Zoo Blog - Blank Park Zoo

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Zoo Blog

Find out about the animals, events, behind the scenes information and more from the staff of Blank Park Zoo.

Zooktoberfest!

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM


Already missing Zoo Brew? Join us Thursday, September 25 for ZOOKTOBERFEST, an Oktoberfest twist on Zoo Brew! 

Doors open at 5:30 PM and the festivities continue until 8:00 PM. Food will be provided by the Zoo’s Safari Grill, operated by Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. Follow us on the Zoo Brew Facebook page to get more details on the Grill feature and updates on Zooktoberfest!

Be one of the first 750 guests and you will receive a Zooktoberfest koozie! Free samples will be available while they last, so make sure to right at the beginning. Samples include: Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider, Newcastle Werewolf, Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Jack-o-traveler Pumpkin. To go along with the samples, check out the pretzel necklace making station. 

Starting at 5:30 PM, Omaha-based Barry Boyce Band will heighten the celebration – their performances include a variety of ethnic music featuring old-time German, Czech and Polish polkas. The three-man band features Barry Boyce on piano accordion, button accordion and vocals. You can often find them at Hessen Haus!

It would not be Zooktoberfest without the animals of Blank Park Zoo. With the early September sunset, Blank Park Zoo’s outdoor animals will be out until 6:30 PM for the safety of the animals and the keepers. The Discovery Center will be open until 8:00 PM for you to visit the Zoo’s aquarium, birds and reptiles. You will also have the chance to meet several of the Zoo’s small critters and furry friends that are used for education all around the state and at the Zoo.

Zooktoberfest is the first of the Oktoberfest Des Moines celebrations! Be sure to head downtown to continue the party September 26 & 27. From 3:00 PM to 1:00 AM there will be live polka music, authentic food, contests, a tented beer garden and more! For more information about Oktoberfest Des Moines or to purchase tickets visit www.oktoberfestdsm.com

German beer, live music, Zoo animals, fun with friends –Zooktoberfest will be the Oktoberfest event of the fall! Zooktoberfest is for adults 21 and over!

FREE for Zoo members
$7 for Non-Members

Click here to purchase tickets! We will honor unused 2014 Zoo Brew Groupon tickets.

Bridal Sneak Peek

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Blank Park Zoo is excited to announce their second Bridal Sneak Peek of the year on August 29, 2014! The event allows engaged couples to meet with the event coordinator, catering manager, and explore the decorated venue spaces around the Zoo.

Already have a wedding venue? No problem! The Zoo’s preferred vendors will be out offering incredible discounts and prizes to the brides and grooms in attendance on August 29. The Zoo will even be giving away $500 in credit towards one lucky couple’s wedding at Blank Park Zoo. 

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse will be providing appetizers and drinks as couples and their guests make their way through our Pavilion Ceremony space, Indoor Reception Room, ZooPlex Reception space, cocktail hour locations, and bridal suite. It is the perfect event for any couple as they plan their dream wedding!

Special Events, Scratch Cupcakes, and Pure Bridal are just to name a few of the vendors that you will experience while attending the event. Bridal Sneak Peek is free for the bride or groom and two guests. Additional guests will be $5 per person. Questions? Feel free to call 515-974-2506 or email sales@blankparkzoo.org.

            

For more information and to register for the event, visit www.blankparkzoo.com/bridalsneakpeek.

 

Creature Feature: Eland

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Blank Park Zoo is proud to be the home of many large mammals, including Elands. Tragelaphus derbianus is the Elands scientific name. Even though the Elands are considered the least concerned on the IUCN red list there still are cases of over-hunting. This can lead to elimination of Elands in certain areas, but they are still highly populated in protected areas. Blank Park Zoo is delighted to house these animals at the Zoo to keep their species from extinction. 

The Eland is the largest breed of antelope. It is of similar size to as a cow, weighing up to 1,500 pounds. From their shoulders to the ground they stand around six feet tall. Elands have a tan coat that is usually fawn or tawny-colored. Once older the Eland will start to turn a gray or bluish-gray color. You can tell which Elands are the oldest because their coat will turn almost black. Males grow a tuft of black hair located on the fold of skin that hangs down from their neck. Elands have horns that are slightly twisted and rise from the front of their heads. The female’s horns are usually longer and thinner than the male’s horns. Elands can travel in large herds of one hundred or more animals. This breed lives around 15 to 25 years. 

