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Conservation Connection: Narrow-headed Gartersnake

by lhardwick7212
Narrow-headed gartnersnake at the Phoenix Zoo

By Carrie Flood Aren’t giraffes cool? They’re regal, unapologetically lovely, and SUPER important to the functioning of a healthy Savanna habitat.  We like them, too. That’s why we breed and release snakes.   Wait, what? AGAIN with the snakes??   Yup.  Regular readers of my posts may be asking themselves why I’m always on about snakes. What can […]

Remembering Handsome Kitambi

by lhardwick7212

It is with heavy hearts that we let you know of the passing of Kitambi, our handsome African lion. Kitambi recently began showing signs of acute lameness and animal care staff began monitoring his condition. The lameness persisted and he became more lethargic with a loss of appetite. He was anesthetized and was found to […]

Conservation Connection: Tortoises. GIANT Tortoises.

by lhardwick7212

By Carrie Flood Giant tortoises have almost universal appeal. The slow moving, herbivorous giants are reminiscent of dinosaurs, with their fixed smiling faces and long leathery necks.  Long ago, there were giant tortoises on all but one of the continents. Today, they are limited to two populations: one on the Aldabra Islands in the Indian […]

Conservation Connection: Total BFFs

by lhardwick7212

By Carrie Flood Black-footed ferrets. You know them. You love them. But did you know how close we came to losing them? Do you know why that’s important? Black footed ferrets were considered extinct in the wild.  TWICE.  Luckily scientists were wrong both times. As usual, the animals knew better, and thanks to a ranch […]

New Female Baby Masai Giraffe Born at the Zoo [UPDATED]

by lhardwick7212
Phoenix Zoo giraffes

Monday, July 30: We are excited to announce the winning name of our voting contest: Rafiki (Swahili for “friend”)!  With nearly 16,000 people recording their votes, over 6,000 voted for Rafiki. It will still be at least a couple of weeks before we see Rafiki and mother, Imara, out on the Savanna but we will continue […]

Conservation Connection: Vultures – The Clean-up Crew

by lhardwick7212

By Carrie Flood Lots of people have a bit of an “ew” reaction to vultures. Maybe it’s the bald head, or it could be all those BBC nature specials with footage of vultures’ necks deep in carcasses…whatever it is, vultures don’t engender tender feelings in most humans. You don’t find too many kids who want […]

New Dynamic ‘Branch’ Program Started at the Phoenix Zoo

by lhardwick7212

The Phoenix Zoo started a new Zoo-wide enrichment project recently! It was a popular topic during the 2017 International Conference for Environmental Enrichment in Colombia. The general consensus was that zoos should be encouraged to place increasingly movable exhibit furniture, also known as “dynamic branches,” as permanent enhancement and/or enrichment. It was found, for example, […]

Conservation Connection: Making the World a Little Better

by lhardwick7212

By Carrie Flood When the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC) first floated the idea of conservation staff grants, I was ecstatic. The idea that my employer would help pay for me to work on field projects normally reserved for ambitious college interns and post-doc students was super exciting. I immediately got to work finding […]

Conservation Connection: The Beautiful Rhinoceros

by lhardwick7212

By Carrie Flood  Rhinos are so much more than grey, squatty unicorns. Their elusiveness and rarity are similar to unicorns, but rhinos have never been known to glow, burp glitter or fly. (This is not to say they can’t; it’s just that scientists have never observed it.) All five species of rhinos are vulnerable to […]

Keeping our Animals (and Guests) Cool in the Summer

by lhardwick7212

Pools are located in the habitats of our lions, tigers, elephants, Andean bear and rhinoceros. Many animals occasionally receive tasty ice treats such as bloodsicles, fishsicles or frozen food. Misters are used at Monkey Village and at our elephant habitat. Some animals, like those on the Savanna, receive a sprinkler or garden hose shower to […]