Do the Zoo at Home

Zoo From Home

Zoocams

See what some of the animals are up to in their habitat at the Zoo. Our series of Zoocams will give you a glimpse!

Live 24/7 Penguin Cam

 

                                                             

Watch the Antarctic penguins make a splash 24/7 inside the Scott Aquarium, brought to you in partnership with KMTV Channel 3.

Our Antarctic penguin habitat is home to three species of penguin—kings, gentoos and rockhoppers—all of which reside in the sub-Antarctic regions surrounding Antarctica. There are currently 21 king penguins, 43 gentoos and 28 rockhoppers. They are each very different from other in size and appearance, but are found in similar habitats and can even be seen in some areas together.

Their habitat is cooled with an air-handling system, chilled water, and snow. The snow is a fantastic third substrate for the penguins’ feet, as well as a water source for birds that eat it. The lighting replicates a southern light cycle, making it the same as where the birds are found in the wild. For example, during a Nebraska summer, it is the penguins’ winter. The light level will be much lower than what you would find in Omaha at that time.

                                                                  

Other Zoocams

Jellyfish

Spy on the West Coast sea nettles, a species of jellyfish, inside the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium.

Indo-Pacific Reef

Dive into the Indo-Pacific Reef habitat inside the Scott Aquarium, home to some of the world's most colorful aquatic life.

Do the Zoo from Home

We're bringing the Zoo to you. Our animal care staff is still working tirelessly to care for the more than 35,000 animals that call the Zoo home. Check back each day for an interactive video and activity you can do with your family, so you can still enjoy the Zoo from your living room. Share your learning journey with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #ZooFromHome and #ThisIsHowWeZoo.

Splendid Tree Frogs

Splendid tree frogs are native to Western Australia and at the Zoo, can be found in the Lied Jungle® or Mahoney Kingdoms of the Night. Although they are tree frogs by name, they are actually found on rocks. On top of their head, they have a large fluid-filled sac—the largest poison gland of any amphibian in Australia. This poison is designed to deter predators and is not a danger to humans. Their diet consists of invertebrates, such as earthworms and spiders.

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

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Splendid! Obviously, we're talking about the tree frog... ๐Ÿธ Splendid tree frogs are native to Western Australia and at...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Thursday, May 14, 2020

Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew

Black and rufous elephant shrews live in the lowland forests and dense woodlands of central and eastern Africa and at the Zoo, can be seen on the canopy level of the Lied Jungle’s African rainforest.

A small mammal—at about 10 – 12 inches long—this species uses their long proboscis to sift through leaf litter in search of invertebrates. They will gather enough material to make up to 10 underground nests within their range, with several nests being used at the same time.

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Today’s animal spotlight comes from Sierra Gallaway, one of our Lied Jungle keepers. One of the animals she helps care...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Springhaas

A springhaas, to most, has the head of a rabbit with legs an a tail that resemble a kangaroo. This South African resident is actually neither. It’s a type of rodent, and they sure can jump—up to nine feet high in one leap. Here, ours are stretching their hind legs in the Desert Dome!

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A springhaas, to most, has the head of a rabbit with legs an a tail that resemble a kangaroo. This South African...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Pink-Backed Pelicans

Are your eyes bigger than your stomach? Well, you just might be a pelican. It's feeding time for our flock—join our bird keepers at the lagoon!

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Are your eyes bigger than your stomach? Well, you just might be a pelican. It's feeding time for our flock—join our bird keepers LIVE!

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Monday, May 11, 2020

New Addition - Three-Banded Armadillo

We present to you, another new addition: baby three-banded armadillo.
 
The little one, a female, was born on February 4 and was first seen outside of her mother’s burrow, behind the scenes in the Desert Dome, on April 21. Almost adult size now, she will remain there with her mom, Cricket, for at least seven months. Our keepers are hands-off with the baby after birth.
Grub, the father, was separated from Cricket after the birth of their offspring, as males do not participate in raising their young and tend to be aggressive. The two were recommended to breed per the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Three-Banded Armadillo Green Species Survival Plan.
This is the pair’s fourth offspring. The others, Ladybug and Bee, can be found in their South American habitat in Kingdoms of the Night.
 
Native to the grasslands and marshes of South America—primarily Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina—three-banded armadillos are near-threatened in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, due to habitat loss and exploitation for food.
 
Although they’re born blind, three-banded armadillos can walk and roll immediately after birth. Only one offspring—the size of a golf ball—is born at a time. After birth, their shell will harden within days and their eyes and ears will open between three and four weeks.
 
Named for three moveable bands on the back of their shell, the three-banded armadillo is the only armadillo species that can completely roll into a ball. This is done to defend themselves against predators and conserve body heat. They walk on the tips of the long claws on their front feet and use them to forage for insects. Their shells are made of keratin and bone covering most of the body, except for the stomach.
 

