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Learn About The Red River Zoo Home of Milo the Sloth

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Red River Zoo the Home of Milo The Sloth can be found in Fargo North Dakota.  In this article, we are going to learn about Milo The Sloth home.

This article was started because of one of our Members of Sloth of the Day on Facebook let us know about this amazing zoo that was not listed on our 40 States Where You Can See A Sloth Post.

We keep a database of all the places where you can see or even hold a sloth on this page.

Our member got us in contact with Sally Jacobson the Director of the Red River Zoo. After a brief conversation, we agreed to send her some questions about the zoo and Milo the Sloth.

She happily replied, we took her answers did some research and this article about the Red River Zoo in North Dakota was born.

We hope you like it. Please let us know what you think in the comments section.

Without further ado, let’s talk about The Red River Zoo home of Milo The Sloth.

The Red River Zoo in Fargo N.D.

The Red River Zoo also is known as the Red River Valley Zoo is 22 acres combining replications of locations from North America, Northern Asia, and Northern Europe.

Most of the locations represented are of a similar cold climate as North Dakota and most of the 89 species who live there are those that are comfortable in those conditions.

There are some species from warmer climates and they have special habitats built just for them.

It was built on land donated by the Anderson family and opened in 1999, so it’s a relatively young zoo.

It was built using donations and still uses donations to maintain and improve the zoo.

There are quite a few activities that you can become involved in besides just going and seeing the red river zoo animals.

  • The Attractions
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Internships at the Zoo
  • Volunteers May Apply
  • Research Projects
  • Supporting the Zoo
  • A Heart for Conservation
  • Interview with Sally Jacobson, Zoo Director
  • How to Reach the Zoo
  • Get Some Free Tickets To The Zoo

They detail it all on their website redriverzoo.org, but we’ll give you a quick overview so you can go directly to the section that interests you the most.

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The Attractions of The Red River Zoo

Milo The Sloth at The Red River Zoo
(Image Credit: Red River Zoo)

Of course, the main attractions are the red river zoo animals themselves like Milo the Sloth.

You’ll find mostly species that are more comfortable in cold weather such as is common in North Dakota.

These include the Pallas’s Cat, the North American River Otter, the Mule Deer, and the White-Tailed Deer.

There are also warm weather animals such as camels, armadillos, and, of course, Milo the sloth.

Birds include an Easter Egger Chicken in the Children’s Zoo Farm all the way to the Bald Eagle.

There are also amphibians, fish, and reptiles. Some of these creatures can’t be exhibited in the cold and stay in warmed enclosures for the winter, others are available to visit year-round.

Other attractions include a 1928 carousel donated by the Diederich family in 1998 and a variety of choices for snacks, meals, and drinks.

You can even hold a birthday party here.

Educational Opportunities at The Red River Zoo

Educational Opportunities at The Red River Zoo

There are several educational opportunities not only for the kids but for adults as well at Red River Zoo.

  1. The LEAP Program
  2. Pint-Sized Explorers
  3. The S.T.R.E.A.M. Club
  4. The Wildlife League
  5. Homeschool ZooSchool
  6. The Zoomobile Outreach Programs
  7. The Group Educational Experience
  8. Edu-Boxes for Teachers
  9. The Sleeping Bag Safari

They cover a wide variety of ages and situations and we are providing more information below.

The LEAP Program

Start them off young with the LEAP program. Caregivers come with their 2-3-year-old toddlers to participate in programs that focus on age-appropriate information and animals with different themes on different days.

Themes can be on types of animals such as red pandas, types of weather and how red river zoo animals acclimate to it, seasonal changes, or attributes of animals-colors, fur, feathers, how they move, etc.

There are morning and evening sessions on the scheduled days.

Pint-Sized Explorers

This can turn them into Pint-Sized Explorers at 4-6 years old.

These sessions cover a wide variety of topics based on the National Next Generation Science Standards.

These are also themed and cover areas such as sound, genetics, physics, magnetics, ecology, etc.

As the LEAP program, Pint-Sized Explorers is presented in a morning and afternoon session on the specified day.

