Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon: What's Not To Love?


 Gibbons are members of the family Hylobatidae and though they are apes, they are known as lesser, or small, apes. The Species name:  Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys).  They are found in very small regions of Vietnam, Laos and China, although it hasn’t been seen in China since 1990.  The only known viable population 130 groups totaling about 455 gibbons living near the border of Vietnam and Laos.

These arboreal lesser apes evolved for life in the trees.  But when people cut those trees down the gibbons had nowhere left to go. 

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list status is critically endangered.  Their numbers have declined by 80 percent or more over the past 45 years, primarily due to habitat loss and poaching.

White-Cheeked gibbon’s appearance varies by age and sex.  All infants are a beige color but by the time they are a year to a year and a half old, their coats have become black with white cheek patches.  At sexual maturity (five to seven years), males remain black and females turn a beige color again. Adult gibbon are 18 to 25 inches tall and weigh about 15 to 20 pounds.

The adult female leads the hierarchy, followed by her female and male offspring, respectively, with the adult male coming in last.  Gibbons have an arboreal lifestyle and live primarily in forest canopies.  They are diurnal meaning they are most active during the day and sleep in the night. 

Gibbons eat mostly fruits about 65 percent of their diet and 35 percent consists of leaves.  At Wildwood Wildlife Park, the gibbons are fed a mixture of fruits and vegetables, primate biscuits and leaf-eater biscuits.

The female has a gestation period of several months, after which a single offspring is born.  The baby clings to its mother from birth up to about 2 years of age after which it is weaned.  Both parents take care of the infant.  The young become independent when they are 3 years old, and sexually mature at 6 years old.

Gibbons are territorial and mark their zones throughout the day with vocalizations.   Defense takes the form of calls. Vocalization is a major social investment.  The basic pattern is an introductory sequence where both males and females “warm-up.” Calls are often accompanied by behavioral acrobatics.

To strengthen the bond between them, male and female gibbons perform a sort of duet.  When the female starts off a tune in an increasing pitch, followed by the male who joins in, and this can last between 5 to 17 minutes.  Males can make booming calls because of their gular sacs.


Being brachiators, (use their arms to move from tree branch to tree branch) their hands are specially adapted so they don’t grasp the branches while swinging from one to another; instead they form a loose hook around the branches, which helps them in the swinging.  Their hands are also long, and the arms elongated, further facilitating the swinging motion.

Our visitors comment that they have been entertained for hours just watching the gibbons engaging in their acrobatics antics. If you are a first time Wildwood visitor we guarantee you will love watching the gibbons in action! Repeat visitors to Wildwood who are familiar with our gibbons have been know to run to the exhibit when they hear the gibbons sounding off.  

As a Zoological Association of American accredited facility we are involved in many reintroduction programs, rescue and rehabilitation work.  Sadly, modern-day conservation of threatened or endangered species cannot simply be limited to protecting or reintroducing animals in their native ranges.  For many, the “wild” is disappearing as humans encroach on their natural habitats. To ensure a species’ long-term survival, captive propagation of wildlife has become an essential part of the conversation and the only insulation against a potential collapse of wild populations. Our managed breeding program at Zoological Association of American is named the Animal Management Program (AMP).  Through the AMP our members are involved in the Gibbon Conservation Program.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Raking Weekend 2018 Reschedule



Looking as if you are inside a snow globe is pretty if:

It is December.

You are hoping for a white Christmas.

Looking as if you are inside a snow globe is NOT pretty if:

It is April and you are looking forward to the opening of the 2018 season.

With the recent weather system that is moving through northern Wisconsin adding copious amounts of snow to our recent cover of snow that amounted to a foot of snow, we have had to reschedule our Annual Raking Cleanup Weekend to the weekend of April 21st and April 22nd.

Below is our revised flyer with the rescheduled dates. You can share the flyer by attaching to an email or click on the image to print it out for distribution.

We are holding on to the hope that the weather will cooperate to allow our scheduled Opening Day of April 28th. Fingers crossed!


Monday, February 5, 2018

Bearded Dragon: The Scary Looking Gentle Dragon

Check out the photo of our bearded dragons basking in their enclosure totally oblivious to the frigid winter weather outside!

Bearded dragons are a type of lizard that originate from Australia. These friendly reptiles are yellow or tan, and they get their name from the way they can flare the skin at their throats. Natural habitat of the beardie include deserts, arid & rocky areas, dry forests & scrublands. Unlike other lizards, bearded dragons are not able to detach their tails if they need to escape from predators. If they lose or damage their tails they will be tailless for the rest of their lives.

