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Rare Chimpanzee Born on Safari

Rare Baby Chimpanzee Born at Lion Country Safari

 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Lion Country Safari welcomed a baby chimpanzee to its troop on Dec. 30, the first born at the facility in over 16 years and the only one born in 2021 at an AZA-accredited zoological park. The baby is making his debut on the island habitats in the preserve, and guests driving through the safari may see him clinging to mom.

 

This baby is a significant part of chimpanzee conservation, contributing to the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP), a national collaboration to save them from extinction. Chimpanzees are listed as endangered and critically endangered in some regions by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with populations decreasing due to habitat loss, poaching and disease.

 

Due to the status of chimpanzees in the wild and the low number of births in the population, this birth is especially rare and significant for the conservation of the species.

 

The baby is Irene’s first, and for the duration of the pregnancy, Lion Country Safari’s chimpanzee care team worked closely with Irene to prepare her for motherhood. Through voluntary training sessions, Irene participated in ultrasounds, infant heartbeat detection monitoring and practiced holding a stuffed animal baby to her chest for nursing.

 

The little one has been named “Tonk,” in honor of the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project, a conservation initiative in Sierra Leone. The Tonkolili project was co-founded by Lion Country Safari’s own Dr. Tina Cloutier Barbour, Curator of Conservation, Research and Chimpanzees and Chimpanzee SSP Coordinator.

 

Tonk joins a family of 2 males and 2 females. His aunt Juniper, Irene's sister, is very interested in the baby, remaining close to Irene’s side. The new mom is protective but has let Juniper touch the baby at times, and Aunt Juniper will go get food and then recline next to Irene and the baby. It’s clear Irene is enjoying her group being nearby as she embraces motherhood.

 

Chimpanzee gestation is approximately 8 months. At birth, chimpanzees weigh approximately 4 pounds (1.8 kg). Infants cling to their mothers off and on for the first few years but will stay closely attached for the first four months before becoming more independent.

 

Lion Country Safari is home to 17 chimpanzees and is a proud participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan and the Chimpanzee Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Program. Lion Country Safari is also proud to support the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project.

 

Posted by Haley Passeser

Join us for our Annual Christmas with the Chimps event!

 

West Palm Beach – On Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 10:30a.m., Lion Country Safari will celebrate its annual Christmas with the Chimps. During this event, Santa makes a special visit to the safari and his helpers deliver presents by boat to the park’s chimpanzees. It’s the only event of the year where guests are permitted out of their vehicles in the final section of the preserve to join in the festivities. Christmas with the Chimps is open to the public and is included with paid admission. Guests should arrive by 9:30a.m. to allow travel time to the chimp islands, located in the final section of the drive-through preserve.

 

For the 37th year, Santa Claus has taken a hiatus from the North Pole to deliver gifts including edible treats, stuffed animals, clothes and enrichment-themed activities to the chimps. “Our chimpanzee residents really look forward to our annual Christmas with the Chimps event. They know that Santa and our Lion Country Safari guests will be visiting them when they see us start to set up Observation Island the day prior to the event, and they get so excited! We know that they’re really happy because chimpanzees express their emotions in a variety of ways—happiness, for example, is often conveyed through smiles, enthusiastic hugs, and loud vocalizations called ‘pant hoots.’ You’ll see plenty of these natural chimpanzee behaviors during our annual Christmas with the Chimps event, so come out and visit us on safari!,” says Curator of Conservation, Research, and Chimpanzees Dr. Tina Cloutier Barbour.

 

Chimpanzees, currently classified as endangered to critically endangered due to a population decrease across Africa, face a number of threats to their existence, including the deforestation and mining associated with coltan production. Coltan is a mineral mined by hand in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is used in phones, tablets, and other small electronics. In celebration of Christmas with the Chimps, Lion Country Safari has offered 4 complimentary event admissions to a member of the community who donated the most cell phones and small electronics. Lion Country Safari will see that these electronics are recycled so the coltan can be reused, thereby slowing the rate of deforestation of great ape habitat!

 

Lion Country Safari is Florida’s largest drive-through safari and is home to over 900 animals, including some of the world’s iconic species roaming wide open natural habitats in large herds. Lion Country Safari continuously strives to be a leader in animal care, conservation, and education to inspire people through connections with wildlife in a family-friendly environment. For more information, please call the main office at (561) 793-1084 or visit us online at www.lioncountrysafari.com. 

 

Posted by Haley Passeser at 13 December 2021

Check out this WILD Cyber Monday Deal

Our Cyber Monday Special is now live! Admission tickets are on sale for just $24 per person (plus tax and fees). Get them before they're gone! 

Posted by Haley Passeser at 29 November 2021

Second Rare Rhino Born at Lion Country Safari in 2021 Bolsters Conservation Efforts

West Palm Beach, FL – It’s another big baby – and he is a big deal!

 

Lion Country Safari welcomed a male Southern White Rhinoceros calf to its herd on November 17th, 2021, the second calf born at the park this year. He is a significant contribution to the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a national collaboration to save the imperiled species from extinction. Both the calf, named Josh, and mom are spending some quality time bonding together in a maternity area, which is visible to guests from their cars in the drive-through safari.

