Aggieland

8 Facts you didn’t know about spider monkeys

Each and every time you visit there is a new opportunity to learn about our amazing animal friends. In fact, we bet that every time you drive, walk or ride through you notice something new and learn something new! But you don’t have to wait to visit us to learn cool animal facts! Today we’re going to take a look at the Spider monkey and we are certain you’ll learn something unexpected!

 

  1. The name “spider monkey” might be a bit frightening, but it shouldn’t be! These guys get their name from the way they look when they are hanging from trees by their tails.

  2. Spider monkeys have very unique tails that are strong enough to easily support their body weight, but that’s not all. Their tails are sensitive and dexterous enough that they can also pick up small objects with it.

 

  1. Spider monkeys spend most of their time in the canopy of rain forests, foraging for food. Because they rarely ever even go to the ground, they have adapted to live perfectly in the trees. This makes them very acrobatic, agile and strong.

  2. Spider monkeys are social animals. They prefer to live in large groups that can have up to 30 members! These large groups are called troops.

  3. Spider monkeys are diurnal. This means that they are awake during the day and sleep at night. So they spend their days foraging for food, and sleep through the night.When they look for food, they break into smaller groups, but they sleep in large troops for safety.

    6. Spider monkeys are fairly large, especially when you consider how much of their time they spend swinging around treetops and hanging by their tails. They can reach up to 13 pounds and their tails can support this weight with no problem!

 

  1. Spider monkeys are part of the New World monkeys, and they live in rain forests in Central and South American, occasionally extending into Mexico.

  2. Spider monkeys have one baby at a time. The mother carries their newborn on her abdomen for around four months as they grow. When they are strong enough, the baby will cling to her back. To do this, they grab on with their arms, and use their tail to grab their mother’s tail. This helps them stay secure as she navigates through the forest canopy.


    Last but not least, spider monkeys have many ways to communicate. They make vocalizations but they also express themselves by making faces! And since they have distinct faces, and may express a range of emotions from curiosity to annoyance, you can imagine how interesting they can be to visit! 

Surviving Winter: How Animals Adapt To The Cold

Winter weather may be a little inconvenient, but it can also be nice. All we have to do is crank up the heat, put on a sweater and sit back and enjoy. Animals don’t quite have it that easy, and have to find ways to cope with winter weather, no matter how bad it may get. While we are always here helping our animals friends at the park stay safe and warm, animals in the wild aren’t as lucky. They have had to find interesting and effective ways to adapt to the cold and survive the winter. 

Today we’re going to look at some of the ways animals have found to cope with inclimate weather.

Migration: Migration is a simple idea that involves leaving cold environments behind for warmer weather. People do this all the time, going on winter trips to warm destinations. For animals, this can be a survival tactic that not only helps them escape cold, but the harsh conditions that go along with winter, like reduced access to food. When animals migrate they wait out the cold and return seasonally, usually near spring time. Lots of animals do this, including fish and even insects!

Hibernation: Hibernating allows animals to reduce their need for resources during winter months when resources are more scarce. This not only allows them to wait out reductions in food and water sources, but avoid being out in harsh weather conditions looking for food. There are different types of hibernation, but it is not just the same as sleeping through the winter. Hibernation is when the metabolism slows down, which greatly reduces their bodily processes and need for calories. So while animals do tend to find a safe spot to hibernate, like a den, they aren’t simply sleeping away in the winter.

Seasonal adaptations: Animals have a remarkable ability to adapt to their environment, which includes seasonal adaptations for the cold. Sometimes this includes changing their appearance to be more suited to the cold weather, but it could include growing thicker fur or adding fat to act as insulation against the cold. A great example of this are animals that turn white to blend in with snow, like some types of hares and weasels.This makes it a lot harder for predators to find and catch them in the winter.  

Even when an animal has less dramatic adaptations, they usually take precautions for the winter before the cold hits. For example, beavers and squirrels will create food caches to hide winter stores. So while they’re not hibernating or changing colors, they are well aware of the scarcity ahead, and work to protect themselves against it. This awareness and preparedness alone is a fascinating adaptation if you ask us!

 

Which cold-weather adaptation do you find the most amazing? Head over to our https://www.facebook.com/aggielandsafari/Facebook page and tell us about it and why!

Wild Animal Safari- Fall Festival!

Wild Animal Safari- Strafford, MO, Wild Animal Safari- Pine Mountain, GA, and Aggieland Safari in Bryan, TX, had their annual Fall Festivals this last weekend! The turnout was fantastic, with families visiting the park for the multiple seasonal activities and the animals, of course!

