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Home | Tag Archives: el paso zoo

Tag Archives: el paso zoo

El Paso Zoo announces arrival of two Mountain Lion kittens; Virtual unveiling held online

Monday afternoon, the El Paso Zoo announced the arrival of two mountain lion kittens at the facility.

The kittens were introduced to the public via a Facebook Live on the El Paso Zoo Facebook page.  Now the zoo will hold a name the kittens contest – via the internet.

The female kitten arrived as a transfer from the Idaho Fish and Game Reserve and the male kitten arrived as a transfer from the Oakland Zoo.

The female kitten was one of three kittens rescued by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Officials were unable to locate the kittens’ mother. Veterinarians checked all three kittens and placed them in accredited zoos; one at the El Paso Zoo and the other two in San Diego, California.

The male kitten was also one of three kittens found by a resident in Somerset, California. The Oakland Zoo took in the kittens; however, only the male kitten survived.

Zookeepers are working closely with both kittens to help them settle into their new home while introducing them to one another.

“We are happy to provide a lifelong home for these two kittens,” said El Paso Zoo Collections Supervisor Tammy Sundquist. “It’s already apparent how much the male likes his new sister from the way he follows her and chirps a friendly mountain lion sound at her, especially when she is out of his view.”

The Puma Species Survival Plan works closely with many institutions in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, such as The El Paso Zoo and The Oakland Zoo, to help save mountain lions

The El Paso Zoo remains closed to the public until further notice.

The El Paso Zoo is offering “Sofa Safari” which gives the public a chance to virtually meet a zoo animal and ask the zookeeper questions about the amazing creatures they care every weekday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on its Facebook page.

El Paso Zoo to offer new full-day camps during Spring Break, Summer Vacation

The El Paso Zoo has opened registration for the “Conservation Warriors” Spring Break Camp that will take place at the zoo this March.

The Spring Break camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 9 to March 13 and March 16 to March 20.

The zoo encourages parents to register their children for an adventure where the education team will provide educational and hands-on opportunities for children to learn about wildlife, wild places, and ways to help the planet.

“The camp will have a strong focus on the conservation of endangered species and sustainable living,” El Paso Zoo officials shared. “Campers will have the opportunity to learn about why animals become endangered and ways they can make a difference in their everyday lives to help wildlife.”

At the end of the week, campers will have a better understanding of the hard work and love put into caring for all of our El Paso Zoo animals. The camp is open to children from 11 to 14 years of age, but space is limited to 20 campers per week.

Summer Camp

In addition to Spring Break Camp, parents can register their children to be part of Summer Camp at the zoo that will be offered for ten weeks, starting June 1 and wrapping up on August 7.

Summer camp will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Summer camp will focus on careers in the zoo with the theme “Junior Zoo Keeper.”

Participants will learn what it takes to care for animals in a zoo, from exhibit maintenance to diet preparation to enrichment building. Registration for Summer Camp will open on March 23.

For more information and to register for the “Conservation Warriors” Spring Break Camp, visit the El Paso Zoo’s website.

UTEP Athletics’ Orange Fever Fiesta set for El Paso Zoo

For the first time, UTEP Athletics’ annual Orange Fever Fiesta fundraising event will be held at the El Paso Zoo.

The event returns on Saturday, May 30, with all proceeds supporting Miner student-athlete scholarships.

“Orange Fever Fiesta returns bigger and better than ever in the most exotic of locations, the El Paso Zoo,” UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.  “This is always a wonderful event for a tremendous cause, to raise monies for student-athlete scholarships.  I invite all Miner fans to join me, our head coaches and staff and kick off the Summer with this exciting adventure.”

The evening gets underway at 6 p.m., and this year’s event will feature casino tables.  Attendees will enjoy an array of delicious food and beverage options, live music, and the opportunity to bid on numerous rare live and silent auction items.

The El Paso Zoo, located at 4001 East Paisano Drive, is an expansive 35-acre green space that is home to animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star Train, the Hunt Family Splash Pad, Foster Tree House Playground, and the Hunt Endangered Species Carousel.

