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DRESS FOR THE MESS: Tomorrow is #InternationalMudDay! We’ll be celebrating all day in the Children's Zoo Nature Play area Thursday (seriously), so come ready to get down and dirty. The goal of this especially messy day is to explore the wonders of mud and its important role in our environment through fun activities, including: clay faces, mud art, puddle jumps, a mud pool, a mud bakery, and more!
Kids and parents: We recommend wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy. We’ll have a wash station available for clean-up, but consider bringing a change of clothes so you can really let the mud fly!
WE'RE NOT LION -- SAVE BIG ON A NEW MEMBERSHIP: With over 2,000 animals, including our first #lion cub in 43 years, a single visit simply is not enough to see all we have. Start your membership today to receive amazing Zoo perks, like free admission and parking, VIP benefits, members-only hours and events, plus special discounts for an entire year -- and, it’s the purrrfect way to watch our little Bahati grow into a roaring lioness.
If that’s not enough, your support will contribute to our vital wildlife conservation efforts, so bring family fun to life while connecting with nature! Join today at www.dallaszoo.com/join using promo code DALLASZOO to save 15%. Hurry, there's only 3 DAYS LEFT to claim your discount -- the offer ends JUNE 30.
CAPTION THIS: That face you make when your nosy neighbor doesn't understand personal space.
Share your best captions below of 4-week-old Tsavo and Jade sharing a "moment." #giraffe#noboundaries#instagood#instasmile
WE WINGS: We'll chalk this Monday up to a win thanks to hanging with @dallaswings, our hometown @wnba team! After a four-game winning streak, these ladies enjoyed a day of team bonding and special animal encounters. Penguin Sid can't fly, but this team soars!
DID YOU KNOW: Although #hippos have webbed feet, they are rather poor swimmers -- in fact, hippos don’t swim at all! These massive mammals will actually bounce off the bottom when they find themselves in high water, gracefully prancing like giant ballet dancers moving in slow motion.
See for yourself at the underwater viewing window in the new Simmons Hippo Outpost -- you might be surprised by how nimbly Adhama and Boipelo navigate the 120,000 gallon waterhole!
HAVE YOU HERD?: What’s got the body of a horse, the stripes of a zebra, and the ossicones of a giraffe? An okapi, of course! We’d like to introduce you to the stars of our world renowned okapi herd. As solitary animals, each member has a distinct personality that makes them special. READ about our incredible okapi and Dallas Zoo’s vital role ensuring the survival of this endangered specieslink is in our bio
Fun fact: Kilua (pictured) is the largest okapi our keepers have ever seen, weighing over 800 pounds at just 3 years old! You can get up-close with these "African unicorns" in our okapi demo yard behind the Simmons Hippo Outpost.
IT’S WORLD GIRAFFE DAY: Our giraffe calf Tsavo is making his official public debut today in celebration of #WorldGiraffeDay! WATCH as Tsavo playfully explores the giraffe habitat under Katie’s watchful eye. At just over 3 weeks old, this little guy has stolen our hearts with his curious and rambunctious spirit (likely from dad Tebogo). Tsavo will now make regular appearances in the giraffe feeding yard, weather permitting.
MEET OUR HERD: In honor of this special day, our giraffe team is introducing you to our nine-member #giraffe herd on ZooHoo! Plus, learn about the silent extinction giraffes face and how you can help this beautiful species. Link's in our bio!
TOMORROW: We couldn't think of a better day than #WorldGiraffeDay tomorrow (June 21) for our baby boy Tsavo's first scheduled public appearance in the #giraffe feeding yard. Join us Wednesday to celebrate Tsavo and his remarkable species that needs our help now more than ever. The 3-week-old calf will venture out with mom Katie, and several of our giraffes, including Uncle Auggie (duh!). Please help us shower this sweet boy with love. (If you can't make it, don't worry – we promise to share video.)
SPLASH DANCE: Catch a sneak peak of #westernlowlandgorilla Zola showing off his dance moves in a behind-the-scenes video shot by keeper Ashley Orr. You may remember Zola when he was a youngster from the viral video of him breakdancing at @thecalgaryzoo but there’s a lot more to this behavior than you may think.
#Enrichment helps enhance the environment and lives of animals, like Zola, by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural behaviors. Enrichment can take many forms, but for this spunky great ape, it means playing and spinning in his favorite blue pool! Watch the FULL VIDEO at YouTube.com/DallasZooTube, and read more about the importance of Zola’s actions on ZooHoo!Link's in our bio!
FEATHERED FOSTER PARENTS: From fostering to hand-rearing, animal staff from institutions that are part of @zoosaquariums are prepared to intervene and help #birds hatch and grow when safety and well-being are at stake. This can mean flying halfway across the country to pick up an egg to be fostered by a different set of parents, or having zookeepers step in when needed.
This spring alone, we hand raised one #KoriBustard chick and @sanantoniozoo retrieved two of our eggs to help the declining population of the world's heaviest flying birds. Learn more about our egg fostering work in this ZooHoo! blog post.
