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Visit Mesker Park Zoo &  Botanic Garden for some cool summer fun even when the temperatures are hot.  Explore your way through Amazonia, Indiana’s own indoor world class South American tropical rainforest and visit with the jaguars, howler monkeys, and several other animals.  The temperature in AMAZONIA is always in the low 70’s.  Stop by the Rainforest Grill and grab a frosty treat such as soft serve ice cream, frozen beverages, or a cold R.C. product to take with you while you enjoy trekking through destinations such as Africa and Asia.  Children will enjoy splashing in the Entry Plaza fountains in order to cool off in the summer sun.  There are also bumper boats and paddle boats to take out and enjoy on the water.   Both the Kley Building and Discovery Center are air conditioned and have exciting exhibits to enjoy while cooling down.  Don’t let the summer heat deter you from a cool Zoo adventure!

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Bring the kids to the Zoo for some old fashioned 4th of July family fun! Decorate a wagon or stroller and enter it in the Zoo’s 4th of July Wagon and Stroller Parade! Enter your stroller or wagon in either the Patriotic or Animal Themed category.  Be creative as you decorate your parade entry to compete for a first place prize of a Family Zoo Membership and a second place prize of four free Zoo tickets, to be awarded in each category.  If you wish to enter, please arrive at the Zoo at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4.  You will be given an entry number and the parade will begin at 10:00 a.m.  Participants will be led by members of the Boom Squad in a parade as a group to the paddleboat dock and stop on the Lake Victoria dam for judging.  Then, contestants will parade back to the Entry Plaza where prizes will be awarded.  There will be several great door prizes, including a large gift set from Toys to Treasure, Children’s Place gift cards, treats from Family video, and coupons for everyone from Lic’s Deli and Ice Cream and Gattitown!

 

Please note: One entry number will be given to each wagon or stroller.  There is no limit to the number of children in each wagon or stroller.  The prize of one Family Membership to Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden can either be used to purchase a Family Membership or renew an existing Family Membership, no exceptions.  The use of live animals, balloons, or any type of fireworks is prohibited on parade entries.  Zoo admission or valid zoo membership are required to enter the parade.  Please call (812) 435-6143 ext. 409 with any questions.

Dr. Spriggs, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden Veterinarian, shares her experience of working with the American Marten.

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When the weather turns warm, it is time for the Zoo’s tortoises to move to their outdoor exhibits for the summer.  Today was the day for the great tortoise move! Several zoo keepers and a few members of the local media moved one 214.5 pound aldabra tortoise, five Northern leopard tortoises and four African spurred tortoises from inside the Kley building to their outdoor exhibits.  You can now view our aldabra tortoise, in the rhea yard and the leopard and spurred tortoises in the yard next to the gibbon exhibit.  All tortoises are currently soaking up the warm sunshine and munching on fresh grass.   

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If you are a teenager and have ever thought of volunteering at the Zoo, now is the time…ZooTeen training is quickly approaching! Find out more information and get an applications here! Applications are due back  by 4 p.m. on April 20. A few of our current ZooTeens want to share their experiences with you! 

Day in the Life of a Zooteen

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Being a ZooTeen at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden has been both fun and exciting. Being a volunteer at the Zoo allows you to see how a zoo is run; there is a lot more involved than the public can see. This is my second year volunteering. I am trained to use animal ambassadors like goats, turtles, bearded dragons and other animals to help educate visitors. ZooTeens also help with summer camp and special events at the zoo like Boo at the Zoo. This program gets you away from the T.V. and teaches you skills that you can use in life.

Evan Richey, ZooTeen

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Being a ZooTeen has been both an enjoyment and a privilege. The summer of 2010 was the first year I was eligible to volunteer at Mesker Park Zoo. During the summer, one to two days a week I get to work with campers from ages 4-12; we get to go behind the scenes of the zoo to see and learn new facts about different animals. My volunteer hours allow me to work with the animal ambassadors, such as goats, snakes, turtles, tortoises, rabbits, and more.However, being a ZooTeen is not only during the summer; there are special events we can participate in through the school year like Boo at the Zoo, Breakfast with Santa and Enrichment Day. Being a ZooTeen has taught me leadership skills, responsibility, good work ethics, and has been a lot of fun in doing so.

Mandy Aders, ZooTeen

Egg Hunt

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One of Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s zookeepers had some special enrichment activities for several primates on Easter  The gibbons, in the Asian Valley area, as well as the Colobus and DeBrazza’s monkeys, in the Children’s Enchanted Forest, received special enrichment activities.  These primates enjoyed a festive egg hunt in their exhibits.  This was their enrichment activity for the day.  Each day, the Zoo’s animals have different forms of enrichment to keep them stimulated and engaged. 

Klipspringer Baby

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Pico and all of the staff at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden are proud to welcome a baby klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) to the Zoo.  This male calf, born on January 6, 2012, is with his mother and father in an exhibit near the Zoo’s Entry Plaza.  The father was born in Detroit in 2001 and has been at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden since 2003, and the mother, born in Jacksonville in 2007, has been at the Zoo since 2009.  There are currently only about 30 klipspringers in zoos across North America.

The word Klipspringer is Afrikaans for “rock jumper.” Klipspringers are small African hoofed animals that are very sure footed and can easily navigate rocky terrain.  They typically only weigh about forty pounds and stand about twenty-two inches tall at the shoulder.  These animals are strictly monogamous and stay within feet of their mate at all times, taking turns eating and keeping watch for predators.  These delicate animals have large and widely spaced eyes, and the males have four to six inch long horns.

Come visit now, and don’t forget to visit your friend Pico in Amazonia:)!