While the thermometer is slow to realize that spring has started, birds have begun their northern migrations to warm-weather destinations. And just as they do on their southbound trips, many species use the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo as a layover location.
I am writing from the midyear meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in Chattanooga, where we’re focusing on research and species sustainability. We’re also discussing our ongoing assistance to zoos and aquariums in Japan.
I’ve been busy lately overseeing not only animal care but also the administrative elements of my job. On Tuesday we participated in the 13th Annual Museum Day in Springfield, when representatives from museums, zoos and aquariums statewide discussed the value of our institutions with Illinois legislators.
While the creatures that hiss, howl and hoot are the wild centerpieces at Lincoln Park Zoo, the silent life forms—flowers, plants and trees—are a beautiful backdrop. And with spring just around the corner (honest), our gardening efforts are ramping up.
How about this weather! As the thermometer registered spring temperatures today, the animals took full advantage. The polar bear was swimming, flamingos were flapping their wings and chimpanzees and gorillas explored their outdoor yards. Tomorrow is also supposed to be unseasonably mild—join us to see who else is out and about.
Despite repeated efforts to communicate the damage caused by using chimpanzees for comedic effect in advertising, Career Builder again chose to run a commercial featuring chimps dressed as humans during the Super Bowl.
For the first time in nearly a decade, Lincoln Park Zoo closed on Wednesday. The blizzard prompted us to shut our doors. Of course, the animals were well cared for—they were given extra bedding, the heat was boosted in some areas and all species were given access to indoor spaces. (Some, like the red pandas, are playfully exploring their snowy yards today.)
Last week I attended the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) annual directors meeting, where we focused on sustainability of our collections—in short, what steps we must take to ensure that zoo collections remain strong and healthy well into the future.