A Few Babies and a Fresh Flower Show To Announce!

Meet Whalen & Motzko, Como Zoo’s Newest Baby Twin Emperor Tamarins

baby tamarins

Whalen and Motzko (photo credit Como Zoo)

On the heels of the University of Minnesota announcing a pair of new head coaches, Como Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a pair of new baby emperor tamarins, born April 21st. The twins, “Whalen” and “Motzko” are clinging well but will be off exhibit for a few days so they can gain strength and bond.

They join an exciting winning line-up of emperor tamarins at Como Zoo including “Fleck” and “Pitino” who where born in August 2017.

The names “Whalen” and “Motzko” are a tip of the hat, or perhaps a flick of the mustache, to the new University of Minnesota Women’s Basketball coach Lindsay Whalen and the new University of Minnesota Men’s Hockey coach Bob Motzko.

“With the exciting hire of Lindsay Whalen and the return of Bob Motzko to men’s hockey, we wanted to show support to our neighbors down the road and to their new coaches”, said Michelle Furrer, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Director, adding “Ski-U-Mah!”

Whalen and Motzko are the 7th and 8th babies born to parents Lara and Roger. The gender of the twins usually takes several weeks to determine with absolute certainty. Along with Lara and Roger, Whalen and Motzko join brothers Fleck, Pitino and Chewbacca (Chewy) at Como Zoo.

After birth it is a male, usually the father, who will carry the babies on his back for the first 6-7 weeks. The fathers do the majority of the care-taking, usually only handing the infants over to the mother for nursing. Siblings often help the father carry the infants.
Typically, the gestation period lasts 140-145 days; yielding usually two, sometimes 3 young. Emperor tamarins are quite rare in zoos, with fewer than 30 in North American zoos.

Emperor tamarins are usually between 9-10.5 inches in body length with a tail length of around 15 inches. Adult Tamarin’s weigh about 1 pound full-grown; the twin babies weigh approximately 40 grams, about the size of a mini candy bar. Their most distinct physical feature is their long, white, drooping mustache.

Como Zoo Welcomes Baby Dall’s Sheep!

Sunny and Storm

Sunny and Storm (photo credit Jackie Scherer Photography)

A snowy white female baby Dall’s sheep was welcomed into the world last Tuesday, April 24th and is now prancing about in her home at Como Zoo. The baby was born on a bright, sunny day, and thus, has been aptly named “Sunny”. She can be seen scampering around the exhibit she shares with her mother “Storm”, and her one-year-old sister, “Drizzle”.

Dall’s sheep are most notable for the males’ (known as rams) massive curled horns. Females (known as ewes) also carry horns, but theirs are shorter and more slender, and only slightly curved. Until rams reach the age of 3 years, they tend to resemble the ewes quite a bit. After that, continued horn growth makes the males easily recognizable. Horns grow steadily during spring, summer, and early fall. In late fall or winter, horn growth slows and eventually ceases. This start-and-stop growth results in a pattern of rings called annuli which are spaced along the length of the horn, and can help determine age. The typical gestation period for a Dall’s sheep is 175 days and yields one baby.

Summer Flower Show Now Open in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

The Summer Flower Show at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory opened Saturday, April 28 and runs through September 30, 2018 with a soft palate of pink and white.

The Summer Flower Show displays the greatest plant diversity of any of the Sunken Garden Flower Shows, as well as the longest season. Oriental lilies, cordyline, petunias, geraniums, and dichondra are just some of the flowers featured in this year’s show.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory opened in 1915 and the Sunken Garden was part of the original structure. Continuing with tradition, the Sunken Garden features five seasonal flower shows each year.