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Wildlife Education Series Returns

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Join us on Zoom for two incredible talks about two magnificent species.

April 1, 2021 at 7:00pm  – Care and Conservation of Elephants in Asia

April 28, 2021 at 7:00pm – Preserving a Future for Polar Bears Across the Arctic

Care and Conservation of Elephants in Asia

In this presentation Dr. Susan Mikota, Director of Veterinary Services and Research for Elephant Care International (ECI) will discuss the status of captive and wild elephants in Asia with a focus on ECI projects in select countries. ECI programs focus on Care (healthcare and welfare of individuals and groups), Conservation (mitigation of disease where captive and wild elephant interface) and Capacity Building (through training veterinarians and providing technical support, equipment, and supplies).

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected; a portion of these donations will go to the speaker’s organization.

About Dr. Mikota:
Dr. Susan Mikota is the Director of Veterinary Programs and Research for Elephant Care International, a non-profit organization that she also co-founded. Elephant Care International is dedicated to the healthcare, welfare, and conservation of elephants and to facilitating data sharing among elephant professionals. She has written numerous scientific articles and book chapters and co-edited Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants, the first modern veterinary textbook dedicated to elephants. Dr. Mikota worked for the Audubon Zoo/Audubon Institute for almost 20 years, before moving to Indonesia for 3 years to care for elephants in government training centers on Sumatra. Dr. Mikota has also worked in Nepal, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. She is a member of the IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group, the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group and the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group (acewg.org). In 2017 she became a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare, a specialty acknowledged by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

 

Preserving a Future for Polar Bears Across the Arctic

Polar Bears International (PBI) is the only conservation organization solely dedicated to wild polar bears. Through research, education, and advocacy we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic and its connection to our global climate. Join us to learn more about leading polar bear research and education presented by Alysa McCall, PBI Director of Conservation Outreach and Marissa Krouse, PBI Program Manager.

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected; a portion of these donations will go to the speaker’s organization.

About Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach:
Alysa has a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University and an M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Alberta where her thesis focused on the polar bears of western Hudson Bay. She gained hands-on experience with polar bears from multiple fall and spring field seasons in Tuktoyaktuk and Churchill, and she has been heavily involved in the collaring and tracking of Hudson Bay polar bears. Prior to joining PBI’s staff, Alysa volunteered for several years in multiple capacities, including being a panelist on the Tundra Connections program and assisting with the Polar Bear Tracker. She is passionate about science education and polar bear conservation, and is dedicated to ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy planet. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

About Marissa Krouse, Program Manager:
Marissa has a B.A. in psychology with a focus in animal behavior. She worked in a zoo setting for nine years, specifically in the fields of conservation education and animal husbandry. Her role at PBI includes coordinating our Arctic Ambassador Center network, Education and Outreach campaigns, and leading our annual Climate Alliance training sessions for zoo staff, helping them to communicate effectively. She is the co-author of a Polar Bear Diet Trial publication in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (2014) and has published in the American Association of Zookeepers National Conference Proceedings (2010, 2011). Marissa is a motivated conservationist who values teamwork and is dedicated to helping others lead their communities. She believes in the legacy she will leave behind and works to leave a healthy planet for future generations.

Wildlife Education Series 2021 is proudly sponsored by

Nature Connection Activities

Nature Connection Activities

Our favorite Nature Connection Activities – in one place!

Connecting our community to the natural world – that is what BPZOO strives to do every day. When a global pandemic forced our doors to close in mid-March, we knew we needed to find a way to help our community maintain that connection.

We did that by posting 68 different activities on Facebook and Instagram to inspire families of all ages to engage in the outside world around them – wherever they were. Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost feelings of happiness and well-being. The natural world is also a powerful educational tool that can stimulate a child’s natural curiosity and creativity through multi-sensory, hands-on exploration and play.

BPZOO Educators have taken their favorite activities and put them in one place!

Nature Connection Activities

Did hear that Charlie’s Nature Play is now open?
Remember, it’s still BYOT- bring your own toys!

 

 

 

BPZOO now has a StoryWalk®!

