Archive for the ‘Good Zoo’ Category
The Good Zoo is offering an exclusive safari to Tanzania, East Africa. The trip will be escorted by Zoo Curator Mindi White, and retired zoo director Penny Miller. The safari runs from November 2 to November 13, 2015, with an optional extension to Zanzibar. “This trip is a treasure trove of wildlife and culture. It’s the “bucket list,” trip of a lifetime for any wildlife lover, birdwatcher or photographer,” White said.
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. “We will be watching elephant, zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, lions, black rhinos, cheetah, hyena, jackal, and warthog, along with over 100 species of birds, ans searching for the elusive leopard,” White said. “Some of these species are highly endangered and disappearing at an alarming rate,” she added. 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.
“Hands down, this safari destination and itinerary is my favorite of all we have offered,” said Miller, who had been to Africa 10 times. She has led previous zoo safaris to Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and recently returned from a wildlife-themed tour of Cuba. “Our naturalist guide Robert Marks Moshi was born a Massai, and has been our guide on our other Tanzania trips. Our travelers just love him; he is an expert on the wildlife and the Massai culture and his stories add a whole new dimension to the safari.” Miller added that this safari is unusual in that there will be three seasoned zoo professionals on the trip, and one of the zoo’s adult volunteers, a retired college professor who has led his own trips to Africa.
An informative meeting will be held at the Good Zoo on Sunday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will include photographs of past trips, discussion of the itinerary, packing tips and provide answers to all questions. For reservations or more information visit www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo or contact Mindi White at 304-243-4029, or Penny Miller at 304-238-3215.
To help raise awareness of the work the Good Zoo is doing to save animals from extinction and to highlight the public’s role in saving species, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which includes the Good Zoo, are coming together in a variety of ways to help the public consider what it would be like to not be able to see, learn from or connect with these incredible animals again.
On Friday, May 15, 2015, the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day, several of the Good Zoo’s endangered species will be highlighted including a special presentation on the future of the Spectacled Bear.
Stan Myers, an adult volunteer at the Good Zoo, will be at the Spectacled Bear and Otter Exhibit beginning at 10:00 a.m. “Throughout the day Stan will be explaining the status of Spectacled Bears in the world today and how they are on the brink of extinction,” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals for the Good Zoo.
Black and green ribbons will be placed on various exhibits at the zoo. “The black will signify endangered/threatened/species of concern and the green ribbons will signify some type of ‘success’’, said White.
“Our success stories include our African wild dog pups, our Golden Lion Tamarin babies and our raptor rehab,” White explained. “We will have a small graphic to go along with each ribbon with facts and information. The ribbons will remain up through the weekend.
The zoo will also feature a Grevy’s Zebra video in the lobby to explain the plight of this species.
May 15 also marks the national launch of AZA SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE), said White. Through SAFE, for the first time, the entire AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community will focus their conservation science, wildlife expertise, and 180 million annual visitors on saving species in the wild. In 2015, SAFE will focus on 10 species, to be announced.
This new collaboration builds on the existing conservation efforts by the 229 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. SAFE harnesses the collective power and infrastructure, along with additional funding and resources, to target specific endangered species and save them from extinction by restoring healthy populations in the wild. Through SAFE, AZA and its members will convene scientists and global stakeholders to identify factors threatening species, develop Conservation Action Plans, collect new resources and engage the public.
The Good Zoo is currently open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8.95 for adults and $5.75 for ages 3 through 12. Children ages 2 and under and members are admitted free. For more information call the Good Zoo office at 304-243-4030 or visit www.oglebay-resort.com/GoodZoo and join the online SAFE conversation via #savingspecies.
About AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction
AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo & aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together we are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. To learn more, visit AZAsavingspecies.org.
The Good Zoo staff recently announced the birth of twin golden lion tamarin monkeys on February 17, 2015. “The entire family is on exhibit in the zoo’s Main Building and include father Rio, mother Carmen, two-year-old twins Vasco and Tupi, one-year-old old twins Candido and Godoi, and the two newest additions” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals.
