Alligator mississippiensis


HABITAT: freshwater, , and RANGE: Map southeastern DIET: , , aquatic , LIFESPAN: 35-50 years CE E V NT LC LEAST CONCERN

FAST FACTS:  have 80 teeth in their mouth at one time. When the teeth wear down they are replaced. Thus, an alligator can go through 2,000 - 3,000 teeth in a lifetime.  The alligator derives from the Spanish word ‘el lagarto’, meaning “the lizard”, which is what the Spanish explorers called these creatures.  Currently, there are no scientific methods of analyzing an alligator’s age while it is alive.  The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19 feet 2 inches. Average size is 6-8 for a female and 10-12 feet for a male and can weigh up to 600 pounds.  The temperature of the determines the sex of the young. If the nest is below 86° F most hatchlings are female. If the nest is above 93°F most hatchlings are male. Nest temperatures between 86 and 93°F will produce similar numbers of both sexes.

OUR ALLIGATORS: Story coming soon.

Name Sex Birth Year Individual History Bull Male Unknown Unknown, came to zoo in 1972 Unknown (approx Wild caught in MS; came to zoo in 1997 Whitfield Female 1998) Has successfully reproduced Mixed 2009 Born at Jackson Zoo; 8 of them

Picture Picture Picture Ursus americanus


HABITAT: wooded areas RANGE: Map United States DIET: berries, roots, seeds, fish, mammals, carrion LIFESPAN: CE E V NT LC 15-30 years LEAST CONCERN

FAST FACTS:  The Teddy Bear originated in . In 1902, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, chose not to shoot a black bear cub while in the Mississippi Delta. He was so well loved that the toy bears were made to celebrate this event.  Black Bears come in 3 different color shades: black, brown (cinnamon) and white.  Black bears do not hibernate; instead they go in to a deep sleep called torpor.  During this winter dormant period, they do not eat, drink, urinate, or defecate, but may wake up if disturbed. A female bear will wake up to give birth to her young during torpor.

OUR BEARS : All three of our yellow-footed tortoises were born at Palm Beach Zoo in .

Name Sex Birth Year Individual History Captive Born Daisy Female Jan 01, 1994 Daisy will annually shed her winter coat in thick mats (this is natural). Wild caught in Mississippi Tank was a “nuisance” bear, meaning he would Tank Male ~Jan 1998 - 2000 get into trash cans and venture close to neighborhoods.

Picture Picture Picture Gopherus polyphemus


HABITAT: coastal dunes, prairies and open forests RANGE: Map south-eastern United States DIET: grasses, leaves, cactus leaves, fruits LIFESPAN: 40 - 60 years CE E V NT LC VULNERABLE FAST FACTS:  The gopher tortoise is unique in that it is one of the few tortoises to actually make large burrows. Their large burrows can be 40 feet long and 10 feet deep; the burrows are vital shelters for over 250 .  These tortoises take up to 21 years to mature.  Gopher tortoises rarely drink (or are rarely seen drinking) from standing water. They can use their front flipper like legs to dam-up water as it runs down their burrow during a rain.  The sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature of the sand or dirt where the nest is incubating. If the temperature is above 85° F, the tortoise’s hatchlings will be females; temperatures below 85° F produce males.

OUR GOPHER TORTOISES: Story coming soon.

Name Sex Birth Year Individual History Squirt Male Unknown Wild caught in Mississippi

Picture Picture Picture Puma concolor


HABITAT: rocky canyons, prairies, forests and swamps RANGE: Map North and Central America DIET: , small mammals LIFESPAN: CE E V NT LC 12 years LEAST CONCERN FAST FACTS:  Due to its wide range, the has over 200 different common names. Names include: panther, puma, catamount and mountain lion.  In Native American folklore, are known as ghost walkers or ghosts of the wild.  Cougars have flexible backbones that allow them to jump high from stationary positions.  These can leap vertically over 16 feet, and horizontally more than 45 feet.

OUR COUGARS: Story coming soon.

Name Sex Birth Year Individual History

Artimus Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana

Montana Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana

Story Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana

Fawn Female 2011 Orphaned from Montana

Picture Picture Picture Castor canadensis


HABITAT: freshwater RANGE: Map North America DIET: leaves, green bark, twigs, aquatic plants LIFESPAN: 16-24 years CE E V NT LC LEAST CONCERN FAST FACTS:  To create a habitat, beavers build a dam in a stream, flooding an area of the woods and creating a in which the beaver can build a lodge. The den has an underwater entrance which makes it difficult for most predators to enter. In winter, the water around the lodge usually freezes, protecting the beaver almost completely.  Beaver reproduce once a year and form lifelong breeding pairs.  Kits (babies) may enter the water within a few hours following birth.  Beavers are second only to humans in their ability to change their environment.  They can remain underwater for 15 minutes without surfacing, and have a set of transparent eyelids that function much like goggles.

OUR BEAVERS: Story coming soon.

Name Sex Birth Year Individual History

Male Apr 09, 2012 Born at Jackson Zoo

Female Mar 27, 2013 Born at Jackson Zoo

Picture Picture Picture Lontra canadensis


HABITAT: freshwater wetlands and RANGE: Map North America DIET: fish, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, , frogs, rodents, turtles and aquatic

CE E V NT LC LIFESPAN: 9-14 years LEAST CONCERN FAST FACTS:  Otters can swim 6 miles per hour and they can dive to depths of 60 feet and stay submerged for up to 4 minutes.  Otters have two layers of hair that is waterproof and have whiskers and nimble fingers which help them locate their underwater.  Females do not usually excavate dens; instead, they prefer to use abandoned dens of other or naturally existing shelters.  Fertilized eggs will remain in diapause for 7-10 months before implanting - usually during late winter/early spring.

OUR OTTERS: Story coming soon.

Name Sex Birth Year Individual History Born at the Sedgwick Park Zoo; Kansas Nipper Male March 26, 2005 White coating underneath his fur Magnolia Female ~March 2014 Wild born; from

Spanky Male March 1, 2014 Born at Buffalo Zoo

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