2022 had some amazing moments! Here are some highlights:
Animal Wellness: This year we developed annual wellness plans for each animal/species at the Zoo in conjunction with their monthly wellness assessments. Wellness plans include changes to habitats and animal living space, modification to enrichment, food or diet updates, health care review, animal training plans for the year, as well as brainstorming how to give our animals more choices and control over their day. These plans provide a time for the animal care and veterinary team to look at the day from the animals’ perspectives and help make each day outstanding for each and every animal!
Master Plan: Reid Park Zoo was awarded a grant to create a nature play space, which will be a new play area that will be adjacent to the upcoming Angel Charity for Children World of Play. Our team worked with nature play experts locally and across the country through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and to plan the best play space. This year we broke ground on the Angel Charity for Children World of Play, planned the new layout for Pathway to Asia, and developed plans for our upcoming Sloth habitat. Read the latest update on Master Plan developments here.
Medical: Providing excellent medical care to the animals is a top priority for our Zoo. This year we were proud to provide vaccines to mammals susceptible to the coronavirus, as well as other general preventative care. The elephant care specialists and veterinary team participated in an intensive EEHV monitoring and research program to aid in the care of African elephants as a species. Additionally, we were also excited to have students from the University of Arizona Veterinary College begin rotations here at the Zoo with our animal care and vet teams.
Conservation: Reid Park Zoo is a leader of the Andean Highland Flamingo SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) Program. The program is monitoring wild birds to learn more about the species it protects, and has developed informational signs and booklets to help with conservation education in Chile. In supporting our conservation partners both locally and globally, Reid Park Zoo donated $93,500 to our conservation partners last year. Closer to home, the employee Green Team has been hard at work composting, developing recycling, working with plastic reuse programs, and organizing park clean ups.
New Faces: With the help of our incredible animal care team, two blue-crowned pigeons were successfully hatched and raised, and two pups were born to our meerkat mob. There are also some new faces working with our Education Team! Giant millipedes, a scorpion, a leopard tortoise, two corn snakes, new golden dart frogs, and a new tamandua all joined the Animal Ambassador ranks. Ambassadors can be seen during many of our education programs, as well as at our daily animal presentations.
Social Animals: Companionship is important for social animals. This year Andean bears Oja and Joaquin had a chance to get to know each other; giraffes Jasiri, Penny, and Sota are spending time together; and zebras Ben and Anna were reintroduced as their foal Haroo has grown bigger and more independant. Behind the scenes, two new tamanduas were introduced to each other. Each of these animals are an important member of their Species Survival Plan and we are excited to see them thrive.
Zoo Upgrades and Upkeep: Behind the scenes, our team created a new tamandua habitat, maintained the vegetation and trees throughout the Zoo, and did trimming throughout the facility for tree health. Our team built a new platform for the African lions, giving them a new space to look out into the Zoo while also providing cover in a cave-like structure. We renovated the animal kitchen to provide more space for storing and preparing food for the entire collection of animals, so we can provide the best and freshest meals each day.
Community: We opened new volunteer programs this year, giving more opportunities to welcome our local community to work directly with the Zoo. We also worked closely with our Zoo network, and were proud to host the annual Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians Annual conference this fall, as well as host guests from the Association for Zoos and Aquariums CFO Conference.
Guest Experience and Comfort: This year we added new bottle filling stations to the Zoo’s drinking fountains in addition to installing more shade structures both for our guests and animals’ comfort. We redesigned the Pollinator garden to maximize pollinator use and provide a new area for guests to experience educational Animal Ambassador presentations. We also added shade sails for guests around the giraffe habitat for comfort on the hot days.
Events: This year we were excited to bring dinosaurs to the Zoo with Dinosaur Discovery. This Spring event started the year off with a Jurassic kick. We were also excited to bring Wine Gone Wild and Brew at the Zoo back after a two year hiatus, and extend Boo at the Zoo to welcome guests for a less crowded Halloween experience.
Thank you for spending 2022 with us. We cannot wait to see what next year brings.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we depend on your generous support to achieve our mission each and every year. Would you consider including Reid Park Zoo in your year-end giving plans by making a tax deductible gift? Your support means the world to us.