Where do Elands live? Elands live in the open plains, grassland, mountain, subdesert, acacia savanna, and miombo woodland areas. Most of them are located around Africa. Elands try to stay away from swamps, deserts, and forests. 

Elands are Herbivores and mainly prefer to eat vegetables. Elands will browse around and eat in areas where there are shrubs and bushes around. They will use their horns to break down twigs and branches to eat the leaves from. They will sometimes consume some types of fruits, large bulbs, and tuberous roots. 

Come to the Zoo soon and visit with our Eland friends! 

         

 

Campout at the Zoo #1 & Iowa Cubs Night

Posted on Jun 24, 2014 at 2:49 PM

On June 13, 2014 the Zoo was happy to host 41 campers at the third annual Campout at the Zoo! Everyone had fun meeting new people, crafting, making Ants On A Log treats, and going on private tours of the zoo where they met many animals including giraffe, rhinos, tortoises and more! We’d like to give a big thanks to Zoo Keeper Nikki and Zoo Keeper Stacy for leading the tours! Campers also played an animal-themed game and got to hear the rooster’s crow in the morning! The families were able to get the full camping experience from being able to set up their own tent to waking up to the early morning animal coos. This Campout at the Zoo was surely a memorable one!

Go Cubs go! Another fun event the Blank Park Zoo team got to be a part of this month was the Iowa Cubs Night. We were invited out to Principal Park to have our mascot, Wally B, throw one of the first pitches! He also got to take part in the Kum and Go race against 3 other mascots; a hot dog, a koolee, and a bag of chips. Wally B even ended up winning the race (after a shove or two to his competition). Not only did the fans get to enjoy Wally, but we also brought along an alligator and snake from the Zoo for fans to see up close. All in all, Blank Park Zoo has had a very eventful and enjoyable month of June!

          

Guest Post Creature Feature: Chilean Flamingo

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Huge varieties of birds and animals are the asset we can proudly boast of. They add to the biological diversity of the land. It is our responsibility to conserve all those species which inhabit and share our land.  The Chilean Flamingo is a species of birds which has similar characteristics to almost all other breeds of flamingo. This species is often getting misrepresented because of its characteristics which resemble other species. These flamingos are known to converse in goose-like honking or squawking.

Description:
The Chilean Flamingo is a little smaller than Greater and Caribbean flamingos. It usually grows up to 3-3.8 feet and weighs slightly less than five pounds. These can be otherwise called the pink beauties since their feathers are pink in color. The tail, chest and wing areas are intense pink in color and the plumage is a pale shade of pink. The beak is white near its face and it turns to black near its tip. The most amazing characteristic of the Chilean flamingo is that there is a pink cap which covers its ankle joints. These joints are designed to help the flamingo to dip its head under the water. That is the way it catches its food from water.

Distribution:
As the name itself indicates, these are mostly found in Chile. This does not mean that they are found only in this location. They may also be found in the Andes, Uruguay and Peru. Like other flamingos Chilean flamingos also prefer shallow waters. Generally the water surrounding these areas is alkaline and there will not be much vegetation.

Behavior:
The Chilean Flamingo is a social creature much like other flamingos. They live in groups, sometimes up to thousands of birds together in a flock. They feed, mate and migrate in huge flocks. They fly with their neck and legs extended fully and in v-shaped formations. While migrating they honk and squawk in order to make sure that they are all together and connected. They stand only on one leg while resting and curl their long necks under one wing. These birds often sleep in water to protect themselves from predators. When they do not sleep, eat or mate, they preen their feathers to keep their bodies waterproof and clean. This activity keeps their feathers in good condition to fly. They face the wind and sleep or rest in order to keep rain and moisture away from penetrating their downy coats. 

Chilean flamingo – Phoenicopterus chilensis

These pink beauties look slender, but they can stand on one leg for hours on end. They can withstand extreme climatic conditions ranging from scorching summers to chilly winters of up to -30 C. 

Mary Rose is a freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience in draft essay writing services online. She enjoys writing about current trends and innovations in education, beauty tips, travelling experience, and about web designing tips. 

 

 

 

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