The animals of the Sacramento Zoo keep us busy 24/7! Here are some updates and highlights. We want you to have the newest scoop.
Caribbean Flamingo Youngsters
Have you visited the zoo’s flamingo chicks recently? They are not quite adults but are no longer chicks! The young Caribbean flamingos, hatched in June/July, 2017, have started spending time on the lake near the adults. Caretakers have built a “howdy” pen where the youngsters spend time acclimating to the new setting, other lake residents, and adult flamingos. It also gives the adults time to get to know the youngsters. The goal is for the youngsters to eventually integrate into the adult flock and live on the lake full-time.
Each flamingo has its own personality that works into their group dynamics. Margarita is as sassy as ever while Blue Hawaiian is very energetic enjoys digging up earthworms after it rains and is very energetic. Daiquiri is opinionated but not bossy. When it rains, Mai Tai can be found attempting to eat the rain. Tiki takes life in his own time.
Visit the youngsters and adults at the lake. If you stop by at 10:30 you can meet their caretakers at a keeper chat!
Rocket, Masai Giraffe
Rocket the Masai giraffe is almost two! No longer a calf, the youngster has finally stopped nursing (Shani let him nurse much longer than is typical). Rocket’s favorite activity is trying to play fight with Chifu. At about his age in the wild he would be off with other boys learning how to spar. To replicate that life stage, we are working with the Species Survival Plan® coordinator for Masai giraffe to identify another home for Rocket where his social needs will be met. It has always been part of the plan that Rocket would one day move to another AZA-accredited facility for his long-term health and happiness and for the benefit of the Masai giraffe population.
Taylor Swift, Eastern Bongo
Born on Labor Day, Taylor is still nursing but also eats solid food. Most noticeably, she has started developing her horns. Taylor is very active and enjoys running around and engaging her mom in play. The natural behavior aids in the Taylor learning social skills and the exercise promotes heath growth and development. Taylor is also very chatty and can be heard mooing when she’s prancing through the exhibit.
Amazon Parrot, Heini
Do you enjoy dancing the day away or having background music throughout the day? So does Heini the Amazon parrot! During the holiday season, one of Heini’s caretakers had Christmas music playing on a phone while she cleaned. The zookeeper noticed that Heini would react positively to the music, especially if it was upbeat. Since that discovery, and after discussion and approval from veterinary and other animal care staff, Heini has been given her own sound system as a form of additional enrichment with a playlist tailored specifically to her needs. Heini is particularly fond of Christmas music and The Andrews Sisters. However, much to local music lovers dismay she does not enjoy the band Cake. Amazon parrots are social birds and so it is not surprising that she enjoys the sound of chatter. One outcome noted after the addition of music regularly has been that Heini’s overall weight and body condition has improved. As an older bird, Heini does have a variety of health conditions and her ability to maintain appropriate weight is something the staff has been monitoring closely. The addition of music as enrichment has potentially helped in Heini’s efforts to gain, and stay at an appropriate weight.
Make sure to stop by and visit the flamingo youngsters, Rocket, Taylor and Heini the next time you are at the zoo!