The S.T.R.E.A.M. Club

If you have kids 11-13 years old, you could bring them to the S.T.R.E.A.M. Club.

The letters in S.T.R.E.A.M. are for Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

Yes, these are themed, too, and cover things like weather, nature, or space, and each session approaches these topics using a different discipline represented in the club’s name.

There’s also a chance to interact with an animal and maybe feed it.

The Wildlife League

For teens, 14-17 years old, there’s the Wildlife League.

This is actually a chance to work a bit at the zoo and learn as you go.

In this way, a teen can determine if they would like to choose zoology as a career.

They can discover which department they would prefer, whether it’s caring directly with the animals, creating and maintaining the habitats, taking care of the grounds, teaching others about wildlife, conservation, and a whole lot more.

It is very similar to a job and the teen applies for it and does the work in two to four, 4.5-hour shifts each month, on weekends during the school year.

It’s a great chance to see if this would be the right career choice for them to make by trying it out and if it is right, which department would be the best fit.

Not every industry gives you the ability to actually work the job and see how it fits.

The Homeschool ZooSchool

If you homeschool, try out Homeschool ZooSchool.

A science program using National Next Generation Science is offered at the zoo for kids in 1st through 5th grades.

Learn about the natural world, physics, botany, astronomy, etc in a fun setting.

Milo The Sloth Napping
Source: Red River Zoo

The Zoomobile Outreach Programs

The Zoomobile Outreach Programs bring animals and educators to groups and it doesn’t have to be a school or even for kids.

It can be a daycare center, senior center, fair, or any number of places where people meet.

An informative program will be presented designed for the audience’s age and interests.

This could be a particularly good choice for those who would have trouble going out to the zoo.

The Group Educational Experience

It’s a program open to any of the above types of groups or clubs, scouts, etc.

It includes much of what is in the Zoomobile Outreach plus any additional activities available at the zoo.

So if you have a group or meet up with an interest in animals, science, or the natural world, this could be a fun event to plan.

Edu-Boxes for Teachers

Teachers can receive materials to enhance their classroom teaching.

Red River Zoo provides Edu-Boxes that have puppets, books, videos, and biological material such as feathers.

Also, there are Curriculum-Based Activities that are to be used in conjunction with a zoo visit either before, during, or after.

They can be used with other types of studies, as well. And of course, there are field trips to the zoo to watch animal behaviors first hand.

The Sleeping Bag Safari

And finally, there is a Sleeping Bag Safari, yes, that’s right, you get to explore the zoo at night and see what the animals do after dark.

You can participate in an activity, tour the entire zoo, and have a close encounter with an animal. So, they’ve got you covered, day and night.

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Internships at the Red River Zoo

Internships at the Red River Zoo

If you think you might be interested in working for a zoo someday, there are some other options, similar to the Wildlife League, only for older students.

One is the Education Internship. This is for a college student or graduate and allows hands-on experience in a variety of areas, including animal care, working with the public, food preparation, and all steps towards developing and presenting programs.

You have to commit to at least 20-40 hours a week. It’s unpaid, but you get a lot of experience.

The other is the Zoology Internship. This is more advanced and available to those who’ve completed at least two years of college or more.

You’ll work on the habitats, food, several forms of animal care, and working with the public.

There are some physical requirements and you’ll need to be able to commit to at least 30 hours a week for 16 weeks.

This is also unpaid, but again, you’ll be working with zookeepers and gaining valuable experience.

Volunteers May Apply

If you just want to participate for a while, just to get to see how the zoo works from the inside and help it out while you’re at it, you can volunteer.

They use volunteers to give tours, share information, help with fundraising, and help staff the concession stands, gift shop, and other ticket items.

It’s another way to feel what it’s like to work at a zoo.

Research Projects

Milo The Sloth Smiling
(Source: Red River Zoo)

Learning all we can about how animals live and adapt within their environment can help preserve and protect our wildlife and the natural world they inhabit.

Researchers study all aspects of our world, its climate, flora, and all it’s inhabitants to give them a better understanding of how it all works together and enhance its chance for survival.

Researchers who meet certain standards can work with zoo staff and veterinarians to do these studies and it’s open to zoo employees and non-employees alike who meet the requirements.

