Lynx rufusBobcat

Family

  • Felidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: 10 to 20 years
  • Captivity:  20 to 30 years

Size

  • Length: 3 ½ to 4 feet
  • Weight: 13 ½ to 30 pounds

Origin

  • Southern Canada, parts of Mexico, and the United States

Habitat

  • Forests, mountain ranges, prairies

Diet

  • Wild: Rabbits, rodents, birds, and deer
  • Zoo: Ground beef with a vitamin mix, chicks, and a knucklebone once a week (for healthy teeth)

Reproduction

  • Females produce litters once every 2 years.
    • Litters consist of 1 to 4 young.
  • The kittens begin eating solid food by 2 months of age, and are hunting by the age of 5 months.

Special Adaptations

  • The bobcat has excellent camouflage.
    • Its reddish brown coat blends in with the underbrush, and the spots and stripes help break up its shape.
  • Bobcats are good swimmers and can also jump up to 12 feet in the air.

Feline Facts

  • The bobcat, like most felines, creeps up and pounces on its prey.
  • Its powerful teeth and claws are equipped for taking down prey swiftly.
  • Felines patrol a specific area of territory; in the case of the bobcat, that territory may be up to 40 square miles.
  • The bobcat is crepuscular, meaning it hunts and is most active in the hours before sunrise and at twilight.
  • Felines have scent glands under their cheeks and will rub on territory boundaries to mark them.
  • Many cats will claw trees at the border of their territories to let others know it is claimed.

Unique Characteristics

  • The bobcat gets its name from its stumpy tail.
  • Bobcats have a burrow or den in which it lives and raises its litter.
  • Male bobcats are unusual among cat species because they bring food to the mother and kittens in the den.
  • Bobcats look similar to their northern cousin, the Lynx, but can be told apart by their tails.  Bobcat tails have a black tip on the end while the Lynx will have a white tip.  Their range and other differences distinguish them as well.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Bobcats have been labeled as sheep predators in Mexico, and are frequently killed by farmers.
  • They are also hunted and trapped for their fur and due to habitat destruction and the ever-expanding human population, their numbers have decreased.
  • However, since the 1970s, the bobcat population in the United States has increased due to protection laws.

 Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Bobcat rubbing on scent

Equus caballusClydesdale

Family

  • Equidae

Lifespan

  • Generally 20 to 25 years

Size

  • Height: 18 hands or approximately 6 feet
  • Weight: 1800 to 2200 pounds

Origin

  • The breed originated in Scotland in the mid 18th century.
  • Can be found in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Habitat

  • Grassy fields for grazing.

Diet

  • Farm: Depending on the farm, they usually eat grasses, hay, and grain.
    • Each Clydesdale should eat 1% to 2% of their body weight in hay each day.
  • Zoo: Offered Timothy hay at least 2 times daily, and 1 pound or more of grain in the morning and evening.

ReproductionClydesdales

  • Clydesdales reach sexual maturity at approximately 3 to 4 years of age.
  • Gestation occurs for 11 months.
  • Most foals are born in early spring and usually only one is born per year.
    • Male foals are called colts and female foals are called fillies.
    • Foals nurse from their mother for about 6 months.

Special Adaptations

  • Clydesdale horses are cursorial (adapted for running).
    • Specializations of the leg and foot enable Clydesdales to be strong runners.
    • Horses are able to sleep or rest while standing or lying down as a result of years of being a prey animal in the wild.

Fun Facts

  • Bay is the most popular color in the United States, but Clydesdales can also be black, brown, chestnut, or roan.
  • Clydesdales are usually characterized by a white blaze face and 4 white legs, though the legs can be black.

Conservation Status

    • IUCN: Not Evaluated
    • CITES: Not Listed
    • Clydesdales are listed as vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. 
    • Uses today include breeding, showing, driving, riding, hauling and farming. 

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Clydesdales grooming each other

 

Cynomys ludovicianusBlack-tailed Prairie Dog

Family

  • Sciuridae

Lifespan

  • Wild: 3 to 5 years
  • Captivity: 8 to 10 years

Size

  • Length: 12 to 17 inches
  • Weight: 1 ½ to 3 pounds

Origin

  • Great Plains from Canada to Northern Mexico

Diet

  • Wild: Herbs and grasses
  • Zoo: High-fiber alfalfa cubes, yams, carrots, and hay.

Reproduction

  • Litters consist of 1 to 6 pups.
  • The pups remain in the burrows until they are 5 to 6 weeks old.

