Bobcat kitten, prairie dogs, birds also on display at Sunset Zoo

By Corene Brisendine

While it will be a several weeks before Vladamere and his lady leopard are on display, the zoo has recently acquired other animals that are on view to the public.

Among the newcomers is a pair of sun conures, which look like orange and yellow parrots.

Casey said they requested the birds to diversify their aviary population. Unlike the leopards, sun conures are not endangered, but are common in South America. They are also frequently purchased as pets.

The Kansas wildlife exhibit also acquired additional animals.

Davoren said that Sunset keeps an all-male prairie dog population to control breeding. He said in the 1990s, the zoo had a serious problem with prairie dogs digging holes outside their area —with a breeding colony that dropped more than 40 pups in one year.

Since then, they’ve removed all the females and stabilized the population. However, since there is no breeding going on, when the dogs die, none are born to replace them.

Davoren said that the Wichita Zoo supplied Sunset with six new prairie dogs.

A new bobcat kitten has also taken up residence at Sunset. It is a female named Millie.

Davoren said they acquired her from Milford Nature Center in Junction City. Millie was the only survivor of a mother and kittens that someone found near Milford Lake.

Millie was bottle fed by workers at the nature center until she was old enough to eat normal food.

The 5-month-old kitten is currently on display at Sunset, and typical for kittens, she is playful and curious about everything in her habitat, chasing bugs and splashing in her miniature pond.

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