New arrivals at RDC

Zoo Director Peter Halliday (KNEB Photo)

Riverside Discovery Center announced some new arrivals to the zoo Thursday. A female Muntjac was born on Sunday, April 7 and was named "Boston". This small deer can be seen with her family in the Muntjac exhibit. Muntjac are rare small barking deer found in Asian rainforests. Muntjac are one of 16 Species Survival Plan (SSP) animals at RDC. The SSP are programs are managed by AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) committees to ensure the proper management of rare and endangered species with the ultimate goal of species propagation.

On the day of Boston's birth, RDC also received two zebras from the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, Okla. Half-sisters Zia (6 years) and Zelda (5 years) were placed in the sand paddock and were introduced to our male zebra, Amigo, through a fence, during an introductory process called "howdying".

Zoo Director Peter Halliday says the zebras had already completed their 30-day mandatory quarantine at the Tulsa Zoo and it was planned to place them with Amigo as soon as the snow storm and freezing temperatures had passed. Unfortunately, Halliday says circumstances occurred that changed those plans. Just before noon on Wednesday, April 10, snow slid off the roof of the zebra barn and made a loud noise, which startled Zia and Zelda. Both zebras ran into the paddock fence and Zelda received a small cut on her face, but Zia broke her neck, resulting in her death. The temperament of zebras causes them to become stressed when startled, thus making them more susceptible to such injuries.

Zelda has since been placed with Amigo and they have been inseparable ever since. Amigo and Zelda are Grant's Zebra that live on the plains in Africa. The average life span of Grant's Zebras is between 25 and 30 years in human care. Both Amigo and Zelda are part of an animal population managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.

New arrivals, including Zelda and Boston, may be seen at the Riverside Discovery Center daily from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 308-630-6236 for more information. RDC is an AZA-accredited zoo in Scottsbluff, NE.

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