Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from Zuri and Hogle Zoo!

So the weather outside hasn't been totally frightful this week, in fact at the start of the week Christie and Zuri were able to spend some time outside in the sunshine. Elephant Encounter was designed to give the elephants the opportunity to go out even in the colder winter months, and Zuri always enjoys her heated pads in the yard.

Zuri is still starting to experiment with eating solid foods and has really been getting used to her trunk! The keepers say she seems to be getting some dexterity in her trunk and gets more used to what it can do each day. When Zuri went outside at the start of the week, she had her choice of watermelon chunks or grapes but she had a little bit of a tough time getting her trunk around the watermelon. In fact, she just smashed her forehead into the fleshy watermelon bits on the ground and then used her trunk to instead pick up grapes and daintily put them into her mouth. Hey, it's a start! Here's to Zuri's first Christmas at Hogle Zoo, she really seems festive right now!

Click here for Hogle Zoo's holiday e-card featuring our own little elf Zuri.
Happy holidays from Utah's Hogle Zoo!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bathtime for Baby

Since the bitter cold weather right now has brought the elephants inside a little more often, Baby Zuri recently had a scrubbing soap bath! These scrubbing baths are very healthy for the elephants, as they provide care of feet and skin.

Zuri didn't seem to like the first scrubby brush the elephant keepers used, she threw her head up and made it clear it wasn't her favorite! Then the keepers changed up bathtime and used a different scrub brush that Zuri didn't seem to mind. The second scrubber was the big orange brush and she stuck around for it-- maybe it reminded her of a giant Feast with the Beast pumpkin?

Monday, December 7, 2009

There's a chill in the air

The weather is certainly turning out to be frosty and Zuri and Christie are spending quite a bit of time inside the elephant barn at Hogle Zoo. While the cement pads in Elephant Encounter are heated to give the girls a chance to get outside even on winter's cooler days, the blowing wind and very cold temperatures we've had in the last little while make it so they've got to stay inside. On the positive side, this will give the keepers the chance to do some training with Zuri while they train with Christie, so there is still work being done!

Eric, one of Hogle Zoo's elephant keepers, sent over some photos that he took of Zuri on Thanksgiving and we wanted to pass them along to you. In addition to being one of Hogle Zoo's fantastic elephant staff, you can see Eric's a great photographer. Plus, he's got great subject matter as he gets to work with Baby Zuri every day

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast with the Beast

For the past few years the elephants have gotten giant pumpkins to smash for Hogle Zoo's annual Thanksgiving Feast with the Beast event. This year was no exception as there were big pumpkins all around Elephant Encounter! Dari got a giant pumpkin of her very own and Christie and baby Zuri got a couple of big pumpkins over in the working yard.

Here are some photos taken by the Deseret News as part of their Thanksgiving in Utah gallery.
You can see that Christie had quite a good time smashing up her 742 pound pumpkin, then Zuri followed suit by trying to smash one of her own.