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Archive for December, 2009

Thanks to Toyota sponsoring a free admission day on December 26th and the willingness of visitors to brave the cold temps, Mesker Park Zoo passed the 200,000 visitors in one year mark! The 200,000th visitor received a family membership and special tour with the Zoo’s director Amos Morris.

The Zoo is open year round and there are plenty of indoor animal viewing opportunities in AMAZONIA, the Kley Building (Donna, Mechi, Nocturnal), and the Discovery Center (hyacinth macaws, Francois langurs).

Donna says, "Come visit me!"

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Why is the Zoo’s newest resident hard to hide? Because she weighs around 3500 pounds! Introducing Mechi the Indian rhino. Mechi (pronounced May-chee) came to us from the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida. White Oak is known worldwide for their work propagating highly endangered species. Mechi is still adjusting to her new home. White Oak is a private facility, so Mechi is not used to large crowds of people. She’s also not used to cold Indiana winters, so she’ll be spending most of the winter indoors. Indian rhinos, also known as greater one-horned rhinos, have a distinct look from other rhinos including the appearance of wearing “armor” and a hairy ear fringe.

Zoo visitors may remember our last Indian rhino Jordie, who unfortunately passed away in November 2008 from a possible impaction. Staff and visitors alike loved that big boy. Mechi’s new keepers are happy to report that she is turning out to be just as charismatic as Jordie. Besides their size difference, visitors will also notice that Mechi sports a cute little horn. Jordie, like a lot of Indian rhinos in captivity, rubbed his horn on different parts of his enclosure, wearing the keratin-based structure down.

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Don’t forget to visit www.meskerjagcam.com to vote for the names of the new jag cubs. Here are some pictures from local photographers Larry and Jenny Griesemer. Thanks for the great shots!

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