Zoo News Spring 2020
Spring 2020
Contents
Spring 2020
Volume 49, Number 1
An update on the former elephant exhibit space.
Nancy McToldridge
Letter from the Director
Nancy McToldridge, Zoo Director, gives an update on the State of the Zoo during COVID-19.
Giraffe and Ape
Animal Spotlight
Welcome, Twiga! Update on the Masai giraffe herd. Meet Bono, and check out the affectionate apes otherwise known as white-handed gibbons.
Trees
The Very Green Zoo
The Zoo is not only home to amazing animals, but the plant collection is pretty incredible too.
Group photo of people
Phoenix Society
Legacy Supporters
Board of Directors headshots
Zoo Board of Directors
Meet the 2020 board.
Close-up of the Arroyo toad
FrogWatch
Become a citizen scientist and join the FrogWatch program.
Profile of a Condor
#ConservationOptimism
There are some really great conservation “wins” that we are proud to have been a part of.
Bird with red eyes
Zoo Status Update
Get current information about COVID-19 and the Zoo.
Nancy McToldridge, Zoo Director
Letter from the Director:
Managing a Zoo through a Pandemic
By Nancy McToldridge, Zoo Director
O

n March 17, 2020, the world changed for the Santa Barbara Zoo when we closed our doors to the public for the first significant time in the Zoo’s 57-year history. Ten days later, we had to make the difficult decision to lay off employees (more than half) for the first time. These events have challenged the Zoo beyond imagination.

What does that mean?
Closing our doors means no guests and therefore no revenue. Most (97%) of the Zoo’s operating budget is covered by admissions-driven revenue such as ticket/attraction sales, membership sales, food/beverage and retail sales, education program fees, and private/public events.

Though the Santa Barbara Zoo receives no tax-based income, the generous donations of our supporters contribute the final three percent of the operating budget and 100% of the investment in capital projects and community outreach programs.

animal spotlight
Masai Giraffes
Welcome, Twiga
We have been in “baby” mode here at the Zoo, as five-year-old Adia gave birth to Twiga (pronounced TWEE-gah), a male calf born on March 27. Twiga entered the world at 6 feet tall and 125.5 pounds and is fitting in with the Zoo’s herd very nicely. Twiga is Adia’s first baby and she is taking on the role of mama like a pro.

Audrey, our 12-year-old female giraffe, is pregnant and due later this summer with her fifth offspring. Giraffes have a gestation of approximately 14 months, and baby watch officially began in mid-March for these two females.

animal spotlight
Affectionate Apes
Apes at the zoo
Earlier this year, the Zoo welcomed Bono, a 37-year-old male gibbon who arrived from Sequoia Park Zoo on January 13. Bono came to Santa Barbara to be a companion for the Zoo’s elderly female gibbon Jasmine, who turned 42 in January. Both Jasmine and Bono lost their companions last year, and they were matched by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which collectively manages species in their accredited zoos.

Gibbons are social creatures and live in lifelong monogamous pairs, according to the Zoo’s Dr. Julie Barnes, Vice President of Animal Care & Health. Bono and Jasmine appear to be a great match, according to Senior Keeper Heather Leith: “Since Bono arrived, Jasmine’s been exhibiting positive behaviors I’ve never seen before in the 15 years I’ve worked with her.”

When the Zoo reopens, you’ll see the two gibbons swinging and singing on Gibbon Island. Welcome, Bono!

The Very Green Zoo
You may already know that the Zoo’s animal exhibits are planted to provide a naturalistic environment, but did you know there are hundreds of plant species that live throughout the gardens and grounds? We’ll highlight a few here, and keep an eye out for more plant bios to come!
Golden Bamboo text
Golden bamboo, also known as fishpole bamboo, is one of the most common types of bamboo growing in the Zoo and can be seen near the Amur leopard exhibit. It can also be harvested as browse (food) for many of the animals, including the gorillas. This is a “running” bamboo, which means it grows and spreads quickly, which is not ideal for home gardens but a great choice at the Zoo.
Chilean Wine Palm text
The beautiful Chilean wine palm, or Jubaea, can be found near the baby elephant sculpture at the hilltop. It gets its name from the shape of the trunk, which resembles a wine bottle, and has the thickest trunk of any known palm species. These trees can grow up to 80 feet tall and 25 feet wide when mature.
Blue sky background: tirachard / Freepik
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Fortnight Lily text
Fortnight lilies are clumped plants that grow throughout the Zoo; one spot you can see them is around the base of the Bunya Bunya tree by the koi pond. They are also called African irises, as the flower closely resembles an iris. They are not in the same genus as the large and showy Easter lilies.
favorite folks
Santa Barbara Zoo Phoenix Society
Leaving your Children a Legacy of Giving
By Elaine K. Mah Best,
Vice President of Advancement & Marketing

One the greatest privileges of being a parent is experiencing the Zoo through my child’s eyes. I can vividly recall the first time my son’s tiny hand was slimed by Michael the giraffe’s long tongue, the first time he was brave enough to slide down the anthill on his own, and the first time he sat face to face with a gorilla on the other side of the viewing window—as they seemingly were equally interested in each other.