 

Wild Animal Safari- Strafford,

had some great activities for everyone who visited the park. They offered corn hole, pumpkin decorating, face painting, a pumpkin slingshot, and even a bounce house for kids who came to the park! To top it off they had free candy for everyone and fall treats that were available for purchase. They also hosted a “Cat Attack”, where their white tiger Draco, destroyed a giant paper mache Frankenstein! Including the Fall Festival, this was also Wild Animal Safari- Strafford’s first year hosting a corn maze and pumpkin patch. The corn maze was made so that from above you could see a perfect tiger face in the center of the maze!

 

 

 

Wild Animal Safari- Pine Mountain,

also had some great experiences and activities for everyone who visited the park. They offered carnival games, pumpkin decorating, face painting, pumpkin bowling, and even a bounce house for kids who came to the park! To top it off they had free candy for everyone and fall treats that were available for purchase. Families and friends got to enjoy Dippin’ Dots, pretzels, popcorn, and cotton candy! They also had live animals like a snake, a hedgehog, and more for everyone to see up close, and even pet. Kids dressed in a Halloween costume were also offered a free cup of animal feed.

 

 

Aggieland Safari- Bryan, Texas,

also had some great experiences and activities for everyone who visited the park. They offered pumpkin bowling, zookeeper chats, free candy and an awesome discount for kids who visited the park! Any kid dressed in a Halloween costume were able to receive a $5 discount on their admission to the park! They also held Zookeeper chats on Halloween weekend which is very special to Aggieland Safari. The Zookeeper chats take place when a keeper at the park chooses a specific animal to speak about, and tells fun facts and all of the information they know about the animal! See some great photos below of Aggieland Safari’s Fall Festival.

 

6 ANIMAL FACTS YOU’LL LEARN ON YOUR VISIT

With all of the animals in the park, it’s easy to understand how every visit is a unique experience. In fact, you never know who you’ll see when you drive or walkthrough. You can, however, always count on seeing some amazing animals each and every time you visit. You can also count on learning some interesting things, including a few facts that might surprise you.  

Here are some of the things you are sure to learn the next time you visit Aggieland Wild Animal Safari.

Parrots and Macaws can be loud!

These guys are beautiful and interesting, but you might be surprised at how loud they can actually be. How loud? The average macaw scream can reach around 100 decibels, To get a feel for how loud that can be, a motorcycle or chainsaw is in a similar range! But they aren’t loud just to be annoying, they are communicative and social animals that just want to chat!

Animals have unique personalities

If you have a pet you know that they have their own personalities, but some people are surprised to find out that this is true of all animals. They all have their own unique characteristics, likes, and dislikes, just like we do. This includes everything from horses and sheep to monkeys, hogs, and otters. They also like to play and have moods, just like us. 

Hippos are huge 

Of course, everyone knows that hippos are big animals, but you only really understand just how big they are when you see them in person! They are one of the largest land animals on the planet, with male hippos reaching up to around 3,200 kg. This is roughly the same weight as a few small cars combined. 

Animals are curious

You might be surprised that the animals you see are often as curious as you are. They might approach you, try to smell you, and figure out what you are. While all animals have their curious sides, some are especially interested in our guests. You’ll see them eagerly approaching cars and trying to get a peek inside. 

Spider monkeys are very acrobatic 

Spider monkeys spend a lot of their time in the canopy of rain forests, foraging for food high in the treetops. To safely and effectively navigate through the trees, they have to be strong and acrobatic. A lot of people are surprised at just how agile they are when they see them in person. You might also not realize that they love fruit and are very social, living in groups up to 30!

Kangaroos are tall

Depending on the species, kangaroos can reach between 4 and nearly 8 feet tall when standing up. This is a surprise for many people who don’t know exactly how tall and big these guys can be. Since they spend a lot of time leaning over and hopping, it is easy to underestimate their height! 

You will also learn that animals can be moody and unpredictable. There are times when they feel like visiting guests, but they also are sometimes sleepy or disinterested. This is one reason it’s good to visit the park a few times, especially during different seasons, so you get the full Aggieland experience!

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FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS

There’s no doubt about it, the hippopotamus is an interesting animal. From their impressive size to their tendency to spend so much time in the water, the hippo is always a guest favorite. While everyone knows a hippo when they see them, there are lots of things people don’t know about this amazing semi-aquatic mammal.

1. Hippos are considered to be the second-largest land animal in the world, right after the elephant. A male hippo can actually weigh up to 3,200 kg!

2. To stay cool and keep their skin hydrated, hippos spend most of their time in the water. Because their eyes, nose, and ears are located on top of their head, they can nearly completely emerge their bodies to stay cool and still be aware of their surroundings.

3. Hippos do not have typical sweat glands, their glands actually secrete a reddish oil-like substance that helps protect their skin from drying out. This also acts as a natural sunblock to protect their sensitive skin.