Participants must present a proposal for approval and know that approval can be rescinded at the zoo’s discretion if they feel harm could come to the animals.

You can find further information on requirements and procedures on the zoo’s website.

Supporting the Red River Zoo

Supporting the Red River Zoo

It takes quite a bit of income to keep all of the different types of species at the zoo happy and healthy.

You can help the Zoo in many ways:

  1. Adoption Program
  2. The Business Partner program
  3. The Employer Match Program
  4. Join The Carrot Club
  5. Sponsor a Pencil Fence Program
  6. Become a Member of the Zoo
  7. Visit their Gift Shop
  8. Favorable Donations To The Zoo
  9. Share This Post & Let Others Know

There are several ways that you can help to support the zoo in taking care of their charges.

Red River Adoption Program

What is The Red River Zoo Adoption Program? You choose an animal to adopt, (no, you don’t actually take it home, you just help pay for the care and it will love you for it) choose a level of support and submit.

There are several gifts you can receive based on the amount sponsored. And of course, you can always visit your adopted animal and see how it’s doing.

Have someone take a family photo. It’ll be fun.

The Business Partner program

What is the Business Partner Program? The Business Partner program provides a way for businesses to donate to the zoo and receive guest passes for their employees.

They can also send those passes to a charity of their choice, so, say, kids recovering from illness could get a day at the zoo as they begin to heal.

You help the zoo, the community, and those with whom you work. It’s a win, win, win.

The Employer Match Program

What is the Employer Match Program? In a similar way, a business may participate in the employer match program, which means that whatever an employee gives, the employer will give the same amount.

They may also donate to places where employee volunteers.

It’s like giving twice and is also a good way for the business to be involved in the community.

Join The Carrot Club

What is the Carrot Club? If you like rabbits, you can join the Carrot Club. It helps support the rabbits in the Children’s Zoo and sends gifts that help you stay up to date on the rabbits and learn more about them.

Sponsor a Pencil Fence Program

Sponsor a Pencil Fence Program
Credit: Red River Zoo

What is the Sponsor a Pencil Fence Program? Also, kid-oriented is the Sponsor a Pencil Fence program.

Your donation helps pay for the new Nature Playground and you’ll get a colorful pencil added to the fence in your name.

Become a Member of the Red River Zoo

Becoming a member will give you unlimited admission to the zoo, plus plenty of other perks, including reduced admission to other zoos and aquariums. How’s that for sharing the love.

Your membership also helps make sure the animals have what they need to thrive, so you can feel really good about telling people that you’re a member of the Red River Zoo.

Visit the Red River Zoo Gift Shop

Red River Zoo Gift Shop

If you like to shop, here’s another incentive to indulge.

There is some Apparel from a local artist Punchgut that features artwork depicting Milo the Sloth hanging out at the Red River Zoo and when you purchase the clothing the money will go to the zoo. Plus, you get a cool shirt to wear.

Also, you can shop on Amazon and support the zoo at the same time. Use the Amazon Smile link on their website and part of your purchase will go to the zoo.

Favorable Donations To The Zoo

One more way to give is by Planned Giving using insurance, wills, a charitable gift annuity, or a retirement plan. Both you and the zoo benefit. You can contact the zoo to get help in setting something up.

There are many ways to ensure that the zoo will be there to enjoy for years to come.

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Share This Post and Let Others Know

We here at Sloth of The Day like to talk about sloths and places where you can find them all over the world.

By sharing this post you will not only be helping the Red River Zoo which is where Milo the Sloth Hangs out, but you will also be helping Us to continue doing what we do best… Talk about Sloths.

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A Heart for Conservation

A Heart for Conservation

One of the aims of the zoo is to participate in conservation efforts. They’re a member of the AZA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The AZA helps to promote zoos and aquariums, and participating sites assist with conservation efforts to keep the populations of endangered species at a viable level.

They protect the natural environment from damage, particularly by humans, and teach the public how best to interact and co-exist with their wild neighbors.

The AZA is also a part of the Species Survival Program.

Ongoing studies are conducted on how animals live with each other and their environment.

