Birth of Baby Orangutan
Dane County's Henry Vilas Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a healthy female Bornean orangutan
to first-time parents Kawan and Datu. The new infant, named Keju ('kay-joo'), Malay for "cheese," was
born on Thursday, April 9. Keju is important to the n
ational effort to maintain a population of this
endangered species through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Orangutan Species Survival Plan
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New Henry Vilas Zoo Mobile App - Free!
We are proud to announce the release of the first ever Henry Vilas Zoo app, created by Heck of an IDEA. Whether you are at home, at the zoo or just somewhere, the Henry Vilas Zoo mobile app brings the zoo right to your mobile device and allows you to learn about your favorite animals, discover the attractions, view a map, browse current happenings, sift through animal facts, discover history of the zoo, plan your visit and much more.For the whole story & a link to download the app, please click here
New Arctic Passage Plans Unveiled
The new "Arctic Passage" exhibit plans feature an expansive polar bear habitat with an underwater viewing area for visitors to experience the beauty of the species up close. It will include a dynamic habitat for grizzlies that could allow visitors the rare chance to watch a bear capture a live fish for its lunch. The facility is to be jointly funded by Dane County and the Friends of the Zoo.
The "Arctic Passage" will also feature an indoor and outdoor cafeteria with a view of the bears. The money raised from year-round food and beverage sales at the dining space will support costs of the "Arctic Passage" as well as staff, zoo operating expenses and future improvements. Current plans call for breaking ground on the new facility by the end of 2013.
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Welcoming Two New Giraffes!
Your Henry Vilas Zoo is the new home to two young, male, reticulated giraffes that are ready to meet you! "Wally and Eddie have arrived just in time to enjoy a beautiful time of year in their new home," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "I hope families will take advantage of the great weather we've had and plan a visit to welcome our new zoo family members soon."
Wally, a one-year-old, came to Henry Vilas Zoo from the Niabi Zoo in Illinois, and Eddie (Sita), four years old, came to the zoo from the Dallas Zoo in Texas. Henry Vilas Zoo's previous reticulated giraffes, Bo (Zawadi) and Shaggy (Sweta), were on loan from the Minnesota Zoo and have returned to their home.
"Wally and Eddie are great ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild. The main threats to giraffes are poaching and habitat loss. Less than 80,000 giraffes are thought to remain in the wild," said Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz. "We are very passionate about providing the Madison community with the opportunity to visit these spectacular animals for years to come."
Fun Giraffe Fact!
Giraffes' patterns are as unique as a fingerprint. Reticulated giraffes are a subspecies of giraffes named for their distinctive pattern-brown, regular, box-shaped spots with white lines in between. This pattern is good camouflage in their natural habitat in dry savannas and open woodlands of northeast Africa.
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