Prairie Dog pups

Unique Characteristics

  • The name "prairie dog" comes from its call which sounds like the yap of a small dog.
    • They are actually closest to the squirrel in relations.
  • They live in large colonies called towns, which are composed of small family groups of up to 20 members called coteries.
    • They live in an elaborate system of burrows, where they seek shelter from predators and severe weather.

Special Adaptations

  • Prairie dogs communicate and strengthen their bonds through a series of vocalizations, playing, nuzzling, and grooming.
  • The family system helps them deal with predators more effectively too.
  • They will bite off tall plants around the burrows to see better.

Conservation Status

  • Humans have targeted this rodent with poison campaigns as agriculture and livestock ranching claims habitat previously used by the prairie dog.
  • The main threat, however, is the loss of habitat due to this agricultural expansion.
  • Prairie dogs are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Prairie Dogs

Boa constrictor Boa Constrictor

Family

  • Boidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: Around 20 years.
  • Captivity: 25-40 years.

Size

  • Length: 6-13 feet (longest on record is 18 feet)
  • Weight: 40-50 pounds

Origin

  • Central and South America

Habitat

  • Deserts, wet tropical forests, and open savannas

Diet

  • Wild: Reptiles, mammals, and birds
  • Zoo: Frozen thawed rats

Reproduction

  • Boas reach sexual maturity at 2-3 years of age.
  • The female attracts a male with a special scent she emits.
  • Fertilization is internal.
  • Boas are ovoviviparous, meaning they produce eggs that hatch within the body so that the young are born live.
    • 20-60 young are produced in one litter.

Special AdvantagesBoa Constrictor

  • The boa has wonderful camouflage to resemble leaf litter.
  • They are also great swimmers; however, they prefer to remain on land.
  • To hunt, snakes stick out their forked tongue to collect scents.
    • Once collected, the snake will insert the tips of the forked tongue into its Jacobson’s organ, where the data can be analyzed.
    • The Jacobson’s organ interprets the chemicals such as pheromones to aid the snake with finding its next meal, or even a mate.

Boa Facts

  • The boa is an ambush hunter and lies in wait of its prey to come to it.
  • The boa uses its teeth to catch prey, but as it is a constrictor, it squeezes and suffocates its prey before swallowing it whole, usually head first.

Unique Characteristics

  • The boa constrictor can hiss loud enough to be heard 100 feet away.

Conservation Status

  • The number of boas is dropping because of habitat destruction and the skin trade.

Boa Constrictor

 Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanusBald Eagle

Family

  • Accipitridae

Lifespan

  • Wild: 20 to 30 years
  • Captivity: Up to 50 years

Size

  • Length: 2 ½ to 3 ½ feet with a 6 to 8 foot wing span.
    • The female is the larger sex.
  • Weight: 10 to 14 pounds.

Origin

  • North America

Habitat

  • Coastal forests, marshes, lakes, and mountains

Diet

  • Wild: Fish, birds, lizards, small mammals, and carrion
  • Zoo: Lake smelt, frozen thawed rats

ReproductionBald eagle vocalizing

  • Bald eagles mate for life, producing 2 eggs a year.
  • The nest, called an aerie, is a massive platform of sticks and twigs in a tree or cliff ledge.
    • It weighs up to 2 tons, is 6 feet wide, and is the largest of all bird nests.
    • Eagles will return to the same aerie year after year.

Special Adaptations:

  • Eagle wings have deeply slotted tips for soaring and long distance flight.
  • These magnificent birds of prey live close to the water, often flying at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour and diving at speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
  • Their keen sense of vision allows them to spot their prey while soaring high in the air.

Raptor Facts

  • Raptors are carnivorous birds that hunt and kill other animals.
  • The raptor has talons for seizing prey and a hooked beak for tearing it apart.
  • Raptors have keen eyesight and can pick out prey from miles away.

Unique Characteristics

  • The head of this bird appears to be featherless from a distance, hence its name.
  • Bald eagles can swim, too. They use their wings in a "butterfly strokes" fashion.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • On June 28, 2007, the bald eagle was taken off the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
  • They are still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act which prohibits the take, transport, sale, barter, trade, import and export, and possession of eagles, making it illegal for anyone to collect eagles and eagle parts, nests, or eggs without a permit.
    • The only exception to this is Native Americans who are able to possess these items since they are traditional in their culture.
  • The Children's Zoo is home to two Bald eagles who were permanently injured and unable to be rehabilitated to the wild. 
    • They are owned by the government, and the zoo has special permits to house them here.

Note: On June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was chosen to be our national emblem because of it’s long life, great strength, and majestic looks.

Bald Eagle exhibit 

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org

  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org