Archive for the ‘Good Zoo’ Category
Good Zoo staff today announced significant births, including twin golden lion tamarin monkeys, a first at the Good Zoo. “The twins were born on September 4, and both the mother and father demonstrated excellent parenting skills, carrying the babies on their backs,” said Manager of Animal Husbandry Mindi White. “These are first time parents, but mom ‘Carmen’ had participated in rearing babies in a tamarin group at another zoo, and they learn maternal skills through that observation,” she added. Golden lion tamarins are endangered primates from South America. The Good Zoo tamarins are part of a cooperative global breeding program among zoos across the U.S. “The wild population in Brazil has been severely impacted by deforestation with less than 5% of suitable habitat remaining. Golden lion tamarins are classified as extremely endangered; scientists estimate a wild population of only 1,500 tamarins left in the wild,” said Penny Miller, zoo director. Tamarins born in U.S. zoos have successfully been released in the wild for restocking efforts.
On September 29, zoo staff discovered a newborn Grevy’s zebra. The foal was up following the mother Samburu, and appears to be doing well. “Samburu had a foal here last year, too, and she is a great mom,” White said. Grevy’s zebra populations have plummeted in Kenya and Somalia; less than 2,000 individuals remain. Zebra populations are threatened by habitat lost, drought and climate change, and diseases and parasites transmitted by domestic livestock.
A baby 3-banded armadillo was born on September 16, and is currently not on display. This is the mother’s second offspring. Her baby from last year is a popular ambassador in the zoo’s education department. Three-banded armadillo is found in Brazil. It was recently chosen as the 2014 World Cup mascot, as the Brazilian government seeks to educate youth that this poorly known species is threatened with extinction. It was even believed to be extinct in the wild until it was rediscovered in 1988 in a handful of locations.
“The zoo staff has worked hard with zoo colleagues around the country to develop the optimum conditions to breed these three rare species at the Good Zoo,” said Miller. “September was a banner month for us, and we hope the public will take advantage of the nice fall weather to come see the twin tamarin monkeys and the baby zebra,” she added.
The Good Zoo opens daily at 11:00 a.m. and admission is $9.00 for adults, $5.75 for ages 3-12, and free to members and ages 2 and under. Boo at the Zoo is October 11 through 13, October 18 through 20 and October 25 through 27 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. with early opening on Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. Boo at the Zoo admission is $7.25 for non members, $5.25 for members. Boo admission is reduced by $1.00 when purchased in advance in the zoo office 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily, seven days a week. For more information or to purchase Boo at the Zoo tickets in advance call the Good Zoo office at 304-243-4100.
Oglebay is pleased to announce two programs taught by Dr. Richard Bradley, the author of the new book Common Spiders of North America. The first class will be held at the Good Zoo at Oglebay on Saturday, August 3 from 1 pm- 3pm. The Common Spiders class is open to all current Master Naturalist students, people interested in joining the Master Naturalist program, and to anyone who wants to learn about spiders. Anyone 16 years of age and older can attend at a cost of $24.00 and the class counts as 3 elective hours in the Master Naturalist program.
“Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrates, yet poorly studied and very misunderstood,” said Penny Miller, zoo director. “Part of our Master Naturalist program is teaching people about all components of a healthy ecosystem, not just the popular ones like birds and butterflies,” she added. Dr. Bradley will discuss how to identify key spider groups by web design and other identification tips. Spider biology, anatomy and behavior will also be addressed, and students will go out on zoo grounds to find and identify spiders. “We have over 100 species in our area, but North America has over 4,700 species” said Miller. Students will also get to meet the zoo’s resident tarantulas. For more information call Penny Miller at 304-243-4027. The schedule for all upcoming Master Naturalist classes can be found at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo
The second program is offered for families with young children 10 years of age and up. Families can meet Dr Bradley and go on a spider hunt at the Schrader Environmental Education Center at Oglebay for an evening program “Spectacular Spiders” from 7 pm- 9pm August 3rd. “Feeling brave?? Join Dr Bradley as he leads us for a look into the scary world of spiders. Discover some facts and fiction about spiders, then embark on a journey into their world outside,” added Schrader Center director Alice Eastman. The evening program cost is $6.00 per person, $5 each for Oglebay Institute members. For information call the Schrader Center at 304-243-4214.
The Master Naturalist Program is open to all area nature lovers, 16 years of age and older. The program was developed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the Good Zoo at Oglebay is a training site. Classes are held at the zoo on Saturdays and Sundays and often involve walks in the woods and occasional field trips to a farm pasture, wetlands or streams.
”Anyone who enjoys the outdoors will love these classes,” added Miller. “We have husbands and wives signing up together, some teens with their parents, and lots of individuals.”
