The staff at the Jackson Zoo are making the most of the extended spring season as they work inside and outside exhibits. The animals seem to be enjoying the milder-than-normal temperatures, as well.
There is still much to do before we can invite the USDA for an inspection, but zoo staff and crews with the City of Jackson keep moving forward, especially as all businesses try to work safely around the coronavirus pandemic.
Discovery Keepers have counted at least three new additions to the Prairie Dog Town in the past week. Since the keepers do not interrupt or interfere in the exhibit unless there is an emergency, we often don’t know about pups until they emerge. Young often spend their first four to six weeks exclusively underground.
One of the projects in progress is the cleaning, repainting, and repairing of the Prairie Dog exhibit barrier so that visitors will be able to safely view the animals when we re-open.
Modern zookeepers are very aware of the need for daily exercise of the body and brain, which is why ENRICHMENT is so important in daily animal care schedules. JZ Keepers keep the zoo animals engaged every day – often several times a day – with treats, activities, and scents. Of course, humans are animals, so it works on us, too!
We’ve taken a page from our keepers and come up with some ANIMAL CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES that get everyone engaged both physically and mentally, AND utilize common household items that might otherwise get tossed. You can enrich AND recycle while you’re at home with the family!
(Please feel free to reply to this email with finished crafts or ideas for new ones!)
SUPPORT ANIMAL ENRICHMENT
There are now TWO levels of support for the JZ Staff while the zoo is closed to the public, and both help the keepers and staff with smaller, animal-based projects. All donations go towards additional ENRICHMENT, or towards IMPROVEMENT, which allows us to beautify exhibits and the park in small ways*.
Individuals or groups can join the KEEPER BOOSTER CLUB, at either the Primate Level for $25, or Hoofstock Level for $50, which gets them a digital official certificate, zookeeper and enrichment facts that are easy to print and display.
There is also the Adoption: Keeper level for $75, and Adoption: Guardian level for $100. Each animal sponsorship comes with a certificate, animal facts, conservation notes, keeper facts, enrichment notes, AND either a 6″ zoo plush (Keeper) or a 10″ zoo plush (Guardian).
*Although donations to the zoo are not currently tax deductible, they are much needed and greatly appreciated by staff.
The JZ Keepers thank long-term partners Tyson Foods for their 12-month sponsorship of the American Alligators! They have generously donated the chicken for the weekly feedings for the 2020 season!
Many thanks also to Zoo Area Progressive Partnership for their commitment to us. They are currently giving out these YARD SIGNS to zoo fans in Jackson and the surrounding communities to show support for our animals. If you are interested in getting one, ZAPP is asking $5 per sign to fund the next order. Just reply to this email for details.
We do not currently have a re-open date at this time, but continue to share information as it becomes available to us.