By Leslie Field, Supervisor of Mammals
Have you seen our lakes while empty? Well, that's because our two lake exhibits are periodically drained and cleaned. Although the system has a lake filter, it does require us to drain it from time to time for liner maintenance, to ensure that the sewer lines are running freely and to get better access to plants we want removed.
It’s quite the production as the maintenance department, zoo keepers and sometimes volunteer groups like Americorps get involved to help get the job done. Not only do we have 13 species of birds living on the two lakes but we also have a population of Western Pacific Pond turtles living there as well. While we cleaning, any turtles found are weighed and measured, their IDs are recorded and back into the lake they go.