Individual tickets to Orange Fever Fiesta are $125, and tables of 10 are available for $1,125. Sponsorship opportunities and packages are also available.

To purchase tickets, or for more information,  go online, email or call (915) 747-8759.

El Paso Zoo announces birth of Przewalski’s Horse

On Monday, El Paso Zoo officials announced the birth of a female Przewalski’s horse, also known as the Mongolian horse, to the zoo family.

“We are excited about the birth of our new p. horse and the fact that we are contributing to the conservation and survival of the species,” said El Paso Zoo Collections Supervisor Griselda Martinez. “Currently, the P. horse family is doing well. They are under the close watch and care of the p. horse team. The filly is not available for public viewing just yet, because we need to make sure that she is bonding, nursing, and getting around well,”

She is the second filly born to the zoo’s adult Przewalski’s horses, Brianna and Vitalis.

“This is an important moment in the history of the El Paso Zoo Team and the City of El Paso in our continuing conservation endeavors,” said El Paso Zoo Animal Curator John Kiseda. “It’s a rare opportunity to be able to be involved in placing an endangered species back into its natural habitat in its home region, especially when that home region is far away in another land on a different continent. This is what being part of an AZA zoo is all about and just one more reason to be proud of the cooperative and collegial work of conservationists throughout the world.”

The first filly “Misha” was born in 2018 and has recently been transferred to a facility in Minnesota to acclimate to winter conditions before making another journey to the Orenburg Reserve located in the Preduralskaya Steppe in Russia.

As part of the journey, four males and four females, including Misha, will be released into 16,500 hectares of prime horse habitat, a region with everything required to sustain and breed the Przewalski’s horse in the wild. There, they will spend time at the Reintroduction Centre in acclimatization corrals, adapting to their new climatic conditions, under the close supervision of the Orenburg Reserve team.

The Orenburg Reserve hopes to have 100-150 wild horses by the year 2030, a key component to ensure the long-term conservation of the valuable Russian steppe habitat and restoration of its key species. Przewalski’s horses are an endangered species that are managed in North America via an Association of Zoos and Aquariums [AZA] Species Survival Plan program [SSP].

Zoo staff continues to closely supervise the new Przewalski horse and will determine when the animal is able to make her public debut.

El Paso Zoo mourning death of Mexican Gray Wolf

El Paso Zoo staff and employees are mourning the death of 14-year-old Mexican Gray Wolf, Zephyr, who had to be euthanized due to several age-related issues.

Zookeepers and veterinary staff had been managing Zephyr’s health and determined that the prognosis for a good quality of life was poor, and humane euthanasia was the best course of action.

Zephyr came to the El Paso Zoo in the spring of 2016 from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Zephyr, along with his female companion Polly, was recently moved to the new Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit at the El Paso Zoo.

“I continue to feel privileged to be able to work with such an important wildlife species, not only aiding in the population management of these magnificent animals, but in providing excellent lives to the individuals in our care, such as Zephyr,” said El Paso Zoo Animal Curator John Kiseda.

“I’m also extremely happy that Zephyr was able to enjoy his spacious new facility, although for not nearly long enough with his having passed away today. From now on, I’ll always remember him looking very comfortable and contented, sleeping in the shade of ‘his’ large pine tree in his new exhibit.”

The El Paso Zoo has one remaining female Mexican Wolf, Polly, who is 13 years old.

The Mexican gray wolf, or “lobo,” is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in zoos.

Because of populations in zoos, Mexican grey wolves were reintroduced into the wild on March 29, 1998, after being extinct for more than 30 years. The median life expectancy for a Mexican Gray Wolf is around 11 years.

The zoo has been involved with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums [AZA] Species Survival Plan program [SSP] for Mexican wolves for 25 years, and the new facility provides the zoo with the capacity to not only have possible future reproduction, but to also become involved with the cross-fostering of wolf pups into the wild population of Mexican wolves.

