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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Animals on the run: a move to a new zoo

Sacramento Zoo located in Land Park, Tuesday March 5,2024. “We are incredibly excited about the potential new zoo and the opportunity for the animals to have larger habitats,” said Andrea Haverland, the zoo’s outreach and communications coordinator, about a likely move to Elk Grove.
Nick Shockey
Sacramento Zoo located in Land Park, Tuesday March 5,2024. “We are incredibly excited about the potential new zoo and the opportunity for the animals to have larger habitats,” said Andrea Haverland, the zoo’s outreach and communications coordinator, about a likely move to Elk Grove.

As the Sacramento Zoo moves forward with its plan to relocate to Elk Grove, the Express conducted a recent interview with Andrea Haverland, the zoo’s outreach and communications coordinator, and Rachel Winkler, animal care supervisor.

 

We talked about how the community and workers are feeling about the move to the new Elk Grove location, plus a look into their community events that help fund a lot of new possibilities for the zoo.

 

What is your favorite animal at the zoo? 

 

Haverland: That’s a hard question for any zoo employee to answer! I was previously a primate caregiver at the Sac Zoo for five years. If choosing one, my favorite is Indah, the orangutan.  

 

The move of the zoo has been a long time coming. How is everyone feeling about the upcoming move?  

 

Haverland: We are incredibly excited about the potential new zoo and the opportunity for the animals to have larger habitats. This is the first time in over 30 years a new zoo is being built from the ground up in our country, so it’s an incredibly exciting and unprecedented project.

 

How long will the transportation of the animals take? Do you think they’ll take the move well or will they have some anxiety? 

 

Winkler: The move to the new location will only be approximately 30 minutes, a very brief trip compared to some other larger moves that are planned for AZA [Association of Zoos and Aquariums] breeding and transfer plans. We train the animals as best we can to be prepared for transport, but since it is not a typical activity for them, they may be confused when we put them on a truck or in a van to move them.

 

From my experience, typically once an animal is crated and put in the transport vehicle, they settle down and wait out the trip calmly. Since the trip to the new location is brief, I don’t anticipate any issues arising during the drive. Just like any large move, even for people, new and unfamiliar places can be stressful, but animals are resilient and quickly adapt to new challenges. 

 

Will the new zoo location feature new animals? If so, what new animals are you looking forward to?  

 

Haverland: We anticipate several new species in phase 1 of the new zoo, including our plans to house gelada monkeys, an incredible species of large baboon-like monkey that lives in the Ethiopian Highlands. We would be one of three zoological parks in the country to house them. We’ve already welcomed a white rhinoceros to the zoo, the first in Sac Zoo history. At the new zoo we plan to house an entire crash of rhinos in an expansive habitat. 

 

I know that the Sac Zoo has a smaller vet office on-site to take care of smaller injuries or diagnosis but sometimes animals need some bigger help, which is usually received from the veterinarians working at UC Davis. When the move is completed, will animals still receive care from UC Davis or is there another university the animals would receive care from? 

 

Haverland: At the Sac Zoo, we have two UC Davis veterinarians on staff full time. All of our animals receive exams annually or every other year depending on species. We are able to handle nearly every kind of treatment or procedure at our current hospital with the exception of certain major instances like when animals are in need of a CT scan, or an incredibly in-depth procedure… 

 

We are so fortunate to have a strong, long-standing relationship with UC Davis and are grateful that we are able to have veterinary specialists come to our veterinary facility when necessary, but are also able to take animals to UC Davis when necessary and feasible. 

 

How successful are zoo events at bringing in business and the community? 

 

Haverland: We host a plethora of events at the Zoo with our partners SSA [Service Systems Associates]. The community especially loves our overnight camping and 21+ happy hour events. We also can accommodate weddings, birthdays, corporate events, etc. The new zoo has many more event lawns and spaces in the conceptual master plan. 

 

How was the Sac Zoo able to acquire the equipment for the Unextinct event? Was there someone who reached out to the zoo or was it a zoo worker that was interested in bringing the experience here? 

 

A team of specialists from Mangolin Creative worked alongside SSA to put on the event run here, we were the host facility. Mangolin Creative is part of our design team for the new zoo plans.

  

Murals featured at the Unextinct event, a community event which featured holograms of extinct animals all around the park, on February 10, 2024.

 

What events at the zoo do you think are most successful in bringing the community together?

 

Haverland: The happy hour events have a lot of fun intermingling of guests, and everyone has a great time. We have three coming up on specific dates in April, May and June.   

 

To learn more about the Sac Zoo and to buy tickets, visit www.saczoo.org/

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About the Contributors
Alexis Hensley, Staff Writer
She is interested in writing articles about new dishes at fun restaurants or concerts at local venues. Alexis is determined to become a journalist from her love of writing.
Nick Shockey, Photo Editor
Nick’s passion for documentary-style photography grew out of the pages of his childhood National Geographic subscription. In his early thirties, this interest then fueled his passion for urban photography in Sacramento.
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