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Category — Animal Sciences

Penelope Goes to Knoxville

Petting Penelope

I’m traveling back to Cincinnati from The Knoxville Zoo with Dawn, our head nursery and quarantine keeper. About 9 months ago, Dawn got to hand raise our three bat eared foxes, Frankie, George and Penelope. My first blog for the Zoo was about training Frankie and George. Penelope wasn’t mentioned because she was being trained to go to the Knoxville Zoo as an ambassador animal for their education programs. [Read more →]

February 9, 2013   1 Comment

Three Little Pigs!

Meet Cinder, Thatcher, and Magnolia – our three little pigs. Domestic pigs bred for their small size, they are mini Juliana pigs and will only grow up to about 50 lbs. Thatcher is the spotted male with the blue harness. Magnolia is the spotted female with the purple harness. Cinder is a reddish-brown male.

Thatcher and Magnolia

Thatcher and Magnolia

The pigs live in the Children’s Zoo and can be seen walking around the park with their trainers. At just about 10 weeks old, they are still learning what it’s all about. I’m lucky enough to be on Cinder’s training team.

Giving Cinder a good scratch on the rump

Giving Cinder a good scratch on the rump

This morning we took them for an early morning walk before it got too hot. We stopped to play on the central lawn where the pigs discovered a sprinkler.

Magnolia and Thatcher get a drink from the sprinkler.

Magnolia and Thatcher get a drink from the sprinkler.

Pigs are social by nature. They are curious, intelligent, and easy to train.

Here Eunice is cueing Magnolia to sit. She is rewarded with grain pellets.

Here Eunice is cueing Magnolia to sit. She is rewarded with grain pellets.

Thatcher and Magnolia will soon be showing off their skills in the Barnyard Bonanza show, and Cinder will be out and about meeting and greeting guests. Keep an eye out for them next time you’re at the Zoo!

June 28, 2012   5 Comments

“Gentle Giant” Keeper – Jamey Vogel

Jamey Vogel became a Cincinnati Zoo employee in 1987.  Like many keepers, his progression at the Zoo has included working in several departments; therefore he has acquired a good understanding of many of our world’s Endangered Species, both plant and animal.

Jamey was a Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) for a few years while attending college at the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in Biology. He then joined the crew at the Zoo’s Frisch’s Discovery Center and brought animals to schools as part of the Zoo’s Outreach program. He also took a part time job as a Walrus Interpreter in 1990.

In 1990, Jamey moved to Florida to continue his education, specializing in Coral Reef ecology.  After nearing the completion of his degree, he moved back north and rejoined the Cincinnti Zoo in 1993. He continued to finish his degree, while working part time as an Interpreter for the Walrus & Jungle Trails Exhibits. He joined the Horticulture department as a full-time seasonal gardener from late 1995 to 1997.  From fall of 1997 to spring of 1998, he got his first break as a temporary keeper in Jungle Trails. In 1998, he became a full-time keeper in the Bear department, caring for all the bears as well as the baby walruses, which remain one of his favorite animals. From May of 2000 to late 2002, he worked in the Commissary department.

In September of 2002, he took a position at the Manatee Springs building, where he found his true passion.  Over the last 8 years, Jamey has cared for all 12 of the manatees at the Cincinnati Zoo. He has acquired a vast amount of knowledge of Manatee biology. He has learned a great deal about Manatee Conservation issues, Federal regulatory politics and environmental conditions these marvelous creatures must endure to survive. He has participated in several manatee transfers and a few releases. He believes that through Education and affirmative action, all humans can work together to protect this “Gentle Giant” before he goes the way of the DoDo.

July 19, 2011   2 Comments