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From the Minnesota Zoo website

"The Minnesota Zoo had its best year since 1999, with fiscal year attendance (July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008) totaling 1,162,163."

"The Zoo’s strong attendance gains began last summer with the opening of the renovated Medtronic Minnesota Trail, which immediately became a fan favorite. Guests have also found the 20-month construction project of Russia’s Grizzly Coast well worth the wait. The opening of this $24 million exhibit on June 7 contributed to a blockbuster month, with attendance of 221,414, second only to June 1978 – the first full month the Zoo was open 30 years ago."

I'm just thrilled with all the new exhibits and renovations that Lee Ehmke has been pushing for since coming here. The MN Zoo has always been a great zoo and he is really making sure it goes past great to exceptional!

Complete text of press release under here )
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The Minnesota Zoo's Russia's Grizzly Coast exhibit opens this weekend, and I'll be going to the members preview tomorrow night. This is some of the animal cuteness in store for me!



Click here to go to YouTube page
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A picture from the zoo on Friday:

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I started my temp job at General Mills today. The work isn't exciting, just doing Access query stuff, but the people seem nice. The office is pretty casual because it's not on the main campus. Also, there's absolutely no issue with me listening to my iPod all day, so I will be able to stay sane (or at least as sane as is possible for me!) I don't use the internet at all for what I'm doing, and I ran to McDonalds during lunch today, so I don't know if I've got internet access at all or not. I do, however, have cell reception, so anyone who knows my cell # can get a hold of me via text messaging.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] lucky13charm, this place is like NAMG used to be. Yup, that's right. Free tampons in the ladies room. :) Also, fancy schmancy toilets that flush by themselves and towel dispensers that you just wave your hands in front of.

And my chair is purple. I like purple.

Just the drive in makes me happier than the old job. It is sooooo wonderfully close to home. 10 minute drive, tops. Maybe 15 if I hit every light red and drove the speed limit. And when you turn into the drive for the building it winds up around a hill through woods. It's a really pretty location.

And right after work today I got to go in to school for my painting class. I'm about half done with my first project: the oh so exciting color wheel! I'm not sure if I'll post a pic when it's done or not. I think I'm gonna like painting.

Last night I had my HTML/XHTML class. Doesn't suck so far. At some point I have to figure out what I want the subject of my page to be. We decide what we want to do it on and as the semester goes on and we learn new things each week, we build on what we've gotten done already.

Common sense would have me redoing Rick's sister & her husband's business site. But... I'm already not a huge fan of web design, and frankly, the subject matter of it bores me. I think I'll just wait and apply what I learn in this class to redoing theirs afterwards.

Right now I am leaning towards the idea of doing a web page for Moose. I've got the photo gallery, but I think it would be much more fun to have a site for him. Especially now that he's going to go down to Antarctica. I can do all kinds of fun things like put a map with his travel locations marked.

I'll be dropping him in the mail shortly before flights to McMurdo resume. I saw my favoritest photoshop teacher, Will, last night and he was mightily impressed with Moose's next destination.

It's Labor Day weekend already! Eep! How'd that happen? I'm working only a half day tomorrow, cuz it's the last week of GM's summer flex hours. The only plans I've got so far for the Holiday weekend are me & [livejournal.com profile] hellbob babysitting the Monkeys on Saturday so that [livejournal.com profile] genevra & [livejournal.com profile] akdar can go see Stardust.

I'll probably also hit the zoo on Monday because that's traditionally not a busy day there. Even though it's a holiday, most people who have the day off and want to do something will either go to the State Fair or to the Renaissance Festival because they have set limited dates and the zoo is always there. Besides, Labor Day is the last day for the butterfly garden.
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Went to the zoo last Friday.
This first pic spam is pictures from the butterfly garden.







More pictures under the cut, including one picture of butterfly porn! )
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Problems with ddddddddddddddddddd
My d key isn't working very well - i have to sometimes hit it several times for it to work - so if a word looks funny in this post and would make more sense if it had a 'd' somewhere in it, it probably should.

OK. Important stuff first: My Happy Happy Joy Joy post from just over a week ago.

[livejournal.com profile] genevra is pregnant! There's gonna be another Monkey in February!!! Yay! Me & [livejournal.com profile] hellbob get to be Auntie & Uncle again! The doctor told her that it is just one this time, but that's what they told her at the first ultrasound last time too!


Not so good stuff: My layoff happened on schedule last friday. Because this first week unemployed is a holiday week followed by CONvergence weekend, I'm not really hitting the job hunt hardcore until next week. Thank you to you all who expressed best wishes/condolences/etc. on my "I'm unemployed" post. I really just wasn't feeling up to replying last Friday.