The schedule for all upcoming Master Naturalist classes can be found at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo or call Miller at 304-243-4027.
Found a baby deer all by itself? “Please leave it alone.” That’s the advice of Good Zoo staff, who receive multiple phone calls every day about “abandoned” fawns that aren’t abandoned at all. Worse yet, some well-meaning folks are actually driving up to the zoo’s doors with fawns. “People get really upset that we won’t take it, but there is absolutely no reason for us to, plus it is illegal,” said Penny Miller, zoo director. Newborn fawns cannot follow their moms around until they are about two weeks old, unlike other hoof-stock like zebras. So the doe parks her fawn in tall grass or shrubs, and returns only to feed it, so as not to attract predators to the baby. “White-tailed deer are not out there in droves abandoning their babies,” Miller added.
“Like kids, the babies don’t always stay put, and may follow a person. Just shoo it away back into cover,” Miller advised. Misplaced fawns bleet out to their moms, and the doe will call back and find them. Fawns are born in late May and into June, so the phone calls are piling in now at the zoo.
The same advice goes for baby birds, which leave the nest feathered, but lack tail feathers, and are unable to fly for a few days until they build up flight muscles. Pick up the fledgling bird and put it 4-6 feet off the ground and keep kids, cats and dogs away. The mother bird will feed it. “Touching a baby bird or fawn does not make the mother reject it, said Mindi White, manager of Animal Husbandry. “That’s an old wive’s tale that we just cannot seem to correct. We also handle all our mammal and avian zoo babies for physical exams and weighing; mom takes them right back.” Birds have no sense of smell, and all mother animals have strong maternal bonds to their babies.
“We have lots of great stories of babies being taken back out where they were found, and the mother comes back and claims them,” Miller said. The zoo receives dozens of calls per day about baby birds and fawns.
“We don’t have the staff time or cage space to take these animals, either. Our keepers are busy caring for our collection animals and monitoring our own new zoo babies,” said Miller. “Go on the Internet and do some research before you intervene. When baby animals are truly orphaned due to mom being hit by a car, rehabilitation is a costly, time consuming task done only by licensed wildlife rehabilitators common in Ohio and Pennsylvania but rare in West Virginia. “You can search for licensed wildlife rehabilitators on the internet if you are certain the mother animal has been killed,” White added.
An informative meeting about the Safari to Tanzania will be held at the Good Zoo on Saturday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will include photographs, food, packing tips and provide answers to all questions!
The Good Zoo is offering an exclusive safari to Tanzania. The trip will be fully escorted by Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo, from October 27 to November 8, 2013. “This trip will allow you to discover quintessential African landscapes when you explore Tanzania, the perfect East African destination for any traveler with an open mind and heart to experiencing wildlife and culture, past and present,” said Miller. “A relaxed attitude combined with some of the best wildlife spotting on the continent is within affordable reach.” Miller has led previous zoo safaris to Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
This exclusive safari will cover unforgettable spots including the unique eco-system of Ngorongoro Crater, the vast savannahs of the Serengeti, and the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Manyara. Visitors can expect to see a variety of wildlife including buffalo, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, zebra, black-maned lions, black rhinos and the elusive tree-climbing lions with glimpses of leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, elephant, and warthog. The trip will also include a visit to Olduvai Gorge where the roots of modern man were unearthed by the Leakeys, plus a visit to a Maasai village.
- Flights within Africa as specified. On the main safari in Tanzania: Serengeti to Arusha. On the extension, flight between Arusha/Zanzibar.
- Superior accommodations throughout.
- All meals on safari in Tanzania as well as in Zanzibar.
- All wildlife viewing by private 4X4 vehicle with photo roof, driven by a naturalist guide. A window seat is guaranteed.
- Visit to a Maasai village.
- Complimentary bottled water in vehicles and during meals.
- Professional naturalist will accompany the group with 10 travelers on the main safari.
- Penny Miller will accompany the group with a minimum 10 travelers on the main tour and 6 travelers on the extension.
- All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities.
- All park entry fees.
- Complimentary passport wallets and luggage tags.
The cost of the trip is $5,695 per person for double occupancy plus $2,200 per person for round trip air from Pittsburgh. An optional six day extension to Zanzibar from November 7 to 12, 2013 is an additional $2,195 per person.
For the full itinerary and to make reservations visit the Good Zoo website or contact Penny Miller at the Good Zoo by calling 304-243-4027.
Good Zoo staff announced that highly endangered African Wild Dog pups born at the Good Zoo are now on exhibit. The female “Destiny” gave birth on September 30, 2012 to seven pups; it is the first litter she or her mate “Selous” have produced.
