School is in session for Plato, one of our pink-backed pelicans! Plato participates in training sessions that allow his keepers to care for him. Consistent training for Plato’s wings and feet is especially important as it helps his keepers check in on his health and well-being. Plato is very interested in watching his keepers and is very patient. With Plato’s sweet, confident, and goofy personality, he is a good student and fun to train.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo keepers were greeted by a brand-new baby Red River hog in the early hours of Fri., Aug. 12. They had suspicions a baby was on the way, and their suspicions were confirmed when they found Red River hog mom, Zena, resting peacefully with her baby, who appears to be in good health.
“We are over the moon with excitement for this little one,” said Lauren Phillippi, lead keeper in African Rift Valley. “Red River hog babies are some of the cutest in the whole animal kingdom with their little stripes, tiny statures and energetic behaviors.”
The little hoglet is about the size of its mom’s snout. Red River hoglets are often described as having a watermelon pattern when they’re born. Just like adult Red River hogs, hoglets have he signature bright orange coats, but the babies also have brown and white stripes that run the length of their bodies, along with little brown and white spots all over. Those stripes and spots usually fade in around six months, but act as important camouflage in the meantime.
Eight-year-old Zena’s keepers say she has embraced her hoglet with all of the key behaviors they want to see from a second-time mom. The baby is nursing regularly, Zena nuzzles and cleans the baby, and the baby gets ‘zoomies’ in the comfort of their indoor den. Red River hoglets are sometimes described as looking like wind-up toys, because they get bursts of energy that send them running circles around their mothers. The baby’s sex has not been identified and likely won’t be for another few weeks. In keeping with CMZoo tradition, the baby likely won’t be named for at least 30 days.
This is Zena’s second hoglet, after Pinto, who was born at CMZoo in April 2021. Zena came to CMZoo on a breeding recommendation with Huey, CMZoo’s 15-year-old male Red River hog. Huey has been a great father to Pinto, and four others. Red River hog fathers, unlike many species, are active in raising their young. For now, Zena and baby will get time to bond alone, while Huey and Pinto spend time together in their indoor and outdoor spaces.
Follow CMZoo’s social media channels for updates on when Zena and the hoglet will make their public debut.
About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and ruly fantastic animal experiences. In 2022, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #3 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Since 2008, CMZoo’s Quarters for Conservation program has raised $4 million dedicated to frontline conservation efforts around the world. Of the 239 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.
Our ring-tailed lemur twins, Elo and Anja, celebrated their first birthday on July 11, and their older half-brother, Maky, turned one on April 26. Step onto Lemur Island with us to see how the young prosimians’ personalities have developed in the lemur conspiracy (what a group of lemurs is called) and get up-close for a voluntary injection training session with their care team.
We can hardly believe Omo will turn one year old on July 20! It’s been a year of adorable ear wiggles, plops and boops with this boy, and it’s been our joy to share him with you. Hear our Water’s Edge: Africa keepers’ favorite ‘Omo-ments’ over the past year.
To celebrate Omo’s first birthday, our partners at Children’s Hospital Colorado, are throwing him a party, and you’re invited. Join us in Water’s Edge on Wed., July 20 from 10 a.m. to noon to make Omo a birthday card, learn about hippos at a special keeper talk at 11 a.m. and then watch Omo and his mom, Zambezi, enjoy a special birthday cake at 11:30 a.m. Advance daytime admission e-tickets are required to attend.
The adorably fluffy Rocky Mountain Goat kid born on May 4 has a name! Meet Blanca, named after Blanca Peak – one of Colorado’s tallest mountains. Blanca is growing in leaps and bounds! The young female goat is incredibly independent and energetic. Wait until you see her version of zoomies! She now weighs nearly 30 pounds, has met the full five-member herd of Rocky Mountain goats at CMZoo, and is even learning to take food from keepers.
If you’ve ever wanted to save the rainforests from the comfort of your smartphone, now’s your chance. With a brand-new free global mobile app, everyone has the power to advocate with their shopping choices, and to make large companies listen to their demands for sustainably produced palm oil.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZoo), under the direction of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), is launching a mobile app, called PalmOil Scan. The free smartphone app will empower consumers to make informed, environmentally-friendly shopping decisions, just by scanning a barcode. PalmOil Scan is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play in the U.S. and Canada now.