4. Hippos are more active at night when it’s cooler. This is when they forage for food, which is grass and other greenery because they are actually herbivores! They can eat a lot too, downing up to 35kg a day!

5. Hippo teeth are interesting because their canines and incisors grow continuously. This is important because constant chewing on greenery wears them down. These teeth can reach around 20 inches in length and males even use them in fights.

6. Hippos are made to be in the water, with a clear membrane that covers their eyes so they can open them and see while underwater. Their nostrils also close and they can hold their breath for up to five minutes. They even sleep underwater and have a natural reflex that allows them to bop up and sink down without waking up.

7. Hippos live in groups of up to twenty. These groups are called herds and they are led by one dominant male. Only non-breeding males, females, and young hippos are allowed in the same herd.

Last but not least, the name hippopotamus comes from a Greek word that means river or water horse. But don’t be fooled, they are not related to horses, it just is a descriptive term that has stuck! You can see one of these magnificent guys on your next visit, so plan a trip today!

 

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MEET THE KINKAJOU

The Kinkajou also called a honey bear, is an interesting fellow people look forward to meeting when they visit the park. While the name may not be very familiar, the kinkajou is actually related to something far more familiar, the raccoon. Today we’re going to learn what makes this rain forest mammal so unique.

Physical characteristics

The kinkajou is distinguished by their round head, large eyes, and long prehensile tails. They usually don’t weigh more than about 10 pounds and are covered with a soft coat that changes colors based on the season. They also have short, but sharp claws and green or yellow eyes. Females tend to be smaller than males but otherwise have similar features.

Diet

Officially, the kinkajou is a carnivore, and it has the sharp teeth that go with it. In reality, though, they are omnivores and eat leaves, flowers, and lots of fruits, especially figs. They might also eat insects when convenient, and they have long tongues that make it easy to enjoy nectar from flowers as well.

Habitat

The Kinkajou is native to Central and South America, where it lives in tropical rain forests and mountain forests. They tend to congregate in fruit-bearing trees and spend a great deal of time in treetops, which they can easily navigate with their prehensile tail. They are nocturnal animals, which is why people don’t often see them in the wild.

Behavior

The Kinkajou is largely solitary, but they do gather at times to socialize, play, and sometimes to sleep. They also may gather in order to forage for food, which they can be seen doing after dusk. They can be territorial as well, driving outsiders out of their area with aggressive displays.

Baby kinkajou

The female kinkajou is pregnant for up to 118 days and gives birth to a single offspring at a time. Babies start to eat solid food at around eight weeks. They quickly become capable of climbing and navigating through trees, and usually start climbing by themselves in around three months. Female baby kinkajous stay with their mothers for around two years, which is longer than their male counterparts.

The kinkajou is quite an interesting animal and fairly striking to see in person with their extra-large eyes and distinct features. Stop by and meet one during your next visit and be sure to tell us all about it on Facebook!

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BABY ANIMALS

Springtime might be when the weather warms up, but it is also baby time! What better way to celebrate than to explore the cute, interesting, and amazing world of baby animals! 

Here are some fun facts you may not have known about your favorite baby animals.

Giraffe Calves

Giraffes are named like cattle, with females being called cows, males are called bulls, and babies are called calves. Gestation lasts around 15 months, and calves arrive into the world at about 6 feet tall and up to 150 pounds! Although they look awkward, within about an hour they can stand and walk around. Their little horns are flat when born but stand up within about an hour as well.  They also grow very quickly and will roughly double their size by the time they reach a year old. The entire herd helps raise calves, with mothers taking turns watching over groups of calves.

Kinkajous baby

Kinkajous also called sugar or honey bears, are mammals that live in tropical areas, like rainforests. They are related to raccoons, and gestation lasts 100-120 days. Baby kinkajous are born one or two at a time and are blind for the first week or two of life. They don’t usually eat solid food until they are between 3 to 5 months old. After they are weaned, they start venturing away from their mom more, climbing trees and playing. Baby boys tend to leave when they are around 18 months, but baby girls stay around 2 years.

Hippo baby 

If you’ve ever seen a baby hippo, you know exactly how cute these guys are! They have the same proportions as their adult counterparts, with short legs, barrel chests, and huge mouths, only smaller. Called calves, baby hippos are between 50 and 100 or so pounds when they are born. Mother hippos are pregnant for just eight months and have one baby at a time. Calves live on milk at first, but quickly start eating grass within three to four weeks after birth. It takes five to seven years for a calf to be considered fully mature.

Porcupine baby 

Porcupines might be covered in sharp quills, but they are still quite cute, just as long as you keep your distance! Baby porcupines, called porcupettes, are even more adorable!  Mother porcupines are pregnant for up to 31 weeks, depending on the species. April through May is considered the baby season for porcupines, as this is when most porcupettes are born. It takes porcupettes up to 2.5 years to mature, but most species only stay with their mom through the summer after their birth before venturing out on their own. When they are born, their quills are actually soft, but they harden up over a few days.

