Checking In with the Animals

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Our keepers work hard to build bonds with their animals so that they will voluntarily participate in their care. Look at how calmly Jabari the Masai giraffe stands for his hoof trim!

Our Yellow-Crowned Amazons, Buster and Abby, just enjoying their corn. What's on your menu tonight? Hope you're all staying healthy! 

Wallowing, or rolling around in mud, helps rhinos coat their skin in mud. This not only cools them off, but acts like a natural sunscreen, and also can help protect rhinos from parasites. Check out Timu enjoying the great weather we've had lately and rolling in her favorite wallow!

Even our animals love to watch TV sometimes! Television can make great enrichment for our animals, introducing novel visual and audio stimulus. Check out Mac and Jabari, our Masai giraffes, enjoying the movie "Elf"!

While the spider monkeys are running and chasing one another, Max and Jenny enjoy a little more subtle play time together. Peek-a-boo!

Exercise is still important for staying healthy. Hopefully you're finding a way to stay active while staying home, just like Gumby our Laughing Kookaburra!

This puzzle feeder is meant for dogs, but it works great for tamarin insects too. All 3 emperor tamarins are kept engaged for long periods of time, retrieving delicious mealworms and crickets!

Did you know that Eastern black rhinos have a prehensile lip? This top lip is what differentiates them from white rhinos, and allows them to easily strip leaves off of bushes and branches in the wild. Turns out it works equally well for cleaning out a watermelon!

Nothing better than an Easter Egg hunt for treats! Check out the meerkats' enrichment for Easter Sunday.

Lemonhead the Straw-colored Fruit Bat hopes you're enjoying plenty of fresh fruit and staying healthy just like he is! He absolutely LOVES his breakfast fruit bowl!

Who doesn't love to pop bubbles?? Pierre the emperor tamarin is enjoying some bubble time. Novel play activities like this keep our animals active while also stimulating them mentally!

Some days you just want to lay in bed and have a snack. Jenny the orangutan uses her hands and feet to balance and rotate this puzzle feeder until her biscuits fall out, right into her mouth. Handy work, Jenny!

Enrichment is an important part of the day for our animals here at the Zoo. It keeps their day interesting and fun! Enrichment can take the form of a novel food item, toy, or even a nice smell! Check out our arctic foxes enjoying shredding a head of lettuce as some enrichment.

Sometimes you just can't decide if you want to go play with your siblings or take a nap on the towel!

Did you know that skunks are considered "opportunistic omnivores"? This means that not only do they eat both meat and plants, but they eat almost anything they can get their paws on! Minnie, our striped skunk, is one of our most voracious animals. Check out how much he's loving his treats!

Go behind the scenes to see our exam of 28-year-old Nora, one of the Racine Zoo's Andean bears. From an x-ray of her leg to her annual wellness exam, we go into detail of the veterinary care we provide for Nora to make sure she is happy and healthy!

Orangutans are excellent tool makers and tool users. Here, Max the orangutan uses a dowel to rotate the bottle until biscuits fall out and he can retrieve them!

Look at that tongue! Did you know a giraffe's tongue is 14" long? The long length helps them grab leaves off tops of trees, and the dark color prevents sunburn. Did you know that they only spend 4 hours a night sleeping? The rest of the time they spend working to find enough food. Wow!

Spring is in the air, and our rhinos got a chance recently to get outside and enjoy some warmer temperatures and sunshine!

Max the orangutan is crafting; he likes to grind up some chalk, add water, then make a nice paste. Today he was decorating himself, but sometimes he likes to paint this paste around the exhibit. Purple suits you, Max!

Don't worry Yule—sometimes we all make a mess of our food!

Breakthrough! When caring for our animals, we always do everything we can to allow them to participate in their own care. Our keepers have been working for months to get a voluntary weight from Levi, our western tufted deer. Deer are very skittish, so this took a lot of patience and trust building on the part of our keepers and Levi! Congratulations, Levi!

Regular weights are an important part of caring for our animals! Here our female zebra, Promise, steps onto our extra large scale to on her keepers cue. This voluntary participation keeps everything easy and stress-free for our animals. Here, Promise weighed in at 673 pounds!