Living a Zoo Dream – Ring-tailed Lemurs

We’ve been in full planning mode for Easter at the Lake Superior Zoo. Our Easter Egg-stravaganza is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, complete with an egg hunt, and then we’ll host a family brunch on Easter Sunday. Staff members have been hard-boiling eggs, collecting prizes and reviewing coloring contest sheets sent in by kids. It should be a fun and exciting weekend for all. More information about both events can be found at LSZooDuluth.org and on our Facebook page. Also, as spring continues to show its face in Minnesota (we’ll ignore the small snow we got ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – American Crow

The spring weather is here, and the sun is shining through my window as I write. This past week the zoo continued to prepare for the spring season, and I have been busy meeting with people throughout the community. My animal highlight this week is the American crow. The zoo has two American crows, Diaval and Draven. While many people find it odd to discover a crow at a zoo, they soon learn that crows are amazingly interesting and intelligent animals. Our crows were wild-caught injured birds. Because of their injuries, they could not survive in the wild and now are ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Red Kangaroo

In my first year working at the Lake Superior Zoo, it has been fun to see the changes that occur on our grounds with the seasons. Being a native Minnesotan, I have learned to appreciate that we get to enjoy four unique seasons—as well as the diversity that each brings to our landscape, our environment and our outdoor experiences. As the snow melts and temperatures begin to rise, fun, new things are happening at the zoo. First, beautiful Kingsbury Creek, which runs through our zoo, is flowing at a brisk pace. Within its short stretch through the zoo, there is a ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Double Yellow-headed Amazon Parrot

Everybody loves fun facts about the zoo, such as the biggest animal and how much the lion weighs. But one trivia question that has a most surprising answer is, “Which animal at the zoo is the oldest?” Most people think of the Colobus monkeys, the snapping turtle or Ozzie, our desert tortoise. But the correct answer is Korbell, a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot. (I know, the photo gave it away.) Korbell will be an amazing 44 years old, which makes her older than many of the staff members at the zoo, including me. If you saw our Facebook posts, you will recogn...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Walking Stick

As I near two months in my role at the Lake Superior Zoo, I thought I would share some perspective on the business side of running a zoo. While the animals are the stars of the zoo, a lot of work behind the scenes goes into keeping a zoo like this running. Like any business, hundreds of important things happen on a daily basis to ensure that the zoo is running efficiently and effectively. The key is to focus on those areas that are most critical, monitor them and work on improvements. As most people who know me would tell you, I am passionate about metrics (yeah, I’m a ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Brazilian Rainbow Boa

It was an interesting week for me at the zoo, as it highlighted the diversity of my role. The week included talking to zoo volunteers, meeting with local attractions and learning about our guest services department. I was lucky to meet a small group of the great volunteers and docents who support the Lake Superior Zoo. These dedicated individuals are critical to helping the zoo meet its mission. They perform a wide variety of tasks, including: hosting interpretive carts, handling animals for guests, working in our barnyard area, developing and caring for our great ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Mr. Magoo

This week I have been researching and thinking a lot about the past, present and future. It is important for everyone to know and understand history, live in the present and prepare for the future. This applies to individuals, families and organizations. Today, I will reflect on the rich history of the Lake Superior Zoo. The zoo dates to 1923 when a West Duluth businessman, Bert Onsgard, received permission from the city to construct a pen for Billy, his pet deer. Since then, the zoo has undergone many changes, enhancements and rebirths as its goals and the needs of ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – African Lions

One of the best parts about working at a zoo is getting to experience the place during the “off” hours. Our animals have unique behaviors, especially early in the morning and toward evening. One of my favorite examples is the lions roaring. Often as I sit down at my desk in the morning checking e-mails, I hear a loud, guttural roar from outside my window. It’s not the type of roar you often see and hear from lions on TV, but more of a deep-throated growl. I also hear them many evenings as I walk to my truck getting ready to leave for the day. It causes me ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Snapping Turtle

I am a born-and-raised Minnesotan (go, Waseca!) and proud of it. In honor of Minnesota, I wanted to write this week about an animal at the Lake Superior Zoo that is native to our state. Nester is our resident snapping turtle. Nester was born in June 1999 and will turn 18 this year. In the wild, snapping turtles can live between 20 and 30 years. In captivity, they often live 40 to 50 years. Most people don’t think of turtles as complex animals, but they actually are very intelligent and quite interesting. The zoo staff has done a lot of training with Nester, and he ...

Read More


Living a Zoo Dream – Two-toed Sloth

Three weeks in, and never a dull moment. While winter is generally considered the slow time at the zoo, there are always exciting and interesting happenings. From an animal perspective, our staff is working diligently to ensure that everyone is warm, happy and healthy. This means maintaining appropriate environments for all the different species for which we care, providing a well-balanced diet and creating unique enrichment opportunities to keep our animal friends engaged and active during the winter months. From a visitor perspective, we are working hard to ...

Read More