Happy Friyay! We present to you, another new addition: baby three-banded armadillo. The little one, a female, was born...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, May 8, 2020

Lesser Kudu

Today, our hoofstock keepers are taking you inside the Syd and Betty Cate Giraffe Herd Rooms to meet one of our unique antelope species, the lesser kudu. Joining Alex Trujillo, the primary trainer for our lesser kudu, are our two males: Portillo and Whitaker.

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Today, our hoofstock keepers are taking you inside the Syd and Betty Cate Giraffe Herd Rooms to meet one of our unique...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Thursday, May 7, 2020

New Additions - Crested Coua Chicks

Happy Bears Day

Happy Bears Day! At our Zoo, also known as Bodo and Kara Day. They are our sloth bears.

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Happy Bears Day! At our Zoo, also known as Bodo and Kara Day. They are our sloth bears. To celebrate, check out today's...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Australian Freshwater Crocodiles

Today, we're going behind the scenes in Kingdoms of the Night. Matt and Dylan, two of our reptile keepers, are with our Australian freshwater crocodiles. We have three: two males and one female.

To help you learn the difference, today's activities are about alligators.

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Today, we're going behind the scenes in Kingdoms of the Night. Matt and Dylan, two of our reptile keepers, are with our...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Monday, May 4, 2020

Black-Footed Cats

Happy Caturday! Here’s one you won't see everyday at the Zoo, the black-footed cat—the smallest wild cat species in Africa. They are also the rarest of the African felids, as they are only found in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
 
Black-footed cats are considered the deadliest of the world’s felines. Opportunistic hunters, they have a predation success rate of 60% and on average, can capture prey—sometimes larger than themselves—every 50 minutes. For perspective, African lions only succeed in catching their prey about 20 – 25% of the time.
 
To help strengthen the wild population, our Zoo actively participates in the Black-footed Cat Species Survival Plan (SSP). These three make up our breeding group, who live behind the scenes: Kwaai, an 8-year-old female; Maximus, a 4-year-old male, and Gollum, a 1-year-old male.
 
One of our greatest resources in this effort is our director of reproductive sciences, Dr. Jason Herrick. Not only is he the reproductive biology advisor for the SSP, he’s also the reproductive biologist for the Black-footed Cat Working Group—one of the longest-running small cat projects, going on 24 years.
Dr. Herrick is actively involved in research to introduce founder genes into black-footed cat populations under human care. This is done using cryopreserved semen from wild cats for in-vitro fertilization procedures. He has also conducted research on the basic reproductive biology of the species in human care.
 
What is known today about the home range, behavior and food spectrum of this species was discovered during a six-year field study in South Africa. To learn more about this study and other efforts of the Black-footed Cat Working Group: www.black-footed-cat.wild-cat.org
 
 

Happy Caturday! Here’s one you won't see everyday at the Zoo, the black-footed cat—the smallest wild cat species in...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Saturday, May 2, 2020

Lemurs

Happy May Day! Forsythias only bloom for so long in the spring, but our lemurs, they love 'em every time.

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Happy May Day! Forsythias only bloom for so long in the spring, but our lemurs, they love 'em every time. Also in...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, May 1, 2020

Adopt a Shelter Pet Day - Watson

Running into the weekend like... But before we get there, today is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day! The Zoo adopted Watson the Wonderdog, 6 1/2-year-old terrier mix, from R.u.F.F. Rescue in Lincoln, Nebraska. And like a lot of us lately, he's excited about the sunshine. Learn more about Watson's life at the Zoo and what it takes to be the best pet parent possible from Sarah and Paige, two of our interactive animal programs keepers.

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Running into the weekend like... But before we get there, today is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day! The Zoo adopted Watson the...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sea Lions

He shoots, he scores! It's "game on" for Raiden, one of our male California sea lions, and Nova, a female, who are making quite the splash in their current pool.

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He shoots, he scores! It's "game on" for Raiden, one of our male California sea lions, and Nova, a female, who are...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Crow and Raven Day - White-Naped Raven

Happy Crow and Raven Day, a great day to think outside of the box with your pets at home! In the winter time, when it was too cold for Forrest, our white-naped raven, to go outside, our keepers, like Madison here, taught him this fun game—the cup shuffle. He’s a pro! Just think what you might be able to teach your pet while you’re social distancing at home.

Named for the distinctive patch of white feathers on the back of their necks, white-naped ravens are playful and inquisitive by nature. They are also highly intelligent with incredible problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning and tool use.

Corvids, such as ravens (crows, too), have been observed engaging in play behavior, such as stick-carrying, sliding down smooth surfaces and games similar to “follow the leader” or “king of the mountain.”

They are also known to cache, or collect, food and recover it later or steal from others’ caches if they observe where they were hidden. With their exceptional spatial awareness, they have a keen sense for seeking out hiding places, just as well as they can remember them.