“With this app, consumers can easily make informed choices that benefit wild animals and their habitats,” said Tracey Gazibara, executive vice president at CMZoo and co-chair of the WAZA Palm Oil Subcommittee. “If worldwide consumers show preference for companies that source only sustainable palm oil, we can create a demand that other companies can’t ignore. When more companies realize their potential customers will not stand for the use of unsustainable palm oil, we can prevent more deforestation and help endangered animals recover in the wild.”
Palm oil is an edible oil that can be found in about half of the products consumers purchase. It is used in candy, soaps, cosmetics, pet food, and even toilet paper. Because of high demand, unsustainable palm oil production has resulted in deforestation across Southeast Asia, and other tropical areas, which means critically endangered species like orangutans, tigers, and elephants are losing their homes.
However, when produced sustainably, palm oil is the most productive edible oil available. Oil palms – the trees that palm oil comes from – produce four to ten times more oil than alternatives like soy, olive, canola and coconut. Switching to these alternatives would cause even more deforestation in tropical areas, which is why consumers must demand sustainable palm oil.
Conscientious consumers can scan the barcodes on thousands of products in the app’s extensive database (which is being updated and expanded constantly) to see if they are produced by a company that has committed to sourcing sustainable palm oil. The new app also has a search feature, so if consumers scan a product that isn’t orangutan-friendly, they can easily choose an alternative that is.
Companies that have previously relied on their customers’ lack of knowledge about unsustainable palm oil and its impact on orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants will soon recognize their competitors have the edge on them.
“Companies that continue to use unsustainable palm oil in their products need to see that consumers have the tools and knowledge to find out whether they value the habitats that so many endangered species depend on,” said Gazibara. “Sustainable palm oil production is possible, and it is time for us all to hold companies to a higher standard.”
CMZoo has been a leader in sustainable palm oil advocacy for more than a decade. The Zoo launched a similar mobile app for consumers in the U.S. and Canada in 2014. More than 160,000 verified users have educated themselves by using CMZoo’s app. Its design, database and user experience served as the foundation for the design of PalmOil Scan, which has the potential to reach millions more people around the world.
With the launch of PalmOil Scan, CMZoo has discontinued its former app. Depending on individual smartphone settings, users who previously used the CMZoo palm oil app may have automatically downloaded PalmOil Scan, or they may need to delete the old app and download PalmOil Scan manually. It is available now in the U.S. and Canada, and will be available in additional countries later this year.
To learn more about sustainable palm oil, and how the power of consumer choice can save critically endangered animals in Southeast Asia, visit cmzoo.org/palmoil.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2022, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #3 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Since 2008, CMZoo’s Quarters for Conservation program has raised $4 million dedicated to frontline conservation efforts around the world. Of the 239 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.
See a few of the new faces at The Loft, The Treehouse and My Big Backyard! From Bubba, our giant African bullfrog, to Nigel, our lesser Madagascar tenrec, Raider the African grey parrot and Ms. Frizzle, our curlyhair tarantula, there are lots of new animal ambassadors to visit on your next trip to CMZoo!
Have you noticed the colorful boxes on top of Grizzly Grill? Those are our new bees’ homes! We welcomed three honeybee colonies earlier this month, and they’re hard at work building their hives. Soon, guests will be able to visit an observation colony in The Treehouse in My Big Backyard. Until then, get up-close to our buzzing busy bees in this video, and perhaps learn a few fun facts about our flying friends.
Our 10-month-old Nile hippo calf continues to grow and explore alongside his mom, Zambezi. Join Water’s Edge: Africa lead keeper, Philip, for an update on Omo and another milestone we expect Omo to reach soon: the 500-pound mark! We’ll be hosting a fun guessing game for a Zoo prize on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, enjoy this yard and poolside check-in with our hippo mom-and-son duo.
Join our 1-year-old giraffe calf, BB, and her keeper team for two behind-the-scenes training sessions. Our youngest giraffe is working on voluntary husbandry behaviors that allow her team to take the best possible care of her. Watch as BB follows cues and gets positive reinforcement for participating in injection training and voluntary hoof care. Way to go, BB!