These “firsts” are nothing short of magical. While my son might not remember each and every Zoo experience when he gets older, I know that I’ll never forget the feeling I have as I experience the Zoo through his eyes. These moments, these “firsts,” are made possible because of you: our members, our donors, and our Zoo community.

Welcome, New Board Members
The Santa Barbara Zoo is governed by a 22-person Board of Directors, all of whom are community leaders volunteering their time to serve. Welcome to the incoming members:
Portrait of Eileen Dill
Eileen Dill
Portrait of Ginni Dreier
Ginni Dreier
Portrait of Brian Kerstiens
Brian Kerstiens
Portrait of Jesse Perez
Jesse Perez
Portrait of Derek Shue
Derek Shue
ZOO BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2020
George Leis, Chair
Amy Pryor, Vice Chair
Joanne Funari, Treasurer
Robyn Parker, Secretary
Erika D. Beck, PhD
Vincent Caballero
Elizabeth Challen, DVM
Daniel Cohen
Eileen Dill
Ginni Dreier
Yvette Birch Giller
David Graff, Esq.
Michael Hurst
Stuart Jenkins
Kelly Jensen
Brian Kerstiens
Brian Kopeiken, MD
Elizabeth MacPhee

Jesse Perez
Derek Shue
Clark Stirling, Esq.
Crystal Wyatt
Honorary Directors
William A. Brace
Arthur A. Henzell †
Peter Jordano
Robert Kallman †
Arthur R. Locker †
Barbara Merritt †
Director Emeritus
Edward R. McToldridge
George Leis, Chair
Amy Pryor, Vice Chair
Joanne Funari, Treasurer
Robyn Parker, Secretary
Erika D. Beck, PhD
Vincent Caballero
Elizabeth Challen, DVM
Daniel Cohen
Eileen Dill
Ginni Dreier
Yvette Birch Giller
David Graff, Esq.
Michael Hurst
Stuart Jenkins
Kelly Jensen
Brian Kerstiens
Brian Kopeiken, MD
Elizabeth MacPhee

Jesse Perez
Derek Shue
Clark Stirling, Esq.
Crystal Wyatt
Honorary Directors
William A. Brace
Arthur A. Henzell †
Peter Jordano
Robert Kallman †
Arthur R. Locker †
Barbara Merritt †
Director Emeritus
Edward R. McToldridge
Who's Moving In?
By Wendy Campbell, Editor in Chief
ith the passing of Asian elephant Little Mac in September 2019, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s elephant program came to a close. After caring for elephants for 45 years, this was a particularly difficult goodbye for Zoo supporters, members, volunteers, staff, and for the entire Santa Barbara community.
“We know no new animal could ever replace Little Mac or Sujatha. When considering what species to put in that space, we tried to think outside the box and consider what would really excite our guests, as well as what animals we could provide excellent care for here in Santa Barbara.”

-RACHEL RITCHASON, DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS

Emus are tall, flightless birds and resemble their ostrich relatives
Who's Moving In?
By Wendy Campbell, Editor in Chief
ith the passing of Asian elephant Little Mac in September 2019, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s elephant program came to a close. After caring for elephants for 45 years, this was a particularly difficult goodbye for Zoo supporters, members, volunteers, staff, and for the entire Santa Barbara community.
Elephants drinking water
“We know no new animal could ever replace Little Mac or Sujatha. When considering what species to put in that space, we tried to think outside the box and consider what would really excite our guests, as well as what animals we could provide excellent care for here in Santa Barbara.”

-RACHEL RITCHASON, DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS

Emus are tall, flightless birds and resemble their ostrich relatives
Ostrich
conservation
Become a Frog Friend/Amphibian Advocate
Join FrogWatch USA
Frog Watch USA Logo
by Nadya Seal Faith, MSc, Conservation & Science Associate

Frogs and toads are not just adorable — they are also essential to planet Earth. This order of amphibians fulfills various niches in the ecosystem, acting as both predator and prey, and their presence (or absence) in wetland habitats can serve as an indicator of environmental health. Their permeable skin makes them more susceptible to changes in their surroundings, and since they live on both land and in the water at some point, they serve as barometers for the health of both habitats. Unfortunately, many previously flourishing frog and toad populations around the world have experienced dramatic declines in recent years.

favorite folks
Donor Circle Members
Fourth Quarter 2019/First Quarter 2020
The Santa Barbara Zoo extends a very special thank you to the following people for becoming Members at one of our exclusive Donor Circle levels during the fourth quarter of 2019 and first quarter of 2020.
Executive Circle
Kim & Brad Paisley

