THE ZOO IS OPEN

For updated closures and program cancellations

Read More
0

Black rhino calf Lulu was born in early 2018.

Question: How do you help take care of the baby animals? - Madison Wilson, 7

Answer: Keeper Claire Winkler has seen her share of adorable Zoo babies; she’s helped care for four giraffe calves, including Zawadi last year, five rhino calves, including Lulu and the latest calf born in August, and other species! It turns out that in some ways caring for baby animals takes less time than caring for their parents, at least in the beginning.

“The first few weeks we are very hands off, allowing the mom and baby to bond and making sure the mom is caring for that animal,” said Winkler. The animal care team is constantly watching the little one, for sure, but seldom intervening in most cases. The goal is to have the animal raise its own offspring without human help. Signs of a healthy bond including making sure the baby nurses often and without intervention from staff, and behavior from the mom that is protective but also caring.

The Zoo's second black rhino calf to be born in 2018 made her public debut in September 2018.

The first interaction between staff and baby animals comes during a neonatal exam by the veterinarians, which includes a blood draw, some shots, a lot of visual checks to the animal’s body and a weigh-in. This typically happens a day or two after birth, but every species can be different. After that, the veterinarians and keepers are constantly doing visual checks to make sure the baby is developing, eating and hitting other major milestones.

“It’s crazy cute to work with the babies and exciting to see the milestones you get to experience with them − first starting to eat grain, first time they are interested in us, watching them explore their habitat,” Winkler said. “It never gets old.”

giraffebabyblog

Giraffe calf Zawadi was born in 2017.

Winkler works with giraffe each day, and watching Jhasmin rear Zawadi has been a treat the past year. “Jhasmin can be very protective when she needs to be - even flaring her nostrils or hiding the fact that she’s nursing if there are unknown humans around. But most days she’s a very natural and laid back mom.” Zawadi is still the smallest in the herd and you can see him sticking with Jhasmin in the yard.

Giraffe calf Zawadi's first time outside

5dm4b-0812-czs-wowswg-edit-2Claire Winkler, Animal Keeper


What inspired you to become a zoo keeper?

What inspired Claire to become a zoo keeper? Click here and find out!

Share This Page

Family Select

$189/year

2 adults, 6 children, 2 guests

  • Admits two named adults in the same household and their children or grandchildren 18 years and under (limit six)

  • Two free guests every visit

  • Free gift

Family Plus

$149/year

2 adults, 6 children, 1 guest

  • Admits two named adults in the same household and their children or grandchildren 18 years and under (limit six)

  • One free guest every visit

  • Free gift

Family

$119/year

2 adults, 6 children

  • Admits two named adults in the same household and their children or grandchildren 18 years and under (limit six)

Individual Plus

$89/year

2 adults

  • Admits one named adult and one guest on every visit OR waive the guest privilege and list two named adults

Senior Plus (55+)

$69/year

2 adults

  • Admits one named adult and one guest on every visit OR waive the guest privilege and list two named adults

Explorers Club

$500/year

2 adults, 6 children, 4 guests

  • Admits two named adults in the same household and their children or grandchildren 18 years and under (limit six)

  • Four free guests every visit

  • Free gift

Keepers Club

$300/year

2 adults, 6 children, 4 guests

  • Admits two named adults in the same household and their children or grandchildren 18 years and under (limit six)

  • Four free guests every visit

  • Free gift

$/Year

Koala Bear This membership is for me
Goofy Monkey This membership is for someone else

Member Information

The gift certificate will be sent immediately to the email address you enter. Enter your own email address if you would like the voucher sent to you directly.

Additional Member Leave as a guest spot

Would you like to say something?