Golden lion tamarins are endangered primates from South America that typically live in small groups. “All members of the group help care for the infants and take turns carrying them,” said White. “Since the twins can weigh up to 20% of the mother’s weight it helps her tremendously to have help from the rest of the group. Younger animals also benefit from the experience when it comes time to raise their own offspring.”
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 White. Tamarins born in U.S. zoos have successfully been released in the wild for restocking efforts.
“The zoo staff received a breeding recommendation in 2013 from the Golden Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan and has worked hard with zoo colleagues around the country to develop the optimum conditions to breed this rare species at the Good Zoo,” added White.
The Good Zoo is currently open Saturday and Sunday only, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and admission is $8.95 for adults, $5.75 for ages 3-12, and free to members and ages 2 and under. Lorikeet Landing will open March 14, weather permitting, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday Sunday. The zoo will be open daily beginning April 1.
The 4th Annual Capture the Wild Photography Contest started March 1. “Nature photography is a wonderful way for kids and adults to appreciate nature in all of it strange and beautiful forms,” said White. Entries are due by August 1, 2015.
For more information on all activities at the zoo call the zoo office at 304-243-4100 or visit http://www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo/index.htm.
The Oglebay Good Zoo is presenting a free “Wildlife Adventure Travel Program” open to the public, on Saturday, March 7, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Good Zoo. The program will preview a unique, zoo-sponsored African safari to Tanzania, East Africa in November of 2015. The program features a detailed presentation about the trip, which are led by professional wildlife guides and accompanied by Good Zoo staff hosts.
The trip will focus on exploration of exceptional wildlife, plant life and ecosystems. Beautiful photographs from Tanzania will be shown by Penny Miller, an experienced African traveler and zoo host.
“This is truly a trip of a lifetime,” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals for the Good Zoo. “We love taking people to remote corners of the world to view wildlife up close, and to interact with local people. This trip is both a nature and cultural experience, and a photographer’s paradise.”
The travel presentation will discuss costs, itineraries, packing tips, and will include light refreshments and a question and answer time.
“You will get to speak with people who have traveled on these trips in the past, so even if you are just mildly curious, please come to the presentation,” White added. “The trip is filling up fast, so please come and join our program!”
The Good Zoo requests an RSVP to White at 304-243-4029 or by email at email@example.com. Trip details can also be found on the zoo’s website.
Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo at Oglebay, is set to retire on January 17, 2015. Miller has been director of the Good Zoo since 1994. She began her zoo career at the Pittsburgh Zoo Society in 1971, and in 1974 she moved to Oglebay to assist with construction of the new Good Zoo. As general curator for 15 years, Miller managed the animal collection and keeper staff, and the education department. Under Miller’s guidance the Good Zoo moved from a collection of common North American species to a concentration of breeding rare and endangered species from around the world. “The Good Zoo curators have produced more than 20 endangered red wolves pups; Grevy’s zebra, African Wild dogs, hundreds of hellbender salamanders, tamarin monkeys, and other rare and endangered species,” said Miller.
The Good Zoo was named in memory of Phillip Mayer Good, through the support of thousands of community residents and the Laurence Good Family of Wheeling. It is West Virginia’s only AZA accredited zoo.
“Conservation and education have always been keystones of Good Zoo mission,” said Miller “I believe the Good Zoo is a crucial community asset that connects children and adults to wildlife through interactive, changing animal exhibits, creative education programs for preschoolers through adults, and adventurous international wildlife travel.”
Miller has led Good Zoo trips to the Galapagos, several Eastern and Southern countries in Africa, and will be on the zoo’s November 2105 African safari to Tanzania. Miller also plans to continue teaching Master Naturalist classes including one in February. The Master Naturalist curriculum was developed by the West Virginia Division of Wildlife to develop citizen scientists and naturalists across the state, and classes are held throughout the year at the Good Zoo.
John Hargleroad, Director of Operations, said Miller’s contributions to the zoo are beyond measure. “How do you measure the many ways she changed the lives of guests, staff, interns and docents? Under her leadership a little zoo in Wheeling, West Virginia is helping to save over 20 endangered species and at the same time helping the public better understand and appreciate the diversity and importance of each species life,” said Hargleroad.
