Satchell Engineering News

Como Park Zoo Breaks Ground

Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, has started construction of a new habitat for its sea lions and seals. Satchell Engineering & Associates is proud to be part of the design team for the new exhibit which is to open in late 2019. The new exhibit, which will be renamed "Como Harbor," will feature an underwater viewing space and two year-round pools. To read more about the project please follow link:




March 25th to 28th, 2018

The 2018 Aquatic Animal Life Support Operators (AALSO) Symposium will be held in Niagara Falls, New York from March 25th through March 28th 2018.  The 24th Annual AALSO Symposium will be hosted by three facilities this year, The Buffalo Zoo, The Aquarium of Niagara, and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.  Satchell Engineering & Associates is proud to once again sponsor the event with providing a Full Educational Sponsorship to a student from Miami Aquarium and being a sponsor of the T-shirts. Satchell Engineering & Associates will be giving educational workshops on both Ozone Maintenance  and Blue Print Reading.  We will also have a booth set up in the Exhibit Hall so please come find us at Booth #222.  We look forward to visiting with you.

The Fiona Show Cincinnati Zoo

The Fiona Show!  ​Episode 1 - The Beginning.  Watch never before seen video of Fiona's birth and hear her care team reflect on how it all began.  Satchell Engineering & Associates was proud to design the LSS for the Hippo Ehibit.  To see video click here

Satchell Engineering & Associates' is proud to be part of San Diego Zoo's largest construction project to date.  The new African Penguin exhibit at Africa Rocks opens July 1st.  For the first time, this one of a kind exhibit will house mixed species of penguins and sharks.


The 8-acre, $68 million undertaking relies on the newest thinking about zoos, which find themselves in an ongoing debate about the treatment of animals in captivity... for more info and video, click here.


The 2017 Symposium and Workshop hosted by the Saint Louis Zoo will be held March 12 – March 15.  Satchell Engineering & Associates will have a booth at this year’s symposium, so please drop by booth #213 and say hi. Satchell Engineering & Associates is proud once again to be sponsor the AALSO Symposium again this year.  Not only are we a sponsor of the Tee-Shirts but we will also be a main sponsor of the Evening Event at Saint Louis Zoo.

AALSO encourages advancement of the science and technology of life support for care of aquatic systems and animals. AALSO provides a forum for life support operators, professionals and industry leaders to exchange information, ideas and experience to enhance stewardship of the animals in our care.

Sea World Returns Wandering Pregnant Manatee to Ocean

ManateeWashburn the wandering - and pregnant - manatee has been returned to the sea after receiving care at Sea World Orlando.

The theme park's Animal Rescue Team and veternarians took care of the sea cow and her unborn calf for two weeks after she was flown to Orlando via U.S. Coast Guard plane from Connicticut.

Washburn was released into the water at River Breeze Park in Oakhill on Tuesday morning.  She originally was rescued by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and sent to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for treatment and stabilization.

She had been found in the Nantucked Sound of Massachusetts, where water conditions are too cold for manatees to survive.  They are not native to that area.

While at SeaWorld, Washburn gained almost 90 pounds - topping out at 890 pounds - thanks to lots of lettuce.  She had a complete physical and sonogram to check on her impending offspring.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded her measurements and made a photo ID.  The animal was fitted with a belt that will allow the monitoring of her path in the ocean.

Washburn is the 21st manatee that SeaWorld has rescued this year.  Eighteen of those were returned to the wild.

Manatee numbers are up, according to the FWC.  In Feruary, it announced that 6,250 manatees were counted in an aerial survey of Florida waters.  There have been 91 manatee fatalities caused by boat strikes in 2016.  Novemeber is Manatee Awareness Month, because many of the animals are migrating in search of warmer waters now.

Social Media Rocks Satchell Engineering

Social Media Rocks Satchell EngineeringSatchell Engineering & Associates has now gone social.  With the additions of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to our website, you can now follow Satchell Engineering on your phone, desktop, or during your travels.  Keep up to date with Satchell Engineering as we share some of our projects underway, new exhibits opening worldwide, and the latest trends in the aquatic life support industry.  Please like and join us on our new pages so you can receive updates as they happen.  We look forward to having you follow Satchell Engineering & Associates as we continue “Creating Clear Water for Healthy Animals”


Syracuse, N.Y. (July 13, 2016) – Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney today joined Friends of the Zoo President & CEO Janet Agostini and Zoo Director Ted Fox for the official opening of the new elephant pool at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s premiere habitat, Asian Elephant Preserve. The $1.8 million project was fully funded by Friends of the Zoo.

"The new elephant pool further enhances the zoo’s state-of-the-art elephant facility. It was designed by industry experts and built by local businesses. It provides our herd with a beautiful environment and our guests with a unique visitor experience," said County Executive Mahoney.

"Friends of the Zoo is grateful for the support of our donors, members, zoo professionals and the community in helping to make the elephant pool a reality. We value the collaboration of our Onondaga County partners as we work together to continually improve and invest in our zoo," says Friends of the Zoo President and CEO Janet Agostini.

The best habitats for elephants in zoos and the wild have a variety of environmental stimuli including land and water. The elephant pool is the first priority project of the zoo’s strategic and master plan. The new construction includes a pool for the zoo’s herd of seven Asian elephants, accompanying observation deck for guests and life support system for maintaining water filtration. The project incorporates green infrastructure, including a storm and waste water bio-filtration system and bio-retention basin. In addition, many of the trees cleared have been used in other areas of the zoo as part of animal enrichment and a new nature play space for children. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is among the top 10 percent of zoos in the country. The project exceeds standards as part of accreditation.

The zoo broke ground on the life support and bio-filtration systems in December 2015. The life support system was designed by Robert Satchell and the team at Satchell Engineering & Associates, a firm with a wealth of experience and innovation in aquatic life support services engineering. Site work began on the pool in mid-January. The pool was designed by architect Craig Rhodes of GLMV Zoos. A nationally renowned leader in zoo and aquarium design, Rhodes has been involved with more than 100 projects for over 40 AZA-accredited zoos in the last 20 years. Project management was handled locally by Appel Osborn Landscape Architecture. Construction and site work was carried out by primary contractor McGinnis Nelson, with pool fabrication and artistic design by Cemrock.

Although the pool was designed to look like one large pool, it is actually two. The design mimics a typical watering hole elephants would encounter in the wild, with gentle sloping sides and a flat bottom. The first pool has a depth of three feet, perfect for calves and adults that may prefer a shallow area. The second has a depth of six feet per AZA regulations. In total, the pool measures 100 feet long by 40 feet wide. It holds 50,000 gallons of water. For comparison, the average bathtub holds 58 gallons; the pool’s capacity is equal to 862 tubs filled.

"The new pool provides our elephant herd with a more diverse natural environment and encourages social interaction. It allows the herd to engage in wallowing, wading, splashing, cooling and bathing. It also adds variety to our enrichment program, an integral part of animal husbandry and care. The use of wet areas in elephant habitats also assists with skin care and protection from sun and insects," says Zoo Director Ted Fox.

For zoo guests, the pool adds a unique opportunity to observe elephants engaging in natural behaviors and helps increase public understanding of elephants’ needs in both zoos and wild habitats.

"It is our mission to continue to make connections between our visitors and animals on behalf of their wild counterparts in order to inspire worldwide conservation and actions to help save our planet’s species from extinction," says Fox.


Founded in 1914, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is among the top 10 percent of zoos in the country as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is dedicated to connecting people to the natural world by providing engaging guest experiences, exceptional animal care, and unparalleled conservation education.

The zoo actively collaborates with Friends of the Zoo to provide its guests "the best day ever," ensuring experiences that excite, memories that endure, and knowledge that inspires worldwide conservation.



It's that time of year again for the IAAPA Asia 2016 Expo, which is being held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China.  From June 13th-17th, 2016, 7,000 qualified buyers. 414 exhibiting companies and 13,300 total number of people are registered for the expo, which is promised to shatter the previous record.

Robert Satchell will be one of those 13,300 attending this global event, so if you are planning on attending, please contact our officeso we can set up a meeting. For more info about the conference please visit their web-site.