“All the pups were full term, but below normal birth weight, and were born with infections that affected their lungs and other organs,” said Good Zoo Manager Mindi White. “One pup was stillborn due to undeveloped lungs. The remaining pups were pulled for hand-rearing but four pups succumbed to the infection.” White said the remaining two pups were too weak to nurse from Destiny, so zoo staff located a lactating domestic dog from the Hancock County Animal Shelter and nursed the pups for several days until she stopped producing milk. Keepers took the pups back to the parents every day and let them see, hear and smell the pups through the fence to let them know the pups were still alive.
When the pups were stronger and healthier and the parents were still showing strong parental behaviors, the pups were put back with the parents. The pups still did not nurse adequately from Destiny, so animal care staff took the pups home every night for late night and 2:00 a.m. feedings. The pups were put back with the wild dog parents during the day. “This is the first time nursing wild dog pups have been hand-reared by zoo staff, yet kept with the parents during the day,“ said Penny Miller, zoo director. If the pups had been only hand raised, they imprint on people and do not learn correct wild dog behaviors. “This would have made it impossible to integrate them back into African Wild Dog conservation program, which is the whole point of our breeding efforts,” Miller added.
“These pups were born very compromised. It is a miracle two survived, and it is a testimony to the incredible problem solving and tender loving care they received from our keepers and managers,” Miller said. The domestic dog that helped rear the pups was adopted by a Good Zoo keeper. African wild dogs are Africa’s second most endangered carnivores. Once found in 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, wild dogs are no longer found in 25 countries. Habitat destruction, rabies and canine distemper spread by local village dogs, and other pressures threaten their survival. Only the dominant female dog in the pack produces pups, litters can be as large as 20 pups. Other females assist the mother in rearing the pups and catching wild game. It takes a large healthy pack of wild dogs to hunt enough game to feed large litters; many wild packs are now too small to rear large litters. Pup mortality in the wild is 90%. There are 125 African wild dogs exhibited in 37 U.S. zoos; approximately 3,500-5,000 remain in the wild.
The zoo is currently open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the Good Zoo is $9.00 for adults; $5.75 for children ages 3-12; and Good Zoo members and ages 2 and under are admitted free. Lorikeet Landing and the train ride are open Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, weather permitting. The train ride is $2.25 per person and a cup of nectar to feed to the lorikeets is $1.00. Additional information can be found on the on the Good Zoo website including the new Dinosaur Exhibit featuring life-sized, moving and roaring dinosaurs.
Five life-sized dinosaurs, and one off-spring, have arrived at the Good Zoo at Oglebay, and will greet zoo visitors throughout the summer. “The dinosaurs are fitted with an electric brain so they move and roar, and can be discovered in the woods near the Australian Exhibit,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo.
Miller said the entire zoo staff has been working with a paleontologist. “The staff is well-versed on the dinosaurs that are currently on exhibit and are prepared to pass on this information to all visitors,” said Miller. Paleontologists continue to find new dig sites and new dinosaur species, and advanced tools and new discoveries have led to new conclusions about dinosaurs. “Museums have had to change exhibits numerous times as paleontology forms a more accurate picture of dinosaurs,” said Miller.
The dinosaurs at the Good Zoo this summer include a large Styracosaurus and her baby, a Dilophosaurus, a Juvenile T –Rex, a Deltadromeus and Parasaurolophus. The Parasaurolophus is non-robotic so visitors can sit on it and take their photo or video, but all other dinosaurs are robotic and move and roar.
The Styracosaurus, whose name means “Spiked Lizard” was found in North America and Asia during the late cretaceous period. This species had six large spikes coming from the large frill on the back of the head, two horns on the upper mouth, and one horn on the nose. The spikes were arranged differently for each individual. Styracosaurus had a beak to eat plants and fossil beds show tracks where multiple individuals walked together and laid eggs together. Functioning in groups allowed them to defend themselves from predators and to be less vulnerable. Miller said the Styracosaurus functioned ecologically like today’s rhino.
The Dilophosaurus, whose name means “Two-ridged Lizard” was 20 feet long and about 6 feet tall. It was a medium sized, fish-eating dinosaur that scavenged.
Tyrannosaurus Rex, or T-Rex, means “Tyrant Lizard King” and is one of today’s most recognizable dinosaur species. Most of the specimens of T-Rex were found in fossil beds in Montana and South Dakota. One of the largest land carnivores, a full-grown T-Rex was 40 feet long and 13 feet high. “Many thought that the T-Rex was an active hunter but evidence supports the hypothesis that they were mostly scavengers,” said Miller. Because T-Rex was one of the most recent dinosaurs to go extinct, its bones were well-preserved and a great deal is known about it.
