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Spotlight: The zoo is going live

Christina Stock Photo On the last day of Spring River Zoo's live streaming presentations on Facebook, April 7, the public gets a look behind the scenes of the reptile building.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Spring River Zoo adapts to regulations amid COVID-19 social distancing, starts online presentations

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The city of Roswell has closed all parks, including Spring River Zoo, to limit the exposure to COVID-19 and complying with the measures and regulations that were announced earlier in the week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Hopefully, the preventive measures such as social distancing, closing of parks, non-essential businesses and facilities will be over sooner than later. Until that happens, some creative minds came up with online events to keep children and adults busy at home. One of the first stepping up to the challenge is Spring River Zoo, that started early last week live presentations on the zoo’s Facebook page.

Caitlyn Lenz is education coordinator for the city of Roswell at the zoo. In an email Lenz talked about the project that permits the public to enjoy the zoo and its various animals while staying safely at home.

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“We love our guests that get to come out and interact with and learn about the animals that we have here at the zoo, but currently that is not possible,” she said. “We decided to bring the zoo to our guests in Roswell and wherever else they may be joining us from. We will be doing different talks about animals that we have here at the zoo and some behind the scenes stuff as well. Each video will cover a different topic. Most videos will be at 10 a.m., but some are earlier in the day at 7:30 a.m. to match with the normal schedule for our animals. All videos will be available for viewing after the live stream on the Spring River Zoo Facebook page in case anyone misses them.

“Along with each video, I will give a project or craft for kids and adults too, that goes along with the topic and have people share their pictures with that project or craft in the comments on the video. The complete schedule can be found on the Spring River Zoo Facebook page, they are posted as events. Everyone is encouraged to check them out and if they are watching live, we would love for people to ask us questions and interact with us. We are doing these for the visitors and guests of the zoo and want to make sure that we cover things they want to see and learn about. People can also ask questions after we are live and we will try to respond as soon as possible,” Lenz said.

On March 30, the talk at 10 a.m. will be about the Coati, also known as Coatimundis. The distinctively marked animal— with its ring-tail and long snout — has a fascinating social behavior and is only found in South and North America. While the Coati females live in a social structure within a band of up to 30, the males are solitary.

“All the talks will take place at the enclosure or enclosures of the animals listed,” said Lenz, who will present the programs. “Possibly along with a keeper or our curator — and we will discuss and interact with the focus animal. We want to show some different sides of animals than what people normally see and also educate people about them since there may be some people who have not been to zoo or haven’t been in awhile.”

Next to the programs planned featuring mammals, birds and reptiles, there will be also birthday parties, such as for the zoo’s pony on April 1. “For our birthdays that are listed, the keepers and other zoo staff will join the animals to celebrate their birthday with special treats and also sing them ‘Happy Birthday,’” Lenz said.

Last day of the Facebook live stream is April 7.

For more information, visit its Facebook page @SpringRiverZoo or email c.lenz@roswell-nm.gov.


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