On May 14, we invite you to come out to the Zoo’s EcOhio Farm and Wetland. Learn about the land’s history and take a piece of it home with you as we host our annual Native Plant Sale from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Nearly 200 species of native wildflowers, trees and shrubs, including those that you see throughout the EcOhio ecosystem, will be for sale. Cash, check, and credit card will be accepted.
Over the past few years, we’ve been hard at work on this off-site property formerly known as Bowyer Farm. This nearly 530-acre site in Warren County now offers a 24-acre reclaimed wetland, a 100-acre organic farm, newly established honeybee hives, and an abundance of birds and other wildlife that has moved in or stopover during their migration.
You can also learn about Pollen Nation and what this group has been doing to support pollinator conservation. Fifteen new beehives on EcOhio Farm are home to thousands of honeybees that help pollinate the entire ecosystem. Observe honeybees up close through an observation frame, and learn how these busy creatures keep us, and their hives, fed.
Zoo staff and master gardeners will be on hand throughout the day to share how this unique ecosystem is all connected and how you can recreate it in your own backyard. See the farm, hike the wetland, and learn about the Zoo’s future plans for this thriving oasis in the middle of the suburbs.
EcOhio Farm is located at 2210 north Mason-Montgomery Road, Lebanon, OH 45036.
*Please note this is a working farm and ecosystem. Bathrooms may not be available.
May 9, 2016 No Comments
Co-written by Dana Burke & Shasta Bray
Here at the Zoo
It’s been six months since our African painted dog boys made their way south, and they are doing great. They especially love watching all of the different hoof stock they get to see while on exhibit. Their keepers tell me they really enjoy watching the waterbuck, but I digress.
Imara and the girls, who are now 15 months old, have been doing well as an all girl group. Imara still tends to let them rule themselves, but will step in if she feels it is necessary. There have been some rumblings among the ranks within the juveniles (as you would expect with all females), but nothing major. Selina is still the alpha with Quinn as her second. These two have been the top two dogs since the females developed their hierarchy when they were very young. Next is Ivy and Lucy follows as the bottom dog.
The plan to move three of the juveniles is finally moving forward. As per the African Painted Dog Species Survival Plan, Selina and Quinn will be transported to the Wilds in Columbus. It is our hope that Selina will breed with a male that they are getting from another zoo. Ivy will be shipped to Honolulu to breed with a male that they house. That leaves Lucy here with Imara.
The reasons why we are shipping which dogs where is a well thought out process that takes into account the status, relationships and personalities of the individuals. Since Selina and Quinn have been bonded for most of their lives, we feel that their best chance for success is to move them together. Quinn has the capability of being a great helper and babysitter if Selina produces a litter. Of course, moving the dogs to a new facility could cause change between the sisters, but with Selina being a true alpha, we expect her to retain her status. Quinn has never really challenged her and moving to a new space will most likely result in her looking to Selina for guidance. All of these factors should lead to a smooth introduction to the male in a best case scenario.
We chose to move Ivy as a single dog because of her personality as well. In the last few months, Ivy has become a more confident dog. That being said, with her increase in confidence, she has also become more of a trouble maker and has challenged all of her sisters at some point. Ivy likes to stir the pot so to speak. Again, because of these traits, we feel that she would make a great alpha all on her own with a single male.
That leaves Imara and Lucy here in Cincinnati. Imara, who did a beautiful job raising the 10 pups we had in January last year, is not the most confident when it comes to being alpha. Lucy on the other hand, even though she is the bottom dog at this point, has the potential to be a pretty good alpha herself. Truth be told, Lucy is a bit of a wild card.
Within the next couple months, we will be receiving two male dogs. They will be quarantined and then we will set up for introductions. This is where things can get tricky. An introduction with two males and two females is one of the more challenging scenarios you can encounter with this species; however, the pay-off is a truly social pack that reflects those in the wild. Still, this is where things can get tricky. The keepers and animal manager will plan out each step of the process in order to set up the dogs for ultimate success. There will most likely be some fighting, whether it’s between the males or the females or each other, is impossible to guess. There’s even a chance that Lucy could end up alpha over Imara. Genetically, she is technically more valuable than her mother due to being Brahma’s offspring so we are fine with any outcome.
We collected information about the males from their current keepers, but it will be very important to observe them while in quarantine to confirm their hierarchy with each other. The introductions themselves will be done inside the building and once started will be complete in just a few hours. It may take them minutes or days to settle their social structure, but once they do, only the alphas will breed and produce pups. We have a lot of changes coming and are all really excited for what the future holds for this species. We will be sure to keep everyone updated on what is happening and how things are progressing.
Across the Globe in Tanzania
We may be wrapping up with our April showers here in Cincinnati, but they were nothing like the rains that El Nino dumped on our field partners with the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) over the past few months. Flooding of the Ruaha River caused all kinds of transportation problems.
The good thing about using remote-triggered cameras to monitor wildlife in the region is that the cameras continue to take pictures even when you have trouble reaching them. Fortunately, only a few of the cameras floated away during the heavy flooding.
RCP works to secure a future for large carnivores such as African painted dogs, lions and hyenas in and around Ruaha National Park in Tanzania. This region is home to the third largest population of painted dogs in Africa. Check out RCP’s latest update from the field to learn more.
May 4, 2016 2 Comments
This Saturday, May 7th, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden are oining together to “make hunger go extinct” in Greater Cincinnati by hosting a food donation drive at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden from 10am until 2pm.
Volunteers and donation barrels will be set up in the Historic Vine Street Village, just across from the Zoo Gift Shop. Guests who donate a minimum of three non-perishable food items when they visit the Zoo on Saturday will receive a free child ticket ($13 value) with the purchase of an adult ticket. Limit one ticket per person. Tickets are redeemable August 20 – September 30, 2016.
“During the summer months, families truly struggle to feed their children as they can no longer rely on school lunches,” said Mike Dunn, Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati. “For parents who count every dollar, those extra meals can mean making the choice between feeding their children or paying the rent. With a stocked pantry, we can help alleviate that pressure.”
“Serving our community has been a part of our Zoo’s mission for the past 5 or 6 years, where we recognize our responsibility to partner with diverse and economically challenged communities in our daily work,” says Fia Cifuentes, Sustainable Communities Advocate for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “Improving food access has been a major focus for us. Growing food locally, understanding where food comes from, and ensuring all has access to healthy diets – whether animal or person – is so important for a positive future for our environments. We are happy and proud to support St. Vincent de Paul with this food drive.”
All of the food collected in this Saturday’s food drive will be distributed at St. Vincent de Paul’s Liz Carter Outreach Center Choice Food Pantry in the West End, which serves a total of 9 zip codes, including Avondale’s 45229. They are most in need of tomato products like spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and any kind of canned tomato; various soups and stocks; meals in a can (such as ravioli); and personal care items.
Each donation barrel can support an estimated 250 pounds of canned goods. If we reach our goal of filling 10 barrels, it would provide the food allotment for the month for approximately 167 people. In addition, St. Vincent de Paul serves an estimated 3,000 people per month, and distributes approximately 36,000 pounds of food, valuing $1,000,000 per year.
St. Vincent de Paul operates many food pantries throughout Cincinnati, including the Edyth and Carl J. Lindner Choice Food Pantry in the West End, nine neighborhood-based pantries and many food closets. More than 900 parish-based volunteers visit the homes of struggling families in their own neighborhoods to provide basic necessities such as food.
To learn more, visit www.SVDPcincinnati.org or call 513-421-HOPE (4673).
May 3, 2016 No Comments