There are fewer than 200 Mexican wolves in the wilds of Mexico & the United States. The Mexican Gray Wolf SSP is a cooperative bi-national program to aid in the population management of Mexican Gray Wolves in conservation care and the wild.

El Paso Zoo’s Elephants to predict Super Bowl winner Saturday

This weekend, El Paso Zoo’s Asian elephants, Savannah and Juno, will again try to predict the winner of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, Zookeepers will place two helmet-shaped piñatas in their exhibit – one with the Chiefs’ logo and the other with a 49ers’ logo – and the elephants will forecast which team wins.

“Enrichment activities like the Super Bowl predictions keep the animals stimulated mentally and physically,” said El Paso Zoo Animal Enrichment Coordinator Carrie Trudeau.

“We provide these types of activities every day to give the animals an opportunity to engage in natural behavior and assert control over their environment.”

Juno and Savannah have been predicting the winner of the Super Bowl for the last ten years and have correctly chosen the winners seven of those years.

Visitors to the zoo are encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey and see the elephants make their choices.

For more information, visit the Zoo’s Facebook page or website.

El Paso Zoo’s Sun Bear, Tiger to Predict Sun Bowl Winner

Officials with the El Paso Zoo invite the public to see the female Sun Bear, Heliana, and the Malayan Tiger, Seri, predict the winner of the 2019 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

The event is set for Saturday, December 28.

Each zoo animal will pick a winner by selecting one of the two helmet-shaped piñatas, one for the Florida State Seminoles and one for the Arizona State Sun Devils, put in their exhibit by zoo staff.

Zoo officials share that, “The predictions are part of the animal enrichment program at the El Paso Zoo that is not only entertaining for visitors but allows animals to perform natural behaviors, permits them to be more active and increases the animals’ control over their environment.”

Predictions will be made at the following times:

·      Sun Bear – 2 p.m.

·      Malayan Tiger – 3 p.m.           

The predictions from both animals will be posted on the El Paso Zoo social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The Florida State Seminoles will take on the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on Tuesday, December 31.

Click here for more information on the El Paso Zoo.


El Paso Zoo’s Grand Opening of Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit set for Tuesday

The El Paso Zoo is celebrating the grand opening of the Chihuahuan Desert exhibit and Copper Canyon Challenge Ropes Course with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.

The new state-of-the-art exhibit that spans across 2.3 acres recreates the native Chihuahuan Desert habitat for the animal species that once roamed in the desert southwest.

The botany and large rockwork structures in the exhibit are unique to large cats and the smaller species that will inhabit them. The exhibit will serve as the home for Mexican grey wolves, mountain lions, jaguars, pronghorn, prairie dogs, thick-billed parrots, coati, and many other smaller species.

Improvements include botanical landscaping, a large rockwork structure that’s unique to large cats, and engaging elements such as over-head animal pathways, a simulated flash flood, and a breathtaking public art installment.

In addition, the interactive exhibit features the Copper Canyon Challenge Ropes Course that allows guests to climb three stories into the air and get a hawk’s eye view of the new Chihuahuan Desert and the entire Zoo.

The $16 million project is part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond approved by voters and is part of the City of El Paso commitment to enhancing El Paso’s quality of life through the creation of recreational, cultural, and educational environments.

El Paso Zoo, Public Library team up for interactive ‘Wild Things at Your Library’ storytime

The El Paso Zoo and the El Paso Public Library have teamed up to create “Wild Things at Your Library,” a family-friendly, interactive storytime activity that celebrates the joy of reading and learning about wild animals.

“The El Paso Public Library is very excited to start this brand new partnership with the El Paso Zoo to inspire wildlife conservation and reading at the same time,” said Norma Martinez, Interim Library Director. “We hope to provide many more programs of this type in the future.”

For the next three months, zoo education staff will bring different zoo animals and will visit various library branches. Zoo educators will talk about the animal of choice and then read a book or two with library staff about the animal.

The unique storytime allows children to interact with various zoo animals while learning more about wildlife. The show and tell experience also give children an opportunity to check out books and read more about animals.

