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Monday, November 10, 2008

Plans for 2009

Posted by: David Schaefer, Director of Public Affairs

Want to know what we’ll be up to next year?

The zoo’s draft plan for 2009 operations is now posted on the zoo’s website and is available at the zoo’s administrative offices and with the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation.

The annual plan is made public as part of the Woodland Park Zoo Society’s operations agreement with the city of Seattle.

Among the highlights planned for 2009 are the new Humboldt penguin exhibit—the most significant new animal exhibit in a decade at the zoo—and a new food concession contract. Other changes include expansion of the education programs offered to the public, changes to accommodate additional guest parking and further incentives to reduce auto use by our staff.

New animals expected to join the collection in 2009 include a silverback lowland gorilla, a giraffe and zebra. We will exhibit a tree kangaroo, representing one of the zoo’s ambitious field conservation efforts. We also will participate in new efforts at conservation in the Northwest including the Oregon spotted frog and Northern spotted owl. And we will introduce to the collection a highly endangered eagle species, the Steller’s sea eagle.

The annual plan notes that the zoo—like many other government and private organizations—is operating in a very difficult financial situation. We have instituted very strict budget discipline already, and for 2009 we are investigating new revenue sources including a summer-period price increase, as well as budget reductions of up to 2 percent.

Public comments on the plan will be accepted through midnight Dec. 4. They can be mailed to the zoo at 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, 98103, or e-mailed to us at webkeeper@zoo.org.

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