A sleek, high-energy, 2-year-old domestic ferret named Blizzard recently joined ferrets, Cyclone and Alfred, in The Loft. She quickly made friends with the other ferrets, especially Cyclone, and is already comfortable with her new keepers and training. Visit Blizzard in her new home during your next visit to CMZoo!

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Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, Aysan, has spent the last few months adjusting to her new life, and her new roommate, in Scutes Family Gallery. Aysan came to CMZoo to join 31-year-old male sloth, Bosco, on a breeding recommendation. As an older sloth, Bosco is very familiar with keepers and guests, and he has helped Aysan come out of her shell.

Aysan is interested in training, especially when her favorite snacks are involved, and is currently working on voluntary injection training. Because keepers have built a trusting relationship with Aysan, she allows them to touch her back and stomach and has already voluntarily participated in x-rays. This training is especially important should Aysan become pregnant in the future.

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Exciting news! One of the red-necked wallabies in our mob, Gidgee, is carrying her third wallaby joey. Gidgee was first time mom to Clifford in 2020 and had her second joey, TimTam, in 2021.

It’s hard to know the exact birth date but we think that Gidgee’s wiggly joey is about two months old. Wallaby joeys are born after approximately 29 days of gestation and are about the size of a jellybean. After the joey is born, it crawls into their mother’s pouch and latches onto a nipple for about 3 months. Joeys typically pop their heads out of the pouch around 5 or 6 months and start regularly exploring outside the pouch at around 7 months.

Keep an eye out for a little pink wallaby head popping out of Gidgee’s pouch in March and a bouncy joey exploring the yard in June.

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They may be tall but Viv, Kay, and Wednesday are the littles of the giraffe herd. Their zoomies, curiosity and bold personalities breathe energy into the herd. Viv, Kay and Wednesday are besties and munch, nap, play and even train together. Each giraffe is at a slightly different level of hoof care training and blood draw training but they are all learning how to voluntarily participate in their own healthcare.

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The harvest season looks a little different at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. In 2021, CMZoo acquired its first shipping container farm, followed by a second in 2022. Currently, only a handful of zoos are working with hydroponic farming systems, like these. Being on the cutting-edge of this technology allows the CMZoo horticulture team to gather valuable data and conduct tests that contribute to the ongoing improvement of hydroponic systems and the production of top-quality produce.

While we will continue to run tests and collect data with our two current farms, the goal is to add more shipping container farms sourcing 50 percent of the lettuce for the giraffe feeding experience. An even longer-term goal is to grow 80 percent of lettuce for Zoo animals in farms like this one.

Visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo shipping containers across from Grizzly Grill during your next visit to CMZoo!

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New tree ‘roo Som (pronounced like ‘roam’) is settling into her new home and building trust with her new keepers. Som is a 3-year-old female Matschie’s tree kangaroo who joined Cheyenne Mountain Zoo about a month ago.

Only about 2,500 Matschie’s tree kangaroos remain in the wild in their only known habitat: The Huon Peninsula of northeastern Papua New Guinea. Threatened by logging and mining exploration, the marsupial arboreal species is considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservancy of Nature (IUCN).

CMZoo supports the Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo Species Survival Plan (SSP) by providing homes and care for tree kangaroos that don’t have current breeding recommendations, like Som. While Som receives quality care, she’s also contributing to the conservation of her species by inspiring and educating guests.

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Alex, CMZoo’s 5-year-old common warthog, is one busy piggie. He’s great at training, enjoys wallowing in mud, melts into a nap when scratched, and sometimes goes on walkabouts with his keepers. Alex is even learning how to share space with hippos, Zambezi and Omo!

When Alex is outside, you can usually find him in the yard between Water’s Edge: Africa and Primate World. If you’re lucky, you might catch Alex on an afternoon walkabout in Hippo Plaza or hanging out with Zambezi and Omo in the main hippo yard, best seen from the rope bridge. These moments with Alex are not scheduled, so feel free to ask our staff about Alex during your Zoo visit.

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Celebrate our ‘flockstars’ on International African Penguin Awareness Day (IAPAD), on Sat., Oct. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Zoo!

Penguin enthusiasts will gather in Water’s Edge: Africa for crafts, games, and other activities available throughout the day – including keeper demonstrations during penguin feeding times, at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There’s no cost to attend IAPAD events, but advance daytime admission tickets are required and can be purchased at cmzoo.org.

Each visit to CMZoo is conservation in action. Wild African penguin populations face many threats and continue to struggle in the wild. But, penguin protection organizations are making great strides to save this endangered species, including our partnership with the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

SANCCOB rescues and rehabilitates adult penguins, conducts important research and educates the public about African penguins and their ecosystem. Thanks to our members’ and guests’ support, CMZoo has been a longtime supporter of SANCCOB, having donated more than $130,000 to African penguin conservation since 2010.

In 2020, we also joined the African Penguins SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) conservation effort, which is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Under this additional conservation commitment, the Zoo sends $3,000 annually to SANCCOB in support of their Robben Island Ranger. This ranger closely monitors the Robben Island penguin colony in South Africa, helping researchers keep track of the penguin population. The ranger also plays an important role in the direct care of penguins, and other seabirds, by identifying population crises and transporting birds in need of medical attention to the SANCCOB rescue and rehab facility for treatment and eventual re-release.

Learn more about our history of African penguin conservation, thanks to guests’ and members’ support, here: https://www.cmzoo.org/conservation/african-penguin-conservation/.

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3-year-old Alaska moose, Atka, has been busy growing an impressive set of antlers, exploring his yard and mastering navigation since he recovered from toe surgery earlier this year. Check in with the ‘prince of Rocky Mountain Wild’ and stop by to see his ever-changing antlers next time you’re at the Zoo.

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Step up to the hoof block with Wednesday, our 10-month-old reticulated giraffe. As students around Colorado head back to school from summer break, our partners at Children’s Hospital Colorado have provided some excellent tips for helping kids settle into the routine.

At CMZoo, keeper teams help animals succeed as students, too! 10 months old may seem young to start studying, but Wednesday’s team wasted no time helping her learn foundational husbandry behaviors that will allow her to voluntarily participate in her own healthcare for the rest of her life.

Way to go, Wednesday!

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