by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
WEST ORANGE, NJ - A three-acre African Savannah Giraffe Exhibit is in the plans for Turtle Back Zoo. On July 15, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that the attraction will be the largest display at the zoo and will feature two types of giraffe subspecies along with other animals from Africa. The habitat will
include areas where the public will be able to view the giraffes feeding and will also feature a climate-controlled barn which will house the giraffes during the winter months. Closed-circuit cameras will be installed in the barn so that the giraffes can be viewed on a video screen in the Zoo Café.
It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.
“We continually look for new ways to introduce
Following along with the Zoo's master plan, the giraffe exhibit is situated in the southern section of the zoo, behind the Animal Hospital and Train Station. The display is designed to house at least three giraffes and other animal species from Africa that are compatible with giraffes.
“It’s always a good day when you roll out a project like this,"
Known for their height and long necks, all giraffe typically grow to be about 16 to 18 feet tall. The Turtle Back exhibit will feature two types of the giraffe subspecies: Masai and Reticulated.
Masai, the largest subspecies of giraffes, are naturally found in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda, and are the tallest land mammals.
They have large, distinctive, dark brown, vine-leaf shaped, jagged spots which are interspersed by creamy-brown irregular lines and are noticeably darker in color than other types of giraffes.
The most commonly-scene giraffes in zoos, Reticulated Giraffes are naturally found in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. They are slightly shorter than the Masai, and have large red-brown blotches with a white web-like pattern dividing them.
Currently, the two animals which will make their way to West Orange are located in Missouri in the Kansas City and Dickerson Park Zoos.
“We at the Zoological Society are excited
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, less than 80,000 giraffes remain in African (down from 140,000 in 1999) and they are quickly becoming an endangered species. The Turtle Back Masai giraffes will be included in a breeding program sponsored by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help bolster the species numbers.
The exhibit is being funded through the Essex County Capital Budget's Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund.
The Essex County Department of Public Works will monitor the project to answer questions so delays can be avoided.
Along with DiVincenzo and Kerins, on hand for the groundbreaking were Essex County Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake, members of the zoo's volunteer Docent Organization and other governing officials. The Zoo is located at 560 Northfield Avenue, in West Orange.
Turtle Back Zoo
Acting Director Brint Spencer
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
Turtle Back Zoo is committed to providing an enriching recreational experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation. Formed in 1962 on a 15.5 acre section of the county’s South Mountain Reservation, the Zoo was designed by Tjark Reiss who created the exhibits based on Hans Christian Anderson’s nursery rhyme themes. The zoo opened on June 3, 1963 with a collection of 140 animals of 40 species and by ten years later the zoo’s animal collection had grown to 850 animals of 275 species. Since taking office in 2003, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo has spearheaded over $70 million in upgrades to the zoo. In September 2006, Turtle Back Zoo was granted accreditation by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. This distinct honor places Turtle Back Zoo among the elite zoos and aquaria of the United States and means that the zoo adheres to the highest standards for zoos in the country.
This week, PS&G has begun supporting their system by installing new underground circuits along Notch Road and Route 46 East in Little Falls. According to the company, in preparation these upgrades are being performed in preparation for severe storms. The $1.28 billion investment calls for improving the electrical systems by protecting wires, enhancing electric capacity and service reliability while also providing greater system redundancy.
Throughout their state-wide coverage area, PSE&G is replacing or supplementing their over 50-years old 26kV lines with 69kV power. These projects include:
The work will be performed during even and overnight hours. In addition, the entrance onto Notch Road from Rustic Ridge Road will be closed intermittently during these construction activities. This work is expected to be complete by September.
From 2007 to 2014, PSE&G installed approximately 209 miles of 69kV lines in more than 60 New Jersey municipalities.
Further information can be found online here. Anyone with questions or concerns
should contact PSE&G's hotline number 1-800-901-5035.
“Our girl Maggie had one heck of an adventure!”