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Happy Crow and Raven Day, a great day to think outside of the box with your pets at home! In the winter time, when it...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Monday, April 27, 2020

Chinese Goral

Afternoon hike to see the Desert Dome!

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World Penguin Day

Happy World Penguin Day! Today, we're taking you inside the Antarctic penguin habitat, where we're celebrating. Watch out for the others as you make your way inside.

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Arbor Day - Masks for Madagascar

Happy Arbor Day! This year, our teams will plant 7,000 more trees in Kianjavato, Madagascar.
The planting of these trees, however, will look a little different than years past. Due to COVID-19, participants will be wearing facemasks and plant six feet (two meters) apart instead of the usual three-foot (one meter) distance.
 
These reusable masks were handmade by Kianjavato’s Vehivavy Women’s Association and Single Mothers Club. The making of these masks, a project orchestrated by the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership in partnership with Conservation Fusion, not only offered protection for this community, locals and trees alike, but provided the women who made them with a much-needed income.
Here's a look at the wonderful women who made these masks possible!

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Happy Arbor Day! This year, our teams will plant 7,000 more trees in Kianjavato, Madagascar. The planting of these...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, April 24, 2020

Nicobar Pigeon

Audrey Harmon and Tara Warner from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Pavilion with Carl, one of our Nicobar pigeons. These birds are very nomadic by nature. How far do you think he can fly? Tune in to make your predictions before each flight and enjoy today's activities, available to download below.

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Audrey and Tara here from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Pavilion! This is Carl, one of our Nicobar pigeons. These birds...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Thursday, April 23, 2020

North American Porcupine - Clover's 9th Birthday

Today is an extra special day! Not only is it the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, it's also Clover the North American porcupine's 9th Birthday. We're crashing the party in Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Pavilion.

 

Today is an extra special day! Not only is it the 50th anniversary of #EarthDay, it's also Clover the North American...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Bornean Orangutans

Social distancing at home be like... Suri is sure enjoying her new hay while her mom, Sepi, forages for oats.

Watch Keeper Clip

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New Addition - Prehensile-Tailed Porcupette

Meet our newest addition: a prehensile-tailed porcupette born on April 7. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are born with a dense covering of reddish-brown natal guard hairs. These hairs harden to quills shortly after birth. Porcupettes are also born with their eyes open and are ready to climb. This youngster, whose gender is unknown at this time, remains off exhibit as are parents, Nora and Michael. A quill will be sent in for DNA analysis to determine the gender. Had we been open, you’d still see Ramona and Pippa in the South American habitat of Kingdoms of the Night.

See Keeper Clip in Photos

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Happy Monday! Thought you guys might like to meet our newest addition: a prehensile-tailed porcupette (!!!!) born on...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Monday, April 20, 2020

Western Diamondbacks

Today, we're catching up with Jessica Mascarello, one of our reptile keepers! She recently assisted in tubing all of our Western diamondbacks, as demoed here, to weigh them and measure their snout-vent length (the tip of the snake's snout to the cloaca, or vent) for a study. To get a weight, measurements or perform examinations in general, the best way to safely handle a venomous snake is to carefully guide them into a clear plastic tube. Once at a safe distance, our keepers can handle the snake with one hand while supporting the tube in the other. The tube not only offers protection to our keepers, but provides a safe zone for the snake.

Watch Keeper Clip

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Rhino Training

The rhinos will be getting their vaccinations soon! Through training, Jami, one of our senior hoofstock keepers, is preparing Jontu, our adult male Indian rhino, to receive his. All of our rhinos, including Marshall, are vaccinated for West Nile, rabies and tetanus in the spring.

Watch Keeper Clip

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Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Flojo's never been to Asia before or Hubbard Orangutan Forest for that matter. Her species, Abyssinian ground hornbills, are from Africa. Bornean orangutans, they're from the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Watch Keeper Clip

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African Elephants

Nurse Sharks

Above the ocean floor is where a lot of our training happens in the Scott Aquarium. All while you’re exploring down below. Our aquarists are training our nurse sharks to participate in their own health care, such as wellness exams, which may involve the use of a stretcher. Our stretcher is specifically designed for sharks, so the animals are safely snug but also comfortable.
 
The first step is target training. There is an audio cue, an underwater rattle, which signals the beginning of a feed. The yellow wiffle ball—the target—is what the nurse sharks need to touch with their snout. After they complete the behavior, they are offered food as their reward—positive reinforcement. The next step is making sure they are comfortable and calm around the stretcher. To achieve this, the nurse sharks are being trained to eat on the stretcher.
 
Once they are comfortable doing that, our aquarists will work on having them swim over the length of the stretcher, stop on the stretcher and ultimately, be lifted out of the water while in the stretcher.The Zoo currently has two nurse sharks in the Scott Aquarium: one male and one female. Nurse sharks are nocturnal, so their time is usually spent sleeping at the bottom of the underwater shark tunnel.

