Posts Tagged ‘fossa’

by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

The Fossa

September 20th, 2013

A fossa eating a meal


This is a fossa, it is the main predator of lemurs. As you can see it kinda looks like a cat, but actually,  it is related to the mongoose. They live in Madagascar and can grow up to 6 feet long but only weigh about 25 lbs. The fossa isn’t just a predator to lemurs, it’s the islands largest predator and a strict carnivore, so it feeds on just about anything it can. (although lemurs are their favorite meal)  Similar to a cat they do  have retractable claws,  large teeth and hunt ambush style. They are solitary animals that spend their time on the ground and in the trees, hunting both day and night. A very agile animal that can maneuver high up in the trees with ease and can travel up to 16 miles per day. They are considered adults at 4 years of age, females give birth to 2-4 pups a year, in a den she has made. After 4 months the pups leave the den, then stay with their mother for another 8 months. After about 2 years fossa pups move off on their own.

And sadly they are endangered, primarily due to habitat loss.


fossa pup

Join the conversation:

  1. “they’re always annoying us by trespassing, interrupting our parties, and ripping our limbs off”.

    -King Julien

    Awesome animal, misleading spelling of the name also as it is pronounced foo-sah

    Posted by mattS

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Back from the conference…

September 29th, 2011

I got back from the AAZK conference earlier this month and it went well.  I heard some great paper presentations and  saw a lot of terrific things at the different facilities that we visited.  Now I have to find the time to put my information together so that I can present it all to my co-workers…

I said I would post some pictures from my trip to the AAZK conference in San Diego, and although I’m a little behind on it here they are.  I took over 900 pictures so it’s difficult to choose just a few for this post.

I was fortunate to be able to go on a post-conference trip to the California Wolf Center in Julian, CA . This is a Mexican grey wolf, the only wolf species that has fewer numbers than the red wolf. Wolves are my passion, so this was a treat.

Mexican grey wolf at the California Wolf Center in Julian, CA.

There were lots of behind-the-scenes tours , as well as training sessions like the one below with the zebra, that the San Diego Zoo scheduled for the conference delegates on the day we visited.  Apparently zebras can be hard to train because they are so nervous and skiddish, so I was quite impressed with the behaviors that this zebra could do.  The success of the training had a lot to do with the fact that the trainer bonded with the zebra at a young age, as well as the fact that the trainer had an extremely calm demeanor which transferred to the zebra being very calm as well.

Hoof maintenance is very important, so training an animal to willingly show his hooves for routine maintenance is typically one of the first things the trainer will try to teach.


Along with being taught behaviors that would help with vet care, the zebra also knew how to roll his toys across the yard, and even flip them end-over-end with his nose!

During lunch at Zoo Day, the keepers brought out some cool animals for the delegates to see.  I got to see a fossa up close, which is the main predator of lemurs in the wild. And I also got to see a pangolin, which is a very interesting looking mammal from the rain forests of Central Africa. To learn more about fossas and pangolins just click here and here.

This is a Pangolin, possibly the coolest animal I saw the entire time I was there!


This is the fossa. This guy was very high energy and hard to keep still for the keeper!

I also got a chance to visit Sea World in San Diego.  What a great facility!

A sea turtle at Sea World. Their exhibit was set up well, where the animals could swim over top of you and you could view them from underneath through glass. This turtle was huge, and beautiful!

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  1. Maybe the Museum should get a pangolin ;)

    Posted by Courtney

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