The Living Desert

It’s All About that Pumpkin

African Lion Cub_San Diego Zoo

Pumpkins are everywhere, this time of year! They make great pies, Jack-O-Lanterns, and pretty awesome enrichment toys for zoo animals. Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

Charlie_Nashville Zoo

Red Panda_Lincoln Children's Zoo


Photo Credits: Tammy Spratt/San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Image 1: African Lion Cub); Amiee Stubbs Photography (Image 2: "Charlie" the Porcupine at Nashville Zoo); Lincoln Children's Zoo (Image 3: "Lincoln" the Red Panda); ZooAmerica (Image 4: "Rainier" the Mountain Lion); Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn (Image 5: Elephants); Sue Ogrocki (Images 6-Gorilla,7-Red River Hogs,10-Galapagos Tortoise at Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens); Minnesota Zoo (Image 8: Lynx); The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (Image 9: Meerkats)

More great pumpkin pics below the fold!

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Ringtail Cubs Debut at The Living Desert


Two ringtails born June 12 at The Living Desert in California recently made their debut.  Because ringtails are nocturnal creatures, the staff shows off the babies during twice daily hand feedings, giving guests a better chance to see the babies.



Photo Credit:  Bert Buxbaum

The two cubs, one male and one female, we born to parents Abe and Penelope.  They have not yet been named.

Also called ring-tailed cats, ringtails are closely related to raccoons.  They are native to the southern central plains and desert Southwest in the United States and are found throughout Mexico.  Like raccoons, ringtails are omnivorous, feeding on mice, frogs, toads, snakes, berries, and insects.   

Because of their nocturnal habits and shyness toward humans, ringtails are not commonly seen in the wild.  Ringtails are expert climbers, with ankles that can rotate 180 degrees to allow headfirst descents from trees.