Link's in our bio
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY: Meet Cory, one of the best dads here at the Zoo! Bolivian gray titi monkey fathers carry their infants almost 90% of the time from birth, with mom only caring for them while they nurse. Cory is an especially attentive and patient dad with a watchful eye. #TitiMonkey family groups are formed by adding births, and Cory’s family is already quite developed -- at age 30, he’s sired 19 offspring and 25 grandchildren!
Cory will often intervene if his young travel a little too far from the group or get themselves into trouble -- sound familiar dads? He’ll even share his food with them -- talk about true fatherly love! #FathersDay
VOLUME UP: You gotta hear this! #TBT to when #lioness Bahati was only 2 weeks old. Since then, her mews have gotten a little louder, and we’re sure this FUR-ocious fluff ball will be roaring like mom Lina in no time.
TAG your favorite cat person below to make their day!
HELLO, TSAVO!: We're thrilled to share that Katie's new #giraffe calf has been given the name Tsavo (pronounced SAH-voh). As you can see from these new pictures, he's quite the handsome fellow. Tsavo is enjoying time with mom, doing great with introductions to the rest of the herd, and prepping to make his public debut soon - STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS!
His name is a tribute to Tsavo National Park in Kenya, home to a population of Masai giraffes. While Tsavo is a reticulated giraffe, his name pays homage to his wild brethren in Africa and the work being done there to save the species. Importantly, giraffe populations are under heavy pressure from poaching, habitat loss and competition from wildlife. And if action isn't taken, it's predicted the reticulated giraffe subspecies could be extinct by 2020.
The hope is Tsavo will help raise awareness as an ambassador for his endangered species. By supporting our conservation partner, @giraffe_conservation , they are able to continue their work to protect the nine subspecies of giraffes in Africa.
BACKSTAGE SAFARI: Is feeding an #elephant on your bucket list? Ever dreamed of meeting an #africanpenguin? Want to have a #tamandua lick avocado off your hand? We've got you covered.
Our exclusive, behind-the-scenes Backstage Safari happens on Saturday mornings, and 100% of the proceeds go directly to our wildlife conservation efforts, helping to protect animals and restore habitats around the world. WATCH the fun unfold, and sign up today -- the next available date is July 1, and spots fill up fast for this incredible experience!: bit.ly/BSSDZ
Stop by the #warthog exhibit and wish Teddy and Toby a very happy birthday! These mud wallowing brothers were born at #DallasZoo in 2011, and they turned 6 today. We celebrated their special day with frozen watermelon treats -- yum!
SUMMER SPLISH SPLASH: It's safe to say #elephant calf Ajabu is a water baby, and our little guy is a pro at keeping cool in the Texas heat! Watch him splash, play and enjoy being sprayed. Stay tuned 'til the end to hear the cutest trumpet ever!
#SaveTogether: Have you seen the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition, featuring larger-than-life images by photographer Joel Sartore? He's completed over 6,000 portraits in an effort to document EVERY species in human care -- and he's about halfway there! Find over 80 images of Joel's most compelling work throughout the Zoo through Sept. 4. Join the movement to #SaveTogether when sharing your photos.
Photo credits: images courtesy of Carrie Ryan-Towey, Samm Dossett, Tiffany Tingle and Pam Sherman Barnhill. Thanks for sharing your shots!
#WorldOceansDay: From generating oxygen and regulating climate, to providing food and contributing to the advancement of medicine, oceans are vital ecosystems and critical to our survival. But items we use every day pose serious threats to wildlife who call oceans home. Did you know we use over 1 million plastic bags every minute? These bags can be mistaken for jellyfish by hungry #seaturtles. It's time for SEArious change.
LEARN MORE about World Oceans Day: http://www.worldoceansday.org/
LION'S SHARE: Weighing in at 21 pounds, Bahati #lioness is growing fast and learning a lot, too! She's already begun her formal training program and is targeting, which means voluntarily touching her nose to a pole so we can safely ask her to move place to place, or step on or off a scale. She's also learning to receive voluntary hip injections to prepare for her last set of boosters.
PRO TIP from the keepers: Stop by the Serengeti Grill around 9-10 a.m. when there's a good chance she'll be hanging around the large viewing window checking out guests! 🦁
A day in the life of our #DallasZoo bird staff is never routine and a recent day proved that when supervisor Kevin Graham and keeper Dana Isaacs jumped into action to save a #koribustard egg.
Similar to a human in the womb, a bird can find itself breached in the egg. In this case, the kori bustard was backwards and unable to crack itself out of the egg. Graham and Isaacs gave this little chick (that will coincidentally grow into one of the heaviest flighted birds in the world) some extra help by peeling away the eggshell, chip-by-chip.
The kori bustard is an important African bird that is suffering habitat loss and hunting threats from humans. They were upgraded from a stable species to one that is declining in 2013.
