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Zoological Garden

Meet the animals that live at Rancho

Alpaca

Despite what their names may imply, all of our alpacas are females!  In fact, Cleatus is Pretty boy’s daughter and despite the difference in their coat colors, we believe Mayor is Brandy’s daughter. It can be somewhat difficult to tell them all apart, except for Brandy who is the only chocolate alpaca in the yard. The other three are all white but vary in their sizes and overall facial appearances. Pretty boy is the largest alpaca, followed by Mayor who naturally seems to have a slightly ill kept appearance and goofy head hair. Cleatus, the sweetest of all the alpacas has a very fluffy coat and in many ways resembles Pretty boy. All are extremely curious!

Caracal

Ivan and Nigel are very close, and while they may hiss and swat at each other sometimes, one is rarely found without the other close behind.  During the keepers’ morning checks, the two are usually found curled up together in their dimly lit back room.  Sometimes it is only the green glow of their eyes that lets their keeper know their location.

Ivan is smaller than Nigel but he doesn’t let his size get him down.  Despite being both smaller and younger than Nigel, Ivan is definitely in command, evident by his tendency to eat first and deal out the occasional disciplinary swats.  Like the Canadian lynx, our caracals also love tree browse and different scents such as perfume and natural spices.  However, unlike the lynx, neither of the boys are sprayers and you can bet their keepers are relieved to know that!

Linx

Noodle is quite a character. Noodle is a bit of a talker, especially around the spring months. During this time, she is so vocal that her keepers feel as though she is attempting to hold a conversation with them. She also loves to mark her territory and is a fairly good shot. A keepers leg from over three feet away with fencing in between is no challenge for her. Noodle loves the tree browse her keepers cut and decorate her exhibit with. In addition, she loves fresh herbs and spices and will roll around in the unfamiliar scent all day. Her favorite pass time is spent in the small cat play yard, which is not visible to the public. There she has a platform that is well exposed to the afternoon sun, and toys galore to play with.

Macaws

Our macaws take residence in the large parrot cage alongside of the Grand Salon. This cage allows them to greet the guests as they walk in with a “hello” and “hi”, this always has the guests laughing. People love to watch them slide down the wires and siding like a fireman down a pole. It’s been said that macaws have the mental capacity of a 3 year old child and this seems to be true; the swing is prime property and they are frequently bickering over who gets to be the one on it, sharing isn’t their best quality. Their bright feather color against the green surrounding trees is a sight to see.

Orange Bengal Tiger

Tonka and Zombo are brothers, but don’t let their shared birthday fool you; they are not twins!  It is a common misconception for people to refer to animals born in a litter as twins.  Twins can occur in litters, but are very rare.  At first glance it might be hard to tell Tonka and Zombo apart, but they are actually very different.  Like a human fingerprint, no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes and upon inspection you’ll see the differences between their coats.  Perhaps an easier way to tell them apart is in their size and overall body shape.  Tonka is the larger of the two and his size is most apparent in his massive head and broad face.  Zombo on the other hand has a sleeker, svelte appearance and is heavily muscled in his back legs.  In terms of weight, Zombo is approximately 450 pounds and Tonka is about 460 pounds!

Serval

Our servals are some of the older animals we have in our zoological collection. Servals have very long thin legs and Eli is a perfect example of this. Eli looks to be almost all legs whereas Savannah is a tad rounder in her mid-section. Both average approximately 25 pounds, with Savannah generally weighing about a pound more than Eli on more occasions. This difference is the easiest way to tell them apart. Because of her age, Savannah is also missing one of her canine teeth, which gives her a bit of a snarly appearance. But a missing tooth sure doesn’t curb her appetite. Savannah’s keepers have to make sure she is separated from Eli during feeding times because she has been known to deliver some super quick socks to Eli’s head that leave him baffled long enough for her to swoop in and steal his food. For an older lady, she still packs quite a punch!

Despite food related confrontations, the two get along very well and are typically found cuddling in their favorite wooden box or napping together in their play yard.

White Bengal Tiger

Our two white Bengal tigers provide a good example of the differences between males and females in the tiger species. Bengal males are larger by at least 75 pounds and are greater in height and overall length than their female counterparts. Sumo, our male, and Lily, our female, are not related despite looking very similar. In terms of size, when Sumo’s keeper asks him to stand during a training session meant to aid in observing the animals’ overall health, he is well over seven feet tall!  Lily, however, comes up to a mere six feet, which still makes her keepers feel rather dwarfed.

Zebra

Ziddle and Zaddle are our resident Plains zebra couple, respectively, but you can call them Zid and Zad for short. Both came to us from a zoo in Richmond, Virginia when they were seven months and five months old. They were nothing but cute youngsters with long legs then and were much smaller than our keepers. Now, however, that is certainly not the case, as Zid has become quite the Casanova, prancing around his yard, showing off his grace, and occasional clumsiness to anyone lucky enough to observe his beauty. With such a stud around, Zad should count herself lucky that unlike their wild counterparts, Zid will not be in charge of a harem of frisky females.  She’s got him all to herself, and while some days that knowledge grates on her last nerve, you can tell that for the most part, they genuinely enjoy one another’s company.

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