Saturday, March 31, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Someone Told Me It's All Happenin' at the Zoo

It's Spike the Elephant!
by Peggy Robin

Yesterday the CP Listserv posted a letter from the Zoo’s Acting Director Steven L. Monfort (sent in via Council Member Mary Cheh’s office, with thanks to them for the forward), letting the listserv know of some upcoming events. It’s great to have the Zoo communicating with their neighbors this way -- especially after that lively discussion the week before about how to entertain young visitors to the city; the Zoo was the number one recommendation!

Here’s a quick recap of what to do at the Zoo this spring:

April 1 - Family Day Easter Monday

April 15 from 1 PM and at 4 PM - National Symphony Orchestra Concert and “Instrument Petting Zoo”
Not one but TWO free family concerts. The concerts will bring Camille de Saint-Saens’s Carnival of Animals to life. Following each concert, the NSO will host an “instrument petting zoo,” where families will learn about and play a variety of different orchestra instruments.
Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to collect free, same-day passes, which will be available on-site starting at 11 AM. for both concerts. Visitors must have a pass to attend the 1 PM and the 3 PM concerts. Passes are not required for the Musical Instrument Petting Zoos at 2 PM and 4 PM.

April 21 – Earth Optimism Day. Lots of education booths and interactive demonstrations, including Neighborhood NestWatch and FrogWatch. A few others: Coral Conservation; Nature Play and Word Expeditions; Reintroduction Success Stories. If you go to “Reintroduction Success Stories,” you will learn about black-footed ferrets, Guam rail, and Przewalski's horses. I wonder if you can win special bonus points if you prove you can spell “Przewalski”?

May 12 – World Migratory Bird Day. A day of  family friendly activities, games and demonstrations — all in the name of bird conservation. Learn about the perils of migration and the incredible animals that undertake this journey as you sip Bird Friendly® coffee, test your bird-spotting skills and take part in fun, interactive games. You will also learn how to help the birds in your own back yard. (And I do hope they will tell you to keep your kitties indoors!)     

And now for a few other things that are not on the calendar yet….or can be hard to predict:

Meet Spike, the new Asian elephant. He arrived at the Zoo from Tampa, Florida on March 23, but he needs a couple of weeks to get used to his new home and meet the other elephants before he’s ready to meet his public. In the meantime, you can read about him here
and get an update here:

Meet the new gorilla baby….coming soon!
The Zoo’s update — — says that gorilla-mom-to-be Calaya is due to give birth “anytime between now and early May.” Mom and baby will need a period of privacy before any public appearances, and in the meantime, we hope the Zoo’s primate keepers are studying up on “What to Expect When Your Gorilla Is Expecting.” (And on a tangential note: Why do we have a specific word for so many other animal babies – e.g., a horse baby is a foal; a deer baby is a fawn; a bear baby is a cub; a wolf baby is a pup; a chicken baby is a chick; a fox baby is a kit — but a gorilla baby is just a baby? If this is the sort of thing that interests you, take a look at this list of animal baby names here:

Speaking of pregnancies….will there or won’t there be a new panda cub? We’ll find out in 3 – 6 months! Mei Xiang’s got a good track record as a mom, and there’s every reason to hope, but of course, with pandas and their crazy pseudo-pregnancies, you’re never really sure till the little butterstick drops! In the meantime, watch that Panda-Cam! Go to:

Hope this will put you in the right mood for a visit:

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.   

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