The Parasaurolophus, whose name means “Near Crested Lizard” was a herbivore that walked on four legs to forage for food and ran on two legs. Parasaurolophus had beak-like mouths for breaking down grasses and ate in groups to avoid predation, functioning ecologically the same as a herd of gazelles today. Specimens were found in North America, from Mexico to Canada.
“The Deltadromeus, whose name means ‘River Runner’ has claimed the top of the wetlands waterfall as his prehistoric perch for the summer,” said Miller. Deltadromeus was also a carnivore and walked on two legs, and was about 30 feet long. Very few have been found and only partial skeletons can be studied, so not much is known about this species. For a close up view of the Deltadromeus Miller suggested a train ride but the creature can be seen and heard from the wetlands.
The zoo is currently open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the Good Zoo is $9.00 for adults; $5.75 for children ages 3-12; and Good Zoo members and ages 2 and under are admitted free. Lorikeet Landing and the train ride are open Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, weather permitting. The train ride is $2.25 per person and a cup of nectar to feed to the lorikeets is $1.00. Visit the Good Zoo website to view a video on the dinosaurs and for more zoo details including dinosaur-themed summer camps. The dinosaurs go extinct on Labor Day.
The dinosaurs are from Billings Productions, North America’s leading provider of life-size animatronic dinosaurs for zoos, museums and theme parks. According to their website the company aims to encourage discovery and create awareness of prehistoric life in both young and old by making learning fun and entertaining.
Any area residents interested in learning more about birds, trees, wildflower identification, and all manner of other nature topics can sign up now for Master Naturalist classes beginning Saturday, February 23 at the Good Zoo. An introductory class Names and Identification taught by zoo director Penny Miller will teach students how to use field guides, internet resources, keys, and other resources to identify plants and animals seen in nature, taught from 9 am – noon. Popular bird expert Dr Scott Shalaway teaches Birds from 1 pm -5 pm the same day. The four hour class discusses bird biology, identification and back-yard feeding . Other spring classes include Turtles in Trouble-Conservation of the Box Turtle; Wildfowers, Trees, Citizen Science Investigators, and Nature Interpretation.
Students can pick and choose classes at their own pace and may take up to three years to complete the program, but it is possible to finish in one year. Classes cost just $6 per hour of instruction. Classes are held at the zoo on Saturdays and Sundays and often involve walks in the woods and occasional field trips to a farm pasture, wetlands or streams. The curriculum was developed by the West Virginia Division of Wildlife to develop citizen scientists and naturalists across the state.
There are 14 required classes such as Mammals; Trees; Wildflowers; Backyard Habitat Improvement, Insects, and 10 others, and a variety of electives to choose from including Box turtles; Medicinal Plants; Nature Photography; Spiders; Invasive Species; Mushrooms; Astronomy and many more. Instructors include Good Zoo staff, West Virginia Division of Wildlife biologists and area college professors. Students are all nature lovers and represent a wide range of ages and backgrounds from college students, teachers, scout leaders, farmers, fisherman, to retired folks and nature photographers.
“Anyone of any age or background fits into the group, you just have to be a nature lover,” said Vickie Markey-Tekely, the zoo’s curator of education.
Student Daniel Caron said, “The program is a fun and interesting way to learn about nature. I enjoy the program’s interactive, hands-on format. The classes teach me to see something different every time I step outside. This has helped me when working in my own backyard and everywhere I travel.”
“This is our 10th year, and many of our students participate in several backyard bird projects, put up bluebird boxes, survey and report frog calls, raise and tag monarch butterflies, and improve their garden and property to attract wildlife,” said Penny Miller, zoo director. Others like to help out at state or zoo wildlife events, or pass on their knowledge to children. “I enjoy teaching my grandkids and neighbors about the monarch butterflies I rear and tag,” said certified Master Naturalist Carol Saseen.
For dates, times, and an application please visit the Master Naturalist section at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo or call Vickie Markey-Tekely at 304-243-4033 or Penny Miller at 304-243-4027.
“Volunteer at the WILDEST place in town!” said Vickie Markey-Tekely, Curator of Education at the Good Zoo. “We are currently looking for teen and adult volunteers at the zoo.”
Volunteers assist with summer camps, birthday parties, sleepovers and other education programs. Volunteers also share what they learn about wildlife by talking with visitors at zoo exhibits and even use live animals and artifacts to educate others.
Teen volunteers must be in the 7th grade or above. Applications are available on the Oglebay website or call the zoo education office at 304-243-4068. The Teen Volunteer Application deadline is Monday, January 7, 2013.
