Melinda Arnold, Public Relations/Marketing Director
Date: June 29, 2015
New faces, events heat up summer at Dickerson Park Zoo
Springfield, Mo. – Guests at Dickerson Park Zoo will see several new faces among the zoo’s residents this summer.
An Eastern bongo calf, born in early June, stays close to his mother’s side in the yard in the Africa region of the zoo. Eastern bongos are large forest-dwelling antelope now only found in isolated areas Kenya (Aberdares Conservation Area, the Mau Forest and Mt. Kenya National Park). Males and females are similar in height (4-5 feet tall) with long, spiraling horns.
The bongo calf, like the adults, has a chestnut-colored coat and narrow white stripes from its shoulders to hindquarters. This coloration likely serves as camouflage in the thick forest foliage. Unlike some antelope species, a bongo calf hides rather than following its mother to avoid drawing the attention of predators. Our calf’s horns will grow rapidly and likely begin to show by this fall.
It is estimated that fewer than 500 bongos remain in the wild, and the species is threatened by habitat destruction, disease and poaching. Dickerson Park Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan® for bongos through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
There’s a new bull in town at the zoo’s giraffe yard. “Grady,” a 2-year-old reticulated giraffe arrived in June from the Jacksonville Zoo. He will be integrated into the herd and become the breeding bull for the zoo’s group of younger females.
A visit to the Outback Corral petting zoo is an up-close but protected point of animal interaction for guests at Dickerson Park Zoo. Recent additions to the petting zoo animals include a brother-sister pair of Boer goat kids born in early June and two Holstein calves.
Zoo staff recently completed remodeling the European white stork yard, enclosing it in mesh and building a new service barn for the animals. Zookeepers moved red ruffed lemurs to the yard with the storks.
Military Appreciation Day
Dickerson Park Zoo will recognize active military families with free admission on Sunday, July 5, when the families present a current military ID. The free admission extends to members of the immediate family or a guest for single individuals.
Pancakes in the Park
Feast with the beasts at the annual Pancakes in the Park from 7-10 a.m., Saturday, July 18. Friends of the Zoo and Bob 105.1FM will host the 17th annual event with pancakes and sausage prepared at the zoo’s Bush Country Café by Village Inn restaurants.
The cost for breakfast is $5 for adults and teenagers and $4 for children ages 3-12; Friends of the Zoo members receive a $1 discount per person. Proceeds from Pancakes in the Park benefit Friends of the Zoo activities at Dickerson Park Zoo.
For Pancakes in the Park, zoo admission will be charged beginning at 7 a.m. “Early-bird” discounted admission will be offered from 7-9 a.m. ($6 for adults and teens; $4 for children ages 3-12). Regular zoo admission fees will be charged beginning at 9 a.m.
Zoo repairs and maintenance
Zoo guests will encounter a few disruptions this summer. The South America boardwalk is closed for reconstruction. However, all animals are visible for guests from the normal viewing locations, and alternate accessible routes have been marked with signs throughout the park. The Titus Express train ride is currently closed for track maintenance, and the Jumping Jewels water play area is closed because of a leak and low water pressure.
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Dickerson Park Zoo, 1401 W. Norton Rd., is open throughout the summer daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fees are $11 for adults and teenagers, $8 for seniors age 60 and older, $8 for children ages 3-12 and free for children age 2 and younger. Friends of the Zoo members are admitted free; FOZ memberships are $75 for an annual pass.
Dickerson Park Zoo is a division of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.
“Pammy J,” the oldest of Dickerson Park Zoo’s four juvenile giraffes died this morning during a medical procedure… She developed an overgrown hoof related to a previous injury, and zoo staff were preparing to trim her hoof, a routine procedure similar to what is performed on horses.Continue reading
Missouri State University “Bear Country,” the new name for Dickerson Park Zoo’s black bear yard, will be unveiled at a Missouri State Family Day at Dickerson Park Zoo on Sept. 27. In celebration of “Bear Country,” Dickerson Park Zoo will offer half-priced admission all day to Missouri State University students, faculty and staff, alumni and community supporters wearing any Missouri State clothing.Continue reading