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Binder Park Zoo is Now Opened – Find Out What’s New

by Jill P

 

Binder Park Zoo is Now Open

Spring is here and that means it’s once again time for Binder Park Zoo to open its doors for another season. Binder Park Zoo’s opened on April 14. This year families and groups will be among the first to experience the newly built African Tented Camps completed late last year. Additionally, Zoo guests can look forward to several new arrivals on exhibit and a great lineup of events and activities throughout the season.

binderzoo-tented

(photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo)

Overnight experiences in Wild Africa are taken to a new level this year with the addition of the Joe and Clara Stewart Zamani School and African Tented Camp. The camp consists of eight wood-framed structures, built on stilts with attached decking and a removable canvas tent. Designed to be an authentic African safari experience, each tent contains cots for sleeping and can accommodate up to eight guests per tent. Two of the eight tents meet ADA standards for handicap accessibility. Overnights are offered for families or for group outings, and include activities, animal presentations, night hikes and breakfast overlooking the Wild Africa savanna. For more detailed information, visit www.binderparkzoo.org/education.


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New Arrivals

Recent arrivals to the Zoo include a pair of Australian dingoes. The pair, a male named Yengo and female named Airlie, are both nearly three years old and were introduced to their new exhibit late last fall. While commonly thought to have originated in Asia, the dingo actually arrived in Australia some 4,000-5,000 years ago, brought over on boats by seafarers.  It was thought that the dingo may be the world’s oldest dog breed but dingoes may actually be more closely related to the Asiatic wolf.  Scientists speculate that these semi-domesticated animals returned to a wild lifestyle when introduced to Australia, though some were domesticated again by aboriginal people. Today there are an estimated 200,000 dingoes in Australia but of that number only about 20% are the pure breed dingoes. Most of the population is interbred with domestic dogs. The dingoes on exhibit at Binder Park Zoo are a rare Alpine breed, which is one of the purest breeds remaining.

Usi 8monthsBinderParkZoo

(photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo)

On exhibit this spring for the first time is a rare black and white colobus monkey, born on April 16, 2015.  Zookeepers named the new male, Usi.  His parents are mother Azizi, born at Binder Park Zoo in 2006, and father Christopher, who came to reside at the Zoo in 2012. Usi was hand-raised by the animal care staff and for several months was handfed every three hours by the Zoo’s dedicated keepers.  At 7 months old, Usi was successfully reintroduced to his parents and the colobus troop and he is doing very well.

Another new baby arriving late this past fall is a baby black mangabey monkey born on October 24, 2015. The new arrival is named Najia, and is the sister of Chekelea, born in 2014. Najia, loosely meaning “offspring” in Swahili, was born to second time mom, Sunniva. Both mom and baby are doing well and have acclimated to their exhibit.

addax-BinderParkZoo-1

(photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo)

New In Wild Africa

New in Wild Africa this year are four new critically endangered addax antelope which will graze on the savannah in Wild Africa.  The addax are two females and two males ranging in age from one years old to six years old.  In the wild, addax are found in isolated areas of the Sahara Desert and have an estimated 200 left in the wild.  Their largest threat is humans and their populations have decreased due to over hunting. These beautiful animals will stand out on the Zoo’s Savana by their stark white bodies and long curly horns.  The addax at Binder Park Zoo are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program designed to protect and increase critically endangered species.

 

Special Events

Binder Park Zoo also offers a whole host of events and activities geared towards many different ages and interests. Don’t miss events like the Lemur Lap & FunFari Kids’ Day, the Cheetah Chase 5k, Corks for Conservation wine tasting, Tour de Zoo bike ride or the Nature Art Fair, to name a few. Visit www.binderparkzoo.org/events to learn more.

BinderZooovernights

(photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo)

 

Enjoy The Fun

There are lots of great reasons to visit Binder Park Zoo this season. From hand-feeding a giraffe*, to seeing new species up close, and even participating in a number of educational programs, activities and events; there is something for everyone at the Zoo!  Visit www.binderparkzoo.org to learn more.

*Temperatures must reach at least 60 degrees for giraffes to be on exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

Jill P

Jill is a mom of a busy 8 year old son. KZOOkids.com was started in 2013 to showcase all of the great things to do in and around Kalamazoo. When not working the KZOOkids.com website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.

 

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