Cover image for A pelican swallowed my head : and other zoo stories
A pelican swallowed my head : and other zoo stories
Ricciuti, Edward R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2002]

Physical Description:
222 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.6 6.0 61458.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL77.5 .R522 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL77.5 .R522 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL77.5 .R522 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction STEM
QL77.5 .R522 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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When the Bronx Zoo first opened its doors on November 8, 1899, the public poured in to see exotic wild animals such as orangutans and egrets. Created on an undreamed-of scale, the zoo spread across 265 acres of Bronx wilderness, just north of the island of Manhattan. It was hailed as the greatest zoo in the world with a collection of 843 animals, representing 157 species. Today, the Bronx Zoo -- now run by the Wildlife Conservation Society -- is renowned as much for its aggressive approach to animal breeding and preservation as for its amusement of visitors.Taking readers behind the scenes, zoo staffers tell stories about the animals they work with, from the amazing recapture of an escaped python to the nasty court battle for one of the country's most lovable gorillas. Readers will meet Choo Choo the owl with no wings; black bears named Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica; and a whole colony of naked mole rats. From one amazing animal story to the next, this captivating collection is full of remarkable facts and behind-the-scenes activity. Join us as naturalist author Edward R. Ricciuti celebrates this bevy of beasts and those dedicated individuals who care for them.

Author Notes

Ewdard R. Ricciuti graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in communication arts and went on for his master's degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was appointed a Sloan-Rockefeller Advanced Science Writing Fellow at Columbia. Ricciuti is also a former U.S. Marine reservist. His writing has included various topics related to his many interests. A few examples: The Natural History of North America, Rocks and Minerals, The Yakama, How to Box, The War in Yugoslavia, The Snake Almanac, Amphibians, Killer Animals, Killers of the Seas, and Science 101: Forensics.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

New for Nature Lovers Founded in 1899, home to 4,000 animals and host to over two million human visitors each year, the Bronx Zoo is one of the oldest, largest and most popular zoos in the country. Former New York Zoological Society curator and current Wildlife Conservation magazine children's editor Edward Ricciuti gives readers a behind-the-scenes tour of the institution in A Pelican Swallowed My Head and Other Zoo Stories from the Wildlife Conservation Society (the Wildlife Conservation Society operates the Bronx Zoo). Notable story subjects include Samantha, the giant python who went from Borneo to the Bronx after being captured by leather traders; Bad Attitude (otherwise known as B.A.), the great horned owl who likes to claw her keepers; and the handler who accidentally got his head stuck in a pelican's pouch. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Founded in 1895, the Wildlife Conservation Society serves as an outstanding example of saving wildlife while also educating the public about the institutions' varied species. The Bronx Zoo, which it operates, was one of the first to trade in cages in favor of designed habitats that replicate the animals' natural environments. Most of the chapters in this book rely on animal anecdotes from that zoo to illustrate the care involved in designing habitats; the nutritionist's creativity in designing diets and finding substitutes for unobtainable, exotic foods; and the health-care specialists' solution to such problems as a rhino with diarrhea. Readers will grimace with the zookeeper who accidentally trips and falls one day, landing with his head in the very smelly bill of a pelican or the keepers who have to find a mate for Mrs. McNasty, an aptly named condor. The book is abundantly illustrated with black-and-white photographs, but it may take readers a while to figure out that the bold-type phrases in the text are picture captions, and they're not always relevant or clear. Whether read in its entirety or sampled chapter by chapter, this behind-the-scenes look at an innovative zoo will intrigue youngsters.-Pam Spencer Holley, Young Adult Literature Specialist, Virginia Beach, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 2
Chapter 1 This Place Is a Zoo!p. 10
Chapter 2 Noah's Arkp. 20
Chapter 3 Family Tiesp. 52
Chapter 4 A Safe Havenp. 80
Chapter 5 Snake Bustersp. 106
Chapter 6 Just Like Homep. 122
Chapter 7 Animal HMOp. 154
Chapter 8 Expect the Unexpectedp. 190
Chapter 9 Good Night, Zoop. 212