April 1, 2015

Jack Hanna to Visit Fargo to Speak on Behalf of the Red River Zoo

The Red River Zoo is proud to welcome celebrity and wildlife expert Jack Hanna to Fargo / Moorhead as the guest speaker for this year's ZOOlebration! Celebration.

Jungle Jack Hanna explores the corners of the globe as one of the most respected animal ambassadors. His enthusiasm and "hands-on" approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as a conservationist, television personality, author and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and the Wilds.

Recognized as America's favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances on shows such as Good Morning America, CBS's The Talk, and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Jack took his infectious energy to the airwaves by creating three nationally televised programs. Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures ran for 10 years and is still currently in syndication. Most recently, the Columbus Zoo and Nationwide Insurance have partnered to sponsor the Emmy Award winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and a new show on ABC, Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown.

Jack and his wife, Suzi, live in central Ohio and have three daughters, six grandchildren, and a yellow Labrador.

The award winning Red River Zoo has received international recognition as a leading breeding and conservation facility for some of the world's rarest cold climate species. We help save wildlife and their habitats through engaging visitor experiences, demonstrated conservation leadership and unique educational opportunities. By connecting people to nature, we inspire our community to learn, care, and act.

The Red River Zoo is a 501 c3 organization which is completely funded through admission fees, memberships, philanthropic gifts, and fundraising. ZOOlebration! is the annual gala fundraiser for the Zoo. This year's theme is Explore Our World – An Evening with Jack Hanna. The event will be held at the Marriott in Moorhead on October 1st. The gala will be completely unique and unlike any event in the area. The venue will be completely transformed into a trip around the world, featuring animals from the Red River Zoo. Areas will be themed to transport you into the jungles, forests and mountains of the world along with fabulous food and drink…and Jack Hanna! Tickets to an exclusive Jack Hanna Meet and Greet are also available. Attendance is projected to be 600 people and is a 21 and over event.

February 15, 2015

Red River Zoo to Participate in Conservation Research with Cincinnati Zoo to Save Endangered Cat

The Red River Zoo is an award winning zoo, notably for its conservation work with endangered species from Northern Asia and Europe. The Fargo, North Dakota zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and primarily exhibits species from regions of the world that mimic Fargo's climate. One species the Red River Zoo is known for is the Pallas' Cat- a critically endangered species which is very difficult to raise in captivity. To increase the chance of survival for this species, the Red River Zoo has partnered the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo which is working to develop effective artificial insemination procedures for Pallas' Cats.

Dr. Bill Swanson DVM, PhD, Director of Animal Research for the Center, will be in Fargo on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 26 and Feb. 27) to work with the Red River Zoo to perfect techniques of artificial insemination in this species.

The future for the continued survival of the Pallas' Cat species does not look good at this time. This procedure is part of a larger research project whose goal is to perfect the AI process in Pallas' Cats using frozen semen as an aid to maintain the genetic diversity of the captive Pallas' Cat population without the need to ship the cats themselves between zoos around the world.

The Red River Zoo will also be working with Globe University on this project. The Associate in Applied Science in veterinary technology program at the Globe University-Moorhead campus integrates career-focused education with applied learning to expose students to real-world working environments. Globe University's relationship with the Red River Zoo has given students additional hands-on educational opportunities, such as exposure to working with exotic animals, and now participation in the Pallas's Cat insemination procedure.

"We are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for our veterinary technician students," says Globe University's resident veterinarian, Dr. Sara Lyons. "It is unique experiences like this that set us apart from other schools. We are so grateful for the partnership with the Red River Zoo. It's wonderful to have our students working with such prestigious veterinarians."

Pallas' Cats are native to Tibet, Mongolia, Pakistan, and parts of Western China. Pallas’ Cats live in the cold and arid environments of rocky steppes at elevations up to about 16,000 feet. They have the longest and most dense fur of any cat, and have been over hunted for their fur. Pallas' Cats diet consists of birds and small mammals, primarily the pika. The pika has been routinely poisoned leading to a decline in the food source for the Pallas' Cat.

Pallas's Cats have the highest percentage (45%) of 30-day mortality of any small cat species. Survival rates are low due to infections, which are attributed to an underdeveloped immune system. In their natural high-altitude habitat, they would normally not be exposed to viruses causing infection.

The Red River Zoo is committed to wildlife conservation and education and is dedicated to the preservation of the Pallas' Cat and other cold climate species.

October 1, 2014

New Birth At The Red River Zoo!

The Red River Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Muntjac Fawn.

Muntjac are some of the world's oldest and smallest deer. Native to Northern China, Muntjac males have antlers and tusks which are used to fight for territory.

