The zoo is filled with extremely athletic animals

3:49 PM, Aug 8, 2012   |    comments
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By Heidi Glaus

St. Louis (KSDK) - Gabby Douglas is known as the "Flying Squirrel," Dennis Rodman answers to "The Worm," and though Tiger isn't his birth name, but there's a reason so many athletes have animal nicknames.

"How about a big tail," Kyle Ulmer, Zoological Manager of Pinnipeds said to one of the sea lions.

In case you haven't noticed, animals have some pretty amazing athletic abilities. For example, the sea lions are excellent divers.

"Here it's just over eight feet high, but out in the natural environment, in the wild, they'll climb up on rocks and dive 15 feet into the water," Ulmer said.

And although it comes naturally Ulmer practices with the sea lions quite a bit.

"It's all about trust, they have to trust us we have to trust them, they are a large animal with big teeth," Ulmer pointed out.

What might surprise you is Raja's ability to go head first or the ridiculous strength of one of the smallest creatures at the zoo.

"Right now they're carrying little grains of rice, which realistically might be 10, 20 times their body weight," explained Tim O'Sullivan, Invertebrate Keeper.

The leaf-cutter ant can also carry full leaves.

"Which could be 30, 40 pounds their body weight which would be like us walking around carrying a car," O'Sullivan added.

You obviously know the kangaroos can jump, by the way, they're better long-jumpers than high jumpers and gazelles are fast, but an African pygmy goat on a balance beam?

"Goats are really great at climbing, they have specially designed hooves that help them climb really well," said Sue Guyot, Zookeeper in Children's Zoo.


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