Atka, our Alaska moose, isn’t fazed by single-digit temps. Moose have adaptations that help them survive the winter, including a thick winter coat and a long nose that warms air before it hits their lungs.

Moose are active throughout the winter months, spending time foraging and roaming in their native habitats, including some parts of Colorado. As you make plans to enjoy outdoor winter activities, it’s important to keep moose in mind. Give them space, learn where they’re most frequently spotted and help keep wildlife wild with these tips.

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It’s been a couple of months since the last update with Omo. Our 16-month-old hippo still shares space with his mom, Zambezi, but he’s quickly gaining independence. As Omo grows up, keepers will be focusing on a lot of voluntary health training. The first step is getting him comfortable with approaching his keepers through target training. Check out this video to find out how Omo is growing up and choosing to participate in target training.

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How Do the Grizzly Bears at CMZoo Spend the Winter? As our 17-year-old grizzly bears, Emmett and Digger, prepare for the winter, they will start living at a much slower pace.

We often associate bears with hibernation, but science has shown that many animals, like raccoons, skunks, and bears, survive the winter using torpor instead, which is a much lighter form of hibernation. True hibernators include animals like chipmunks, ground squirrels and woodchucks. Animals in true hibernation remain in a low-energy state through the entire winter, and waking up takes a lot of time and energy for these animals.

Instead of this deep hibernation, grizzly bears enter into torpor, where they fall into a deeper-than-normal sleep during their inactive moments of the day, which conserves energy. When in the torpor state, they will also experience decreased breathing, heart rates, lower metabolic rates and a slightly reduced temperature. Bears are still intermittently active during the winter months but are able to sleep more than 100 days at a time without passing waste, eating, or drinking.

But do all bears go into torpor?

While there is still lots of ongoing research being done on bears, biologists have found that torpor behaviors tend to depend on location, climate, food supply in the wild and the individual bear. Certain bears in warmer climates will only spend two or three weeks in torpor. If bears have a lack of food supply, they will come out more often to find food.

When Emmett and Digger’s wild grizzly bear cousins up in Montana head into winter, they “den up,” or build a den with natural materials that they sleep in most of the winter. Emmett and Digger have access to their outdoor day beds year-round but also like to create their own dens throughout their yard in the winter.

They even cuddle with each other!

Emmett and Digger move a little slower in the winter, but are still active and captivating. They will casually splash in their pond, play-wrestle, and slowly explore their habitat. Keepers reward the grizzly bears with special treats like salmon, other meats and fruits for participating in husbandry training and shifting.

Emmett and Digger can often be seen snuggling together, investigating enrichment items, and training with keepers throughout the whole winter season. Visit them in Rocky Mountain Wild.

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Pumpkin SMASH! It’s that time of year again! Not only are pumpkins a tasty treat, they also serve as exciting enrichment for a number of animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. As you can see, each animal has a different approach to ripping into a pumpkin. The hippos like to crunch the pumpkins with their powerful jaws while the skunks like to ‘go all in’ and tear pieces apart with their tiny claws and teeth. The elephants use their strong trunks to squeeze the pumpkin open before delicately directing the gourd to their mouth. The behavior of our mountain lions is probably similar to your cat at home! They bat at the pumpkins and use their sharp claws and rough tongues to retrieve the meat their keepers hid inside.

Enrichment opportunities like this are important for the bodies and brains of our animals, because it’s good for our animals to problem solve. Enrichment is good for both animals and humans! As the holidays approach, it can be hard for us humans to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and lower stress. Our partners, Children’s Hospital Colorado, have provided some great tips for eating well, navigating holiday travel and having happy, healthy holidays this year:

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Join us for an update on our 1-week-old giraffe calf! In case you haven’t heard, 10-year-old Bailey had her second baby on Wed., Oct. 19 at 10:49 a.m. The calf is a girl and is already showing us that she is strong, brave, and very curious in the way that she interacts with her mom and her keepers. The calf is not afraid to ‘trot’ around her enclosures and explore everything, including her water bowl, while also staying close to Bailey. The calf is gradually meeting other members of the herd and appears to be very comfortable with her new friends. This cutie can be seen by guests in the giraffe barn and sometimes outside in our smaller yards with Bailey.

Thank you so much for playing our guessing game with the calf’s birth date and time! Our closest guess was for Oct. 19 at 10:47 am., just two minutes from her birth time! The winner has been notified. Thank you for following along with our herd and supporting Bailey and her second calf! We’ll keep you posted as this little one grows up with us.

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We’re back with another update on Bailey, our giraffe who is due to have a baby any day now! She is not showing signs that labor is imminent – despite the very round belly we show you in this video – so we thought we’d take the opportunity to tell you a bit more about the International Center for the Care and Conservation of Giraffe.

In August, CMZoo launched a first-of-its-kind giraffe training, knowledge-sharing and giraffe emergency response program, called the International Center for the Care and Conservation of Giraffe. Dr. Liza Dadone is the senior giraffe veterinarian at The Center and Amy Schilz is the senior animal behaviorist. Learn more here.

