Brevard Zoo Membership Newsletter Fall 2019 - Page 14
NEW AT THE ZOO
Our first wrinkled hornbill chick in seven
years hatched to parents Morticia and
Gomez on April 12. They do not have a
name as we have not yet identified their sex.
Wrinkled hornbills are critically endangered
due to habitat loss in their native range of
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
He is the third stingray born at the Zoo,
following last year’s pups Dallas and
Clementine. Jasper is currently living in
a nursery space in the aquarium, and
keepers note that he is very active until
it’s time for a nap—then he becomes an
expert at hide and seek!
Every semester, roughly a dozen
college students and recent
graduates join our team for a
internship program. You’ll find
these hard workers aiding staff in
our animal programs department,
Restore Our Shores and the Sea
Turtle Healing Center.
At a luncheon in early August,
our 14 summer interns presented
an overview of their projects.
Highlights included blue-tongued
skink training and a red kangaroo
The Zoo made headlines nationwide after
female klipspringer calf Clarice was born
to parents Deb and Ajabu on April 15.
This tiny antelope is thriving in the home
she shares with her parents, marabou
storks, west African crowned cranes and
southern ground hornbill JD.
Southern stingray pup Jasper was born
on June 10 in the Paws On aquarium.
On June 19, we welcomed two balls of
cuteness—rock hyrax pups Turnip and
Radish! The pair was born to mom Buffy
and dad Fangs, who gave us Gnocchi and
Hashbrown last year. Turnip and Radish
have been checked out by our veterinary
team and appear to be in excellent
health. They are living behind the scenes,
and we hope that they will serve as
animal ambassadors in the near future.
Sharing Our Knowledge
One thing that sets our facility apart from many others is the degree to which
volunteers participate in animal husbandry. At the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums’ annual conference in New Orleans this September, director of
volunteer programs Kathleen Nichols and sea turtle program manager Shanon
Gann gave a presentation about the roles volunteers play in this aspect of our
mission and how staff facilitate it. The lecture was strongly received, leaving
volunteer managers from other zoos and aquariums motivated and inspired.
Keeping an Eye on Kibibi
In July, 20-year-old white rhino Kibibi
appeared lethargic and uninterested in
food. She was defecating far less than
usual, and liquid soon began pouring
out of her nostrils. Our veterinarian,
Dr. Trevor Zachariah; local equine
veterinarian Dr. Bradley Newman; and
our animal care staff were on hand to
bring her back to health. A specialized
camera called an endoscope revealed a
mass of food trapped in her esophagus,
and Kibibi began recovering once it was
removed. We are happy to report that
she is back with the rest of the crash in
Brevard Zoo News | Fall 2019 | www.brevardzoo.org
Growing the Next
Aquatic grasses are truly amazing.
In addition to serving as a food
source for manatees and sea turtles,
these plants form “communities” that
can support tens of thousands of fish
and millions of invertebrates per acre.
Unfortunately, the environmental
issues facing our region have led to
extensive loss of aquatic grasses in
the Indian River Lagoon.
This summer, our Restore Our
Shores team was awarded a grant
from the Indian River Lagoon National
Estuary Program to pilot an exciting
aquatic grass restoration initiative.
Similar to our popular Adopt-A-
Mangrove program, Grasses in
Classes engages students in growing
aquatic grasses at school until they’re
big and strong enough to be planted
in a protected area of the lagoon.
The students will return to the
restoration sites periodically to
monitor the success of their
Grasses in Classes is a partnership
with Dr. Robert Virnstein (a biologist
with more than four decades of
seagrass restoration experience)
and Brevard County Environmentally
Endangered Lands Program.