Benefactor’s Circle
Tina & Joseph Clark
Dinah & John Mason

Curator’s Circle
Mary Jane & Andrew Cooper
Marilee & Joseph Green
Garrett & Camden Gustason

Keeper’s Circle
Jeffrey & Margo Barbakow
Susan & Riley Bechtel
Amber & David Bendrihem
Pamela Bigelow
Peter & Elizabeth Gray

Elizabeth & Steven Green
Kara & Donny Hall
BeBe Hoff
Joan & Robert Hollman
Richard & Connie Kennelly
Betsy & Steve Loranger
Priscilla Marshall
Robert Marshall
Diana Meehan
Deborah & Robert Myman
Anna & Gary Nett
Becky & Dick Porter
Beverly Scanlon
Debra & Keith Sweitzer
Polly Turpin
Susan & David Viniar
Peggy Wiley & Wilson Quarre
Susan & Bruce Worster
Zoologist’s Circle
Susan & Larry Agostino
Anonymous
Marjorie & Joseph Bailey
Rich Block & Tracy Pfautch
Jesse Brisendine & Amanda Melby
Janet Brooks
Margaret Jo Dawes
Dianne & Robert Duva
Kathi & Kenneth Ellis
Roberta & Stanley Fishman
Leslie Gilder
Alice Henry
Chloe Housh
Julie C. Isabelle
Carol Kallman & Don Barthelmess
Karen & Evan Kent
Shannon & David Kimbrough
Louise & Stephen Komp
Robin & Brian Kopeikin
Emily Kroening & Enrique Figueroa
Elinor & James Langer
Tom Luria
Janet McCann
L. & S. McKaig
Mimi Michaelis
Gretchen & Jack Norqual
Jean M. Perloff, Esq.
Barbara Ross
Ruth Samson & Joan Saperstein
John C. Schmidhauser
Ashleigh & Derek Shue
Catherine & Matthew Stoll
Katie & Brenton Taylor
Melissa Waver & Stephen Wilson
Beverly & James Zaleski
Cheryl & Peter Ziegler
Executive Circle
Kim & Brad Paisley

Benefactor’s Circle
Tina & Joseph Clark
Dinah & John Mason

Curator’s Circle
Mary Jane & Andrew Cooper
Marilee & Joseph Green
Garrett & Camden Gustason

Keeper’s Circle
Jeffrey & Margo Barbakow
Susan & Riley Bechtel
Amber & David Bendrihem
Pamela Bigelow
Peter & Elizabeth Gray
Elizabeth & Steven Green
Kara & Donny Hall
BeBe Hoff
Joan & Robert Hollman
Richard & Connie Kennelly
Betsy & Steve Loranger
Priscilla Marshall
Robert Marshall
Diana Meehan
Deborah & Robert Myman
Anna & Gary Nett
Becky & Dick Porter
Beverly Scanlon
Debra & Keith Sweitzer
Polly Turpin
Susan & David Viniar
Peggy Wiley & Wilson Quarre
Susan & Bruce Worster

Zoologist’s Circle
Susan & Larry Agostino
Anonymous
Marjorie & Joseph Bailey
Rich Block & Tracy Pfautch
Jesse Brisendine & Amanda Melby
Janet Brooks
Margaret Jo Dawes
Dianne & Robert Duva
Kathi & Kenneth Ellis
Roberta & Stanley Fishman
Leslie Gilder
Alice Henry
Chloe Housh
Julie C. Isabelle
Carol Kallman & Don Barthelmess
Karen & Evan Kent
Shannon & David Kimbrough
Louise & Stephen Komp
Robin & Brian Kopeikin
Emily Kroening & Enrique Figueroa
Elinor & James Langer
Tom Luria
Janet McCann
L. & S. McKaig
Mimi Michaelis
Gretchen & Jack Norqual
Jean M. Perloff, Esq.
Barbara Ross
Ruth Samson & Joan Saperstein
John C. Schmidhauser
Ashleigh & Derek Shue
Catherine & Matthew Stoll
Katie & Brenton Taylor
Melissa Waver & Stephen Wilson
Beverly & James Zaleski
Cheryl & Peter Ziegler
Donor Circle Members receive all regular membership benefits such as admission, parking, and discounts. They are also eligible for additional benefits such as VIP animal encounters, exhibit previews, and invitations to annual VIP Zoo events. Donor Circle Memberships start at $500 and are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. All of the revenue received from these and all other memberships goes directly to the Zoo’s operating budget.