Each month will have a theme with a featured zoo animal. The themes are as follows:

  • September Slithery Snakes. Readings include children’s books about snakes along with a visit from an El Paso Zoo education snake or lizard.
  • October Creepy Crawlies (sponsored by Truly Nolen). Readings include children’s books about insects and a visit from insect experts from the zoo.
  • November Desert Dwelling Critters. Readings include books about the Chihuahuan Desert to promote the newest exhibit at the El Paso Zoo; the Chihuahuan Desert that is set to open in fall 2019.

Storytime sessions in September start at 11 a.m. at the following library branches:

  • Dorris Van Dorren Branch, Tuesday, Sept. 17
  • Westside Branch, Wednesday, Sept. 18
  • Jose Cisneros Branch, Tuesday, Sept. 24
  • Esperanza Moreno Branch, Wednesday, Sept. 25

Locations and dates for October and November are being finalized. The storytime sessions are free and open to the public. For more information call the El Paso Zoo at (915) 212-2818 or the El Paso Public Library at (915) 212-READ.

El Paso Zoo to feature discounts Summer months

The El Paso Zoo is offering “kool discounts” during the sizzling summer months if the temperature reaches 100 degrees or more.

If the temperature is between 100°F – 105°F, guests will receive $1.50 off regular general admission.

If the temperature is between 106°F – 126°F, guests will receive $3 off regular general admission.

Discounts may not be combined with any other discounts such as Senior, Active Duty Military/Spouse, or any other reduced price.

Guests can also receive one free small beverage with every admission receipt presented. The beverage will be available at the Passport Café, Grasslands Café, and the Beastro of the El Paso Zoo.

Via a news release, zoo officials shared, “The El Paso Zoo is a favorite place for El Paso to cool down in the Hunt Family Splash Pad. It is also a great place to monkey around in the Foster Tree House Playground, in addition to being home to the wildest Zoo friends.”

To learn more about the “kool discounts,” visit the Zoo’s website

ZooFari Nites return for the Summer at El Paso Zoo

The El Paso Zoo is once again giving visitors a chance to see what zoo animals do after hours by extending evening hours for Zoofari Nites during the summer.

“Evening hours not only offer fun, but they also give families another outing option during cooler evening hours,” zoo officials shared via a Thursday morning news release.

The zoo will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 22, July 13 and August 10.

As part of Zoofari Nites, there will be live music including performances, various zoo activities including animal encounters, and a special evening giraffe feeding.

In addition, all attractions will be open for guests, including the Hunt Family Desert Spring and Foster Tree House Playground.

The Zoofari Nites event on June 22 features a video game theme that includes video game arts and crafts, a mini video game arcade inside the Wildlife Amphitheatre, and themed animal enrichments.

For more information on Zoofari Nites, visitors can visit the El Paso Zoo’s website

El Paso Zoo to honor Sunny the Sea Lion Tuesday

The El Paso Zoo and the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association will commemorate one of the City’s most beloved and iconic animals, Sunny the California Sea Lion, with an induction ceremony to the Animal Hall of Fame.

“We are so happy that Sunny is receiving this honor that he so deserves as he was a joy to everyone who took care of him and everyone who came to visit him,” said El Paso Zoo Collections Supervisor Amanda Leverett.

“We still miss his endearing nature, his subtle mischievousness, and his obvious love of life. He was a special companion and an outstanding ocean ambassador for generations of people that were lucky enough to know him.”

Sunny passed away in 2012 and will be remembered with a plaque at the newly renovated interactive Animal Hall of Fame display that is located at the zoo and sponsored by the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association.

Sunny touched the lives of thousands of visitors from 1986 to 2012 through his lovable and friendly charisma.

Sunny is most notable for being the first Sea lion at any zoo to teach visitors about recycling by demonstrating how to put the correct items in a recycling bin.

The adorable sea lion served as an ambassador for ocean conservation by helping staff promote and distribute more than 100,000 seafood watch cards.

Established in 1998, the El Paso Animal Hall of Fame (AHoF) recognizes the outstanding contributions animals make to human lives in the El Paso community.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at the zoo.