It all interacts well with the research projects mentioned above and the training programs available at the zoo.

As mentioned above, you can find out more by visiting their website, which will tell dates, times, fees, details on particular classes, and anything else you may need to know. It’s worth checking out.

Interview with Sally Jacobson, Director of the Red River Zoo

We asked Ms. Sally Jacobson the Executive Director of the Red River Zoo to tell us a little bit about herself and her work at the zoo and she gladly consented.

She will also tell us more about Milo, the sloth, so you’ll know something about him when you go to see him.

Q. How long have you been the director?

A. I have been the Executive Director for four and a half years.

Prior to my current position, I was the Business Manager for four years.

Before coming to the Red River Zoo I worked at another Zoo in North Dakota as the Lead Keeper and Educator.

I am very lucky to have worked in all aspects of the Zoo Industry.

Q. What does the position entail?

A. As the Chief Executive Officer, I direct and manage all aspects of the operations and funding of the Zoo.

I get to have the great honor and responsibility of holding the Zoo’s vision in my mind and in my heart, sharing it with the community, and strategizing to help bring our dreams to fruition.

No two days are ever the same and I really thrive in that kind of environment! I am very lucky.

Q. Did you always want to work with animals?

A. Yes. My first memory ever is watching the polar bear swim at the National Zoo when I was only 1.5 years old.

I can remember every detail of that moment from that second on I was dedicated to doing something to help save animals.

As a small child, I knew that I wanted to work at a zoo or in the wild to help protect animals. It is my passion and what I was born to do.

I am extremely lucky. How many people get to live out their dreams while also at work?!

It took perseverance and sacrifice, but it has all been worth it. I get to spend my days working with people and animals to inspire others to care about the living world.

I get to publicly advocate for animal welfare and conservation… and I get to dream. It’s a pretty amazing opportunity!

Q. Visits to the zoo picked up a little during the summer. Are there still people coming as the weather is getting colder?

Mom and The Kids At The Zoo

A. Winters are particularly challenging for us. The cold can be brutal, diving down to negative 40 degrees at times.

As you can imagine, our attendance drops along with the temperatures. But we are open and we continue to find ways to bring guests to the zoo, to embrace the winter, and make the best of it.

We specialize in cold-adapted species so a beautiful winter day is a wonderful time to visit.

Q. Are you shut down when there’s a general covid-19 lockdown? Is the red river zoo open?

A. We shut down for about a month in March. It was a particularly challenging time for everyone.

Thankfully we were able to implement solid safety protocol early on, thanks to the collaboration with colleagues from other AZA-accredited institutions.

Is the red river zoo open? We were one of the first zoos to reopen and we have stayed open since.

Some things change, some exhibits may be closed or our capacity may be smaller depending upon the covid level in our community but we have been able to remain open.

Q. If schools are open, can you still do the field trips to the schools?

A. No, I do not want to put our staff or animal collection at risk.

So we are only offering virtual outreach programs for schools at this time.

Covid has struck our state hard this fall, so we need to be precautious while also offering unique alternatives for outreach programs.

Q. How about the internships. If they’re suspended, can they be resumed after things open up?

A. We have an amazing internship program here.

I am quite proud of it because it really is a holistic educational experience.

Unfortunately, we have suspended our internship program. I look forward to bringing it back once things settle down. We will re-evaluate in the spring.

Q. There are many ways to donate to help care for the animals listed on your website. Are donations steady or have they gone down with the pandemic?

Are donations steady or have they gone down with the pandemic

A. Donations and member support have been key to helping our zoo continue to operate.

We received a lot of support initially, which allowed us to reopen. I am so grateful for that support.

Donations slowed down as the pandemic has continued on for so many months. But we recently had a very successful fundraising campaign which was so important as we move into our slow season.

Q. What can you tell us about the Red River Zoo Winter Fund?

A. Our Zoo is a non-profit and we do not receive any financial support from the city or state; we rely on earned revenue and philanthropy in order to continue to operate AND grow.

Winter can be particularly challenging because our attendance/revenue decline drastically just as many of our expenses, like heating costs, snow removal, and animal feed, increase.

We rely on a line of credit to make it through these challenging months.

