Education Intern Field Guide: May

Welcome to the first annual education intern field guide! 

Bijou, Lexie, Alyssa, and Michael will be sharing all their tips and tricks for the best things going on this month at Tanganyika!

 

RECRUITING: Toddlers who love Cub Club – Wednesday 9:30am

Babies, crawlers, first-steppers: come join us at Cub Club for some toddler-friendly activities! This fun event happens every Wednesday morning, 9:30-10am. We hope you are of the social type because every week a special animal visitor will be there to socialize with you. Fun for toddlers and babies especially, but moms, dads and grandpa are welcome! This activity is unique because it includes a special song, storytime, and a Tanganyika animal ambassador. Previous experiences include Yolandi the African Penguin, Chewie the Two-Toed Sloth, and many more! Reserve your spot now: https://book.peek.com/s/ecc87ef4-149b-4167-93df-84799dc06786/av9m4

So you ask… what is a BINTURONG? What is Binturong Day?

Although they are known as a bearcat, they are neither part of this compound word. Come to Binturong day to impress your friends with this cool word: VIVERRID. Binturongs are viverrids, an Old World mammal. These unique furry cuties have prehensile tails. 

Ever heard of a …. 

  • Civet
  • Genet
  • Lingsang

Don’t worry, almost no one knows these cousins to the binturong, which makes our BinTurong Day that much more special for your family. 

When? Saturday May 2nd. 

Why? To raise awareness and protect these misnamed viverrid. Binturongs have been named as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN, and critically endangered across China. So we need your help. 

Who? You + Bali + Stanley. Native to South and SE Asia, the binturongs (not you) are lovers of tall forest habitat. Almost entirely arboreal, they are not spotted often in the wild. But, you can spot them at Tanganyika. Both Bali and Stanley are omnivorous. They help to spread seeds of the strangler fig, which cannot germinate without assistance, through their droppings! Bali and Stanley are one of only two known animals with digestive enzymes capable of softening the tough outer covering of the fig’s seeds. 

Popcorn? Bali and Stanely have scent glands, which are located just under the tail… Guess what? These glands produce a smell reminiscent of buttered popcorn. Yummy! 

Why are these cuties under threat? It is a mix of habitat loss and fragmentation, degradation of forests (through logging and land conversion), and poaching.

Reserve your spot here and check out our other connect and preserve days where the proceeds benefit Tanganyika’s conservation partners picked by our keepers!! https://book.peek.com/s/ecc87ef4-149b-4167-93df-84799dc06786/dzxE8

Share your story: Family full of cat lovers and worth following! 

If you live close to Wichita, you might start to take the Tanganyika wildlife for granted. Our keepers love your stories, your love for the animals and your passion for our park. So when you share what makes Tanganyika special, it makes our furr stand up. 

A family who came from California and love to dote on their maine coon at home all turned to mush as soon as they saw our nursery during their visit on Thursday, the 8th of April. Even the military career father was enamored! As precious as the clouded leopard and jaguar kittens are, they weren’t the only cats to pull their heartstrings. Our fluffy snow leopards with their big paws and long tails were another special sight for this family. They were also excited to see our caracal, having learned about them previously on Wild Kratts! It’s hard to say which cat was their favorite; they, of course, had to stop by the nursery again on their way out, but all three kids chose a different cat stuffy to take home at our gift shop. 

What cat do you think will be your favorite? Or maybe it’ll be Kenzie the giraffe or Leonard the lemur who will steal your heart? You’ll have to see on your next visit!

Lemur Birthdays

We have new lemur babies located in our family group next to lemur island. They are ring-tailed lemurs next to the black-and-white ruffed lemur habitat. One ring-tailed baby likes to enjoy the sun and play on its slide.

 

Bachelor group #1 (Normie, Leonard, Vegas, Sebastian, and Ernie) are currently 15 and will have their sweet 16th birthday this month. Leonard is at the top of Bachelor group #1’s social hierarchy and thoroughly enjoys craisins.

Trainer Jackie says Leonard loves sitting on guest laps and grabbing their hand to receive more craisins. Ernie is one of the primate team’s favorite lemurs from Bachelor group #1 due to his laid-back nature. They are nicknamed the “good boys” due to their calm and loving attitudes toward their keepers, guests, and their family. 

Happy Birthday Hoppy!

Here at Tanganyika Wildlife park we like to celebrate birthdays, and especially big milestone birthdays! This May one of our King Vultures will be turning 55, and we want you to come celebrate with us! Hoppy is a male King Vulture, he hatched on May 16th, 1966, he is our oldest bird here at Tanganyika, and one of our oldest animals. King Vultures come from central and south America, and they tend to live in tropical forests. They typically grow to be about 2.5  feet tall, and weigh just about 8 pounds. King Vultures are designed to be very effective at eating other deceased animals, they have a very good eyesight and sense of smell to locate their food. However, Hoppy is very old and is actually blind in one eye. If you get a chance, take a look at his eyes, one looks normal and the other looks cloudy. They also have an incredibly strong beak compared to other types of vultures. King vultures are not endangered right now, but there have been declines in their population in the wild, so it is important to make eco friendly choices to help maintain their status. 

Join us on May 16th at 1pm to celebrate Hoppy! We will be at his exhibit, near our children’s zoo, and we will be singing happy birthday to him and watching him enjoy some very special birthday treats!

What happened to the White Tigers?

One question we have heard a lot recently is, what happened to the White Tigers? For many years we had two white tigers that were staples of our park, they lived across the sidewalk from lemur island and could often be seen taking a tap or even cuddling. In the winter of 2020, Gilbert and Sky retired. They were both over 14 years old, that is very old for tigers! They moved to a retirement facility further south, where they can enjoy more consistent temperatures and spend the rest of their lives, taking lots of naps and cuddling. They had multiple litters of cubs during their time at Tanganyika, the latest being in 2016. These different cubs move to different wildlife parks and zoos across the country, this helps spread out the genetics of Tigers and works toward keeping them from going extinct!

Not to worry, that exhibit where Gilbert and Sky used to be, won’t be empty forever! After we make a few minor adjustments we will most likely be moving our Amur Leopards there! Our Amur Leopards have only been viewed by guests who have gone on our origins tour, and we are so excited for all of our guests to be able to see them! Amur leopards are critically endangered cats. They are strong and fast, their recorded speed ranges up to 37 miles per hour! Here at Tanganyika we have a melanistic Amur Leopard named Mystique, this means she is completely black and is one of three known melanistic Amur Leopards in the world!

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