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Red-Rumped Agoutis Arrive

Only the gnawing teeth of agoutis can open the Brazil-nut trees’ tough fruit pods. These large rodents eat some of the dozen or more nuts inside the pod and bury the rest. The agoutis’ imperfect memory of their hiding places lets new trees sprout and enables the Amazon to keep one of its most important plants.

Agoutis are monogamous and feed together to better detect their many predators and successfully raise young. Agoutis are born with their eyes open and can run within an hour of birth.

You can see the new agoutis by the Giant anteater and other wonders of South America.




The official Florida Arbor Day is right around the corner and Naples Zoo will be celebrating this event early on Saturday, January 3, 2015 - a Collier County Free Saturday. We will have partners from various local organizations on hand to share information about the value of trees and great native choices for local landscapes.  In addition, Davey Tree will have tree climbing demonstrations in Rainforest Grove and answer your tree care questions. 


 

LIMITED TIME:
Ride a Camel!

Saying more about bureaucracy than zoology, it’s said a camel is horse designed by committee. And apparently you don’t want to let one get its nose under the tent - as the rest will follow. So strange how camels get pulled into politics!

These are certainly not the kindest of sentiments for these astounding “ships of the desert.” Perfectly suited for their harsh, hot and cold environments, a camel can survive losing over 30% of its water. By contrast, most animals can’t survive half that loss. A double row of eyelashes protect their eyes during sandstorms during which they can even close their nostrils to keep out debris. Amazing!

Take a ride on one today at the Zoo between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. It's just $5 per person. But don’t wait too long. They're only here through May 2, 2015.

 


Africa's Serval Kittens

As adults, Africa’s serval cats are one of the world’s most successful hunters. But as kittens, these future spotted killers are one of the cutest creatures you’ve ever seen. 

Members of the Species Survival Plan® coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Baku and Cleo were born at The Idaho Falls Zoo in Tautphaus Park. Naples Zoo’s Director of Animal Programs Liz Harmon accompanied them to Naples.

They made public debut this summer in “At this age, Baku and Cleo are coming out to explore and play,” explains Harmon. “And that’s part of their training – to have fun being out where guests can appreciate these beautiful cats.” Over time, the cats will be able to show you some of their amazing natural abilities like jumping up to catch birds in mid-air (simulated by a toy with feathers) or snagging a rodent out of a burrow (simulated with a clear tube and a stuffed animal).

 

 


Sahara Survivors at Zoo
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens recently welcomed a trio of endangered gazelles native to the unforgiving and otherworldly dunes of the Sahara Desert. Known as slender-horned gazelles, as few as 250 of these elegant creatures may yet traverse northern Africa’s sand seas west of the Nile River.

The new arrivals are part of a Species Survival Plan® for these endangered creatures. Visitors to Southwest Florida’s only accredited zoo can see these rare gazelles in the African Oasis exhibit living among Greater kudu and impala antelope.

For eons, the small slender-horned gazelles successfully survived in large numbers in their harsh desert environment. Enlarged hooves helped them walk the sand seas. They fed and drank dew at night and early morning – their pale color reflecting heat and helping them blend in while their blood was cooled in modified nasal passages.

But their natural defenses against the desert were no match from new threats from activities like oil development bringing more people and the resulting unregulated hunting. Today, only fragmented remnant populations wander the loose sands of the Great Western and Great Eastern ergs (sand seas) and the smaller ergs on the edge of the central Saharan massifs – regions so challenging they are avoided by modern trans-Saharan routes.

To help these special gazelles, Naples Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan® in cooperation with other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Like many antelopes, slender-horned gazelles typically live in a herd with a single dominant male, several females, and offspring. Thus to replicate the social units of the wild, accredited zoos cooperate with each other to create bachelor herds at some facilities and breeding herds with a single male at others. Currently, Naples Zoo is caring for a bachelor herd to provide a future for these endangered gazelles.


Malayan Tiger and WomanStudy Highlights Benefits of Watching Animals at Zoos

Researchers in Japan (Taketo Sakagami and Mitsuaki Ohta) found a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in quality of life ratings (via World Health Organization rating scale) for people who view animals at zoos.

These results were significant over people who visited zoos for the same amount of time, walked the same distance, but did not watch animals. Results were published in the peer-reviewed Animal Science Journal.

Bottom line:
Spend some time watching the extraordinary animals in the Zoo. It's good for you.


Choosing Seafood Wisely
Learn how to be an informed consumer of seafood
with Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program. A simple dining choice can help preserve ocean life and your own health.

Sushi GuideDownload the card now

or

Stop by the zoo
to pick up
your free card!

 

Go paperless! Always have the latest recommendations. If you have an internet-enabled phone, visit mobile.Seafoodwatch.org to see the latest pocket guides. And if you have an iphone, there's a specialized iphone application just for you!


Benefits for Collier County Residents
Following the successful vote to preserve the land under and around the Zoo nearly ten years ago, Naples Zoo is continues to offer benefits to the residents of Collier County in thanks for their overwhelming support. To learn more, click here.

 

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Naples Zoo at  Caribbean Gardens     1590 Goodlette-Frank Road     Naples Florida 34102
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