How can you get DOUBLE points in the Swap Shop? We are again offering double points for Nature Journals on the animals in the spotlight at the Houston Zoo.
Nature Journals can be as simple as information on sheets of notebook paper. They can be as detailed and elaborate as you like – the only limit is your imagination. But remember, the more work you put into your journal, the more points you will get. So, do some research and get ready for double points! Please note that in order to get double points, the journal must be on the animal or animals in the spotlight and brought in the day of the event.
The upcoming Spotlight on the Species are as follows:
April 20 – Bear Awareness Day
May 17 – Endangered Species Day
May 25 – Chimpanzee Spotlight on the Species
August 31 – Lemur Spotlight on the Species
Need more information on the Naturally Wild Swap Shop? Click here.
Saturday, March 2, the Houston Zoo will be celebrating Save a Turtle Saturday! The Naturally Wild Swap Shop will be participating along with the other activities going on though out the zoo.
Three-toed Box Turtle
On Save a Turtle Saturday, any item involving turtles or how plastic pollution affects them will receive double points.
That includes: Turtle shells, scutes, bones or scales, journals on turtles or tortoises and journals on how plastic pollution affects turtles.
There are many species of turtles and tortoises in the world and several of them are threatened or endangered. The IUCN Red List of Endangered Species includes turtles and tortoises that rank from threatened to no longer present in the wild. This list is long, but includes amazing species such as the Central American River Turtle, Geometric Tortoise, Madagascar Big-headed Turtle and ALL six species of sea turtles found in the United States.
One of the biggest hazards to sea turtles is plastic pollution. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles and other marine mammals die each year from ocean pollution such as ingestion or entanglement in marine debris. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and ingest them, leading to blockage and eventual death. Marine debris,
Green Sea Turtle
including items such as these plastic bags, plastic drink rings and other items, are a huge threat to our marine life.
Don’t know about the Swap Shop? Click here for more information.
The Three-toed Box Turtle in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop has a new name! With over 100 submissions, the Children’s Zoo staff had to take longer than expected to go through all the names. A vote was held by the staff and the overwhelming winner was……………..Lunchbox! You can follow this link to the original blog post on the contest http://www.houstonzooblogs.org/zoo/2012/12/help-give-rex-a-new-name/
Lunchbox the Three-toed Box Turtle
The name Lunchbox was submitted by Brea Madden and she has been given 50 points to spend in the Swap Shop as a reward for submitting the winning name.
Lunchbox, formally named Rex, lives in the Swap Shop with her mom, Mindy. While Mindy has been here at the zoo since the 90′s, Lunchbox is very young. She was hatched right here in the Children’s Zoo on August 11, 2010. Mindy and Lunchbox are both part of the Zoo’s education collection and often go out for presentations or go on Zoomobiles to classrooms.
Congratulations to Brea on winning the naming rights! We hope we will see you soon in the Swap Shop to visit Lunchbox and spend those points!
Don’t know about the Naturally Wild Swap Shop? Click here for more information.
Meet Rex. Rex is a Box Turtle who was born right here in the McGovern’s Children’s Zoo and lives in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop. There is only one problem……Rex is a girl. When we named her she had just hatched and we didn’t discover that she was a girl until later on.
Rex, the Three-toed Box Turtle
We want to give our guests 18 years of age and younger in the Swap Shop an opportunity to help re-name Rex. So, until January 15, 2013 you can stop by the Swap Shop and submit your suggestion for a new name.
Here is some additional information to help you come up with name ideas. Rex was hatched on August 11, 2010 so she is just over 2 years old. She is a Three-toed Box Turtle and lives with her mom, Mindy, in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop. Mindy and Rex are both part of the Zoo’s education collection and go out to classrooms and other presentations.
On January 16, the Children’s Zoo staff will review the names and choose one for Rex’s new name! The lucky young person that submitted the name will win 50 points to spend in the Swap Shop.
Dont know about the Swap Shop? Click here for more information.
Look who came to visit the Naturally Wild Swap Shop!
