The weather may be getting colder but Mill Mountain Zoo is still adding to its animal collection. New arrivals to the Zoo include a pot-bellied pig and a flock of wood ducks.
The six-month-old pig has been named Odysseus by the keeper staff as a nod to his epic journey to the Zoo. “Ody” as he is known also continues the Ancient Greek naming trend for Mill Mountain Zoo’s sounder of swine. Ody was found in Roanoke City and has become a staff favorite with his intelligent and curious nature. He recently moved to the Zoo’s Hoofstock Barn area and is adapting well to his blended family of 5 goats and Homer, the American guinea hog.
Mill Mountain Zoo was asked to rehome a flock of fourteen wood ducks by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. These ducks have taken up residence in the Zoo’s aviary enjoying the space all to themselves as the weather drove other zoo birds to their winter residence elsewhere on grounds. The population of wood ducks was in serious decline due to hunting and loss of nesting sites early in the 1900s. Through intervention and preservation, these ducks are a beautiful illustration of the importance of species conservation as their numbers rebounded and their territory is expanding.
It is not atypical for animals to find refuge at Mill Mountain Zoo through scenarios like these as all animals in our care are critically endangered, vulnerable, threatened, or are unreleasable (due to owner-relinquishment, captive birth, or injury). The Zoo’s new additions exemplify its fierce dedication to the animals in its guardianship. Spend a quiet moment at the Zoo away from the holiday hustle and bustle to meet Ody and our wood ducks.