BPZOO now has a StoryWalk®!

The Buttonwood Park Zoo, in conjunction with the New Bedford Birth – 3rd Partnership, is now home to a StoryWalk® – in 4 languages!

In July of 2020, guests to the Zoo were able to peruse the pages of the beloved children’s book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle as they strolled the newly opened pathway around the elephant habitat. In August, the StoryWalk® was “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert. The StoryWalk®, in addition to English, is also posted in Portuguese, K’iche and Spanish. In September, the StoryWalk® was “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. In November, the StoryWalk® was “Pumpkin Eye” by Denise Fleming, including I Spy pages. In January, the StoryWalk® was “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle.

The current StoryWalk® for April 2021 is “Flower Garden” by Eve Bunting. Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Translated in 4 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, K’iche, Haitian Creole.

New Bedford Birth – 3rd Partnership’s vision is that with the support of a collaboration of community partners and families, New Bedford children are prepared to succeed in school, career, and life. They have a variety of resources for parents, caretakers, teachers and organizations – including the local community expectations for children up to age five. For more information on the New Bedford Birth – 3rd Partnership, a community wide early childhood initiative, visit their Facebook page.

Members: ArtWorks/New Bedford Art Museum, BMC Health Plan, Coastline Elderly Services, Early Childhood Consultation, Early Learning Child Care, Inc., Days of Discovery, Family Resource & Development Center (United Way of Greater New Bedford), Greater New Bedford Community Health Center (W.I.C. and Wellness Center), KDC Healthy Families/Early Intervention, Kiddie Kampus, Little People’s College (New Bedford and Fairhaven), Meeting Street Early Head Start, New Bedford Children, New Bedford Free Public Library, New Bedford Housing Authority, New Bedford Public Schools, NorthStar Learning Centers, P.A.C.E. Child Care Works and CFCE family engagement, P.A.C.E. Head Start, Reach Out and Read, Sunshine’s Place, South Coast Coalition for Early Childhood Education, United Way of Greater New Bedford, YMCA Southcoast, and Community Volunteers.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

 

Wildlife Education Series

Wildlife Education Series

Now virtual, the Wildlife Education Series is an educational discussion covering a wide range of topics pertaining to Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Animal Behavior, Veterinary and Conservation Sciences traditionally held at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. The format of the seminars will vary based on the topic and speaker, from lecture to problem based learning, and will be geared to inquisitive individuals who are eager to learn and ask questions.

Due to COVID-19, we are offering this programming to you for FREE. If you would like to make a donation to ensure we stay connected, text BPZOO20 to 41444 or donate here.

Join us via Zoom on May 28, 2020 at 7:00pm as David McGlinchey presents “Restoring the Amazon Rainforest”
Pre-registration is required.

This past summer, global attention was focused on widespread fires in the Amazon. Fires – and related deforestation for agriculture – have destroyed 800,000 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest over recent decades.

Stopping deforestation is a priority, but scientists are also figuring out effective ways to restore forest. New research conducted by the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and the Amazon Environmental Research Institute has shown that lowland tapirs can restore degraded Amazonian forests by spreading tree seeds in areas that had been previously burned.

WHRC’s Dave McGlinchey with speak about how tapirs may be among the cheapest and easiest solutions for large-scale forest restoration, according to the study. The lowland tapir (also known as the South American or Brazilian tapir) is considered endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and vulnerable by the IUCN. Their population is dwindling in the face of deforestation and hunting.

Bio:
Dave McGlinchey is WHRC’s Chief of External Affairs. He is responsible for shaping the Center’s message and delivering the Center’s science to key decision-makers and the media. Dave is passionate about raising public awareness about climate change impacts and solutions and is the author of “Final Flight: 10 Northeastern Birding Spots at Risk from Climate Change.”

Dave earned his B.A. from Wake Forest University and his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. He serves on the boards of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative and the Spatial Informatics Group—Natural Assets Laboratory. In April 2019, he traveled through Brazil with a CBS film crew to document the effects of deforestation – and the work of scientists to save the Amazon.