El Paso Zoo Raising Orangutan Awareness with M.O.M. Event Sunday

The El Paso Zoo invites the public to participate in the international Missing Orangutan Mothers (M.O.M) campaign that brings attention to the plight of orangutans in the world.

“Every day, orangutan mothers go missing due to poaching, the black market pet trade and palm oil farms that encroach on their living space,” El Paso Zoo officials shared via a news release. “Hundreds of orphaned baby orangutans are cared for in rescue centers in Sumatra and Borneo.”

Visitors will join El Paso Zoo staff and volunteers as they celebrate and honor the zoo’s orangutans and take action to help those in the wild.

There will be zookeeper presentations and animal enrichment at the orangutan exhibit, as well as activities and poster displays at the Asia Discovery Center.

This year, the Missing Orangutan Mothers (M.O.M) campaign features orphaned orangutans Valentino, Yutris, and Momot (pictured above.)

According to the M.O.M. website, the trio are but three of the hundreds of orangutans who attend the BOS Foundation’s jungle school at Nyaru Menteng in Borneo. They are learning skills that one day will enable them to live as wild orangutans.

All donations from our M.O.M. campaign will be allocated to BOS Nyaru Menteng for the continued rehabilitation of Valentino, Yutris, Momot and their friends.  For more information, visit the Orangutan Jungle School Facebook Page.

The event is scheduled on Mother’s Day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at the zoo.

City of El Paso Selects New Director of El Paso Zoo

On Friday, officials with the City of El Paso announced the selection of Joe Montisano as the new Director of the El Paso Zoo.

“We chose Mr. Montisano to lead the El Paso Zoo because of his extensive experience in both animal care and high-level leadership,” said Deputy City Manager Cary Westin. “He is a visionary and enthusiastic to lead our zoo team, and we’re confident he will continue to provide world-class animal care and service to the El Paso Zoo.”

Montisano, who was selected following an extensive national search, will begin his new role as Zoo Director on May 13.

Montisano has 28 years of experience leading diverse, visitor-based, animal education and conservation-based institutions and has dedicated his career to the zoological industry.

Montisano served as the Executive Director at the Great Lakes Aquarium and Science Center in Duluth, Minnesota and previously served as Executive Director for Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick, Maine.

In addition, he served as the Chief Executive Officer at the Central Florida Zoo, Executive Director at the Oregon Wildlife Safari, and Director of Sales, Marketing & Promotions at the SeaWorld of Ohio.

Montisano holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Akron.

The El Paso Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA envisions a world where all people respect, value, and conserve animals and nature. With more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation.

El Paso Zoo welcomes birth of two baby Ocelots

The population at the El Paso Zoo grew by two, as officials announced Thursday the birth of two baby ocelots.

First-time mom, Lindy, gave birth to an unusually large litter of four kittens on March 2. Ocelots normally have litters of one to two kittens.

Unfortunately, a male kitten was stillborn and a female kitten was not healthy enough to survive. The two remaining kittens, a male and a female, survived and are doing well.

The ocelot is a medium-size, short-haired cat with distinctive markings that serve as camouflage. The ocelot is listed as endangered by the State of Texas.

The birth of the baby ocelots are momentous because Lindy was artificially inseminated (AI) from semen samples that were collected and frozen in 2010 from a male ocelot, Principe, when he was housed at the Cleveland Zoo.

“These births are highly significant because this is the first time in 24 years that AI with frozen semen has been successful in ocelots. Because it was successful, it opens up the possibility for others zoos to increase genetic diversity using the same procedure,” said Zoo Area Supervisor of the El Paso Zoo Amanda Stansbury.

“This is great coordination effort between Species Survival Plan participants in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help preserve the species.”

Researchers at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) coordinated between the El Paso Zoo, the Houston Zoo and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to AI Lindy.

Principe is also father to another ocelot kitten that was born from frozen semen AI at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the day before Lindy gave birth.

To learn more about the El Paso Zoo, click here.

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