Dakota Zoo Z-news February 2011


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Golden Eagle

This Golden Eagle is currently undergoing rehabilitation at Dakota Zoo

Annual meeting is a golden opportunity to learn about Golden Eagles! 


The Dakota Zoo is pleased to announce that Dr. Anne Marguerite Coyle will present a program on "Nesting Golden Eagles in North Dakota" at the Dakota Zoological Society's annual meeting and dinner, which will be held on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 6 PM at the Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge, 900 S Washington St. Bismarck, ND.

Dr. Margi Coyle

Dr. Coyle and her team work with an eagle.

Dr. Coyle is an assistant professor of Biology at Dickinson State University, and is the principle investigator for the North Dakota Golden Eagle Project, which has utilized a collaborative research approach involving government, private industry, local land owners and communities to study the impact of expanded oil activity on golden eagles in western North Dakota.


The Dakota Zoo has worked closely with Dr. Coyle since 2002, helping to train project staff members in handling and capture techniques, as well as working to assess and rehabilitate injured eagles and other raptors discovered during the course of her research.


Dr. Coyle's presentation will include information on the lifestyles of eagles, an overview of completed and ongoing research efforts in North Dakota, how local research efforts are being incorporated into a national conservation strategy, and what you can do to help!


This event is open to Dakota Zoo members and the general public. Tickets are $25  include your choice of a prime rib, salmon, or stuffed pork chop dinner.  Tickets are available by calling Diana Lincoln at the Zoo at 223-7543, extension 2 or mail your check, along with your choice of entrée(s)to Dakota Zoo, Attn: annual meeting PO Box 711 Bismarck, ND 58502-0711. Ticket deadline is Friday March 4, 2011. 




Zoo Update

Pujii update  

Slow and steady wins the race! Our two snow Leopards, Pujii and Jerry continue their "getting to know you" experience, and so far all is going well. Pujii is getting the hang of shifting between stalls so the keepers can clean, and she and Jerry have had some limited visual contact on opposite sides of the gates as they move between their indoor enclosures and the exhibit. 


Both cats also spend time each day training. Our keepers use a specific sequence of visual targets, commands, sounds and positive reinforcement for desired behaviors such as coming to a specific point of the enclosure, standing at full  length with their paws on the gate, and presenting a paw. These behaviors are taught so that staff and veterinarians can conduct examinations and administer medication without having to immobilize the animals to do so.     


New Construction in Discovery Center



New displays under construction in the Discovery Center

The Bismarck Tribune Discovery Center is undergoing some  remodeling as we add space for several new displays. The old glass fronted tortoise and prairie dog enclosures have been removed and the northwest corner of the building will soon be home to a new exhibit for Black-footed ferrets, as well as a number of other  critters.  We are excited about the opportunity to display and educate Zoo visitors about  the endangered  Black-footed Ferret on a year-round basis. 


Education Corner

Kicking off a slate of all new day camps in 2011 for kids ages 5-7 is the Winter Wonderland Ed Venture on February 26, where campers will learn how animals adapt survive and thrive in the cold weather.

Also scheduled for February 26 is our Draw A Junior Duck Stamp Camp for kids in grades K-12. presented in conjunction with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. We will have art supplies, and duck imagery available, folks from the art world to help kids realize their creative vision, and a guest speaker who will talk about how we can all help conserve waterfowl habitat.

On March 4, in cooperation with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at BSC we will present our first -ever Senior Zookeeper Day. Our plan is to take the highlights from our wildly successful Junior Zookeeper Camps and gear it towards an adult audience. Meet the professionals who care for our over 600 creatures, and go behind the scenes to learn how our staff feed, house and provide veterinary care for our wild residents! 

On March 11 & 12, just in time for spring break, we're bringing back our winter Mini-Junior Zookeeper camp for kids ages 8 -12. The camp will run from 1-4 PM each day and campers will learn through behind the scenes keeper presentations, animal enrichment projects, food preparation and exhibit cleanup- just what it takes to be a Zookeeper in the winter time.

And on March 19 its all about stealth as we present our new Careful Camouflage Animal Ed-venture for ages 5-7. Campers will learn how animals use their coloration and cunning to protect themselves from predators, or sneak up on their prey, often at the same time!


50th Anniversary

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Dakota Zoo, which opened its gates on Saturday June 3, 1961. During 2011 we will present a selection of vintage Zoo photos each month for your enjoyment.  If you recognize yourself or any of the folks in these photos, remember being at one of these events, or run across any vintage zoo photos of your own that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you at marketing@dakotazoo.org.

June 1963

June 1963 parade @ 4th and Rosser


John Burke

Boy meets goat



Clyde enjoys a tasty snack-that bear sure loved to eat.



Black Bear Cub about to meet a Red Fox.






Schedule of Events

February 26, 2-4:30PM "Winter Wonderland" Animal Ed-Venture. Ages 5-7. Participants will learn all about what Zoo animals do in the winter, make a cool craft project and enjoy some tasty snacks too! Cost is $14/child for Zoo members, $16/child for non-members. Pre-registration is required. Call our Education Coordinator Colleen McLaughlin at 223-7543 for more details, or e-mail her at

February 26, 1-3 PM Draw A Junior Duck Stamp Camp Grades K-12. Partake in the opportunity to draw your favorite kind of duck to enter in the 2011 Junior Duck Stamp contest. Art media will be available to use, local artists will be here to consult, and a guest speaker who will talk about how we can all help to conserve waterfowl and waterfowl habitat. Free to Zoo members, regular admission for non- members.

