Coo-coo-come and see the newest residents at the Children's Zoo!

 

The aviary has eight new feathered friends waiting to coo at you this summer! Friendly and sociable, ring-necked doves are the perfect addition to the flock.

Originating from Africa, ring-necked doves are named for a dark patch of feathers that circle around their neck. They have gentle personalities, often spending their afternoons softly crooning at passing guests. Don’t be surprised if one of them lands on your finger while trying to nibble at your millet treat this summer!

As with all new animals that arrive to the Zoo, the doves are currently in quarantine, and must be temporarily kept apart from the cockatiels that normally live in the aviary. Once out of quarantine, the other birds will join them in the exhibit on the first weekend of June. While the aviary is not currently open for walkthroughs, you can still observe the doves from outside the exhibit.

We are hoping to create a larger population of our new coo-ing friends through breeding, so be on the lookout for fluffy baby birds. 

Dove-Ringnecked02

videos and social media 

Looking for some extra Zoo fun? Visit our Youtube channel, our Instagram, or our Periscope to see another side of the Children's Zoo you might not get to encounter during your visit. 

Boybutterfly R 

Did you know we're social butterflies? Find us on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter for the latest news and events... as well as your daily dose of cute!

Check out our WILD SIDE!






African Penguins go EXTINCT for the day!


Find more at our Youtube Channel!

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.

Cypress small

“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.

Cypress

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.otterr-m1

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.

 GOOD LUCK at your new home, Petey!

PeteyPetey, 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.

misspetey2