New Beginnings at the Chaffee Zoo

3/16/2008 Fresno 32 rays and six sharks are in the pool and they're all touchable for everyone who pays an extra dollar to get in. But that's not all that's new at the zoo.

This little darling is under the ever watchful eyes of his mom. They are endangered antelope addax from the Saharan Desert. He was born less than a month ago here at the Chaffee Zoo.

There are a lot of new animals to see these days.

Two of the planet's largest living rodents are keeping company with the zoo's anteaters.

This exhibit was once home to chimps. Measure Z monies made the renovation possible. It's part of an overall plan to re-furbish and expand the aging facility. It's the new home of the capybaras.

Lynn Meyer, Chaffee Zoo animal keeper, says "Really fun to watch, swimming, active interactive all the time. Then we have our binturongs. They are this strange conglomeration of every animal put together. They have a really long prehensile tail, long black hair and this cute face with white whiskers. You have to see 'em to believe 'em."

They are natives of Asia and Indonesia, settling in to their new home renovated just for them.

Across the zoo in the Sunda Forest an addition to the orangutan family. 23 year old "Alex" recently arrived from the New Orleans Zoo. She's exploring her new surroundings and getting to know the other orangutans as well as a group of siamangs who share this forest.

"Right now she's kind of adjusting and fitting in ... It's really important here at the zoo, just like the anteaters and capybaras together to give them the same stimulation they would have out in the wild," says Meyer.

The zoo is betting all the new faces will delight their human visitors.

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