Simply Great! Our Greater Northern Grison!

It is highly unlikely that you will ever see this active animal in the wild, but at the zoo, “Bill” and “Larry," our fun-loving Greater Northern Grisons, are adding a happy touch to all zoo visits.

Grisons are in the otter family, and they scurry around on land, similar to the way otters use water habitat, which can only be described as “extremely playful.” They have semi-webbed feet, and this gives us a clue that the Greater Grison enjoys a swim now and again. “Bill” and “Larry” sure do! A favourite activity for these two fellows is to jump into their pond when a zookeeper tosses a bit of chicken in there as an afternoon treat. Both of these “aqua-critters” can swim under water and detect food in the process. “Bill” and “Larry” are always 100 percent successful in underwater searches for their afternoon snack.

The Greater Grison also likes to burrow. At the zoo, in their enclosure, we have placed clay “tunnels,” and this sure pleases “Bill” and “Larry.” Their playful nature comes to life each day at the zoo as they have the opportunity to burrow and swim. Their home can best be described as a “Greater Grison playground!"

Not much is known about the natural history of these animals. It is said that they are found in the Savanna areas of Belize, however, nothing is ever mentioned about their affinity for water. And finding permanent water areas in the Savanna can be a challenge.

“Bill” and “Larry” came to the zoo as pups. A hunter came upon them in a nest, and made a wrong move. He took the pups and intended to keep them as pets, but then brought them to The Belize Zoo. We, of course, agreed to provide good care for the little guys.

At first, we had no idea WHAT they were, and everyone thought they were Tayras (Bushdogs). But as they developed, we quickly saw that they were Greater Grisons and we were delighted to welcome them into our Zoo family! The Greater Grisons delight all of our visitors, especially school children, who see how unique Belize truly is because of the interesting and fun animals that share our land!

1 comment:

Wilma said...

Fascinating! Looking forward to seeing them on our next trip to the zoo.