Sichuan Takin

Today we're dropping in on the takin herd! If you're counting along as they shift for the day, you'll notice we have six: Mei-long, Zhu, Fei (Mei-long's daughter, who sprints past Zhu), Laya, Jaio (Laya's mother) and Yao (the Fei and Laya's father and our only male).
 
Takin are the national mammals of Bhutan. In the summer months, they can gather in herds much larger than our own, up to 200 - 300 animals. Also in the summer, they ascend to higher elevations but descend back down in the winter time. When we're open again, be sure to check them out in the Asian Highlands! Or become a takin at home.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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Burmese Brown Mountain Tortoise

Dropping in on our friends in Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Pavilion today. The animals have really taken over since you've been away.

In order of appearance: Liz Lemon the Burmese mountain tortoise, Carl the Nicobar pigeon, Tara Warner the zookeeper Lucille the ball python and Chakira the chinchilla.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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Happy Easter - Bunnies

Hoppy Easter from all of us at the Zoo, including some of our non-egg-laying friends, our rabbits!

Watch Keeper Clip

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Caturday - Amur Tigers

Too distracted to go outside! Isabella enjoys rolling around or rubbing herself against the scent the perfume. It’s one of her favorite types of enrichment. That’s what makes Isabella, Isabella, just like her camouflage. Amur tigers have unique, individual stipe patterns, just like a human's individual fingerprints.

Watch Keeper Clip

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Fish Cam Friday

A little relaxation for your Friday! Today, we're checking out the fish in the Scott Aquarium.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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Habitats

While you’re away, our keepers are using this time to make some changes to some of the animal enclosures. Our reptile crew, for instance, has been working on a new white alligator habitat in Kingdoms of the Night. The new habitat will be four times larger than his current space and will allow keepers to manage Thibodaux in a safer, more progressive manner. Something to look forward to seeing when you return!

Watch Keeper Clip in Photos

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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Zoo Lover's Day - Storytime

Instead of encouraging you to explore your local zoo on foot, we invite you to use your imagination. Dennis Pate, our president and CEO, is here to get us started by reading one of his childhood favorites, "If I Ran the Zoo" by Dr. Seuss.

Listen to Story

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Western Lowland Gorillas

It's nesting time for Kijito and Tatu. For others, not so much. Like K'gosi...

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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International Beaver Day

Beavers are the second largest rodent in the world and the largest in the United States. Primarily nocturnal in nature, beavers spend the majority of their day eating and building. They are quite the architects.
 
They live in lodges, dome-shaped houses made from woven sticks, grasses and moss plastered with mud. These are typically built on the banks of ponds, islands or lake shores just above water level. Many have underwater backdoors for instant swimming access.
 
One lodge is often home to one monogamous couple—beavers mate for life—and their young.
Beavers will also build dams to make ponds, their favorite place to live. This is done by weaving branches together and cutting trees down with their teeth. They are then waterproofed with mud. To bring water from large bodies of water to their feeding area, they will also dig canals.
 
Dams prevent erosion and raise the water table, helping purify the water as silts build up and break down toxins. As sediment and debris builds up, carbon increases and nitrogen decreases. The chemical changes alter the type of invertebrates present. The new water source attracts new species of birds, fish and amphibians. As flooded timber dies off, the forested area becomes an open-water ecosystem. Over time, abandoned dams will decay and meadows will appear.
 
Unlike other mammals, beavers can digest cellulose, a major component of their diet. Beavers eat leaves, roots and bark from aspens, willows, maples and poplar trees. They also eat aquatic plants.

Going for a Run with the Goats

Great day to let the kids run around and play! Our keepers gave the African pygmy goats free reign of Bay Family Children's Adventure Trails and went out for a little run.

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World Rat Day - Giant Jumping Rat

Today, our keepers are taking you behind the scenes to meet the endangered giant jumping rat, the largest rodent native to Madagascar. They are endemic to the island nation’s sandy coastal areas and mature deciduous forests.
 
Primarily herbivores, they feed on fallen fruit, seeds and leaves. Nocturnal in nature, adult pairs will rest in long, deep burrows during the day. Their burrows are also used for seeking shelter or raising their offspring. A monogamous species, giant jumping rats mate for life. When threatened, they can jump about 40 inches into the air.
 
At Expedition Madagascar, we have two: 9-year-old Zucchini, a male, and 12-year-old Lucy, a female. They live with our grey mouse lemurs, the smallest primates in the world.
 

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Archerfish

Today, we’re taking you in with us to feed the archerfish! So don't stand too close, you might get a little wet. But instead of showing us feeding them, we thought it’d be more fun to show your reactions from when you guys fed them a few days before we closed. Those smiles, we sure miss ‘em!
 
Archerfish have the remarkable ability to spit streams of water upward to dislodge appetizing insects from branches. They’re known to shoot water as high as 10 feet for a tasty meal.
 
When we’re open again, you’ll have to stop by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion to experience it for yourself.

