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Picky Pelicans & More – Big Day of Giving

Categories: Animal Profile, Animals, BIG Day of Giving

The mission of the Sacramento Zoological Society is to inspire appreciation, respect, and a connection with wildlife and nature through education, recreation, and conservation. During this year’s Big Day of Giving, we are highlighting just a few of the special relationships between the animals and their caretakers. Follow along as we share their stories.

Janine & JoeyJoey the chimpanzeeZookeeper Janine and 53-year-old Chimpanzee Joey have had a good thing going for 15 years now. Janine pays special attention to the little things. She knows that Joey’s favorite flavor of Ensure is chocolate, he doesn’t like peach yogurt, he takes his vitamins and Tums whole, and that he prefers his liquid raspberry glucosamine with juice in a special pinch-and-pour style cup (not the cup and straw that the other chimps favor). In their 15 years together (as long as Janine has known her husband), Janine has been with Joey as took on the high stress position as alpha and was close by as he handed over power to another chimp and mellowed. They have built a mutual understanding over the years and are able to read each others body language fairly well. Janine knows when Joey is stressed and needs some time to relax, and Joey knows when Janine is up to something fishy.

Keepers & Fennec FoxIf you’ve seen the Fennec Foxes on exhibit you will know that these sisters dart around! It can be a chore to get them to stand still long enough for visual exams and to make sure each one eats all of their food (Serafina often tries to steal her sister’s food!). While it may seem like a daunting task, zookeepers Christa and Amanda have taken on the challenge. They have worked with Serafina & Nymeria since their arrival at the Sacramento Zoo in 2014 to station – or stand still on a specific spot in return for a food reward. Training the foxes to station allow for weights to be taken and a good basis for other needed behaviors to be trained from.

PelicanMontana and Zamboni, American White Pelicans, were both injured in the wild and unable to care for themselves and so they now call the Sacramento Zoo their home. You wouldn’t expect these large birds to be picky about the fish that they swallow whole, but they are! They are more particular about the size and texture of the meal than how the fish look and smell. Zamboni does not like capelin. If he makes the mistake of putting it in his mouth he quickly realizes the error and will flip the fish back out! Montana, who does like capelin, will then take it for herself. To be able to closely monitor how much they are eating, zookeepers have trained them to voluntarily stand on round wooden stations and wait for their fish to be tossed to them.

Lion Vet ExamFrom tall to small they examine them all. The Sacramento Zoo’s animals receive their healthcare from the #1 ranked veterinary school in the country, UC Davis. Since the 1970s the Sacramento Zoo has had a robust partnership with the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine to provide the highest quality health care for the Zoo’s much-loved animals. As part of this partnership, veterinary students and residents receive hands-on training at the Sacramento Zoo, where they gain proficiency under the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced Zoo veterinarians. Many of these medical procedures can be viewed by Zoo visitors through the windows at the Murray E. Fowler Veterinary Hospital.

Here is how you can help!

Donate Now

  • Donations can be as small as $15 or as large as $10,000.
  • Everyone who donates $100 or more will have a chance to win a behind-the-scenes tour of the Interpretive Center and a chance to meet some of the amazing Animal Ambassadors like Julio!

Make your donation count even more

Spread the word – Your help makes a BIG impact

Your contribution of any amount will help the Sacramento Zoo continue to care for the amazing animals that call the Zoo home.

New this year, make a donation on the Big Day of Giving and receive FREE admission to the Zoo on May 4th! Just show your donation confirmation at the Front Entrance and you will get to visit the Zoo free of charge. Limit one entry per donation. Admission only valid on May 4th.

Thank You!!