For a complete listing of packages and benefits, or for more information on how you can join at one of these levels, please contact Kimberly Kirkhart, Director of Membership at (805) 962-5339, ext. 115 or visit our website.

conservation
#ConservationOptimism
by Dorian Edwards, Marketing Assistant
#ConservationOptimism
by Dorian Edwards, Marketing Assistant

We read stories daily about nature eroding and wild animal populations declining, and it can be quite upsetting. However, it is important to remember that if you take a closer look, there is always goodness and hope — and inspiring stories of positive change.

This past decade has seen a rise in discussion and action in honor of our natural world. As we enter a new decade, we are reminded of some conservation highlights from the past ten years. The Santa Barbara Zoo is proud to have made significant contributions to several local conservation efforts.

Here are just a few of the many successes that spark #conservationoptimism in us!

In May of 2019, the 1,000th California condor hatched in Zion National Park. With help from the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Condor Recovery Program has enabled this critically endangered species to recover populations once on the brink of extinction. Thanks to persistent conservation efforts, the Southwestern species has increased from a mere 22 individuals in the wild (in 1982) to approximately 500 condors today.
California condor
Gymnogyps californianus
California condor head profile
Island fox
Urocyon littoralis
One of America’s rarest animals, the island fox was removed from the endangered species list in 2016. This is the fastest recovery of any mammal protected under the Endangered Species Act. After a 90% species decline in the 1990s, the Zoo has helped restore the population to healthy numbers.
California Red-legged frog
Rana draytonii
In 2014, after no red-legged frogs had been seen in the Santa Monica Mountains since the early 1970s, conservationists worked hard to reintroduce the frogs to the area by translocating egg masses from populations in nearby Simi Hills. In March of 2017, signs of reproduction without human aid were recorded–confirming that the species reintroduction projects the Zoo and its local partners participated in is working.
With love, diligence, and a passion for animal welfare and conservation, we look forward to another decade of conservation optimism. Thank you for your support of the Zoo’s dedication to the preservation of our planet.

Visit conservationoptimism.org or follow #conservationoptimism for more inspiring conservation stories!

California Red-legged frog
Rana draytonii
In 2014, after no red-legged frogs had been seen in the Santa Monica Mountains since the early 1970s, conservationists worked hard to reintroduce the frogs to the area by translocating egg masses from populations in nearby Simi Hills. In March of 2017, signs of reproduction without human aid were recorded–confirming that the species reintroduction projects the Zoo and its local partners participated in is working.
With love, diligence, and a passion for animal welfare and conservation, we look forward to another decade of conservation optimism. Thank you for your support of the Zoo’s dedication to the preservation of our planet.

Visit conservationoptimism.org or follow #conservationoptimism for more inspiring conservation stories!

foster feeder spotlight
Foster Feeder Recognition
Fourth quarter
(October–December 2019)
PREMIER FOSTER FEEDERS
Peter & Pieter Crawford-van Meeuwen: Gail & Peeta (Asian small-clawed otters)
Brent, Eileen & Alexander Dill: Bangori (Western lowland gorilla)
The Notley Foundation: Kisa (snow leopard)
Susannah & John Osley: Elway, Montana, & Bradshaw (San Clemente goats)
The Steel Family: Horton (African spurred tortoise)
Leslie & Robert Zemeckis: Stilts (Chilean flamingo)
foster feeder spotlight
Foster Feeder Recognition
Fourth quarter
(October–December 2019)
PREMIER FOSTER FEEDERS
Peter & Pieter Crawford-van Meeuwen: Gail & Peeta (Asian small-clawed otters)
Brent, Eileen & Alexander Dill: Bangori (Western lowland gorilla)
The Notley Foundation: Kisa (snow leopard)
Susannah & John Osley: Elway, Montana, & Bradshaw (San Clemente goats)
The Steel Family: Horton (African spurred tortoise)
Leslie & Robert Zemeckis: Stilts (Chilean flamingo)

Thank you to the following generous donors for becoming a new Foster Feeder or renewing your commitment as a Foster Feeder from October 1 to December 31, 2019!

Foster Feeders are a very special group of caring donors who choose to give back by sponsoring their favorite animal(s) at the Zoo. All of the proceeds from the Foster Feeder program go directly to pay for the more than $300,000 food bill to feed the hundreds of animals at the Zoo. This covers everything from fish for the penguins to hay for the giraffes. Thank you to these caring donors!

Use Biodegradable Detergent
All animals need clean water to survive. When regular detergents get into lakes and streams, they encourage rapid algae and insect growth, choking out native species. By choosing a biodegradable detergent, you can help keep our waterways free and clear for animals and plants.
What You Can Do yellow circle
THE SANTA BARBARA ZOO IS TEMPORARILY
CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

GET UPDATES AT SBZOO.ORG/HEALTH

Bringing the Zoo to You
Stay connected with us! Even though our doors are closed, we’re still bringing the Zoo to you. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for the latest animal adventures, behind-the-scenes videos, and virtual keeper talks.

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Thanks for reading our Spring 2020 issue!