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Wonderful warm weather at Wieland

Hooray, the warm weather has found us and it looks as though it is here to stay! Do you guys know what that means? The Program Animals Department, like the rest of the Zoo, is gearing up for another amazing summer season! Usually when you walk past our Wieland Wildlife Home building, you get to look inside where our animal ambassador population lives, but did you know we have a few outdoor habitats for these animals as well? You may be familiar with our Virginia opossums already. Since opossums are native to Georgia, they live in those outdoor habitats all year long, but usually spend their days snoozing. Opossums are nocturnal after all! Now that warm weather and sunny skies are here, they will have some neighbors! Keep a close eye out and you’ll get to see three-banded armadillos, red-footed tortoises, gopher tortoises and more! We were fortunate with the weather recently and were able to get our three-banded armadillo Finnegan out into an outdoor habitat. From what I heard he was keeping guests and keepers entertained with all the running around and digging he got to do!

Also at Wieland, we have a neat little animal called a – *big breath* – lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrec! We just call her Tiako. Tenrecs go through something called torpor. This takes place during dry and wet seasons, when food is scarce. This state can last three to five months, and helps the tenrec conserve energy during a time where food is scarce. For Tiako, torpor happens during the colder months of the year. She spends most of her days and nights sleeping and consumes smaller amounts of food. Now with the warm weather she has come out of torpor. What does that mean for keepers? Tiako is much more active and gets more food. With more food that means more, well, cleaning up to do! If you come during the summer to see her in a presentation or on an encounter, she will be much more active as well! Tenrecs are natural climbers, so when out of torpor, not only does she climb all over the branches in her space, but she’ll get to show that off as she moves around in our hands, too.

Great weather also means great presentations, and do we have a treat for you! Program Animal staff have been hard at work on a new script and new presentation that just made its debut this week! Will you get to meet new birds? Maybe! Will you get to see new hosts? Possibly! Will you get to learn about how amazing birds are? Definitely! I can’t give you all the details, so if you want to see our amazing presentation all put together, come back and visit us this summer! Until then, enjoy these amazing warm Zoo days!
Emily Bobal
Swing Keeper I, Program Animals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl