Meet the new animals at the Mill Mountain Zoo

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Roanoke, Virginia. – Mill Mountain Zoo adds to its animal collection.

A newcomer to the zoo is a bellied pig called “Odi”. His real name is Odysseus because of his epic journey to the zoo. It continues the ancient Greek trend of naming the Mill Mountain Zoo. Their other pig, who shares a gallery with Audi, is named Homer.

The Ody was found in Roanoke City and became a favorite with the staff. He is intelligent and adapts well to his new home.

“He has a very high energy. He is very curious. He is very kind. He loves people. So, when someone comes to talk to him, he wags his tail excitedly and comes to visit,” said Jesse Kaufman, the Zoo’s director of communications.

In addition to Ody, 14 wooden ducks have found a new home at Mill Mountain Zoo as well. They were brought in by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

The wood duck population has seriously decreased due to hunting and loss of nesting sites in the early 20th century. Through intervention and conservation, the ducks are showing the importance of preserving the species because their numbers have rebounded.


Wildlife conservation and educational efforts are a major goal of the zoo. These efforts will continue thanks to a generous donation from a Roanoke Valley philanthropist. Heywood Fralin has established an endowment fund that will help offset operational costs. The community leader hopes to preserve the nonprofit’s future, where families can learn how human intervention threatens endangered animals in the area.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.


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