Tuesday, May 17
If you ask any of us carnivore keepers here at Zoo Atlanta about Logan, our fossa, we generally start gushing about how awesome and handsome he is. We may be a bit biased, but we like to think that he is one of the absolute coolest animals at the Zoo. However, we realize that you might not be very aware of Logan himself or of the species in general. If you have seen the movie “Madagascar,” you have at least heard of the fossa and know that they like to eat lemurs. Do you know anything else about them? Here are a few fun facts.
Fossas, like lemurs, are found solely on the island of Madagascar, and they are actually the largest predators there. They are the only predators capable of hunting the largest lemurs. Lemurs can make up about half of their diet, but they also eat a variety of other small- to medium-sized prey, including fish, birds, and mammals. Fossas can grow to about 6 feet long. Their long tails make up about half of their total length and are used for balance in the trees. They are very agile in the trees and are equally comfortable there or on the ground.To help with their superb climbing skills, fossas have flexible ankle joints, allowing them to climb down trees headfirst. Like a lot of carnivores, the fossa is a solitary animal in the wild, except for breeding. They use scent to communicate with others and to mark their territories. Scent glands for marking are located on the chest and under the base of the tail.
The fossa remains a very mysterious animal, mostly due to the fact that they live in remote forested areas and are not densely populated. The people of Madagascar have many myths about fossas and consider them to be very sly and cunning.
Pretty cool animals, right? So, now that I have you all converted to fossa fans, I have some exciting news for you. For the past several months or so, a couple of us carnivore keepers have been collaborating with some of our education staff to bring you a brand-new Keeper Talk this summer, all about the fossa! It is still in the development stages, but it should be ready to roll out early this summer and will be held on Friday afternoons. If you want to learn even more about these awesome animals, and our most fabulous fossa ambassador Logan, please stop by the fossa habitat and we will build a fossa together. What? You’ll have to wait and see! The schedule on the back of your Zoo map will give you the time for the fossa Keeper Talk. The schedule also lists all of the other Keeper Talks, animal encounters, and training sessions in the Zoo for the day, so be sure to check them all out as well. Logan and I are looking forward to seeing you, and we hope that you have a fossa-tastic summer!
Keeper II, Mammals