Taji is an Anatolian Shepherd. The Anatolian Shepherd is a 6,000 year old breed that originated in Turkey and Asia Minor. They are large working dogs that have a superior ability to protect livestock. Wildlife conservationists in Southern Africa have a livestock guarding program working with local farmers and their livestock. This program has been of special interest to Cheetah conservation. Cheetahs are losing habitat to farms and ranch lands. Local landowners are likely to kill cheetahs that they believe may be preying on their livestock.
Taji and her trainer Michelle
When the Anatolian Shepherds are used by these farmers and ranchers, their livestock is protected from cheetahs and other predators and the ranchers stop killing the cheetahs.
Here at the Houston Zoo, Taji was raised together with our cheetahs Kito and Kiburi to be lifelong companions.
Taji and her trainers occasionally walk through the Zoo have visited the Swap Shop. You never know who you might see in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop.
Don’t know about trading in the Swap Shop? Click here to find out more.
Meet Hailey Wolfe, self proclaimed Naturalist and Budding Zoologist. Hailey recently brought in an excellent nature journal to trade titled “The Pros and Cons of Being a Giraffe”.
Hailey’s Giraffe Journal
Hailey is quite the gifted writer and created a journal that reads like a storyteller’s tale. She begins with a description of feeding the giraffes here at the Houston Zoo that includes beautiful and artistic detail about the giraffe’s long tongue and big, calm eyes. She invites all to come along with her to learn more about these sweet giants.
She then moves on to giraffes in the wild and completes her journal with information and pictures of the giraffe herd here at the zoo.
Hailey has been trading with us since early this year and has brought in a variety of items including bones, shells and journals. At 11 years old, she already has quite a knowledge of animals and a talent for writing about them.
Nature Journals are one of many things that can be brought in for trade. The more time and effort put in to them, the more points a journal will receive. To see Hailey’s journal and many others, come by the Naturally Wild Swap Shop at the front of the Children’s Zoo.
Don’t know about trading at the Swap Shop? Click here to find out more.
Have you ridden a carousel lately? We hope so, but if you haven’t, be sure to come by the Zoo and ride on our carousel, a unique, hand-carved and painted work of art. The Wildlife Carousel has both animals you can find at the Zoo and also pays homage to animals from the great state of Texas. Bet you didn’t know that one of the characters is the only armadillo known to exist as a carousel figure! For you trivia nuts out there, here are some more facts and figures about our Wildlife Carousel:
The entire carousel weighs approximately 36,500 pounds.
The carousel’s so-called jumper system is what makes the animals go up and down.
The jumper gear ratio of 4.33:1 makes the figures go up and down 4 1/3 times for every revolution.
A crank connected to the jumper system raises the carousel figures 10 inches up and down per revolution.
The carousel platform (floor) is sanded wood with four coats of polyurethane.
The big over head beams on the carousel are called “sweeps.” The sweeps are clean, straight grain Douglas Fir beams that are painted and varnished.
Each carousel figure is a hand-carved wooden figure, made up of between 60 to 80 blocks of wood, primed with alkyd primer and painted with Japan Oils.
The figures are covered with up to eight coats of clear enamel that contains mildew resistant additives.
How do you care for these wonderful animals? The answer might surprise you. Scuff marks on the figures and the chariots are removed with a gel-type hand cleaner – the same kind of hand cleaner car mechanics use to clean grease off their hands!
How can you get DOUBLE points in the Swap Shop? Any time an animal section has a Spotlight on the Species or other program focused on an animal or plant - bring in a Nature Journal on that topic!
Nature Journals can be as simple as information on sheets of notebook paper. They can be as detailed and elaborate as you like – your only limit is your imagination. But remember, the more work you do, the more points you get! So do some research and get ready for double points!
Need more information on the Naturally Wild Swap Shop and how it works? Click here.
Some of the species that will be in the Spotlight the remainder of 2012 include:
September 22 Spotlight on the Species – Rhinos
October 6 Spotlight on the Species – Komodo Dragon
November 7 Climbing for Cloudeds (Clouded Leopards)