Check out what’s happening at Caldwell Zoo!
Here you’ll find both recent news and information on upcoming events at the Zoo.
THEY'VE DONE IT AGAIN!
Frankie and Ellie Mae, our giant anteaters, have had another baby! These two very experienced parents welcomed a healthy baby boy named Xander. This little cutie will ride around on mom's back where he will be safe for up to a year. We know everyone will want to see this little guy, but with our wintry weather, Ellie Mae and her new offspring may be spending time inside where it is warm.
NEW REGAL RESIDENTS
Good news!! Two young lions have arrived at Caldwell Zoo! Njeri, a female whose name means "daughter of a warrior" was born July 25, 2011. She has been donated to us by the Milwaukee County Zoo. Ayotunde, whose name means "joy has returned, is a male born July 28, 2011. He came to us from the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson. These two have settled into their new home and are doing well.
FOUR NEW LITTLE ONES
Caldwell Zoo has two capybaras—Shock, our male who came to us from the zoo in El Paso, and Penny, our female who came to us as a donation from the San Antonio Zoo. On September 10th, Shock and Penny became the proud parents of two youngsters— a male named Max and a female named Marlo. Now these two parents have FOUR new babies. These cute little ones are very precocial, and were able to follow their mom and eat solid foods not long after birth. Check them out--the older two siblings and the four new ones along with their parents are in the South American exhibit with the anteaters.
There are some new gazelles enjoying our African overlook. Three male Soemmerring's gazelles have arrived from the St. Louis Zoo. These beautiful gazelles are quite easily spotted with their bright white rump patches. Hatari, Pockets and Rusty are rather tall gazelles with short lyre-shaped horns. Soemmerring's gazelles are classified as vulnerable by the ICUN (international Union for the Conservation of Nature) and are actually thought to be extinct in some parts of their African range. In fact, this subspecies has been understudied due to its small population. In North American AZA-accredited zoos, there are only 12.15 (12 males.15 females) Soemmerring's gazelles in four institutions.
EIGHT-LEGGED BEAUTIES AT CALDWELL ZOO
Caldwell Zoo has been invaded by some eight-legged wonders--tarantulas! These creatures come from four continents--Asia, Africa, North and South America. These unique beauties, like the ghost ornamental tarantula (pictured above) from Asia also include the Brazilian white knee that can grow to over eight inches to the incredible Goliath bird-eater which really can eat small birds to the horned baboon tarantula which does have a horn-like protrusion in the middle of its cephalothorax.
Tarantulas are arachnids along with other spiders, but more specifically they belong to the family Theraphosidae. There are about 900 species of tarantulas inhabiting six continents (not the polar regions). These animals can be arboreal (living in trees), terrestrial (ground dwelling) or burrowing. Tarantulas can be as small as a fingernail or as large as a dinner plate. Generally tarantulas eat insects, but the biggest are able to eat small birds, mice and lizards. All spiders have venom--an aid in capturing prey--but tarantulas are not able to kill humans unless the person has an allergy to spider venom or is health-compromised. Every spider has eight legs and two body parts--a cephalothorax (head/thorax) and abdomen. Often a tarantula has a hairy body, but other types of spiders may have some body hairs. As with other spiders, tarantulas produce silk for webs of all sorts. Some make webs that look like tubes while other might use their silk to strengthen the walls of underground burrows. Although they do produce webs, tarantulas do not use their webs to capture lunch, but will ambush and tackle their prey.
So, be sure to check out our tarantula exhibit. You'll find these eight-legged beauties in the North American Reptile House.