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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National Ferret Day

An animal you might not know we have at the Zoo is the domesticated ferret. Virtually meet Merry, who lives behind the scenes at Bay Family Children's Adventure Trails. As one of our animal ambassadors, her role at the Zoo is to educate the public and create awareness about her species, as well as another she closely resembles, the endangered black-footed ferret—one of the most endangered mammals in North America. After exploring with Merry, you're going to need some space. Stick around for a game of true and false then build a tunnel system and bust some moves to a signature behavior called the "weasel war dance," characterized by frenzied sideways hops, leaps and bumping into nearby objects.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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April Fool's Day - Camouflage and Mimicry

Camouflage

What tree did these leaves fall from? Whoa! Just kidding. Those aren’t leaves at all and we might’ve missed them had Dylan not been with us. Dylan is a senior reptile keeper in the Desert Dome and Kingdoms of the Night. Right now, he’s behind the scenes in Kingdoms of the Night with a reptile so unique, if you blink, you might miss him. Because: camouflage.
 
Here’s a clue: This master of disguise is endemic to tropical rainforests of Madagascar, specifically along the east coast. This is the first of a series of posts we’ll be sharing about camouflage. Follow the Zoo's Facebook page or Instagram for more.

Watch Keeper Clip - Henkel's Leaf-Tailed Gecko

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Mimicry

Did you know? Alligator snapping turtles bait fish with nightcrawlers just like we do when we fish. April Fools! What appears to be a wiggling worm inside of Gigantor’s mouth is actually his tongue. Alligator snapping turtles wiggle their specialized tongues, just like a worm, to fool fish into approaching their mouths. This form of mimicry is called lingual luring.

Toucan Tuesday

While you're social distancing at home, a few words of advice: stay hydrated, keep moving and don't forget to eat your fruits (and veggies). Good job, Sammy!
 
Sammy is our 16-year-old Toco Toucan. She lives in the Scott Aquarium.
 
From South America, Toco Toucans are the largest species of toucan. Their beaks are serrated like a knife to tear apart their food. Their feather-like tongues help flick food down their throats.
 
These iconic birds are listed as least concern by the International Union of Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species because of their extensive geographic range. Wild populations are still in need of protection, though. This species is hunted for food and for the pet trade.
 

Watch Keeper Clip

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Aye-Aye

Hope you had a chance to get outside this afternoon! We’re going to tone the brightness down a bit, because in today’s keeper clip, we’re heading to Madagascar—home of the elusive Aye-Aye. Right now, it’s their nighttime.
 
Endemic to Madagascar, these endangered lemurs are the world’s largest nocturnal primate and almost one of the most misunderstood. They are considered an evil omen among locals because of beliefs surrounding their unique, morphological features, such as the middle digits on their hands, which are exceptionally longer than the rest.
 
Aye-Aye are thought to be the only primate to use echolocation to find food. Their middle digits are used as a sensory organs to feel vibrations to help them find food. When they walk along branches, they tap these digits and cup their ears to listen for grubs beneath. With their massive incisors, they will chew a hole in a branch and then use the middle finger to reach in for the tasty treat.
 
Dr. Tim Sefczek, a post-doctoral fellow in the Zoo’s Conservation Genetics Department, has been studying Aye-Aye behavior in the wild in collaboration with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership. Together, we are radio collaring and monitoring Aye-Aye in their natural habitat.
 
 
Did you know? Our keepers use a reverse light cycle in Expedition Madagascar. They switch the lights on at night and off during the day, so when we are open, the public can observe Aye-Aye and the other nocturnal species that live there at their most active time.

Scuba Sunday

Today, we’re going inside the Scott Aquarium. The daily and routine monitoring our animals throughout the exhibit is just one part of the job of being an aquarist. One of our senior aquarists, Megan Paider, is on diving duty and it’s time for Harold’s examination.

Harold is our female loggerhead sea turtle, who lives in our shark tunnel. Megan is checking Harold’s shell, eyes and neck for any irregularities. All in exchange for some carapace (shell) scratches of course, which Harold enjoys.
 
Over time, Megan has developed a strong and positive bond with Harold—through positive reinforcement training such as this and in her overall care. This is important as it creates a positive experience for the animal and enables them to partake in their own health care, which is completely voluntarily. It also helps reduce any potential stress on our staff, too.
 

Watch Keeper Clip

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Caturday - African Lions

We're up at the Wildlife Management Headquarters in the African Grasslands, where our keepers are getting ready to train our African lions. Hop on with Hilary and Ryan, our senior cats and bears keepers, and let's go!

Watch Keeper Clip

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Eastern Mountain Bongo

Marvin's horns! Have you seen anything cuter? A bongo calf's horns, like Marvin's here, start making their appearance when the calf is about three and half months of age and grow at a very rapid rate.
Did you know? It's a common misconception that only male animals have horns. When it comes to bongo and many other antelope species, both males and females have them. These spiral or lyre-shaped horns can grow up to three feet in length and follow the curvature of their back. They can even be observed using their horns like a built-in back scratcher!
 
