By Erica Rymer, Events & Marketing Specialist
Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet.
- Vietnamese Proverb
Happy National Siblings Day! I bet you didn’t know that there are several sets of siblings right here at your Akron Zoo.
Pedro, one of our male Humboldt penguins, was born here at the Akron Zoo on July 8, 2012 and was raised by his parents, Guapo and Lima. Deo, his little sister, hatched three years later on Feb. 12, 2015, and was foster-raised by our keepers. These two do not fit the mold of usual siblings because they do not realize they are siblings at all!
Golden Lion Tamarins
Mico and Coco, two of our golden lion tamarins, arrived at the Akron Zoo in August 2018. These siblings are very close. They groom each other and sleep with each other in their nest box every night.
“Golden lion tamarins typically have twins, but Mico and Coco are actually a year apart,” mentions Lauren Starkey, Team Lead for the hoofstock/primate team. “They are very hard to tell apart from a distance.”
Visitors will be able to better identify these two from their behaviors rather than their features. Coco, our female, is a little braver and trusts the keepers more. Her brother Mico, on the other hand, is more cautious. He will typically wait for Coco to check out new enrichment items or greet keepers before he works up the nerve to do the same.
Mohe and Waya, our red wolves, were born on May 22, 2014 at NEW Zoo in Greenbay, Wisc. They arrived at the Akron Zoo in October 2018 and have already settled into their environment quite nicely. The boys like to play and can often be seen chasing each other throughout their habitat. Just like human brothers, they do occasionally get in fights, but most of the time get along. They also like to sleep near one another.
“Waya is much more relaxed while Mohe is a little more interested in what is going on,” says keeper Michael Phillips. “Waya recently hurt his ankle. While he was supposed to be resting his brother Mohe stayed with him and only left his side to get food and water. They are very social with each other and seem to enjoy one another’s company.” How sweet!
Kaliska (Kali) and Shilah were born April 13, 2013 and came to Akron Zoo from a USDA facility out west. Like many siblings, these two love to rough-house. Though the two do not always rest together, but overnight or in cold weather they will often share the same bed. This brother-sister duo is also very inquisitive and fun. People watching is one of their favorite pastimes.
Despite having been raised in human care, the coyotes are still very much in tune with their natural instincts. They still will stalk and try to catch small creatures around/in their habitat. Unfortunately, this can sometimes get them into trouble.
“One time they were picking on a small skunk,” recalls Phillips. “Poor Shilah took a skunk spray fully in the face. The habitat and both animals smelled like skunk for nearly 2 full weeks.”
Jackson and Cheyenne were born in their natural habitat in Wyoming, but were sadly orphaned at such a young age they couldn’t have survived on their own. After spending the first two years of their lives at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, they were relocated to the Akron Zoo in 2013.
These siblings have been together their whole lives, but they are very different individuals. Jackson weighs, on average, 150 pounds more than his sister, but what Cheyenne lacks in brawn she makes up in brains. She is very inquisitive and a quick learner. Jackson on the other hand is much more easily entertained – it is not unusual to see him playing with sticks, or even his own feet.
“It’s very obvious that these two are siblings,” says Kristen Scaglione, keeper. “They spend a LOT of time snuggling and sleeping next to each other, but they also spend a LOT of time wrestling. Their playing can look pretty rough sometimes – they’ll grab each other by the scruff of the neck or bite each other’s ears, but this is just how bears play.”