Moose Exhibit at Potter Park Zoo

Dear Mid-Michigan Safari Club,

Thank you for your generous gift of $4000 (two checks, $2000 each, dated 11/13/15 and 4/18/16 respectively) in support of our new state-of-the-art Moose Exhibit. The Glassen Memorial Foundation has graciously offered a $200,000 matching grant to encourage support of this project. This grant will match every gift dollar for dollar. We sincerely appreciate you doubling your gift to our new exhibit by taking advantage of their kind offer.

Your continues interest and support gives us the confidence and resources needed to further our commitment to wildlife and wild places conservation education, and allows us to enhance our programming and enrich the zoo experience for all of our guests.

Should you have any questions about your gift or the zoo in general. please contact me.

See you at the zoo!

Warm Regards,

Andrew Wingeier
Interim Executive Director
Potter Park Zoological Society

Moose Exhibit at Potter Park

By: Mary Harter

On Wednesday, June 8, several from our chapter visited the Moose Exhibit at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing with a special free entry invitation for a private viewing with hors d’oeuvres. Several from our chapter attended.

This special moose exhibit features Willow, a 3-year old cow, and Meeko, a 2-year old bull. Willow was brought to the zoo in 2013 and Meeko in 2014. They now live in the zoo’s latest and largest display which opened in June. They have a large, deep pond and a barn for shade. They can be separated within this exhibit during rutting season. Willow is named for her favorite food, willow branches, and Meeko is the Native American name for “little mischief“. They also like bananas.

The moose are familiar and strange at the same time. They are members of the familiar deer family but their large size, elongated heads, giant noses and a swinging bell of flesh from their necks called a dewlap, make them unusual and fascinating, so says an article from The Lansing State Journal.

Only eight other U.S. zoos have moose. The pair were both Alaskan moose calves born in the wild but separated from their mothers. The Alaskan Department of Fish and Game rescues about a dozen moose a year when their mothers are hit by cars. The calves are housed at the Alaska Zoo and bottle fed until they can be placed.

The moose were moved 3,800 miles in two specially built crates aboard a FedEx cargo plane from Anchorage, Alaska to Indianapolis and then driven to Lansing. Meeko’s crate is still on display near the exhibit. They were both about 100 pounds when shipped but now weigh about 800 pounds. Meeko will probably grow to about 1,000 pounds.

This display has cost approximately $750,000 and a $200,000 grant from the Hal and
Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation and $20,000 from two Safari clubs helped make it happen.

And a very special thank you to Mary Browning who brought all of this to our attention as she is a docent at the zoo.