Marvin, who was born September 13, 2019, is an eastern mountain bongo, a critically endangered species, according to the Interational Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Only about 70 - 80 mature individuals remain in their native range of Kenya.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

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6th - 12th Grade Activity

Venomous Snakes - Inland Taipan

Tag along if you’d like! Matt Tietgen and Andy Reeves of our reptile crew are caring for the venomous snakes in the Desert Dome, like the inland taipan.
 
The inland taipan is endemic to the semi-arid regions of central east Australia and is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Their nickname, fierce snake, refers to the toxicity of their venom rather than their behavior.
 
Like any animal, they will defend themselves when provoked in the wild. However, these snakes are quite shy and reclusive and would much rather escape from any potential threat.

Guinea Fowl

Our keepers are doing some agility training with Einstein, the helmeted guinea fowl! You might have seen him or others like him at the Dick and Mary Holland Meadowlark Theater. Special shout out to Eagle Scout Caden Nelson of Troop 496 for our wonderful setup!
 
Helmeted guinea fowl are found throughout the scrubland and grassland habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. They get their name for the bony knob, called a casque, on top of their head, which is typically orange or yellow in color.
 
Guinea fowl are known for their loud, alarming calls, which are used to alert the flock of danger. They prefer to run on the ground, but are known to fly for short distances. If they attempt a longer flight, guinea fowl will glide instead of flap their wings.
 
Males establish their dominance by chasing one another. During courtship, they might even escalate to more intense fighting. These birds live in flocks, sometimes with as many as 200 birds. During hatching season, some nests have been found with more than 20 eggs. However, it is believed that females have the tendency to share nests.
 
Once hatched out, their chicks—called keets—are precocial and can begin foraging and feeding themselves immediately after hatching. After just a week, keets are able to manage small wing flutters and roost on low-hanging branches. If a keet wanders too far, however, the adults do not return to find them.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

 

African Pygmy Goats

Happy Birthday to Sully, Levi, Calypso, Daisy and Lily—they turned 8 this month—and Chip, who is now 12! They are African pygmy goats. We still had to celebrate somehow, so we thought we'd bring the party to you guys! Jordan Anderson and Paige Neil from our interactive animal programs crew at Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails are with us to share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions they receive when caring for the goats.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

 

 

Rattlesnakes

Social distancing fail! These three male Western diamondbacks are engaging in ritual combat, a behavior male rattlesnakes tend to engage in for dominance and reproductive privileges. Our curator of reptiles and amphibians happened to spot this cool, male-specific behavior occurring on exhibit and captured this video.
 
With the help of volunteers, our reptile crew monitors the behaviors that take place in the Desert Dome’s Rattlesnake Canyon, the world’s largest indoor rattlesnake habitat. Together, behind the scenes, they review video footage from cameras inside the exhibit, which are capturing footage around the clock. So we can better understand the nature and timing of rattlesnake behaviors, as well as which rattlesnakes are choosing to engage. We are able to tell the rattlesnakes apart by their tails. Each tail has a distinguishing feature that is unique to the rattlesnake.

Watch Keeper Clip

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

Rhinos - Marshall Madness

While you’re practicing social distancing at home, we thought you could use a sports fix. But before we get started, any ideas on how much Marshall weighs now? We’re live with our hoofstock crew today to learn more!

Watch Keeper Experience

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

 

 

 

While you’re practicing social distancing at home, we thought you could use a sports fix. But before we get started, any...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Sunday, March 22, 2020

California Sea Lions

Today, we thought you might like to come “face to face” with Fluke, our six-month-old sea lion pup.

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity




 

World Frog Day - Amphibian Conservation Area

Happy World Frog Day! We’re live today with Derek Benson, lead amphibian conservation keeper, inside our Amphibian Conservation Area with some special guests!

Watch Keeper Experience

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

 

 

Happy World Frog Day! We’re live today with Derek Benson, lead amphibian conservation keeper, inside our Amphibian Conservation Area with some special guests!

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, March 20, 2020

Sloth Bears

Sloth bears are one of eight species of bear and have no relation to sloths. Learn more about Bodo from Rocky Verbrigghe and Brandi Keim of our cats and bears crew. Not only are sloth bears the only bear to routinely carry their cubs on their back, they have the fantastic ability to find insects. Sloth bears can close their nostrils tightly to act as a barrier from the insects they suck up. This “barrier” works for liquids too. Our animal care staff uses straws with Bodo, our 11-year-old male, to help distribute liquid medicine if needed. This medicine is mixed with coconut water or watered down juice to make it more desirable for the bears. Bodo even uses a reusable straw, which means so can you!

Watch Keeper Experience

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

 

Today we’re LIVE with Bodo the sloth bear! Here to tell you more (and show you a very unique behavior of sloth bears) are Rocky Verbrigghe and Brandi Keim from our cats and bears crew.