The Red River Zoo has successfully bred Muntjac to help create greater genetic diversity for the captive population in North America. Once old enough, the offspring are sent to other zoos to help with their breeding programs.

The fawn was born Monday, September 29th and is on exhibit with his parents in the Brown Eared Pheasant and Muntjac exhibit.

August 26, 2014

World Class Artist to Visit Fargo for ZOOlebration! Celebration

The Red River Zoo is pleased to announce the guest artist for this year's Zoolebration! Celebration: Hans Droog will be visiting Fargo for the event.

Originally from the Netherlands, where artist Hans Droog completed his formal Fine Art education, he worked for 3 years in Southern France, showing his work in local Galleries. Hans has been living and working in the United States since 1984 and settled in the countryside in the Hermann area, about 1 1/2 hours west of St. Louis.

Many of Hans' paintings were inspired by the American farm life including its people, animals, and equipment.

In addition to showing his work in galleries, Hans also worked for businesses in the area designing beer steins for Anheuser Busch, posters for John Deere, and many others.

While most of Hans' work consists of paintings, he also has done commissioned work in steel and wood. In his local town, Hans' fabricated numeral gold covered steel statues of deer, several murals and fine furniture in wood for local B&B's.

Hans has been making the "Zoofari" posters for the St. Louis Zoo since 1998 and is the featured artist for the Red River Zoo’s ZOOlebration! Celebration. Hans will be donating his original painting featured in this year's celebration to the live auction to help support the conservation work of the Red River Zoo.

May 9, 2014

Red River Zoo celebrates multiple animal births!

The Red River Zoo announces the birth of a female Bactrian Camel born Wednesday, April 2nd. The calf was born at approx. 12:30 pm with Zookeeper staff and zoo veterinarian Dr. Tom Colville present. General Curator, Erick Lamun and Dr. Colville assisted in delivering the calf. There were no complications and the calf was standing within an hour, and started nursing three hours later.

The Zoo also added a juvenile female camel, Amara (which is a Mongolian name meaning "peaceful”) earlier this Spring. This brings the Red River Zoo herd total to four- three females and one male. Bactrian Camels are critically endangered in the wild.

In addition to the new Bactrian Camel calf, the zoo is also proud to report the birth of a female North American Porcupine on March 30, 2014. The "porcupette" is healthy and eating solid food.

Four pygmy goats kids were also been born in early and mid April in the Children's Zoo Farm.

With all of the new baby animals, the Red River Zoo will be holding a Baby Shower this weekend through May 31st. Visitors can see the new calf with her family in their exhibit, then stop by the Carousel Pavilion to see what baby animals need, and to vote on their favorite name for the new camel calf.

November 5, 2013

Red River Zoo Recognized with Prestigious Bean Award

Silver Spring, Maryland - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Red River Zoo has received Significant Achievement with a 2013 Edward H. Bean Award for its long-term propagation and management of red pandas.

"The AZA Bean Award acknowledges the Red River Zoo for its incredible leadership in conservation science," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "It is important to recognize the hard work that will help prevent red pandas and other imperiled species from going extinct."

"The Red River Zoo is a perfect example of how even small zoos can make serious, significant, and real-world contributions to conservation," said Red River Zoo Director Lisa Tate. "By taking our conservation mission seriously, we have been able to sharply focus on our red panda breeding program, making it highly successful and effective. The Red River Zoo's ongoing contributions to red panda propagation, including importing much needed genetically diverse animals from China, illustrates our dedication to this species."

The Edward H. Bean Award is a historic award within AZA, established in September 1956, honoring the first director of Chicago's Brookfield Zoo and one of the founders of AZA. The Edward H. Bean Award recognizes propagation or management programs that contribute to the reproductive success of one or more species and/or subspecies.

The Red River Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which does not receive any tax based funding. As a result, the zoo's financial resources are limited. However, despite these constraints, the Red River Zoo plays an important role in the conservation and propagation of the red panda styani subspecies.

In 1993, the Red River Zoological Society was formed with the mission of developing a zoological park dedicated to education and conservation of rare and endangered species - the Red River Zoo. In the spring of 1999, the Red River Zoo opened its doors and one year later celebrated the birth of its first Chinese red panda. In February 2007, at the request of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Red Panda Species Survival Plan® (SSP), the zoo imported a male and female red panda from Japan to assist in increasing the genetic diversity of the North American population. This was at a cost of $40,000, which is a large expenditure for a zoo of this size. This illustrates the zoo’s dedication and ongoing commitment to the conservation and propagation of this subspecies. Since 2000, the Red River Zoo has celebrated 12 more successful births, and the zoo is responsible for the birth of one-fifth of the 61 red panda in North America.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. To learn more visit