The North Carolina zoological park was started in 1976 and stands at 1,458 acres of land in Asheboro in the United States of America. It consists of three major areas, Africa, North America and the Australia area which was closed in 2006. It is open throughout the year except on Christmas day and during extreme weather. The zoo is opened from 9:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm from 1st April to 31st October and from 1st November to 31st March it is opened from 8:00 am-4:00 pm due to weather changes.
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Animal care in NC zoo
The care for native animals in the North Carolina zoo is provided by the Valarie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They offer veterinary and rehabilitation services for the injured animals and the orphaned animals. The services are provided to the animals in this zoo free of charge. The center also provides education programs, volunteer services, and social interaction that motivate people to care and about animals and the environment in general.
The cost of caring for the animal’s needs in the zoo is kept low through cooperation with the zoo’s veterinarians and a donation from well-wishers and lovers for animals. The average cost for treating an animal is 40 dollars from private donations. The public is motivated for donating to the zoo management by automatically being a member of the zoo’s community of caring which is a recognized group of people for their compassionate love for the wild animals.
The caring of the animals is also supported by the Randolph residents and the North Carolina University Veterinary students in internships. On average the center helps over 1000 animals. They give back to the community by providing these free veterinary services to their pets, that is, dogs and cats.
These zookeepers in the zoo are trained to observe specific individual animal behavior so that they can tell when the animal is ill. They are also trained in the special care of sick animals for example handling dislocation cases in the limbs and other minor injuries.
The elephant conservation and breeding program in America which requires 42000 dollars is headed by Dr. Wolfe and the zoo society has donated at least a third for this project.
Feeding of the animals in North Carolina Zoo
The animals in the zoo require care and resources 24 hours seven days a week. This means that a trained group of personnel is required to ensure the welfare of the animals. In the NC zoo, there are over 300 zookeepers who are trained specifically for certain animals. Different animals require different food, nutrition, and care. There are researches carried out to establish the nutritional requirement of each zoo animal to ensure that they get the right food. This is sometimes impossible since some animals are not of American origin and therefore the food they need is not available and can only be substituted with other types that may not be convenient. The zoo nutrition program looks at the storage of animal feeds, procurements, ration formulation to avoid challenges that may occur in caring for the animal’s nutrition care. (Brigham, 1997)
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Some animals are fed with the same food type such as carnivores who feed on flesh can consume the same meat in the zoo. Grazers and browsers are also fed on similar food although their nutrition requirements differ. This is the major challenge that faces the feeding of zoo animals. The animals are fed at different frequencies depending on the type of animal. Most small animals in the zoo such as rodents, pups are fed every four hours on arrival and get rationed as they adapt to the new environment. Big heavy feeders like Giraffes get fed almost throughout the day while biog carnivores like a lion may be fed twice a day.
Cleaning of the animal’s holdings
The zoo’s staff cleans the animal cages every day in the morning before they are fed. Grooming of animals includes spraying of the animal’s bodies to set them free of ticks and tsetse flies that are common in hot temperatures. The cages are kept free of excessive moisture that might lead to animal diseases. They are cleaned using steam, detergents, and water spray to ensure that they are clean and free from any harmful parasites that can cause diseases. The cages are also sprayed with disinfectants to ensure that they are safe for animals. The cost of pesticides and disinfectants goes at about $ 100000 a year.
The elephant exhibit and holding facilities are under renovation at a cost of 2.5 million dollars. The elephants are given a large natural area for breeding that is larger than the standard recommended area by the zoo Association.
The zoo is concerned about the animal’s natural environment and it has a project of expanding rhinoceros exhibit at a cost of $ 6 million.
Temperatures regulation in the zoo
Temperatures are not constant in the North Carolina zoo and they change with seasons. In our interview with Katie and Sarah, temperatures range from 38 degrees Celsius to 52 degrees celsius. These temperatures are too harsh for some animals and need to be regulated. During high temperatures, the cages are insulated using aluminum foils to make the temperatures low for many of the mammals and reptiles in the zoo.
During low temperatures at which some reptiles cannot survive and they need to be adjusted. This is done by providing electric heaters in their cages that regulate temperatures to desirable levels. There are times when the temperature is too high that the animals cannot be contained in the cages and are left to the outdoor exhibit where they can find shade from the trees. Katie told us that the reptiles at one time escaped out of the zoo due to high temperatures and went down to the streets.
Brigham, D. Wildlife Conservation, New York: New York Publishers, 1999.