Kumbali and Kago, now 8 months old, got to play in the snow for the first time during Winter Storm Jonas. While the Zoo was closed, one of our zookeepers let the best friends run and explore in a large enclosed field covered with 7 inches of snow. Their reaction to the white fluff is priceless.
Watch the video:
Kumbali and Kago were raised together to provide companionship for one another. Read their full story here:
Winter Storm Jonas dumped around twelve + inches of snow at the Zoo grounds on January 22 and 23, 2016. Zoo staff worked hard to prepare for the snow storm. As always, all of our animals have access to heated barns or shelters as necessary. However, due to the extremely cold temperatures and snow, we added additional bedding and kept many of the animals inside their barns and shelters for the storm.
Here are photos of some of the animals playing in the snow.
Nitro and Elsa, our two snow leopards, are enjoying the cold weather. Snow leopards are native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
Monty, a juvenile male Bactrian camel, runs through the snow.
The Mishmi Takin is native to the eastern Himalayas. The Takin’s long nose has large sinus cavities that warm up cold air as the Takin takes a breath!
Kumbali & Kago played in the snow for the first time during the storm.
Watch the video here:
We want to give a HUGE shout out to our amazing and dedicated staff. Our keepers are working twice as hard in the snow to clean enclosures, distribute food, and provide our animals with warmth and necessary care.
Melanie, Eva, and Iris (left to right) are staying warm inside the giraffe barn along with the rest of the herd.
July 19th to the 25th is National Zoo Keeper Week.
The Metro Richmond Zoo appreciates our zoo keepers for their hard work in animal care, conservation, and education. We are extremely grateful for our dedicated staff. Our Zoo Keepers monitor over 2,000 animals at the Zoo. We give professional care to all of our animals, no matter how big or small.
The American Association of Zoo Keepers said, “Zoo keepers are the frontline soldiers for conservation, participating in the battle for species survival and preservation of the natural homelands of the animals they care for through public awareness, education, and exhibition.”
AAZK National President Bob Cisneros said, “As animal care professionals, we develop a deep sense of personal satisfaction knowing that our work makes a significant contribution towards the welfare of the individual animals for which we are responsible and towards the protection of their counterparts in the wild.”
The Metro Richmond Zoo welcomes RJ, a male orangutan born earlier this year to parents Tasha and Rory. RJ, named after his father, weighed approximately 4 pounds at birth, a healthy normal weight. During the cooler months, Tasha and RJ spent their time in their indoor enclosure. Since the weather has been warmer, RJ has become more mobile, enjoys his time outside with his mother and father, and can be seen each day on exhibit.
Notice how RJ grasps onto Tasha. Mother apes and monkeys typically do not hold onto their young; the babies are responsible for hanging on. The Zoo now has six orangutans.
Check out this video from the Zoo’s Youtube channel of Tasha and RJ:
The name “orangutan” comes from an Indonesian phrase meaning “person of the forest.” Orang means person and hutan means forest. Orangutan is pronounced oranguTAN, not TANG. They are classified as apes, not monkeys. These beautiful creatures are among some of the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, they have been victim to poaching and deforestation, resulting in an endangered status. Deforestation for the establishment of palm oil plantations is the primary cause for habitat loss for orangutans. Female orangutans usually only have a baby every 7-8 years and will closely nurture their young for the first four years of their life.