Making room for ma’ii

Lucky Sophia just got luckier with new digs

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner Lucky Sophia perches atop a sleeping den in the new má’ii habitat at the Navajo Nation Zoo Oct. 6. According to zookeepers, the new dwelling gives coyotes a better sense of security and awareness.

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Lucky Sophia perches atop a sleeping den in the new má’ii habitat at the Navajo Nation Zoo Oct. 6. According to zookeepers, the new dwelling gives coyotes a better sense of security and awareness.

WINDOW ROCK

After they were told their coyote enclosure was too small, the Navajo Nation Zoo pounced into action.

The enclosure is now four-and-a-half times its original size, according to the zookeepers.

The enclosure was constructed by student workers and volunteers from several Navajo chapters.

“The feds come around and do yearly check ups,” said Zookeeper Brennon Kee, and the too-small cage caught the inspector’s eye.

Construction on the new enclosure began over the summer starting in late June and wrapped up in mid-September.

The new enclosure not only boasts more room for the animals, but also features new fencing, a shade for the coyotes, and a newly installed water faucet and hose.

The enclosure currently hosts one coyote, a female named “Lucky Sophia.”

The zookeepers say if anyone has any domesticated coyotes or knows of any orphaned pups, to contact the zoo and they can arrange to care for the coyotes at the zoo. The zoo only takes animals that could not survive in the wild.

“Sometimes people will raise a coyote thinking it’s a dog,” said Kee, adding it is not uncommon.

The enclosure also features new fencing; “cable mesh” is what the zookeepers call it. Unlike the regular fencing, cable mesh blends well with the background, making it nearly invisible to those admiring Lucky Sophia.

“It’s more pleasing to the eye,” said Kee.

Lucky Sophia can be seen running around the enclosure, taking advantage of the ample space.

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Categories: Culture