A few fun facts about bearded dragons include:

  • The bearded dragon's tail is almost as long as its body.
  • Beardies flare their skin on their throat area when feeling threatened to make them appear more threatening to predators and other animals.
  • Males and females can be easily distinguished by a couple of features. Males have wider heads and they are longer than females. Females have thinner and more slender tails than males.
  • Spines grow on their throat, sides of the body and their head.
  • Beardies eat a variety of things: greens, leaves, fruit, flowers, and insects.

Bearded dragons make interesting pets and are fairly low maintenance however, they do require regular care and the right setup.


One important fact to consider when buying a bearded dragon for a pet is how long they live. The average lifespan is five to ten years, so purchasing a beardie is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. These reptiles make unique, friendly pets and need a minimal amount of care. However, they'll need that care for their entire lives, so be sure you're making a commitment you're prepared to live with.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CustomCages: One of the Proud Sponsors of Wildwood Wildlife Park




It is no secret that it takes a village of caring and dedicated people to operate a zoo - many of whom work tirelessly behind the scenes. As important as the daily care of each of our zoo residents - from the reptiles to the giraffes - our zookeepers need to be aware of their individual needs which includes their enclosures designed to keep them safe while allowing our guests the best experience possible. During the 2017, CustomCages, one of the proud sponsors to Wildwood Wildlife Park, installed several aviary SunCatcher Enclosures.


Every SunCatcher enclosure is built in the shop to ensure it assemble smoothly and easily and can be configured for your bird or small animal cage needs. 


From their web page: "Since 1998 we have worked tirelessly to design, modify and re-design our custom cage system. We have used over a dozen engineers, tested countless prototypes and materials, used computer generated strength analysis, and spent thousands of hours on our design to ensure it has the proper strength, durability, and functionality."

Check out the video by CustomCage about their SunCatcher enclosure at Wildwood Wildlife Park.





Monday, August 28, 2017

Have You Visited the Wm. E. Gardner Educational & Events Center?

Learn, laugh and love the animals! Wildlife Park is dedicated to the understanding, celebration, and conservation of wildlife through the excellence in education, animal husbandry, exhibits and community relations.

These include the daily programs which are held at the amphitheater where visitors learn about the various mammals, birds, primates, and reptiles - the Primate & Reptile Center featuring North American, desert and rainforest exhibits - the Living History School House featuring artifacts with interpretive information with nineteenth century school house - and the William E. Gardner Educational and Events Center.

Wildwood Wildlife Park's educational center is filled with amazing things to do and see. You will examine the world of honeybees and witness these fascinating creatures as they perform their specialized duties which produce honey. Microscope tables are available for your use to identify and learn more about insects as well as other educational tables that include skulls, furs and artifacts.

Animal displays including tarantula, lizard, frog, gecko, scorpion and finches - visitors to the zoo and to the educational center will find opportunities to learn at every corner of the center. Our conservation corner features videos on various conservation efforts to help protect and preserve rhinos, sloths, lemurs, leopards, and tigers - all of which Wildwood Wildlife Park actively supports.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Looking Forward to Another Exciting Season!

"In like a lion - out like a lamb." That may be the case anywhere except the north woods of Wisconsin! However, here at Wildwood Wildlife Park, we are roaring through each day getting ready for our spring opening, planned for April 29th at 9:00am.

Our safari-drive through is right on target for our spring opening. The new trams and tractors have arrived and thanks to our technology "geek" the new sound system equipment is operational and ready to go.

We are excited to offer this new experience to our guests and to introduce everyone to our new zoo residents and there are quite a few of them! The list includes Big Horn sheep, Dall sheep, Nyala, and Emu just to name a few. 

Thanks to our talented construction team guests arriving and departing the safari-drive have shelters at both the drop off and loading areas. 

Speaking of new construction, work will begin this summer for the Gibbon/Squirrel Monkey habitat and the winter building and a new winter building for our cranes.

Being busy is good - especially when the fruits of our labor can be shared with a community that recognizes the importance of the hard work that goes into being successful with the animals, education and conservation missions. We look forward to another exciting season and hope you will make plans to join us often!

copyright 2017 Wildwood Wildlife Park

Monday, March 20, 2017

Save The Date! Annual Spring Raking Cleanup Weekend

Welcome to the Spring Equinox
Happy First Day of Spring!




What better way to celebrate the official arrival of spring than with the announcement of our annual spring raking cleanup weekend? Save the date! Raking cleanup is set for the weekend of April 8th and 9th. Time: 9:00am-5:00pm both days.

Bring your rake and garden gloves - lunch will be provided for all volunteers by Wildwood.

Attention Students looking for community service hours ... our spring raking cleanup weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to accumulate your community service time.

Click on the photograph and download to share electronically or via print.

Sponsored by Friends of the Zoo