Spring is a season of change and birth. At the zoo you can see this change happening. The maintenance crew has begun watering and preparing our gardens as they have done every year with the start of the growing season. In addition, they have constructed two new pergolas throughout the zoo to provide shade in the upcoming summer heat. New babies have begun to arrive, and the Safari Shoppe is offering fun new food and merchandise. However, Lee Richardson Zoo isn't just changing physically but digitally as well.

Recently we launched our new website. You can visit the new site at www.leerichardsonzoo.org. We hope the site will help you plan your visit, keep you up to date on the happenings at the zoo and help satiate any curiosity you have about our animals. You can explore our diverse animal collection from the comfort of your own home. And let me tell you, nothing makes you realize how diverse a collection we have until you need to place a page for more than 100 different animals. There is even an interactive map that helps you explore the animals of our facility, and a page where you can vote on names for two of our newest babies.

Our baby Goeldi's monkey and Bactrian camel need names and the keepers have offered a selection of names to choose from. Since we don't yet know the sex of the tiny Goeldi's monkey, we included both boy and girl names. As soon as it is old enough to be briefly separated from mom and dad, we will be able to give it a physical and determine its gender. The Bactrian camel has already received its first physical and is a female.

Goeldi's monkeys are arboreal primates from South America and so the names are Spanish or Portuguese in origin. The male names for the Goeldi's monkey are: Mateo (Spanish for Mathew and means gift of god), Tiago (Portuguese for James), or Paz (Spanish and means peace). The female choices are: Dania (Spanish and is a tribute to the baby's grandfather who was called Dana), Tadea (Spanish and means heart or praise), or Liliana (Spanish and means Symbol of Purity or a lily flower). Since the Bactrian camel is the two-humped camel found in Asia, the names to select from are from the Mongolian region. Her name choices are Tuya (pronounced Two-Ya, Mongolian and means ray of light) or Mai (pronounced May, Chinese and means elegance). Voting will continue until April 8.

As you stop by the website and help us name the babies, take a look around. As with any large endeavor, our website is ever changing and evolving to fit the needs of our patrons. Let us know what you think. Email me at wbuchman@garden-city.org with the things you like, the things you don't like, suggestions or even any errors you may come across (the computer may never make a mistake, but the operator is only human after all).