Adult volunteer training is held periodically throughout the year. To receive an application or more information for the adult volunteer program, call 304-243-4033 or e-mail email@example.com.
Boo at the Zoo, an annual fundraiser at the Oglebay Good Zoo in Wheeling, will be October 12 through 14, October 19 through 21 and October 26 through 28. The event is 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. each night but the doors will open at 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
“Put on your costume and join us for our 2012 annual Boo at the Zoo celebration!” said Penny Miller, director of the Good Zoo. All participants receive bags at the door and collect treats at nine stations scattered throughout the zoo. The zoo is again offering their popular advance tickets sales at a reduced rate. Advance tickets are $1.00 off the regular price and can be purchased at the zoo office daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
“New this year is the Costume Swap on Saturday, October 13,” added Miller. “Drop off a used, clean, complete costume at the Good Zoo admission gate now through October 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and get a ticket to choose a different costume at the swap.” The Swap runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on October 13 and zoo admission fees will apply to non zoo members to attend the Swap.
Saturday, October 13 will also be Green Halloween Recycle Day at the Zoo. From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. old computers, monitors and other electronics will be collected by Electronics Recycling Services in the upper parking lot of the Good Zoo. “Bring in your unwanted electronics free of charge for recycling,” said Miller. Visit the Good Zoo website or call 304-243-4030 for a complete list of electronics that will be accepted at Green Halloween Recycle Day.
Also new this year is the Pumpkin Carving Contest. “The first 100 carved pumpkins entered in the contest can be swapped for an uncarved pumpkin that you can then carve for your own family,” said Miller. Two pumpkin carving competitions will be held and entries can be dropped off at the Good Zoo admission gate from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily from October 5 through 17. Entries received by October 10 will be eligible for both contests and entries received after October 10 will be eligible for the second contest only. Judging for the first contest will be October 11 and the second contest will be judged on October 18. There will be two age categories: age 14‐adult; and youth; 13 and under. Prizes will include Oglebay gift cards, Good Zoo membership and Animal Encounters.
For complete rules for the Costume Swap and the Pumpkin Carving Contest visit the zoo website or call 304-243-4030.
Admission to Boo at the Zoo is $6.50 for non-members and $5.25 for members. Boo at the Zoo also features a Spooky Train Ride for $2.00 and tickets for the train ride are available at the zoo’s train station.
A special overnight package is available at Wilson Lodge at Oglebay for Boo at the Zoo. The package is $199 and includes one night lodging in a traditional room for two adults and two children, admission to Boo at the Zoo, costume party for the kids, a pizza and soda, plus all the lodge amenities including the indoor pool, fitness center and Jacuzzi. For overnight lodging details call 800-624-6988.
Good Zoo staff announced today the winners of their first “Capture the Wild” photography contest. Nine winners and 12 honorable mentions were chosen from 129 entries in child, youth and adult categories. Local residents and Oglebay guests from as far away as Illinois entered the contest.
“Nature photography is a wonderful way for kids and adults to appreciate nature in all of it strange and beautiful forms. The fact that we had so many entries the first year, and that 68 entries were from children and teens absolutely thrills me,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo.
Contest judges were Caren Knoyer, Oglebay’s Director of Marketing, local nature photographer Bill Beatty from Wild and Natural, and Gary Zearott of Zee Photography.
“It was encouraging to see the participation of youths of different ages, most are in the early stages of understanding the complexity of photography,” Zearott said.
Beatty added, “The quality of the photography was impressive. I was pleasantly surprised by the photography abilities of the younger, under 18, categories especially the under 12, child category. It made judging more of a challenge.”
Adult winners in first and second place was Bill Brezinski, and third place, Tom Johnston; Youth winners were Veronica Chapman Casey, Emily Street and Michaela Fisk, and child winners were Danika Vrtar, Gabriel Larance, and Lillian Kuzma. Nine entrants won honorable mentions: Daniel O’Leary, Becky Kuzma, Carmen Heil, Jarrett Galloway, Brandon DeLaratta, Austin Douglass, Bill Brezinski, Veronica Chapman Casey, and Gabriel Larance.
The winning photographs will be on display to the public August 10through the September 10 in the Good Zoo entry building lobby. A reception will be held for all contest entrants on August 11 at 1:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served at the reception and all photographs entered in the contest will be on display to entrants and the general public on the day of the reception.
Miller said the Good Zoo will definitely offer a Photography Contest next year.
The Good Zoo is currently open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8.00 for adults, $5.50 for ages 3-12, and free to members and ages 2 and under. For more information call the Good Zoo office at 304-243-4030 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo.