Dragon Attack!!!

AHHHH!  THE DRAGONS ARE ATTACKING!!  Just kidding–Bijou here is just an Orange-Eyed Crocodile Skink, but she does look like a baby dragon, right?  Croc skinks are from Indonesia and stay relatively small: they only are about 8 to 10 inches long when fully grown.  Since they are from the rainforest, they require a very high amount of humidity, so we keep Bijou’s habitat covered with a layer of plastic to keep it nice and moist.  She is a carnivore, so she likes meat, but you don’t have to worry: she’s really only interested in eating bugs like crickets and mealworms.  All in all, she’s a pretty cute lady, even if she doesn’t breathe fire 😉

“Bijou” is a French word that means “jewel”. It’s a pretty fitting name for such a beautiful little lizard.

And We’re Back!

Well the Spring Semester is up and running, Christmas Break flew by, and the animals are happy to once again have a full staff around to give them lots of attention!  One thing we need your help with is naming our Gray Tree Frog!  HE has been in our collection for several months now, but no name has stuck with him.  If you have name suggestions, email them to Jake, at jabelair1@malone.edu.  We will announce his name soon!  Gray Tree Frogs are native to Ohio and the rest of the Eastern United States.  They love to eat bugs like worms and beetles.  One of his favorite foods here at Malone is crickets–he can eat up to 6 in a week!  Could you ever eat that many crickets?


Malone for the Holidays!

All of our wonderful animals stay here for the Christmas Break, which means we have to have somebody come in to take care of them!  Luckily, our team is awesome, and several people who live locally are dedicating their break to being here!  The animals will all be kept happy and healthy.  If you haven’t been down to visit yet, you should schedule an animal encounter with Jake Belair–jabelair1@malone.edu.  We love having people come down for tours and special visits with our animals!  Have a happy holiday!

Cute sugar glider, a kind of marsupial, perches on a food dish looking up at the camera.

Kraken, one of our sugar gliders, takes a break from snacking to say Merry Christmas!

Student Spotlight

This week’s Student Spotlight is on Morgan Yokosuk.  She is a freshman at Malone, and is “super excited” to be a part of the Zoo Crew.  Morgan’s hobbies include hanging out with friends, organizing things, and traveling.

Morgan, in a horizontally striped black and white long sleeve shirt, sits on a victorian style teal blue couch holding Sally, a 7 foot long red tailed boa constrictor in her lap.

Morgan overcoming her apprehension and hanging out with Sally, our red-tailed boa constrictor.

She loves bottlenose dolphins, and hopes to work with marine mammals in the future.  Her favorite animals at Malone are our sugar gliders…she has as much energy as they do!  When she is not feeding or cleaning the animals, she is organizing our rooms, keeping them tidy, and trying to make our rooms look awesome–she is truly an asset to our Zoo Crew!

Fun fact: Bottlenosed dolphins can live to be over 40 years old!

Prepping for the big day!

So as you may have heard, we are having our fall open house on Friday, November 30 from 5-9 p.m. in the Timken Science Center.  (Hope to see you there!)  In preparation for this, we have been cleaning and re-arranging and all sorts of stuff.

This “stuff” includes some fun things too, like painting!  Well, we are not painting, but the animals are!  It is a great form of enrichment, and it is enriching to us humans as well.  We will be selling animal artwork at the Open House as a fundraiser for our efforts.  If you would like to pre-order a piece of artwork, email jabelair1@malone.edu.  Enjoy this super adorable picture of our Guinea Pig, Severus, while he was getting the paint washed off of his feet! :)  Fun fact: sharks are immune to all known diseases!

a tricolor guinea pig steps out of a sink

Severus, being handsome as usual.

Safari Time!

Two courdon bleu finches are perched on a branch close to the camera, with several other finches in the background

Courdon Bleu and Orange Waxbill Finches…photo by Marionna Cane

So as much as we here in the Zoo and Wildlife Department would love to take a huge field trip to Africa, so far we do not have the budget for it…go figure!  Instead, we brought Africa to us!  We have three species of African waxbill finches here in our collection.  They are Cordon Bleu waxbills, Orange waxbills, and Red-masked waxbills.  They have vibrant, jewel-like colors and are incredibly graceful in the way that they move about their aviary.


As stated before, these finches come from the African grasslands.  They spend their days roaming about the tall grasses and eating seeds.  But rest assured–our finches did not come from Africa–they came from a facility that breeds exotic species of finches to be used for educational purposes.  Finches don’t make the best pets for everyone, so make sure you do your research before purchasing them as pets!