ROSELAND, NJ - It's not often roads are closed and strangers come from neighboring counties to attempt to locate a missing pet, but that's exactly what happened today when the West Essex area community - and beyond - came out in full force to support the Corcoran Family, of Roseland, as they searched for their lost dog,
The family spent the last 24-hours
intensely searching for their black Labrador Retriever after she ran away late Saturday afternoon while they were all together visiting a friend’s house on Birch Drive, in Roseland. While the Corcoran's were prepared to keep Maggie inside and monitor her during the nightly fireworks which would go off at sundown, nothing prepared them for a resident setting off their own intensely loud fireworks in the street yesterday around 6pm. Maggie wasn't expecting the loud noises either, and when they began - she crashed right through the family friend’s new fence and took off running.
Immediately, the friends and family set off to chase Maggie through the streets, but they quickly lost sight of the very quick, and very frightened, dog. Just after midnight, after six hours of searching, the group decided to try again in the morning once the sun came up.
About six hours later, Essex Fells Country Club employee Edmund Korte Jr. caught sight of Maggie near Old Eagle Rock Avenue in Essex Fells.
"I saw a black lab walking on the cart path at
Soon after the Roseland Police were on patrol and came across Maggie just up the road on Ahern Way in Roseland. Although they tried to coax her into their vehicle, Maggie kept eluding them and continued running through Barton Drive and eventually made her way by 7am through Holmhill to White Oak Road, which was very close to home. The Corcoran’s, who had resumed their search at 6am, were alerted each time Maggie was seen, but by the time they arrived in one place, she was already gone.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers joined in the search hoping to at least bring good news to the family that she was seen. Posts were shared all over Facebook and Maggie’s situation was made known to all of the neighboring town police departments and country clubs. For hours, however, Maggie was not seen anywhere and the family strongly felt she was resting and possibly in someone’s backyard under a deck.
Helpful friends and complete strangers began sharing suggestions such as barbecuing bacon in the backyard to draw in Maggie, and leaving a trail of the family’s laundry outside down the road to lead her back to their home.
“The kindness of strangers was incredible,” commented Carol.
Then - at about 2pm, the family’s worst fears were realized. West Orange Police had seen Maggie near the Crossing Church on Laurel Avenue, West Orange, and from there she headed onto the shoulder of Route 280 West; although they all tried, they could not get her to come to them.
The black lab once again darted up towards Laurel Avenue and this time Roseland Police and West Orange Police worked together to attempt to corral the dog while at the same time closing down the section of Laurel Avenue closest to Route 280. Just minutes later, Maggie was seen running through the Crestmont Country Club, West Orange, and the Greek Orthodox Church, Roseland, which are neighboring properties on Laurel Avenue.
While some of the family had followed up on an erroneous lead that Maggie may have been seen in West Caldwell, the rest focused on calling Maggie to them in the area around Laurel Avenue.
“We searched and searched but couldn't locate her,”
Two police departments and a large search party all gathered in the area of Crestmont hoping to grab up Maggie if she ran by them. Then Ryan, 13, who had remained at the Corcoran house, called his Mom to let her know that he had just gotten a visit from a neighbor who lived on Birch Drive, the street where Maggie had begun her travels. The neighbor related that, strange enough, her family was positive that Maggie was in a nearby brook on Birch cooling off.
“We were sure we were about to have her at the golf course," Carol commented,
Carol and a family friend, Brian O’Neill, headed right over to the brook and were finally able to gather up the most-likely exhausted Maggie. Carol’s husband Mike arrived and he and their son, Michael, 16, had to carry Maggie out of the brook and back home where she was happily reunited with all of the family. Happiest of all was their littlest son, Jack, who had waited at home the whole time and had never given up hope of seeing Maggie again.
Maggie's Travels at least took her to:
“Maggie is such a huge part of our family and we want to thank all of our friends, family, West Essex Now, Facebook community, strangers