Saturday, January 31, 2009

Comcast Day At the Naples Zoo

Every year, Comcast has had a "Comcast Day At The Zoo" and has given out free tickets to the Naples zoo for employees and their families. Last year I took Shaylee and invited my friend Peggy and her daughter, Olivia, to go with us since Nils had to work. This year we were fortunate enough to have it fall on both of our scheduled days off. So after Kindermusik class, we headed to the zoo. The zoo is pretty much the same from last year but definitely growing.
They recently introduced their newest addition, the Fosa. The fosa (formerly spelled fossa) is the island’s largest mammalian predator and is so quick in the trees that about half of its diet is lemurs. Less than 40 of these rare creatures are found in the nation and Naples Zoo is the only zoo in the Southeastern United States where you can see one. The new exhibit features themed naturalistic rockwork replicating the striking tsingy limestone formations seen in Madagascar. The tsingy rock surrounds the glass viewing areas for guests to get clear views. As agile as squirrels in a tree, the fosas can jump to natural oak trees and vertical poles, run along an elevated catwalk, play on the ropes, and climb through custom structures.

The fosa looks like a dark brown, short-legged cougar, albeit much smaller and stretched out. Fosas weigh around 15 to 30 pounds or more and measure around 5 ½ feet long. Fosas live in forests ringing the coast of the island. Like Madagascar’s more popularly known lemurs, fosas are endemic to Madagascar meaning they can be found nowhere else. This also describes about 90% of the island’s mammals and plants along with over 95% of its reptiles and over 99% of its amphibians. The diverse life on Madagascar resulted from over 160 million years of isolation from both mainland Africa and people who only arrived about 2,000 years ago. They were truly the main attraction.

There is also several other exhibits going in, such as that of the Florida black bears. They are still under construction but we look forward to next year's Comcast Day at the Zoo and hope that they will all be finished by then.

1 comment:

Neabear said...

Isn't that the same zoo we went to when we were there in 2003 before we met you? Nils would know I guess. Seems to me when he told us about it on the phone it was the same zoo. Also that he was impressed with the changes since that visit. Sounds like you had a fun day there. I have a funny zoo story about Nils, don't know if I have told you about it yet.