Feb 122012

A keeper in the bird house took a call one day from a woman who insisted that there was a penguin sitting in a tree in her back yard. The keeper patiently explained that penguins are not found in the Midwest, and since they can’t fly, there is no way that one could have gotten to her back yard. And even if a penguin did somehow happen to end up there, it would not be able to sit up in a tree.

The woman, however, was having none of it — she knows what a penguin looks like, and this was definitely one!

The keeper never did convince the woman that the bird wasn’t a penguin, but she did ask the woman to describe the bird. From the description, it seemed most likely that the “penguin” was a black-crowned night heron.

Feb 112012

A zoo librarian took a call one day from a woman who was obviously upset about something but seemed to be a little embarrassed to talk about it. The woman hemmed and hawed for a while and then blurted out that one of the polar bears was “having its period.” The librarian calmly asked her how she knew this, and the woman replied that she had seen them mating. She said that it was disgusting and that the zoo should do something about it, such as locking them up when they were going to mate.

The librarian explained to her that they had no way of knowing exactly when that might occur and the woman said that in that case the zoo should turn the bears loose in the forest preserve. The librarian, now realizing the sort of person she was dealing with, asked the woman if she really thought that it would be a good idea to turn mating polar bears loose in the forest preserve.

The woman responded that something had to be done as her children had seen it and she was appalled. The librarian tried to explain that it was a perfectly natural occurrence, and that perhaps she could use it as a learning example for the children. She also added, a little sarcastically, that people did “it” as well.

“Well,” the woman replied rather huffily, “not on the center mall at the zoo!”

The librarian, her patience at an end, replied, “Obviously, you have never been here on a crowded Sunday,” and hung up.

Feb 112012

A woman called the zoo library one day and asked, “When a rhinoceros lies in the mud and then gets up and he has a ring around his body, how do you remove it?”

When she was told that the zoo didn’t remove the ring she said, “Oh, but you have to!” The librarian reminded her that rhinos are wild animals and since nobody removes the ring in the wild, neither does the zoo.

As it turned out, the woman worked at an advertising agency. One of their clients had come out with a new detergent and they were hoping to base a campaign on the slogan “Tough enough to remove the ring off a rhino.”

Feb 092012

A primate keeper took a call one day from someone who wanted to know when the “gorilla train” was coming to town so she could go down and pick one out as a pet.