These finches are not the only African animals that we have in our collection.  Other animals on our safari include a Senegal Parrot, ball pythons, and hissing cockroaches!  All of these are ambassadors for their wild cousins, and they spend their time enjoying life and helping to educate the public about wildlife.

Talk to  you again soon!  Fun Fact: A group of crows is called a murder!

The Last Good Days of Fall!

Luke Evans, outside sitting against a tree with two Bearded Dragon lizards with him.

Did you get outside in the great weather we had this weekend?  We definitely did!  The animals were happy to have some real sunlight–especially those reptiles of ours.  While artificial light provides the vitamins necessary to keep our reptiles healthy, nothing can compare to the goodness of the rays of the sun!


It’s very cute to see our animals being so stimulated by a change in environment, and enjoy some great enrichment.  These are the things that make working with animal worthwhile–spending time with friends, animals, and the great outdoors–what could be better?


Too bad we still have homework to finish.   :(  Oh well, it will get done eventually!  We hope you enjoy this fantastic weather as autumn goes out with a bang.  Until next time, remember that bats always turn left when exiting caves!

Ferret outside nosing around in dirt.

Teamwork is Dreamwork

Malone’s Zoo Crew is made of a small team of about 25 students who all have the same passion–animals.  We strive to educate others on conservation issues, the wonders of the natural world, and to share our great experiences with people who aren’t always able to spend time with animals like we are.

It’s not all fun and games!  About 70% of our days are spent cleaning cages, feeding animals, and cleaning our animal areas.  It is a lot of work!  All the time, people come up to us and say “I just wanna play with the animals.”

Some of Malone's Zoo Crew at the Rush Event held earlier this semester.

From left to right, Hilary, Jake, Marionna, Ben, and Andrew, some of Malone’s Zoo Crew at the Rush event held by Student Senate earlier this fall semester.

Newsflash: There is no job that lets you just play with animals!  You have to put in the work to reap the rewards–and there are many!  If you spend time working around a parrot, cleaning his cage, talking to him, and just hanging out nearby, he will grow to trust you, and soon will let you pick him up.

We have one parrot who is fully free-flighted!  Her name is Zazu, and it gives me as a trainer an incredible rush of excitement every time I see her winging it towards me and landing on my hand.  Even when she is flying to someone else, it is amazing to see how hard work and dedication pays off in the form of seeing her do what makes her so happy, a natural behavior that we then can use to help educate children about the plight of parrots in the wild!

Nothing that we have accomplished so far could have been done without the help of our full team.  It takes a small army to take care of the collection that we are building, because we are working with class, sports, work, and other schedules. Lucky for us, we have a dedicated team that always gets the job done, and we keep all the animals happy and healthy.

Until next time, remember that polar bears are the only mammal with hair on the soles of their feet.

Frog and Toad Musical!



Zorro, a Columbian Tegu, rests in a handler's palm.

Zorro, a Columbian Tegu, one of the many Animal Ambassadors that travel near and far to help educate people about animals.

Our first big Animal Encounter was today:  a couple of our staff took some animals over to Founders Hall for the Frog and Toad Musical–of course we took some frogs and toads!

We love being able to educate people about our animals and how cool they are, and getting to do it in conjunction with the amazing theatre department was even better–definitely a win-win situation!

If you have an event that you would like some of our Animal Ambassadors to come to, you can schedule an Animal Encounter through Jake Belair, at jabelair1@malone.edu–we will do our best to accommodate you!


The mustelids are here

Two mustelids – commonly called domestic ferrets – are with us here at Malone!  Their names are Daphne and Velma.

Our ferrets, Daphne and Velma, snuggling together

Photo by Becca Mason

Can you guess who is who?  I will give you a hint–their names match their hair colors!  Isn’t that great!?

Now these domestic ferrets stink–just like another kind of animal that is really smelly all the time–a SKUNK!  Almost all mustelids are pretty smelly! They have little scent glands all over their bodies that keep their fur super oily, and they have a sickly-sweet odor to them.  GROSS.  Lucky for us, these girls are cute!

Our little ladies are almost full grown–they were born in July, and have quickly grown up!  They went through a bit of a teething stage a couple months back, when they were finishing growing in their teeth.  They just chewed and chewed on everything possible, and it was cute until they decided to try to chew on our arms and fingers!

Luckily they’ve grown out of that phase, and now our ladies behave almost perfectly :)

Until next time!