Bison calf born at Cape May County Zoo

The newest birth at the zoo is a female American bison calf, born Monday June 5 to the zoo's resident female bison Zippy and male Hank.

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — An American bison calf was born June 5 at the Cape May County Zoo, officials have announced.

The calf, a female, was born to the zoo's resident female bison Zippy and male Hank, and is the fourth calf for the pair.

The calf is doing well and is visible every day in the North American Prairie habitat, the zoo said in a news release.

Two red-necked wallaby joeys also were born at the zoo recently. They are out and about with their mother and can be seen at the Wallaby exhibit.

Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, who oversees the Cape May County Park and Zoo, said the zoo is very active in American bison conservation.

"We donated a young female bison to Colorado State University in 2015 as part of a bison restoration program in the Laramie Foothills region of Colorado and Wyoming," she said.

The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and involved in the Species Survival Plan.

"We are excited to be playing a part in the world wide conservation efforts to help endangered species," Hayes said.

The zoo's tiger Rocky turned 16 years old in April, which is advanced for a male Siberian tiger, the statement said. Rocky has had a few medical conditions over the past three years, including soft tissue cancer on his right leg in 2014. After three surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy, he was declared cancer-free.

Like many geriatric animals, he now has had some arthritic issues in his hips and legs. As a result, Rocky can look a little shaky and unstable when he walks around his habitat. He is currently on medications for arthritis and is doing well.

A new multispecies Primate Habitat is under construction at the zoo entrance, and the grand opening is expected in mid-July. It will house the howler and DeBrazza's monkeys. The construction has blocked off the front part of the zoo, and the zoo entrance was moved to the end of the handicapped parking lot, in front of Rocky.

The barnyard, where goats, Jilly the cow and pot-bellied pigs reside, also is blocked off. Until their new home is built, the DeBrazza's monkeys can be found in the old primate building across from the aviary. The howler monkeys are off exhibit until the grand opening.

Tree to Tree Adventure Park is open for its second season. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The course takes about two hours to complete. Reservations are recommended. See treetotreecapemay.com.

The zoo's summer hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The park is open 9 a.m. until dusk. The Cape May County Park and Zoo is at 707 Route 9 North in Cape May Court House, off exit 11 of the Garden State Parkway. See cmczoo.com.

Middle Township Gazette reporter. Call me anytime you have news for the paper or the website. 609-365-6176