GULF BREEZE ZOO WELCOMES BABY HIPPO!
The Gulf Breeze Zoo welcomed a baby Nile hippopotamus last week. Mother Cleopatra gave birth to a healthy calf weighing approximately 65 pounds. Both mother and calf are in excellent condition and remain on exhibit for viewing.
However, because of the protective nature of hippo mothers, zookeepers have been unable to identify the sex of the calf.
Zookeepers are asking for assistance in naming the new hippo calf. To see a list of names and cast your vote, visit Gulf Breeze Zoo’s Facebook page (facebook.com/GulfBreezeZoo).
Source: Navarre Press
PAT QUINN'S LEGACY - ZOO BECOMES KEY RECOURCE FOR NW FLORIDA
Frequent laughter punctuated the night as Pat Quinn's friends and family came out to play last Saturday and celebrate the founder of what is now the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Quinn's determination to bring a zoological park to the Pensacola area began in 1960 and was an uphill battle. "I drove around in a '47 Plymouth that I took the back seat out of and put a jackass in the back seat with his tail hanging out one end of the car and his head out the other side." Quinn recounted. Quinn would take his "menagerie," which included a donkey and a chimpanzee, to area schools. "People donated pennies and nickels to help start a zoo, and that is how it all began," added Quinn. Quinn's pure will and determination were noticed by several friends who became his financial backers
Source: Navarre Press
OTTER ARTIST PAINT PICTURES
GULF BREEZE ZOO PROVIDES TOYS FOR TOYS FOR TOTS
Gulf Breeze Zoo has partnered with Toys For Tots to assist in providing Christmas gifts for children in need in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. In addition to providing $3000 worth of toys, the Zoo offered free admission to its November 23rd ZooLights event with the donation of an appropriate toy to Toys For Tots; resulting in over 850 toys being collected. In addition to the light displays, the fun filled night included local Marines greeting guests, visits from Santa Claus and the Chick-Fil-A Cow, train rides and the unveiling of over 10,000 new lights that were added for this year’s festivities.“We were very pleased with the turn out,” stated Kayte Wanko, zoo director “and plan to host Toys For Tots in the coming years as well.” Wanko says that the zoo is hoping to expand their involvement in assisting with area children in need next year by providing other necessary items in addition to the toys. ZooLights continues throughout the month of December. For additional event dates and times please visit the website,www.gulfbreezezoo.org
For questions or photo ops please contact: Kayte Wanko
RWANDA AND KIGALI REUNITED!
After 8 months of care by zoo staff, Kigali the Western Lowland Gorilla has been reunited with his mother. Rwanda, a 27 year-old Western Lowland Gorilla, gave birth on January 23, 2012. Due to complications during and after the birth, the infant was delivered via Cesarean Section. Zoo officials made the difficult decision to assign the initial rearing of the infant to animal care staff. "It has been the goal since day one to reunite the family," says Desiree Hager, Assistant Curator. "The fact that we were able to do it in such a short amount of time makes our entire staff really proud, and even more importantly, has made our gorillas extremely happy." From the start, the zoo was excited to share the experience of caring for the infant gorilla with its guests, allowing them to watch the gorilla-rearing team as they spent 24 hours a day teaching the infant everything he would need to know to return to his troop. Kigali and Rwanda have spent the last few months becoming reacquainted in the zoo's ape house, away from the eyes of guests. According to Kayte Wanko, Zoo Director, "The reintroduction process was one that had to be kept more private, it was an emotional experience for the gorillas." The emotion doesn't stop there. Zoo staff members are overjoyed that the two are doing so well together. "Watching Rwanda and Kigali play together on the island is something there are no words to describe. It is exactly the way it should be." said Tenielle Welch, Curator. The zoo's Director, Kayte Wanko, would like to extend her congratulations and appreciation to her dedicated team of staff members, "This was not an easy job. It took time, effort, flexibility, patience and personal strength on the parts of everyone involved. We've also had some great input from some very knowledgeable people along the way and would like to thank them for their involvement as well."