 

Lion Country Safari cares for one of the largest herds of rhinoceros in the country with a long history of breeding success. The baby is the 5th offspring born to 22-year-old mom Bloom and he is the 38th rhino calf to be born at the park since 1979. Bloom’s family line is considered underrepresented in the population; each offspring’s genes are important to the overall diversity and health of the population under human care and to the conservation of the species.

 

During the 1970s, this species was teetering on the edge of extinction with less than 1,000 individuals left on the planet. Today, thanks to multi-national collaborative breeding and protection efforts, there are an estimated 20,000 white rhinos and each new birth contributes to their continued conservation.  

 

Rhino mothers give birth to a single calf weighing between 88 and 132 pounds (40-60 kg). The calf is expected to gain 3-4 pounds (1-2kg) a day from his mother's milk, and will gain about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) a year for the first three years. Baby rhinos nurse for almost two years.

 

Of the five species of rhinos (White, Black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan), the white rhino is the most abundant, but all 5 species are in peril due mostly to poaching. Lion Country Safari is home to 15 White Rhinos – 11 females and 4 males and is a proud participant of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP ensures that a genetically sound population of White Rhinos survives should threats worsen in the wild.

 

For more information on rhinos, visit the International Rhino Foundation www.rhinos.org and Save the Rhinos www.savetherhino.org.

Posted by Haley Passeser at 24 November 2021

Rare Baby Rhino Born on World Rhino Day at Lion Country Safari!

West Palm Beach, FL – In a very special celebration on World Rhino Day, Lion Country Safari welcomed a female Southern White Rhinoceros calf to its herd on Sept. 22, 2021.

 

This big baby is also a very big deal in the conservation world. She is a significant new part of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a national collaboration to save this imperiled species from extinction. In celebration of the birth and in honor of World Rhino Day, Lion Country Safari is making a donation to the International Rhino Foundation.

 

Both the calf and mom are spending quality time bonding in a maternity area, which is visible to guests from their cars in the drive-through safari. Lion Country Safari is one of only a few drive-through safari experiences in the United States.

 

The baby, named Aziza (meaning precious), is the second offspring born to 8-year-old mom Anna. She is the 37th rhino calf born at the park since 1979. During the 1970s, this species was teetering on the edge of extinction with less than 1,000 individuals left on the planet. Today, thanks to multi-national collaborative breeding and protection efforts, there are an estimated 20,000 white rhinos and each new birth contributes to their continued conservation.  

 

Lion Country Safari’s veterinary team monitored Anna’s health with regular ultrasound exams and blood tests to ensure that mom and calf were progressing well throughout the 16-month pregnancy.

 

Rhino mothers give birth to a single calf weighing between 88 and 132 pounds (40-60 kg). Aziza is expected to gain 3-4 pounds (1-2kg) a day from her mother's milk, and will gain about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) a year for the first three years. Baby rhinos nurse for almost two years.

 

Of the five species of rhinos (White, Black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan), the white rhino is the most abundant, but all 5 species are in peril due mostly to poaching. The Southern White Rhinoceros is the only species of rhino that eats just grasses; the others also browse on trees and shrubs.

 

Lion Country Safari is home to 14 White Rhinos – 11 females and 3 males and is a proud participant of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP ensures that a genetically sound population of White Rhinos survives should threats worsen in the wild.

 

For more information on rhinos, visit the International Rhino Foundation: www.rhinos.org and Save the Rhinos www.savetherhino.org.

Posted by Haley Passeser at 27 September 2021

Teacher, Military, Healthcare and Hospitality Industry Special

We have a wild offer for teachers and school employees, military and government personnel, healthcare professionals, and hospitality industry employees. Special admission rate of $23.oo per person plus tax is available at the ticket booths for members of these industries who show their official ID or a paystub. Employee may bring up to 4 additional guests (in the same vehicle) at this special rate of $23.00 per person plus tax. Can not be combined with other offers. Valid from 9/20/21 through 11/14/21.

Now through 11/14/21, Government/Military, Hospitality Industry, Healthcare, and Teacher & School employees can take advantage of our special promotion of $23.00 plus tax per person (with up to 4 additional guests in the same vehicle at the same low rate)! Present your government, military, healthcare, school or hospitality ID or paystub at the ticket booths to take advantage of this promotion!

Posted by Haley Passeser at 24 September 2021

Giraffe Conservation in Namibia

 Thanks to conservation efforts in the park, members of our Wildlife team, Kim and Dave, recently traveled to Namibia to assist the Giraffe Conservation Foundation with a photographic survey of giraffe in the region. Photo surveys allow researchers to get an idea of the overall population in the study area, as well as how the giraffe are moving, what resources are available to them and what the group dynamics are. All this information contributes to future conservation plans, such as relocation projects to help reestablish giraffe to their historical range. 
     In addition to photographing and IDing giraffe, they were also recording data on group sizes and individuals (which sometimes changed from day to day), GPS location, animal behavior, DNA sampling and participated in a water study in conjunction with Namibia University of Science and Technology.
Read on to hear more about Kim and Dave’s experiences on the trip.