 

 

It’s not litter, it’s enrichment

It’s not litter, it’s enrichment

It’s not litter, it’s enrichment!

 

AT THE BUTTONWOOD PARK ZOO, we know that animal enrichment is a key component to animal welfare. Enrichment is one of the most important things our zookeepers do for, and with, our resident animals! The purpose behind enrichment is to stimulate each animal’s natural behavior and provide variety in its daily routine. By offering novel foods, objects, and scents, we encourage our animals to forage, explore and makes choices within their environment. The ultimate goal of our enrichment program is to enhance the welfare of the animals in our care.

WHO GETS ENRICHMENT?
EVERYONE! No matter the size or the species, every animal at the Zoo receives enrichment.

WHY IS ENRICHMENT IMPORTANT?
Part of what zookeepers do is to study the animals under their care so they can give them the best life possible. By understanding each animal’s unique behaviors and its natural history, our staff can create and offer a wide
variety of enrichment activities to encourage and challenge its animal instincts. Enrichment not only provides mental stimulation and exercise, but also offers a more exciting and educational experience for our guests.

HOW OFTEN DO ANIMALS GET ENRICHMENT?
All throughout the day! Of course, the frequency depends on the individual animal as well as the species. Enrichment can be categorized into the following areas: cognitive, sensory, nutritional, physical, and social. Some animals prefer certain types of enrichment, but that doesn’t stop our zookeepers from offering variety and choices.

The Toys for Elephants program, now in its 7th year, is a collaboration between the Buttonwood Park Zoo, Handshouse Studio, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The objective is for students to design and create objects and activities that will offer choices and variables for Asian elephants Emily and Ruth. Students work with a biologist and animal trainers to study animal behavior in order to design and produce full-scale functional toys for elephant enrichment.

New Elephant Enrichment Toys Courtesy of Mass Art

New Elephant Enrichment Toys Courtesy of Mass Art

New Elephant Enrichment Toys Courtesy of Mass Art

 

Everyone’s favorite elephants Emily and Ruth recently received some new enrichment toys, courtesy of MassArt students.

While working on their designs for the new toys, sculpture, painting, and industrial design students paid several visits to the zoo, where they had the opportunity to meet Emily and Ruth and pitch their design ideas to our staff.

What resulted were Emily and Ruth’s new wooden pinwheel toys, which consist of oak timbers and metal bolts sealed with polyurethane. These pinwheels have special openings to hold the elephants’ favorite snacks, including hay cubes and popcorn.

These new toys were designed to fit Emily and Ruth’s personalities. Emily loves removing nuts and bolts, and Ruth likes manipulating and drumming on objects.

Based on Chinese wooden puzzle toys, the new pinwheel design is intended to mimic elephants’ natural behavior of foraging for food using their trunks and feet. These new toys require Emily and Ruth to use similar efforts to retrieve their snacks.

This intriguing project stems from an untraditional class called Toys for Elephants, which was founded by Professor Rich Brown of MassArt eight years ago.

According to Brown, the class originally responded to hypothetical problems, so working with real elephants is a new experience for them. The class was excited to create something that would entertain the elephants and increase their quality of life.

Here at Buttonwood Park Zoo, we are dedicated to enhancing the experiences of all our animals.

“Part of the challenge with animals in a captive setting is to keep them engaged and give them new and innovative things to experience,” says Shara Crook Martin, our assistant director. “It makes a big difference to have the class create novel items every year.”

Past toys created by the class include Emily and Ruth’s steel toys, trough swing, and tire tower. All the toys include fun treats for them to enjoy if they can successfully maneuver them. We are excited to continue working with MassArt students and see what new designs they can come up with.

These enrichment toys are a great compliment to our newly expanded Asian elephant habitat which, by the way, is just the first step in our exciting new Master Plan. This addition gives Emily and Ruth almost double the space they had before. For more information about our Master Plan and all the fun new additions coming to Buttonwood Park Zoo, click here: https://www.bpzoo.org/master-plan/

Be sure to pay us a visit to see the new enrichment activities in action!