Salisbury Zoo Prepares for Pinocchio - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Zoo Prepares for Pinocchio

Posted: 11/10/2017 19:30:00 -05:00 Updated:
The Salisbury Zoo bear exhibit The Salisbury Zoo bear exhibit

SALISBURY, Md.- The Salisbury Zoo is finalizing preparations for the arrival of its latest addition, an Andean bear named Pinocchio. The bear is set to arrive to Salisbury late Saturday.

Salisbury Zoo Director Ralph Piland says Pinocchio has been on quite the journey over the last couple of days.  He traveled with zookeepers on a cargo plane from Ecuador to Miami and then spent roughly 16 hours in a truck to his new home on Delmarva.

"He was put in the crate getting ready for shipment last night," Piland said. "So it'll be more than 24 hours that he's been in his crate.  So we're hoping he'll be very anxious to get out of the crate and out into our holding space right away."

Zoo staff said they're hoping not to sedate Pinocchio during his travels to avoid causing him any extra stress.  They are planning to give him some alone time so he can get acclimated before introducing him to anyone.  Piland says the zoo has tried to make it as comfortable as possible for their newest animal. 

"We've been building furniture for his holding area that mimics some of the furniture that he had in his exhibit or his holding space in Ecuador.  So they'll be some structures in there for him to sleep in or on that hopefully will look familiar to him," Piland said. 

Piland says Pinocchio will be placed under quarantine for about 30 days to check for health issues and parasites.  Then the process will start for him to get acclimated to his new friend Chaska.  Zoo staff says both Andean bears are extremely social so they don't forsee any issues between the two. Pinocchio is so outgoing that officials in Ecuador did not recommend he return to the wild. 

"Pinocchio because of his extensive contact with people early on just wasn't suitable for that," Piland said. "The feeling was he just didn't have a good chance of surviving on his own in the wild."

The newest addition to the Salisbury Zoo is expected to arrive late Saturday.  

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