With news of this weekend’s winter storms, all hands were on deck at The Greenville Zoo to ensure the safety of our animals and guests. Leading up to the storm Greenville Zoo’s maintenance crew distributed backup generators. The keepers shifted all animals into their indoor heated holdings on Saturday afternoon. Animal care staff developed a first response protocol with designated keepers on standby in case the storm caused damage, power outages and included if any staff would need to remain on zoo grounds overnight. After 5 inches of snowfall, all animals remained snug and warm with the exception of our winter-loving species, the Amur Leopards, who enjoyed a weekend playing in the snow.
This month the Saturday Safari theme has been ‘Animal Champions.’ Who is the fastest animal? Who is the slowest animal? Who eats the most? Who sleeps the most? In this class, we explored all of these questions to learn what makes every animal a champion in its own way. Saturday Safari classes are 1.5 hour classes for ages 4-6. They are $15.00 for members and $25.00 for nonmembers. Visit the Greenville Zoo Education webpage to see next month’s theme and sign up for a wild time!
The Greenville Zoo sees the return of their animal care volunteer and internship programs. The number of available positions open are extremely limited. The closing date for applications is February 15, 2022. Greenville Zoo internships are reserved for college-level students who are studying biological sciences, education, communication, or other related fields, whereas zookeeper assistant volunteer positions require you to be 18 years or older and possess good physical strength, endurance, and a passion for animals. For a full list of qualifications and instructions on how to apply visit The Greenville Zoo’s Volunteer and Internship pages on the website.
Ella, our resident siamang, has a confirmed pregnancy. Zoo Keepers and veterinarian staff continue to monitor her weight and behavior. This will be Ella’s fourth pregnancy and will likely be her last contribution to the species due to her age. Siamangs are an endangered species whose numbers in the wild have declined by 50 percent over the past 40 years due to the illegal pet trade and habitat loss primarily caused by non sustainably grown palm oil. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums assembled a multi-institutional task force to examine issues related to palm oil production. The AZA is now a part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to represent the views of its member institutions, such as the Greenville Zoo, advocating for environmentally sustainable production of palm oil. We are eagerly waiting to see how Ella’s pregnancy develops as every individual siamang gibbon that can contribute to the species is extremely valuable. The Greenville Zoo continues to strive for ways to protect this species and others in the wild.