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Chinchillas

Paige Johnson and Sarah Starr, interactive animal programs keepers, introduce you to two of the Zoo's chinchillas: Chakira and Chico. While some of you may recognize chinchillas as pets, did you know? They are actually an endangered species.

Watch Keeper Experience

Virtual Learning Video with a Zoo Educator

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

 
 

While some of you may recognize chinchillas as pets, did you know? They are actually an endangered species! Paige Johnson and Sarah Starr, interactive animal programs keepers, are live to tell us more.

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

New Additions - Rockhopper and Gentoo Chicks

Our animal care staff is still working tirelessly to care for the more than 35,000 animals that call the Zoo home. Here are eight newbies we thought you might like to meet: our rockhopper and gentoo chicks! Here to tell you more about them is Stephanie McIntosh, senior keeper of birds in the Scott Aquarium.

Watch Keeper Experience

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Our animal care staff is still working tirelessly to care for the more than 36,000 animals that call the Zoo home. Here...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

National Panda Day - Red Pandas

Red pandas were actually discovered about 50 years before the giant panda. So who’s the real panda now? Hilary Merkwan and Callie Nanfito, cats and bears keepers, introduce you to Sabal, our resident red panda in the Asian Highlands. Tune in and then become a red panda ranger. Test your new knowledge with fun resources from the Red Panda Network, a conservation organization supported by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

Watch Keeper Experience

Become a Red Panda Ranger

 

It’s National Panda Day! Red pandas actually got their name about 50 years before the giant panda did. So who’s the real...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Monday, March 16, 2020

Party for the Planet Series

While can’t be together this Earth Day, we can still Party for the Planet—virtually! See how local businesses are doing their part and how you can, too. Celebrate with us during this week-long celebration, April 20 - 25, 2020, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtags #PartyForThePlanet, #EarthDay and #WeAreAZA.

Episode 1 - Heartland B-Cycle

One thing you can do to help is to go emission-free with transportation. Did you know the Zoo has a BCycle bike rental station across the street from its North Entrance? Take a look at Heartland B-Cycle’s demonstration on how to use the BCycle system, the environmental benefits of riding, and how using BCycle is a great way to get in some outdoor adventure during this time of social distancing!
 
 

Earth Day is right around the corner and while we can’t be together, we can still #PartyForThePlanet together—virtually!...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Monday, April 20, 2020

Episode 2 - Conservation Nebraska

Take steps to make your home a healthy habitat! Conservation Nebraska shows us how to make simple, safe and plastic-free homemade cleaning products, including glass cleaner, fabric/air freshener, and an all-purpose cleaner.
 
Other steps you can take to create a healthy habitat around your home include:
 
1) Make your choices even more sustainable and start composting. Choosing food that was grown or harvested in ways that keep habitats healthy is a great start, but what happens at your house? Composting at home means food scraps or yard waste can be turned into dirt that enriches soil instead of ending up in a landfill. Using compost in your yard and garden can also help you reduced the use of chemical fertilizers, making it safer and healthier for wildlife.
 
2) Reduce your footprint by turning lights off when you leave a room. This effort will minimize the energy used by cutting down on the amount of fossil fuels that are burned and release carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Not only that, but lower the amount of energy used in your household by being more conscious of your water usage. Reducing your length of showers and only running the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full can help cut back too.
 
Last but not least, consider growing your own garden. Whether this is a windowsill filled with herbs, or a raised bed of veggies in your backyard, it’s good for you, your wallet, and the environment.
 

#SpringIntoAction this #EarthDay by taking steps to make your home a healthy habitat! Conservation Nebraska shows us how...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Episode 3 - Firstar Fiber Corporation

Did you know? In the United States, only 9% of our plastic waste is recycled and 79% of plastic waste ends up in landfills. This 79% includes most of what we call hard-to-recycle plastics such as frozen vegetable bags, cereal box liners, laundry pouches, food bags, candy wrappers, liners from dry or powdered mixes and so much more.
 
Did you know? Many of the plastics going to landfills can be reused again. That’s where the Hefty® EnergyBag® program comes in! 
 
Firstar Fiber Corporation shows us how the Hefty® EnergyBag® program provides a way to collect otherwise hard-to recycle plastics at your curb and turn them into valued resources. You simply place these materials in the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bag, tie the full bags, and put them in your curbside recycling bin or cart. The recycling center can then readily separate these bags from the other materials and send them on to facilities that can use them and their contents as an energy resource or break them down to create new and useful products. This is an important step in reducing the amount of waste going to landfills.
 
In fact, when these hard-to-recycle plastics are not properly put into a Hefty® EnergyBag®, it can actually hinder other recycling efforts. If hard-to-recycle plastics get mixed in with other materials in curbside recycling bins, they can jam up processing equipment and contaminate entire batches of otherwise readily recyclable plastics, paper, metals, and glass, stripping them of value and causing them all to end up in landfills.
 