PHOTO CREDITS FOR KIGALI - JANET FIKARA special thanks to Janet Fikar for sharing some of her amazing photos with us. Kigali, who is celebrating his half birthday at the zoo on Monday (7/23/12), has certainly grown quite a bit over the last 6 months. Keeper Candice Dillon spends time with him on Gulf Breeze Zoo's ape island helping the little gorilla learn how to maneuver around, preparing him for his return to his troop.
BABY GORILLA BORN AT GULF BREEZE ZOO
Rwanda, a 25-year old Western Lowland Gorilla, gave birth to a 5 pound baby boy on Monday January 23, 2012. This is Gulf Breeze Zoo’s first gorilla birth. A team of zoo staff members began 24 hour observations on the gorilla five weeks prior to the birth and were thrilled Sunday night when she began to show signs of labor. After 12 hours of labor, it was decided by the zoo’s veterinarian, and direct consultation with other zoo professionals, that medical intervention was necessary and a Caesarian Section was performed.
Rwanda’s surgery was successful and she is continuing to recover. The zoo veterinarian and staff will continue 24 hour observations until she is ready to return to her yard; that date was tentatively set for Monday, January 30.
Rwanda was unable to produce milk and displayed behaviors that were a potential threat to her offspring, which is not unusual for first-time and hand reared mothers of all species. As a result, the gorilla infant will remain with zoo staff until he is able to return to his troop. At this time he is robust and thriving on round-the-clock care.
After confirming the pregnancy in early June, zoo officials made contact with several other zoological facilities which readily shared their experiences and have continued to assist. Gulf Breeze Zoo would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at those facilities for their time and knowledge.
NEW AFRICAN WHITE RHINO EXHIBIT NOW OPEN! | SEPT. 17
Join Gulf Breeze Zoo as it celebrates National Rhino Day by welcoming 2 new African white rhinos! Stop by and check out the transport crates used to bring these two lovely cows (female rhinos are called cows) all the way from South Africa to our zoo. There will be crafts and games and a special stop on the train ride for great photo ops. Zoo keepers will be on hand all day to answer questions about the magnificent animals.
SQUIRREL MONKEY EXHIBIT NOW OPEN! | JULY 20
Gulf Breeze Zoo is proud to announce the opening of its 2nd new exhibit this summer!South American squirrel monkeys (28 of them to be exact) have swung in and made them selves at home in their spacious new habitat. Squirrel Monkeys are small primates that live gregariously in the middle layer of the rain forest. Their small size and golden color helped to earn them the name Squirrel Monkey (their goofy antics probably played a part in it as well). This exhibit is the first of three that will utilize the section of property once occupied by the Japanese Gardens. A new clouded leopard habitat as well as a VERY large walk through free flight aviary are in the works to finish up the area next year.
COME SEE WHAT'S NEW! KING VULTURE & TRAIN
Come visit Victoria the King Vulture during a live Animal Interaction! Gulf Breeze Zoo has a new train! Brighter, quieter and ready to go!
Visit the brand new free flight aviary filled with 300+ brilliantly colored Australian budgies. Be amazed as the parakeet sized beauties fly all around. Purchase a "Budgie stick treat" and enjoy these wild birds up close as they land on and around you to enjoy their treat.
BEHIND THE SCENES ANIMAL TOURS
Have you ever wanted to pet the most dangerous animal in Africa? How about feed a dinosaur? Or maybe a lap full of bunnies is more your style. Join us for an exciting behind the scenes adventure and make your wildest dreams come true!
IN THE MEDIA...
NAVARRE BEACH SANDSCULPTING FESTIVAL | SEPT 23-25
Master sand sculptors create a sand exhibit welcoming guests to Navarre Beach, and highlighting area attractions.
GULF BREEZE ZOO DEBUTS TWO WHITE RHINOS
Watch the video and read the article by Cory Pippin, posted on Fox10TV.com on September 19, 2011.
LOCALS, TOURISTS BRING ZOO ROARING BACK TO LIFE
Read the article by Richard McVay and view the photos by John Blackie, posted on PNJ.com on August 30, 2011.
GULF BREEZE ZOO WELCOMES NEW MONKEY BUSINESS
Read the article and watch the video posted on WEARTV.com on July 21, 2011.
GULF BREEZE ZOO OFFERS SOMETHING NEW: KING VULTURE AND COATIMUNDI
Read the article posted on Fox10TV.com on July 6, 2011.