The animals are enjoying the gloomy and rainy but warm and quiet November. The Père David’s deer are having fun splashing around in their partly flooded enclosure. The buffalo are prancing around. The griffon vultures are busy managing their nesting areas. The great white pelicans are getting pinker with each day.
On Thursday a black-coated male alpaca was born.
The polar bears are taking energetic baths, especially now that two rainbow trouts from Pärnu were let into Friida and Aron’s pool. When before Aron spent his time playing with his toys and swimming past the visitors behind the glass, now his behaviour has changed – he’s on the hunt. There’s lots of excitement, however the quick pair of fish are skilled at hiding and aren’t an easy prey for the larger and slower bear. If the trout adapt well to the polar bear pool, then we’ll bring in some more.
The polar bears are not the only ones offered enrichment. As the pachyderm house is under renovation and closed to visitors, the pygmy hippo Pupa had a chance to walk around in the visitors’ area and to experience her home and housemates from a new perspective.
The elephants on the other hand got to listen to sounds from Africa: nature mix, vocalisations of spotted hyenas and leopards, as well as the rumble of a content wild elephant herd. If the mixed nature sounds left our big friends indifferent, then the predator vocalisations got them excited and trumpeting: ears wide, temples wet, the elephants were irritatedly searching for the source. The finishing sound of a calm and satisfied wild herd then soothed our friends and reassured them that everything was well.
Planned vaccine shots were given to our Amur tiger, jungle cats, lynxes, Amur leopards and snow leopards. A young goral is preparing to be rehomed: she was given a microchip implant and the vets took a blood and fecal samples. As per the advice of the species coordinator, we’ve started microchipping the cotton-top tamarins. A transportation box was placed in the enclosure of our muskox Lia so she gets accustomed to entering it.
Our horticulturists are pruning trees and bushes in the pheasant enclosures. The small-scale renovations at the small tropical house are still ongoing.
On Wednesday the Environment agency held a forum on monitoring “Wildlife and humans – who will prevail?” at the Environmental Education Centre. The presentations gave an overview of the ecological principles of nature monitoring, and data gathering preparations, management and use. New monitoring methods were introduced and the role of amateur science in gathering data was discussed.
Thursday was a job shadowing day for students from Türi and Tartu schools as they spent the day learning the inner workings of our zoo.