This program is available to Omaha Metro and Lincoln residents. If you are not currently participating or wish to learn more, visit https://heftysustainability.com/.
 

Did you know? In the United States, only 9% of our plastic waste is recycled and 79% of plastic waste ends up in...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Episode 4 - Verdis Group

Next up in our video series is Verdis Group, a nationally recognized Omaha-based sustainability consulting firm and a partner of the Zoo. They're here to show you alternatives to a few items too often found in the trash.
 
1) Most single-use coffee cups are not recyclable or compostable because they contain a plastic wax liner. Consider using alternatives such as a reusable coffee mug where accepted.
 
Plastic bags, commonly used to store food, are not recyclable. Consider supporting local businesses that use compostable paper to store tea, coffee and food.
 
3) Styrofoam to-go containers are replaceable with compostable boxes and clamshells that are more environmentally friendly.
 
4) Where possible, consider purchasing products that can be composted or recycled, and consider composting at home or signing up for Hillside Solutions' compost club. Supporting local businesses that make environmentally friendly choices is an impactful way to benefit your community.
 

We hope you've been enjoying our virtual celebration of #PartyForThePlanet! Next up in our video series is Verdis Group,...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Thursday, April 23, 2020

Episode 5 - Keep Omaha Beautiful

Party for the Planet exploring nature's treasures! Check out Keep Omaha Beautiful's Nature Treasure Walk activity to get your family out of the house and connect with the nature that is right outside your front door. This activity allows families to observe their local habitats all while maintaining a safe social distance.
 
 

#PartyForThePlanet by exploring nature's treasures! Check out Keep Omaha Beautiful, Inc.’s Nature Treasure Walk activity...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, April 24, 2020

Episode 6 - Diventures

In celebration of Party for the Planet and Earth Day, we want to share with you how @DiventuresOmaha contributes to keeping our oceans clean and the coral reefs beautiful. As the Zoo's official ocean health conservation education partner, we are able to make waves in all areas including classrooms, community projects, and coral research, conservation, and restoration.
 
A big part of our teaching here at Diventures includes how to be smart and respectful swimmers and divers around sea life. Interested in knowing more? Check out Diventures' website, www.diventures.com, and discover a whole new world underwater!
 
 

In celebration of #PartyForThePlanet and #EarthDay, we want to share with you about how Diventures contributes to...

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Saturday, April 25, 2020

Episode 7 - Nebraska Sierra Club and Omaha Permaculture

Hey there! Have you been participating in the City Nature Challenge? Nebraska Sierra Club and Omaha Permaculture show us all the wildlife you might see in your own backyard. Don’t forget to record your findings on the iNaturalist app!

You can also help native wildlife right at home! Take a look at these ways you can make your front or backyard a healthy habitat for bees, birds, butterflies, and more.
 
1) Add water! Provide a birdbath in your yard to give birds a place to drink and bathe. Add a pollinator bath for bees and butterflies by placing a shallow bowl with rocks and water in a protected area near native plants.
 
2) Add shelter! Mount a nesting box for birds, plant host plants for butterfly caterpillars or install a frog pond as places to raise young.
 
3) Plant shrubs that flower for pollinators and produces berries for birds and other animals.
 

Earth Day - 50th Anniversary

Happy 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! Join us in taking action to save species. Through SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction, zoos are working together to protect and recover threatened and endangered species. With your membership, to our zoo and aquarium and others accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, you’re helping us save species around the world.
 
You can help SAFE species, like monarchs and songbirds, right here in your community, too!
Monarch butterflies and migratory songbirds travel thousands of miles and may stop in your backyard or local parks. You can help them on their journey by creating safe stopover areas for their long migrations. Stopover areas are critical for their survival to rest, restore energy and seek shelter. You can help protect and create more healthy stopover habitats by:
 
Planting native flowering plants! Fuel their travels with a diverse buffet. Choosing only native plants and going pesticide-free are best to keep habitats healthy.
 
Pick up litter and choose to reuse! Litter—especially plastics —can be mistaken for food or tangle up birds. Disposing of trash and properly recycling helps keep habitats healthy! Do more to keep plastics out of habitats by choosing reusable instead of single-use items like straws, bags, and containers.
 
Use fewer pesticides and fertilizers in your garden! By reducing or eliminating the use of chemicals on your lawn and gardens you create safer, healthier habitat for monarchs, birds, and other pollinators.
 
Don’t mow, let the flowers grow! Taller grasses create habitat for pollinators and other insects, not to mention it saves you time, money and conserves fuel. Not ready to stop mowing everywhere? Choose a section to let grow and watch as a family for new visitors to your yard.

Pre K - 5th Grade Activity

6th - 12th Grade Activity

Download Trading Cards

Create a Bird-Friendly Habitat

SAFE Species Worksheet

Garden for Wildlife Worksheet