Kausalya and Dasaratha, king of Kosala, he is the embodiment of the Supreme Brahman[citation needed] and Dharma. Rama is Maryada Purushottama, literally The Perfect Man. Rama is the husband of Sita, who Hindus consider to be an Avatar of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.

Rama's life and journey is one of perfect adherence of dharma despite harsh tests of life and time. For the sake of his father's honour, Rama abandons his claim to Kosala's throne to serve an exile in the forest. His wife, Sita and brother, Lakshmana being unable to live without Rama decide to join him, and all three spend many years in exile. This leads to the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, the Rakshasa monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search that tests his personal strength and virtue, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana's armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned King in Ayodhya (the capital of his Kingdom) and eventually becomes Emperor of the World, after which he reigns for eleven thousand years - an era of perfect happiness, peace, prosperity and justice known as Rama Rajya.

Rama's courage in searching for Sita and fighting a terrible war to rescue his wife and their honour is complemented by Sita's absolute devotion to her husband's love, and perfect chastity despite being Ravana's captive. Rama's younger brothers, namely Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Bharata strongly complement his piety, virtue and strength, and they are believed by many to belong to the Mariyada Purshottama and the Seventh Avatara, mainly embodied by Rama. Rama's piety and virtue attract powerful and devoted allies such as Hanuman and the Vanaras of Kishkindha, with whose help he rescues Sita. The legend of Rama is deeply influential and popular in the societies of the Indian subcontinent and across South East Asia. Rama is revered for his unending compassion, courage and devotion to religious values and duty.

For more information on Rama go here. This is the Wikipedia page that I got the above info from. It also goes into the various stories, histories and aspects of Rama. All in all, I think it's a very appropriate name for a clouded leopard.

More teeth....

Here's a better picture of Rama's teeth.

This was taken during his quarantine exam. Doesn't he have nice looking teeth?

And here's picture of him out on exhibit...Isn't he handsome?