My what the hell I've been up to lately bullet points:
Friday
*Drank yummy beer and chocolate martinis friday afternoon (started at 2 pm!)
*Had dinner at El Loro with [livejournal.com profile] hellbob, [livejournal.com profile] lucky13charm, [livejournal.com profile] michaellee & [livejournal.com profile] frozendragon.
-----*[livejournal.com profile] lucky13charm had been an El Loro virgin before that!
-----*[livejournal.com profile] frozendragon - If you remembered to bring my book I forgot to get it from you! Either this weekend maybe, or when I get the roaster pan back from you?

Saturday
*Went down to Hidden Valley Campground w/[livejournal.com profile] lucky13charm on Saturday to camp with Tiki Neighbors & Friends™
-----*Had to buy a tent before going to camp. Now that we own a tent I intend to convince [livejournal.com profile] hellbob that we should camp more!

Sunday
*Came home from camping and showered! Yes, this deserves its own bullet point!
*Went to Ratatouille w/[livejournal.com profile] hellbob. We liked it.

Monday
*Did the online application for The Creative Group and got my resume and stuff together for my meeting there on Tuesday.
*Clan Foley came over for dinner, and after dinner I almost kicked butt at Star Wars Monopoly, but [livejournal.com profile] hellbob pulled out the win in the end.

Tuesday
*Went downtown to The Creative Group.
*Fucking Rocked the Photoshop proficiency test! I got 92%. The average of everyone who's taken it was only about 77%.
*I also did good on the In Design test. I got 80-something% and the average score for that was 60-something%. Also, more important, the chick I met with knew that I was all self-taught on In Design which makes 80+% extra impressive.
*Went to the Police concert at the X with [livejournal.com profile] hellbob,[livejournal.com profile] kaldeth, [livejournal.com profile] kalfoley, [livejournal.com profile] romeoa, and Jeanine-of-no-LJ. [livejournal.com profile] levertwok also managed to score a same-day ticket.
-----*It makes [livejournal.com profile] hellbob gloat a little to hear it, but I like the Police more now than I did before seeing them in concert.
-----*This does not in any way, however, change my complete love of Uncle Kracker's music!!!

Wednesday, aka The 4th of July, aka Independence Day
*Besides being the birthday of our country, July 4th is also [livejournal.com profile] hellbobDad's birthday.
*We went to Hellbob's step-sister's house to celebrate the momentous occasion of my father-in-law's birth.
-----*All his gifts were either gin, or golf related.
*[livejournal.com profile] hellbob unfortunately had some kind of minor stomach ookiness going on so he stayed home that evening while I...
*Went to [livejournal.com profile] mhuot & [livejournal.com profile] dragonsden's annual 4th of July Fireworks party with [livejournal.com profile] akdar, [livejournal.com profile] genevra, [livejournal.com profile] technomonkey_m, and [livejournal.com profile] gigglemonkey_b.
-----*There was much good food (meat on a stick!) and even more good company. I will forget people, cuz that's how I roll, but attendees included [livejournal.com profile] shrique, [livejournal.com profile] tripstumblefoot, and their lovely N, [livejournal.com profile] kalmn, [livejournal.com profile] monstersocks, and Mr. Monstersocks (whose LJ handle escapes me at the moment), Erik, Linda, ummmmmm and a buncha other people!
*The loudness of the fireworks scared the Monkeys at first, but by the end they were enjoying the heck out of them.

Thursday, aka today
*I slept in.
*didn't do much during the day.
*Went to the MN Zoo's member preview of the revamped Minnesota Trail
-----*If you live in the Twin Cities, go see it! They've made a lot of really nice changes. It certainly had needed this facelift after the almost 30 years since the zoo opened.

Friday. Yes, Friday hasn't happened yet, so I can't tell you what I did. But I can tell you what I'm gonna do!
*CONvergence starts tomorrow.
*That is where I will be all weekend.
*If you know me, say hi.
*If we haven't met yet, say hi. But also tell me who you are!
*If you want to contact me, my cell number is in a friends only post back in 1970.
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Went to the zooooooo yesterday to play with my rented lens. Took a few pictures.

Monkey and BAAAAAABY monkey!


Move it, move it!


And one for Miss [livejournal.com profile] boliviafang:


And a whole bunch more under the cut! )
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Does anyone feel like spending $1000 on me?
I've got this lens for a week and I soooo desperately want to keep it. But I also have no way to justify buying a lens that costs more than my camera.
I was all bundled and layered today when I headed out to the zoo, and I didn't even get to go see tigers because they closed the Northern Trail because of the weather. :( I ended up doing the Tropics Trail instead.
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Miss [livejournal.com profile] kniblet called last night with news that made me very happy. When we go to Chicago in March she's got a behind the scenes tour of Lincoln Park Zoo scheduled! Yay! Her friend Dominic is a vet there. [livejournal.com profile] kniblet must really love me since she doesn't care for zoos. :) In fact, she said that Dominic asked her if she was going to just drop me off. LOL.
But, as payback for making her go to a zoo, she's going to make me eat brussel sprouts. I've never in my life ever eaten a brussel sprout so I don't know if that's a bad thing or not. [livejournal.com profile] dibsy was apparently quite amused that I'd never tried them. Heck, I didn't think I'd ever even seen one live and in person until [livejournal.com profile] hellbob reminded me that [livejournal.com profile] chebutykin cooked them once when she was living here.
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Why is this monkey screaming?



