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It’s all happening at the zoo

Micke Grove Park boasts over 130 species on five acres

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It’s all happening at the zoo

Youngsters enjoy the lorikeets for various reasons including a chance to feed these medium-sized arboreal parrots.

Photo contributed/

POSTED June 23, 2012 1:40 a.m.

LODI – Ever see a Chilean pudu?

This small, short-legged member of the deer family with a low-slung body can be found at the Micke Grove Zoo.

Home to over 130 species – included are monkeys, lemurs, snow leopards, various reptiles and birds of all sizes – this five-acre zoo was founded in 1957. Noted naturalist Ronald Theodore Reuther was its first curator.

Micke Grove Zoo is currently undergoing some upgrades. With it will come the future home of the golden lion tamarins and other new attractions.

During the summer months, the lorikeets are the main attraction.

“We get between 300- to 500- visitors each year (to see the lorikeets),” said Kenneth, who is among the volunteers at the exhibit that operates from May through September.

Lorikeets are small to medium-sized arboreal parrots. They’re characterized by their specialized brush-tipped tongues used for feeding on nectar of various blossoms and fruits. Nine different species of lorikeets – try black-winged Lory, green-naped lorikeet, scaly-breasted lorikeet, olive-headed lorikeet, yellowish-streaked Lory, musk lorikeet, dusky Lory, blue-streaked Lory and Josephine Lory – can be touched, fed and even handled in these enclosed confines.

The lorikeets, 56 in all at the Micke Grove Zoo, are characterized by their brightly colored plumage, and are widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Australia. The birds are shipped back to their home in Florida, thus, going south for the winter.

 Other exhibits include:

• Madagascar “An Island Lost in Time” home to the bamboo partridge, black-headed parrot, scarlet ibis, superb starling, and red-eared slider.

• The Tropical Forest Canopy featuring the green iguana and Prevost squirrels.

• Threatened or endangered species such as the golden eagle and southern bald eagle.

Meanwhile, the spider monkeys are long-time zoo attraction.

They’re from Mexico, Central America and Bolivia and currently listed as vulnerable in the wild. Their prehensile-tails are muscular, giving them an extra limb for grabbing and climbing while entertaining children of all ages.


209 staff reporter

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