“Penny also spearheaded many creative and entertaining events including the Good Zoo Lights Up for You and Farm Days that have grown to become the Winter Festival of Lights, and also the Ohio County Country Fair,” Hargleroad continued. “It’s impossible to know many lives have been touched by those events.”
“While she will be missed by many, I suspect I will miss her the most,” added Hargleroad.
Boo at the Zoo, an annual fundraiser at the Oglebay Good Zoo, is three weekends: October 10 through 12, October 17 through 19 and October 24 through 26, and online tickets are now available for the popular event.
“Save time and money by purchasing your tickets online in advance of the event,” said Penny Miller, director of the Good Zoo. “Online tickets will also be the fastest way to enter Boo at the Zoo.”
Miller added that no advance tickets will be sold at the Good Zoo. “Advance tickets will only be available online at our website: www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo.”
Miller also said that Sunday nights typically have the shortest wait time to get in the door and that visitors don’t need to bring treat bags or containers as the zoo staff will only put candy in the treat bags provided at the zoo.
Prices for Boo at the Zoo are $6.25 for advance online tickets. Good Zoo members advance online tickets are $5.30. Both advance ticket prices are plus tax and handling fees. All tickets sold at the gate are $9.00 plus tax, and there is no member discount or any other discounts at the gate. The Spooky Special Halloween-themed train ride is $2.50 per ride. No advance sale tickets are available for the train ride.
Boo at the Zoo hours are 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday nights and 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday nights.
“Put on your costume and join us for our annual Boo at the Zoo celebration!” said Miller. “The event is the zoo’s largest and most important fundraiser to support the day to day operations of the Good Zoo, and a great opportunity to dress up and visit the zoo after dark! And remember, the Dinosaurs will be here so this year’s Boo at the Zoo will be extra special!” added Miller.
An all-new display of lifelike dinosaurs has arrived at the Good Zoo and will greet zoo visitors throughout the summer. “The dinosaurs are fitted with an electric brain so they move and roar,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo. The dinosaurs at the Good Zoo this summer include a Stegosaurus, Edmontonia, Suchomimus, Amargasaurus and her baby and others. There is also a T-Rex that 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.
Although most of the dinosaurs can be discovered in the woods near the Australian Exhibit a couple of the dinosaurs are located in other areas of the zoo.
“The Edmontonia has claimed the top of the wetlands waterfall as his prehistoric perch for the summer and the Suchomimus is located in the Wetlands,” added Miller. For a close up view of the Edmontonia Miller suggested a train ride but the creature can be seen and heard from the Wetlands.
The Stegosaurus is painted in a unique color design that was created by Jillian Davis of Bethlehem. “Jillian was the winner of our Design your own Stegosaurus Contest held earlier this year,” said Miller.
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.
Several special events and summer camps are planned at the Good Zoo this summer including a visit from “Dr. Dino” on July 12 and July 13. “The ‘Dr Dino’ events will allow visitors to touch real dinosaur bones and learn from an expert dinosaur hunter,” added Miller.
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 on the Good Zoo can be found at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo, 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 at www.billingsproductions.com, 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 22 at the Good Zoo and scheduled through mid May. Local columnist Dr Scott Shalaway will teach WV Birds. The four hour class discusses bird biology, identification and back-yard feeding. Popular returning instructor Dr Zac Loughman from West Liberty University will also teach that day, offering General Ecology, an introductory class to the Master Naturalist program. Names and Identification will be taught March 22 by zoo director Penny Miller, instructing students how to use field guides, internet resources, keys, and other resources to identify plants and animals seen in nature. Other spring classes include Creating Backyard Habitats March 2nd by Dr Candy DeBerry, and three additional classes taught by Loughman: Terrestrial Habitats; Aquatic Habitats; and Wetlands Habitats. Local expert Bill Beatty will teach Wildflowers and Weeds, and Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines. The first elective class A Tiny Tick Made Me Sick is about avoiding everything from poison ivy rashes, to snake bite while in the woods, taught by Penny Miller.
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; CSI: Citizen Science Investigator; Monarch Butterflies; Nature Photography; Invasive Species, 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 11th 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.
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.