Probably because he didn't get any Hot Monkey Sex! )
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The keeper was moving around back behind the exhibit so all the wolves were alert and moving around.



And they just added 3 females to the 4 males already on exhibit, so there are a few dominance skirmishes going on.



More pics under the cut )

Zoo pics!

Dec. 14th, 2006 11:05 pm
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I only saw 5 different kinds of animals there today: Moose, Caribou, Wolves, Tigers, and Snow Monkeys.

Here are pics of Lana the tiger, the moose, and some caribou




Three more under the cut )
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Information on the incident given to volunteers:

Good morning Minnesota Zoo Volunteers,

On Wednesday afternoon, August 2, a nine-year old girl was bit by a
meerkat. Because of the potential for rabies, the Zoo was required to
euthanize the troop of meerkats and test for rabies (all five animals
tested negative for rabies). The reason we had to euthanize all five
animals that were on exhibit at the time of the incident is because we
had no way of knowing which meerkat bit the girl.

The Zoo is saddened by this incident. When a person at the Zoo is bit
by an animal that has the potential to carry rabies, the Zoo has two
options: 1. The person who is bit goes through the rabies vaccination
series; or 2. If they are not able or willing to take the series, the
Department of Public Health then mandates that the Zoo must euthanize
the animal and test for rabies. The only way to test for rabies is via
necropsy in the brain.

The outdoor Meerkat exhibit will be temporarily closed as modifications
are made to the exhibit. The remaining four male meerkats that have
been on display in the Aardvark Exhibit will continue to be exhibited
indoors until modifications on the outdoor Meerkat Exhibit are complete.

Please note that this story is being picked up by virtually every media
outlet. As of Friday morning, all of the stories have shown the Zoo in
a favorable light. If you are asked questions about this unfortunate
incident, please keep your answers and dialogue as simple as possible
in accordance with the facts stated above. Do not speculate about
details. Do not offer your personal opinion about the situation.






Info on rabies HERE

Good info on diagnosis, treatment & prevention HERE




Comments I've seen in my journal, friends journals, and comments to articles all seem to be overwhelmingly of the belief that the parents are bad parents who didn't watch their kid and that they should have had the vaccine done.

I remember when I was a kid when they would talk about rabies shots it was twenty very painful shots in the stomach. Now it is 6 simple shots in the arm over a 4 week period. Is that really a lot if it means not having to kill five animals that are almost certainly not infected? The news have not released the family's name. Probably for the best because I'm not hearing anyone say that they made the right decision when they decided to kill 5 innocent animals.

I still firmly believe that these parents should be permanently banned from the zoo and that they should have to pay for the necropsies and the replacement cost of 5 meerkats.


.
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Yes, most of the Minnesotans on my flist have already posted this, but I just have to get my rant on too...

http://www.startribune.com/462/story/595384.html




This has pissed me off so much. A nine year old should know better. Also, where were her parents? Did they see her climbing up and reaching down? Did they tell her not to?

This family should be banned from the zoo for life. They should also have to pay the replacement costs for 5 meerkats and the necropsies. 

Is it cruel and petty of me that I had been hoping that one of the meerkats would have had rabies so that she has to get the shots anyway? 

So the cute little Suricata suricatta in my icon may be dead now. Also, these pictures following? Most likely dead as they were on exhibit just a few weeks ago. 

Yes, people are important, and often times we have to put humans rights and safety over that of animals. But not in this case. These senseless deaths could have all been prevented with a vaccine. Yes, the vaccine isn't fun, but it would also be a lesson to the girl and her parents that life has consequences. I personally feel that as she was reaching into a area off limits and it wasn't a case of an animal getting out and biting her that there should have not been a choice about the shots.






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And since I went to the zoo, you get pic spam!

Golden Lion Tamarin


Buckeye


Sweta the giraffe's eye



You can find more pics in my gallery starting HERE
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This is Sweta. He's just about 5 years old. His brother Zawadi was feeling shy and didn't come up.

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It is supposed to be wicked hot for the next few days. If I was smart I would stay here inside my air-conditioned house.
I'm not smart though.
I'm off to the African Savannah. I want to see giraffes & wildebeests & zebras, oh my. I'm hoping that the heat will keep all the herds of little kids away...

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