The winter fund provides much needed financial support to help carry the zoo through the winter. Funds are used to care for our animals, maintain our facilities, and pay our dedicated staff.

Q. Most of your animals are from cold climates. How do you accommodate animals from warmer locations?

How do you accommodate animals from warmer locations

A. A large majority of our collection are species from cold climates.

So those animals do get to go outside every day, which is fantastic! They also have warm spaces to go inside to get away from the cold when they want.

However, we do have some species that are adapted specifically for life in warm climates.

Our admissions building features a South American exhibit and our Education program animal collection includes reptiles, insects, and a couple of tropical birds.

All of these animals are kept indoors, with highly controlled environments that meet the needs of each specific species and individual animal.

Q. Of course, our focus here at Sloth of the Day is sloths, so we want to know a little about Milo. How old is he?

A. Milo will be 14 this April. It is really fun to listen to people’s excitement when they see Milo.

Q. Was he born there or transferred from somewhere else?

A. We received Milo from another zoo in 2010 when we completed construction of our South American Exhibit. It is the first exhibit you see when you enter the zoo.

Q. Do you have other sloths?

A. No Milo is our only sloth. He is a favorite of many of our staff and guests.

Q. Does Milo ever visit the schools during the educational visits?

Milo The Sloth at The Red River Zoo
(Image Credit: Red River Zoo)

A. No Milo does not leave the zoo.

He lives with two white-faced saki monkeys. Because he lives with primates, we do not take him out to interact with the public.

We have a pretty strict protocol restricting access to the exhibit to protect the health of the animals.

Q. You held an election for mayor of Red River Zoo. Who won, Milo, Goober the blue and gold macaw, or Coco Peru the black-footed ferret?

A. The election was a fun way to make people smile during stressful times!

I honestly thought that Milo would win by a landslide.

He had a strong lead at first but towards the end, we received a ton of votes for Coco Peru, our black-footed ferret.

But no worries! Milo is still getting plenty of attention.

Q. Does Milo have any other interests besides politics?

A. Milo is quite inquisitive; he enjoys investigating novel objects.

Milo particularly enjoys enrichment that hangs. He will often hang from his hind feet and stretch down to explore new items in his exhibit.

His favorite treats are boiled eggs and hibiscus flowers (although not necessarily in that order.)

Q. What else would you like people to know about the Red River Zoo?

A. I am extremely proud of our Zoo. Each day our staff dedicates their work to animal welfare, conservation, and guest experience.

We strive to give our guests meaningful memories and awe-inspiring moments to ignite the passion for wildlife and wild places.

We are best known for our work with Chinese Red Pandas, Sichuan Takin, and Pallas Cats.

But we are home to many animals, each important in their own right.

Operating a world-class, accredited Zoo in a place with such extreme weather can be challenging but our team always rises to a challenge!

We are a young Zoo with ambitious, yet obtainable dreams. I like to say that we are small but mighty. It’s exciting to think about what we will do next!

How to Reach the Red River Zoo

Contact Red River Zoo

Now that you have some idea of what’s in store for you at the Red River Zoo, here’s how you can reach them. Check out the Red River Zoo map so that you can see the location.

Address:

The Red River Zoo
4255 23rd Ave. S,
Fargo, ND 58104

Red River Valley Zoo Hours:

Open Daily 10am -5pm

Red River Zoo Admission Prices:

ZOO MEMBERS: FREE
Children Under 2: FREE
Children Ages 2-14: $8.75
Adults: $11.25
Seniors (60+): $10.25
Carousel Rides: $3.00

Red River Zoo Map:

You can find the map to the Red River Zoo below.

Phone:

(701) 277-9240

Website:

www.redriverzoo.org

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Learn About The Red River Zoo Home of Milo the Sloth
(Source: Red River Zoo)
Sloth of The DayWe hope you get a chance to visit The Red River Zoo and say Hi to Milo The Sloth.

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This Sloth Post was made in CATEGORIES: SLOTH ARTICLESDESCRIPTION: Red River Zoo the Home of Milo The Sloth can be found in Fargo North Dakota.  In these articles, we are going to learn about his home.


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