Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
Happy Birthday Mika!
The oldest North American river otter in the nation!
If you have visited the Zoo in the last four years, you have probably seen Mika, the North American river otter, sleeping in her exhibit. Unlike Bootie, the other otter that lives at the Children’s Zoo, she isn’t one for dashing around and doing flips in her pool. While she does have her spry moments, she can often be found curled up in her warm den, enjoying the senior life. On December 31st, Mika will be turning 20 years old, which makes her the oldest North American river otter living in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility. 20 years is an amazing feat, as the average lifespan of these otters is only 8-9 years in the wild.
Thanks to the increased focus on animal welfare by zoos and aquariums that follow AZA’s strict standards, geriatric care is a growing part of a zookeeper’s job! Many of the animal residents at the Children’s Zoo have called Saginaw their home since the 1990’s! If your family has ever had to take care of an aging cat or dog, you know all about the extra effort that goes into making sure an elderly animal is comfortable. Not only do most of these senior animals require medications to help with aging joints, zookeepers must also be aware of even the slightest changes in their weights or behaviors.
Thanks to the expert staff here at the Children’s Zoo, Mika seems to be enjoying her golden years. With fresh fish and vegetables delivered to her soft bed three times per day, many of the staff members wish they could be a retired North American river otter at the Zoo.
The Passing of Cypress, the Baby Alpaca
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the passing of Cypress, the baby alpaca, on Sunday, June 15th. His death comes to us as a surprise, as he had shown no signs of stress or illness. He has been sent to the Diagnostic Center for Population & Animal Health at Michigan State University in hopes that we may find some answers. Even though Cypress had only been with us for eight months, he will leave a big hole in our hearts.
“Zookeepers are keeping a close eye on his mother, Lily, and his sister, Rose. Despite the sudden loss, they are doing very well,” says Karen Ackerman, Animal Collections Manager. Everything from their behaviors to their diet intake is being monitored so that any changes can be dealt with immediately.
“From the moment he arrived, he was a very special cria to all of us at the zoo and our visitors. As a community, we celebrated his first steps through life, from deciding on his name to watching his wobbly first walk. This is a sadness we will all feel,” says Nancy Parker, Executive Director.
Cypress was more than just an adorable face--he was an engaging educational resource for people of all ages. The Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square has set up a Memorial Fund in Cypress’ Honor. The money raised will go towards helping care for and grow our alpaca family, who will be used to promote awareness and education of Mid-Michigan agriculture.
If you and your family would like to send your condolences, please send them to:
Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square
1730 South Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601
We will be displaying your words of kindness in our Zoo Store for all to see how little Cypress was loved by his community.
June 19th, 2014
6pm - 9pm
Brew at the Zoo is the Children's Zoo's annual adult fundraising event. Enjoy the summer sun while sipping on Michigan craft beers and wines, swaying to live music, and munching on delicious treats by Outback Steakhouse, Olvera's Texas Pit BarBQ, and the Pâtisserie. There will be a Chinese Auction, Live Auction, 50/50, and Animal Races!
The proceeds this year will go toward our Living, Learning Lab programs, which aim to spark a curiosity for discovery in the natural world in children of all ages.
Don't miss out on the event of the summer by making sure to print out the RSVP!
Drop off your form in person, or mail it to:
The Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
1730 S. Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601
Thank You to our Sponsors:
Food Provided By:
GOOD LUCK at your new home, Petey!
Petey, the African Black-footed penguin, first waddled into the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square in 2003. Eleven years later, the zoo bids Petey a temporary goodbye as she begins a brand new adventure: Motherhood! This journey takes this little penguin all the way down to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana. Having only just arrived at their facility last weekend, we hear that she and her new mate, Snapper, are already showing signs of affection. Don’t worry—Petey will be back in just a couple of years!
The population of African Black-footed penguins has dropped over 60% in just the past few years, causing them to now be endangered. Native to the southern coast of Africa, these penguins have been suffering the effects of habitat loss, oil pollution, and starvation due to over fishing. Petey will be part of the Species Survival Plan, which is organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to try and help bring back these endangered populations. In order to participate in this program, the Children’s Zoo must be accredited by the AZA, which demands a high standard of care for the animals that call this zoo their home. We are very excited and proud to be a part of this nationwide conservation program.
We invited the Great Lakes Bay Region to help us wish Petey “Good Luck!” by having a large card available to sign during our Endangered Species Day event. Looking to bid her farewell and show your support? Visit our Facebook page and tag yourself on the card in this picture! Then, whenever Petey the Penguin is feeling a little homesick, she will be able to look at this post and be reminded of all her friends back home.