It's always a good time to visit the Milwaukee County Zoo

Visitors and residents alike find the zoo a great place to visit, whether in-person OR virtually.

 

While Covid 19 shutdowns have closed many other attractions, the Milwaukee County Zoo has remained open, providing the perfect cure for cabin fever.

     Don't miss seeing the new red river hogs, pictured above. They are enjoying their new digs in the former indoor elephant habitat. Brothers Mort and Dudley arrived from the Dallas Zoo recently, and zookeepers say they are "very smart and personable animals."

    Milja is the zoo's snow leopard cub. Look for her just outside the entrance and exit to the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country building. Born to parents Orya and Asa in spring 2020, Milja made her public debut in September. Snow leopards are known for their snow-colored fur, perfect for blending into their native habitat in the Himalayas.

       Also outside the entrance and exit to Big Cat Country are the red pandas. They love cooler weather, and in February were climbing trees and bouncing around in the snow.

     The 20,000-square-foot Elephant Care Center features a recreation room with both sand and padded floors, five individual stalls for training and husbandry and expansive space for enrichment activities. Indoor enrichment items include hay-filled barrels that zookeepers hang from the ceiling. The elephants  exercise their trunk muscles by reaching up to these high-hanging devices. Elephants in the wild would behave similarly, reaching into the tree for leaves to eat.

     The zoo currently houses six giraffes in their own indoor habitat, where visitors can get closer than is possible outside. See adults Bahatika, Marlee, Ziggy and Rahna, and youngsters Desmond (two-years-old in July) and Maya (three-years-old in May).

     At the Stearns Family Apes of Africa building, which is open, the Western lowland gorillas and bonobos (also known as pygmy chimpanzees) inhabit a tropical rainforest-themed setting. The adjoining Primates of the World building is NOT OPEN because of Covid-19 concerns linked to the animals' genetic makeup.

 

New Arrivals

Although the Small Mammals building is currently closed due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, the zoo has announced two recent births for animals there – a cotton-top tamarin on Nov. 20, 2020, and a mohol galago on Nov. 27.

     Both babies are doing well and are being cared for by attentive, first-time mothers. Parental care is shared by cotton-top tamarins, with infants carried on the backs of their caregivers for several months. Baby is now off mom and dad, unless it becomes scared and then catapults back onto them with a giant leap!

     The South African mohol galago, also a species of primate (also known as a bush baby), was born Nov. 27 to mother, Kirby, and first-time dad, Keanu. The mohol galagos live in a mixed species exhibit, which includes a potto and springhaas.

     Another new resident is a female Hoffmann's two-toed sloth, Nentas. The 25-year-old resides in the sloth habitat with Fezzik. They are a recommended breeding pair, and although zookeepers report "a lot of curiosity," it's too soon to know if there will be a love connection. While the Small Mammals Building is closed due COVID-19 safety precautions, visitors can follow these animals at the zoo's website and social media platforms.

Plan Your Visit: The zoo is open from 9:30am to 3pm daily through March. Admission gates close one hour prior to closing. Animal buildings close 15 minutes prior to closing. No reservations are required, but there is limited capacity in open buildings in order to follow safety guidelines. March 6 Family Free Day Free admission (a parking fee of $15 remains in effect).

Information on regular admission fees and current Covid 19 safety guidelines are at milwaukeezoo.org.