We’re happy to say this kori bustard is doing great, despite its difficult beginnings. All thanks to the care and attention from our amazing bird staff! #savingspecies#conservation
BABY STEPS: One-year-old #elephant Ajabu has blown us away with all he’s learned! Through voluntary training and positive reinforcement, baby Ajabu has mastered target training to help during routine health checks. He’s a quick little learner, and we couldn’t be more proud of his progress. WATCH as he shows off his skills. See the FULL VIDEO at YouTube.com/DallasZooTube
NEW HIPPO-SODE: We've received a surge of questions since the opening of the Simmons Hippo Outpost, so we're answering some of your most common FAQs directly from our resident experts -- the keepers! Watch episode 4 of the Meet Our Hippos video series to discover how Adhama and Boipelo sleep underwater, stay cool, play together and MORE. Watch the FULL VIDEO and subscribe at YouTube.com/DallasZooTubeStick around 'til the end to catch our keepers showing off their best hippo impressions -- you don't wanna miss it! #DallasZooHippos
NEW GIRAFFE CALF: We are elated to share that our beloved #giraffe Katie gave birth to a healthy male calf on Tuesday, May 30, at approximately 1:45 p.m. As of Thursday morning, when our veterinary team conducted a well-baby checkup, the almost 6-foot baby weighed in at about 150 lbs.
They're both doing very well, with the (big) little guy spending his first few days learning to nurse and following mom. The two will remain behind the scenes for the next few weeks as they bond, then the calf will begin meeting fellow herd members. Our devoted keeper staff will be choosing the calf's name, so stay tuned for that announcement, coming before he makes his first public appearance.
WATCH the FULL VIDEO of the calf's birth and first tender moments with mom at YouTube.com/DallasZooTube. Link in bio.#TeamKatie
SKY HIGH: You may have visited our new Simmons Hippo Outpost, but we promise you’ve never seen the exhibit from this vantage point before! Check out the incredible drone footage of Adhama and Boipelo in their 2.1 acre habitat. These happy #DallasZooHippos love their waterhole -- stop by the underwater viewing window to see for yourself! Thanks to Turner Construction for this amazing bird’s-eye view of the new exhibit. Watch and subscribe at YouTube.com/DallasZooTube
It’s #worldotterday and we’re celebrating by introducing you to our #asiansmallclawedotter pairs! Have you seen Jimmy and Jelly or Tasanee and Duranjaya (pictured here) in our Betty Moroney Norsworthy Otter Outpost? While these pairs are adorable to look at, it's important to know that 12 out of 13 otter species worldwide are on the decline. Find out why, and learn more about these "otterly" amazing creatures in our latest ZooHoo! post. Link's in our bio!
Have you ever wondered how an animal as massive as an #elephant sleeps? The answer might surprise you. Our team of keepers and volunteers conducted a study to see just how long our elephants were snoozing at night, and with the help of some video cameras, they learned a lot more! From Amahle and Tendaji to our "Golden Girls," our elephants' sleep habits and behaviors tend to vary by personality just as they do for humans. You can learn more about each of them in this ZooHoo! guest blog by Nancy Scott, our Coordinator of Animal Behavior Science. Link's in our bio! Watch this footage that the team recorded of baby Ajabu waking up mom Mlilo in the middle of the night - parents, we know you can relate! #momlife
FOR VULTURES: Our vulture collection has grown by one this spring with the successful hatching of a #lappetfacedvulture! This little vulture is only seven weeks old, but already packing on weight and developing some color.
Lappet-faced vultures are endangered, and their population continues to decline. They usually only lay one egg per clutch, so a successful hatching is very exciting and important for the species. Vultures are a vital part of our world as they consume carrion and keep our environment healthy and free of disease.
The lappet-faced vulture is especially important to the #DallasZoo. In the last five years, we’re the only institution in the U.S. to hatch this species of bird. And our assistant supervisor Debbie Milligan manages the Species Survival Plan for all Association of Zoos & Aquarium lappet-faced vultures.
Our new lappet-faced vulture chick is being raised in our monorail River habitat. Come see the happy family soon! #endangered#savingspecies
BARNYARD BABIES: Some very special Lacerte Family Children's Zoo babes are celebrating their FIRST birthdays! WATCH #kunekunepig siblings Penny and Oliver, and #miniaturetexaslonghorns Captain and Kirk tear into their cakes. We're very much in love with these new additions to the Children's Zoo. (Want to meet them up-close? Sign up for the new Junior Rancher Adventure program where you and your kiddos can experience life on a farm: bit.ly/2hkqjyk)
BIG WEEKEND: Princess Bahati is working on ascending the throne (a.k.a. rock). See how this royal feline drama develops over the glorious 3-day holiday weekend. 🦁 #catsofinstagram#lion#lioness#zooborns
A NOD TO JOEL: During the grand opening of our National Geographic #PhotoArk, featuring the stunning images of world-renowned photographer @JoelSartore, we invited some amazing DFW photographers out for a unique walking tour of the exhibition -- with a challenge. We asked the photographers to photograph an animal, shot or worked in post-production to pop against a simple white or black background, in the vein of Joel’s series.
Photographer @kidtheexplorer nailed the challenge with this winning shot of our beautiful pit #viper (yes, its real name is beautiful #pitviper). Franco scored an autographed book from Joel, a private Photo Safari and more!