Of course, we know that all animals, babies, and adults, are special and amazing. When you visit the park you’ll see all sorts of interesting animal friends, and you never know, maybe you’ll see a baby too if you’re lucky.

Plan your trip today.

 

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SMALL IS IN THIS YEAR… MEET THE MINI’S!

It’s an undeniable fact, small things are cute. There is just something about miniatures that adds up to big smiles. And while baby animals will always have a special place in our hearts, our list of favorites will always have room for minis.

Where do minis come from? Sometimes they are bred for size, but that is not always the case. There are some breeds that are naturally small in stature in comparison to their mainstream counterparts.

Today we want to talk about three such miniature animals that may be small in size, but big on personality, the mini donkey, zebu, and pygmy goat.  

Mini donkey

Donkeys are easily recognized by their large head, long ears and face, and nearly cow-like tails. The mini donkey is a smaller, more compact version, typically reaching no more than 3 feet tall and weighing up to 300 pounds. Like their larger counterparts, the mini donkey is clever, a bit stubborn, and very social. They spend a lot of the time grazing and you can hear them bray, just like the big boys. Imported to the US in 1929, mini donkeys originally came from Sicily and Sardinia. A novelty at first, the mini donkey has gained popularity over the years, even as a pet.

Miniature Zebu

Miniature Zebus are actually the smallest species of cattle in the world. They are easy to identify by the tell-tale hump on their upper back and height, which doesn’t exceed about 42 inches. Their small size is natural, they are not a miniaturized version of a larger breed which makes them a bit unusual in the world of small animals. Like all cattle, the mini Zebu is hardy and spends a lot of time grazing. They are also known to be pretty friendly and social, so they do well in groups.

Pygmy Goat

This small goat is a domestic goat that came from Southwest Asia but is now common around West Africa. They typically don’t grow over 23 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh no more than 70 pounds. They are also known for being hardy, low maintenance, and quite friendly and clever. For this reason, and their small size,  pygmy goats are sometimes kept as pets. They do love to play and run around, so they do require plenty of room. They are also social, so they do well in groups where they always have a partner to roughhouse with. 

While all animals are great in their own right, the minis are always a favorite. If you’d like to see one of these fellows for yourself, head on over today!

 

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REASONS TO MAKE IT AN AGGIELAND WILD ANIMAL CHRISTMAS

With the holiday break coming up, many families are looking for fun, affordable and safe things to do. While options may seem a bit limited this year, we’re proud to provide the community a fun, educational, and family-friendly option. 

Here are a few of the reasons you’ll want to pack up the entire gang and head on over during your holiday vacation. 

All-ages holiday activity: If you have kids on break from school, you are probably looking for something fun to do. If you have family visiting for the holidays, you might need an entertaining activity for your guests. Luckily, a trip to our park is the perfect family outing. Kids of all ages love visiting the animals, and there is something for everyone, from a relaxing drive-through area to a walk-through park and play area.

Easy outing to schedule: While many places slow down for the holidays, we’re open every day except for Christmas! This makes it easy to plan your trip, especially if you’re hosting any family holiday gatherings. We open at 9 and the last car is admitted at 4, so you have all day to enjoy the adventure.

Fun holiday events to participate in: Visitors through December 24th can participate in our Christmas Animal Enrichment Drive. This allows you to spread a little extra holiday cheer by giving presents to our animals’ friends! You can visit the Wishing Tree in the gift shop and make an animal’s holiday bright!

Safe outing for groups: It’s easy to practice social distancing during your visit, making our park a great destination for your family. You can drive through in the comfort of your own car, further limiting your exposure to others.

Affordable family activity: Your admission gives you access to the drive-through safari, the walk-through adventure zoo, the playscape and includes parking. This makes your trip an affordable outing for the entire gang! Additionally, online tickets include a discount, and we have veterans, active military, and first responder’s discounts as well!

You’ve got to see our Wishing Tree:  We have a special tree in the gift shop that has ornaments that list Christmas enrichment items for animals in the park. All you have to do is select an ornament, make sure the item listed is something you can provide, and take the ornament home with you for your own tree. These commemorative ornaments feature a photo of your animal to accompany their Christmas wish.  

Next, you return the gift mentioned on the ornament to the park, or through the mail. Please note, admission to the park is not required to drop off your items. Learn more about the Wishing Tree and donation process here. 

Of course, you can participate in our Christmas Animal Enrichment Drive online too. Just visit our online wish list but don’t delay, you have until January 1 to make an animal’s holiday wishes come true by sending your gifts!

 

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