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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Living a Zoo Dream – Allen’s Swamp Monkeys

Doctors and scientists say we shouldn’t sit for longer than 30 minutes without getting up, as it slows metabolism by up to 90 percent. It can be difficult to find time to move within a busy workday, but I have found my new way to try to meet this goal: Noqui (top) and Fern (Bottom). Noqui and Fern are the Allen’s swamp monkeys at the Lake Superior Zoo, and their exhibit is just outside of my office. I try to make it a point to get up at least every two hours and visit them. It is amazing and fascinating to watch these animals on a daily basis, as you can ...

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Living a Zoo Dream!

So what does one do in one’s first week as CEO of the Lake Superior Zoo? Learn—a lot. While it’s an important and exciting part of the job to get to know more about the zoo’s animals (such as the glass lizard above), learning about the people is just as rewarding. Already I have learned a lot from the zoo’s amazing employees and volunteers, from members of the Board of Directors who support this great organization and from our visitors who come and connect with our amazing animals. Specifically, in the past week I have met a few of our long-time ...

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Celebrating New Year’s Eve. Zoo Style!

Where can you celebrate New Year's Eve with a tiger? Right here at YOUR Lake Superior Zoo! I was ridiculously excited to experience this year's annual Noon Year's Eve event (maybe because it was my first one). I was not disappointed. There were fun animal enrichments, hot cocoa and s'mores, along with a whole world to explore right here in Duluth! Participate in events like this year-round with a Lake Superior Zoo Membership Noon Toast and Ball Drop You don't need to travel to Times Square to see the ball drop at midnight. We dropped one right here into our Amur ...

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Holiday Happenings During Winter Break!

Looking for something fun to do over the holidays? The zoo will be offering an array of holiday specials and activities during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day! On Monday Dec. 26 and Thursday Dec. 29, the zoo will offer a School’s Out Special, with $5 off an adult admission for each paid child ticket purchased (up to two children, amounting to a $10 discount, or free admission, for the adult). On Friday Dec. 30, the zoo will offer its $5 Friday special, with every ticket costing $5. On Saturday Dec. 31, the zoo will again ring in the New ...

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Boo & Bats for a Not-So-Scary October

We started our blog with a countdown to Boo at the Zoo. October is over, but we had a wonderful time getting in the Halloween spirit and celebrating bats for Bat Awareness Month! During Boo at the Zoo, families enjoyed treat stations, specialty food vendors, and other activities. I still remember how good those warm chocolate chip cookies tasted. I loved the decorations and great costumes. Halloween is still my favorite holiday! Pumpkins and Bats We hosted another fun-filled Members Pumpkin Carving Night – the pumpkins were displayed along the path of the ...

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Introducing our new Chief Executive Officer!

Corey Leet has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Lake Superior Zoo, the Board of Directors of the Lake Superior Zoological Society announced today. Leet was selected after an executive search that included candidates from across the country and from various industries. He will formally assume the duties as the zoo’s top administrator Jan. 2, overseeing the paid and volunteer staff and reporting to the Board. Interim CEO Julene Boe will continue in her role, which she has held since February, through the end of the year and will work with Leet and the Board to ...

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