  • How does it feel to have contributed to conservation work? 
    • Kim: In one word...amazing! Giraffe populations are on the decline, with only about 117,000 wild giraffe left in Africa. Feeling like you are contributing to something bigger and helping to save the wild counterparts of a species we have already come to love was incredible.
    • Dave: Conservation is one of the reasons we are zookeepers and doing work outside of our institutions is inspiring. Working to help the world as one planet makes you feel connected in some way to a larger picture. Things that we can all do to help keep this planet stay inhabitable, for all its creatures, is important.
  • Were there any moments of awe for you? 
    • Kim: Being able to see and observe herds of giraffe, elephants, various antelope species and even a cheetah was definitely exciting. Something that I think took us both by surprise is how well a giraffe's spot pattern really does act as camouflage. I don't think we understood the true gravity of it in the Namibian landscape. To be staring at a tree, or even a bush, and not be able to see a giraffe directly before you was shocking! 
    • Dave: At the end of the day, we would always go and find nice spot to watch the sunset. One day we went on top of a mound that overlooked the river system we had been tracking giraffe in. In the twilight, we watched a herd of 3 elephants come down the river and stop about halfway to dig for water. All the sunsets were amazing and the one on my 40th birthday was truly a moment of awe. The night sky is amazing. One night, we were camping next to a large rock in the middle of the desert and we just slept with no tent out under the stars.
  • How did your experience working with giraffe at Lion Country Safari contribute to success in fieldwork? 
    • Kim: Using a similar photo ID system definitely made it easier to quickly identify giraffe. ‚Äč
    • Dave: Being able to spot an animal in large spaces and being used to working with large herds of animals. We get counts of all LCS animals every day and having large herds of animals helped identify individuals in Africa. We also had to use individual markings on animals and having experience doing the same with our animals (ex. Ayanna giraffe has a butterfly spot) was helpful.

 

Giraffe in Africa stretching its neck upwards to reach leaves from a tree. Wildlife team member Dave photographing a giraffe from inside of a truck. Sunset over the sandy desert landscape in Namibia.

Posted by Haley Passeser at 24 September 2021

Save BIG when you upgrade your Summer Savings Pass to an Annual Pass!

Summer Savings Pass Upgrade Flyer: Upgrade your Summer Savings Pass now to a Lion Country Safari Annual Pass for Wild Savings. Child pass upgrade (ages 3 - 9) is only $30 plus tax. Adult pass upgrade (ages 10 and up) is only $40 plus tax. Get yours at the main office by October 31st, 2021. Annual passholder benefits include 20% off purchases in the restaurant and gift shops, 20% off additional guests,10%off KOA campground rates, discounts on premium tours and free parking.
Posted by Haley Passeser at 30 August 2021

Rare New Species at Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari Welcomes Extremely Rare New Species to the Safari

 

West Palm Beach, FL – Lion Country Safari is pleased to welcome two male eastern bongo antelope to the safari. Makumi and Bakari, one year old and two years old respectively, relocated to Lion Country Safari in late April. Following their arrival, they have spent some time acclimating to their new home, but are now visible to the public in the Kalahari Bushveldt section of the preserve.

 

Bongos are native to forest and savanna habitats in Africa. This species is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is in decline as a result of habitat loss and hunting. Lion Country Safari is proud to care for bongos and to help support bongo conservation programs through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  

 

Lion Country Safari is Florida’s largest drive-through safari and is home to nearly 1,000 animals, including some of the world’s most iconic species roaming wide open natural habitats in large herds. Lion Country Safari continuously strives to be a leader in animal care, conservation, and education to inspire meaningful connections with wildlife. For more information, please call the main office at (561) 793-1084 or visit us online at www.lioncountrysafari.com. 

Posted by Haley Passeser

Lion Country Safari Ranked One of the Top Zoos in Florida

Lion Country Safari Ranked “12 Best Zoos in Florida”

 

West Palm Beach, FL –Just weeks after being ranked one of the “10Best” safari parks in the country, Lion Country Safari ranked among the top 12 zoos in Florida by Trip101. Other zoos on the list include Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Zoo Miami. Lion Country Safari is the only safari park to be named on among the top zoos in Florida.

 

The list, released on trip101.com, features the best zoos to view rare and endangered species from around the world. Lion Country Safari cares for animals from 6 of the 7 continents, representing 90 different species, and is also currently home to the largest herd of zebra on record in the western hemisphere, one of the largest herds of giraffe in the United States, and a large herd of rhinos with a long history of breeding success.

 

Trip101 is a travel guide curating the best things to do and places to stay around the world. It features content by travel writers and enthusiasts and showcases some of the world’s most popular destinations.

Read more here: https://trip101.com/article/zoos-in-florida

 

Lion Country Safari is Florida’s largest drive-through safari and is home to nearly 1,000 animals, including some of the world’s iconic species roaming wide open natural habitats in large herds. Lion Country Safari continuously strives to be a leader in animal care, conservation, and education to inspire meaningful connections with wildlife. For more information, please call the main office at (561) 793-1084 or visit us online at www.lioncountrysafari.com. 

Posted by Haley Passeser