Dr. Liza and Amy still work closely with our herd, but CMZoo has dedicated the resources to allow these two long-time CMZoo giraffe experts to share what we know with others who care for giraffe around the world.

Don’t forget, you can guess when Bailey will have her calf at The person who guesses the closest day, hour and minute will win a behind-the-scenes giraffe encounter with our herd!

Welcome to the indoor giraffe training stall, where Bailey’s keeper team is giving her a pedicure of gigantic proportions! While Bailey participates, Jason, CMZoo’s African Rift Valley animal care manager, gives an update on her pregnancy progress, and how you can join in the fun at home.

Of course, this paint is vet-approved and nontoxic, and we’re doing this so she’s easier for you to spot in the herd. Bailey is a great student, and she seems to enjoy training – both the interaction and all of the crackers she’s getting. It’s also helpful for her care team to have another chance to get up close and check out that belly to see if we can see any signs that she might be getting closer to giving birth. As of right now, there are no signs of imminent labor, but that could change at any time.

If you want to guess when Bailey will give birth – any time between now and Nov. 19 – go to and submit the day, hour and minute you think the calf will arrive. The closest guesser will win a giraffe encounter with our herd.

Keep up with Bailey overnight by tuning into her 24/7 birth stall camera at or on CMZoo’s YouTube channel. Join the entire herd daily from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. MT via our livestream cameras that overlook their main yard.

It’s time to check in on our mountain tapir, Cofan, as he lives out his golden years! In early 2021, Cofan underwent a life-saving surgery to remove his damaged left kidney. Since then, Cofan’s keepers have worked closely with him and given him extra love and scratches, which are his favorite rewards. Giving Cofan scratches puts him into a ‘tapir trance,’ allowing his care team to collect voluntary blood draws without any sedation. His post-surgery blood draw results have been encouraging and are a great way to keep tabs on his overall health.

Mountain tapir are very rare. Only six live in human care in the United States. Even though tapir look similar to anteaters or bears, they are actually closely related to rhinos and horses. Because tapir are so rare, but have the commonalities of horses, Cofan’s medical team refers to equine medicine and their own experience with tapir to give nearly 19-year-old Cofan the best care as he ages.

As Cofan gets older, enrichment is important for his health and quality of life in his golden years. Cofan loves eating lettuce, apples and fresh leaves from branches. Keepers will hang snacks from trees and bushes to encourage Cofan to problem solve and use his incredible nose. When he is not actively participating in enrichment, Cofan can often be found taking naps by his waterfall.

Mountain tapir, from the Andes Mountains in Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru, are one of four species of tapir. Due to habitat loss, mountain tapir are endangered with approximately 2,500 left in the wild. CMZoo staff, thanks to support from Zoo members in our annual Member Conservation Vote, work diligently to save mountain tapir and their habitats south of the equator.

Easy-to-love Cofan helps his species by teaching us more about how to care for mountain tapir, and by inspiring countless visitors to learn about and protect wild tapir. You can visit Cofan living out his golden years across the road from Encounter Africa.

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International African Penguin Awareness Day (IAPAD) is Sat., Oct. 8, and we have an exciting day of activities planned on the beaches of Water’s Edge: Africa to help raise awareness for African penguin conservation.

Although African penguin populations continue to struggle in the wild, strides have been made to save this endangered species, and you can help them simply by coming to the Zoo. One of the ways we support African penguins in the wild is by supporting our conservation partner, Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). SANCCOB rescues, rehabilitates, rears chicks, conducts important research, and educates the public. Join us on Sat., Oct. 8, starting at 9 a.m. to celebrate and learn more about SANCCOB and African penguins.

Check out some of the fun activities we have planned!
— Attendees get a free wristband that matches the name band of a penguin in our flock.
— Post a photo from the onsite photo station and win prizes!
— 9:30 a.m. – penguin feeding and keeper talk
— 9 to 10:45 a.m. – sign up for our rubber ducky race.
— 11 a.m. – rubber ducky race, with prizes – including a penguin encounter!
— 3:15 p.m. – penguin feeding and keeper talk – including recognition of winning game participants!

This event and all activities are included in the price of your daytime admission to CMZoo. Please note: advance tickets to the Zoo are required for members and the general public, and some days may sell out. Get tickets at

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Blanca, our 3-month-old Rocky Mountain goat, is growing up fast! She recently weighed in at 53 pounds. Her mom, Lena, weighs 126 pounds, and her dad, Albert, weighs 358 pounds, so we’re curious who Blanca will take after as she continues to grow. Speaking of growing, check out her little horns!

Blanca is growing in confidence, too. She approaches Yazhi and Twinkie, our two older female Rocky Mountain goats in the herd, and even eats food right out of her keepers’ hands. Blanca is still nursing sporadically in addition to eating solid foods. Rocky Mountain goats typically stop nursing around four months, so we expect she’ll transition to eating completely solid foods in the near future.

Have you seen Blanca in person yet? Visit her and the rest of the Rocky Mountain goats across from the Sky Ride on the rocky cliffs, next time you’re at CMZoo!

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