March 4 1-4PM Senior Zookeeper Day. In cooperation with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at BSC,  we will be offering our first-ever Senior Zookeeper Day on Friday, March 4 from 1-4PM.
We're going to take all the highlights of our wildly popular Junior Zookeeper camps and re-tool them for an adult audience. Meet the professionals who take care of our over 600 critters, plus go behind- the scenes and learn how we feed, house and provide medical care for our wild residents. This tour will involve spending time outdoors and a fair amount of walking. Registration is limited and is conducted through BSC. Persons interested can get more information by contacting Colleen at 223-7543.

Thursday, March 10  Dakota Zoological Society Annual Meeting and Dinner. 6-9PM  at
Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge 900 S Washington St. Bismarck.
Following a brief business session and dinner, Dr Anne M. Coyle of Dickinson State University will give a presentation on Nesting Golden Eagles in Western North Dakota. This event is open to Dakota Zoo members and the general public. Tickets are $25 and include your choice of prime rib, salmon or stuffed pork chop dinner. Tickets are available by mail, (Dakota Zoo  Attn: Annual Meeting PO Box 711, Bismarck, ND 58502-0711.) or you can call Diana Lincoln at the Zoo at 223-7543 extension 2. If ordering by mail, please indicate your choice of entree(s). Deadline for ticket purchases is Friday, March 4.

March 11-12, Mini Junior Zookeeper Day Camp 1-4PM each day
Ages 8-12. Zookeeping is a year-round  outdoor job. Campers will learn about conservation, animal diets, animal enrichment , and the special challenges that zookeepers face in doing their important job  in cold and snow.  Price is $30 for Dakota Zoo members, $35 for non-members. This camp will involve spending time outdoors so campers will need to dress appropriately for the weather.  Call Colleen at 223-7543 for more details, or e-mail her at

March 19, 2-4:30PM "Careful Camouflage" Animal Ed-Venture Ages 5-7. Participants will learn how animals use camouflage to avoid predators, catch their prey and more. Plus there will be time to make a cool craft and enjoy a tasty snack too! Pre-registration is required. Cost is $14/child for Zoo members, $16/child for non- members. Call Colleen at 223-7543 or e-mail her at
educate@dakotazoo.org for more details.



Want List

If you're doing some early spring cleaning, organizing those closets, garages  and workbenches, or would like to purchase something to donate, we would appreciate it very much. Our zookeepers could use the following items:

Parrot toys, hose reels, hoses, brooms, dust pans, shovels, leaf rakes, miscellaneous hand tools (hammers, screwdrivers, etc...) trash cans, horse toys, animal water bottles, reptile plants and vines, chinchilla guinea pig hide-a-ways and treats, and scrub brushes. They are also looking for old Compact Discs/CD-r  or DVD-rs  for use in animal enrichment /craft projects. 

Our Education Coordinator Colleen is still looking for empty, clean, 5 oz cans (commonly used for tuna, cat food, etc...) to use for craft projects. Thanks again to everyone who has brought them in! 

If you have items to donate, simply drop them off at the Zoo, or call Larry Klemer at 223-7543 ext. 6 to arrange for pickup.



Antler Trading Post

It may be cold outside, but the deals are hotter than ever during the Antler Trading Post's huge winter clearance sale! 2011 merchandise will be arriving soon, and we need to make room so  plenty of items are priced to move:


Any Dakota Zoo mug, only $5 while supply lasts.


Organic Cotton 4 ft snakes: now $5.95


All sweatshirts have been marked down through the month of February.


Zoo Christmas ornaments featuring pictures of our own animals: in wreath design $1.50, clear snowflake $2.99!


Plus many other items marked down while supply lasts.


Dakota Zoo memberships and gift certificates are always available--both make great gifts! Antler Trading Post is open during  regular Zoo hours from 1-5PM Friday, Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting).  


Membership Information

2011 Membership Categories


$40.00  Individual Membership-one named person only.


$60.00 Family- 2 named adults and dependent children (under 18) living at the same address.


$60.00 Grandparent - 2 named grandparents and their grandchildren (under 18) only. At least one named grandparent must accompany the grandchildren when they visit.


$90.00  Family Plus- 2 named adults and dependent children (under 18) living at the same address. Family Plus members may bring up to 5 additional guests free of charge each time they visit the Zoo, with the exception of the annual picnic. At least one member of the named family must accompany the guests.

To protect the integrity of our membership program and to protect you from unauthorized use of your membership card, members are required to show photo identification along with their membership card when entering the Zoo.

As a not-for-profit organization which receives the bulk of its income from memberships and attendance, we need to prevent the misuse of our membership cards. If memberships are shared by families and neighbors, our revenue could be severely reduced and we would either have to raise prices, cut exhibits and programs, or both. Thanks, members for your cooperation and support. In order to get the word out to all of our members, this will run in the Z-news and On Track printed newsletter until we open next season.

Reciprocal Privileges: If you are planning to visit reciprocal Zoos, you must have your membership card with you. Reciprocal facilities have no way of establishing the validity of your membership without seeing your card, and in most cases will also ask for a photo ID. 

 Zoo memberships are not transferable and may not be used by persons other than those named on the card.