Monday, May 28, 2018

Memories & Experiences to Last a Lifetime!

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

The above quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, sums up the mission of Wildwood Wildlife Park: to provide an exciting zoological collection and educational facility to all visitors. Promoting life-long learning by enriching minds, fostering environmental respect, while helping prepare our visitor for our conservation future. We strive to provide experiences that last a lifetime with every visit no matter your age.

A visit to the zoo is an educational experience by itself and we believe by involving our visitors in our conservation efforts we expand the circle of people who will make a difference.

Wildwood Wildlife Park is dedicated to the understanding, celebration and conservation of wildlife through the excellence in education, animal husbandry, exhibits and community relations.

It is in this spirit the park created the William E. Gardner Education and Events Center. 

Located adjacent to the Living History Center and the Dino Dig Adventure, our zoo's Educational Center is filled with amazing hands on exhibits. Visitors can see into the world of the honeybee and witness them performing their amazing duties to produce honey. 

Microscopes help you identify insects - educational stations teach identification including skulls, fur and artifacts.

There are many other displays including tarantula, lizard, frog, gecko, scorpion and finches. There are so many opportunities to learn in every corner of the center. 

Our conservation corner features videos that share the conservation efforts Wildwood Wildlife Park is involved in to help protect and preserve rhinos, sloths, lemurs, leopards, and tigers all of which our zoo actively supports.

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.