Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The job of the zookeeper is much more than feeding and cleaning up after animals. Today’s keepers engage the animals in their own care, using training and enrichment to give animals the opportunity to act like their wild selves. Keepers must keep close watch over the animals in their care in order to detect any signs of illness, which animals instinctually hide to avoid predation. Keepers also contribute to the overall body of knowledge about animals by participating in behavioral research, and many are active in international conservation efforts.
If you think a career as a zookeeper may be right for you, take a look at our zoo careers webpage and our keeper FAQ to learn more about the day-to-day realities of the job and what it takes to advance in this career path.
If you’re at the zoo this week, be sure to say hi to the keepers and wish them a happy National Zoo Keeper Week! There are scheduled keeper talks throughout the day every day. And don’t be afraid to ask questions when you see a keeper out and about around the zoo—that’s often the best way to hear insider stories about the animals or to get great tips on how and when to best view them.
Friday, July 18, 2008
After consulting with urologist Dr. Joseph Marquez from Seattle's The Polyclinic, the zoo's animal health experts decided to use a procedure that, though used often on humans, is uncommon on zoo animals.
The 15-year-old monkey, named Fiona, was treated with a high-tech procedure that blasts kidney stones to passable pieces by repeated exposure to sound waves. Using a lithotripsy machine, generously supplied by NextMed, to send the sound waves, the team was able to break down Fiona's kidney stones into hundreds of small pieces that could then pass through her urinary tract.
Fiona is recovering well now at the zoo's award-winning African Savanna exhibit. After just one day, she was feeling much better than she had in the weeks leading up to the procedure, according to her vets.
Photo of procedure by Ric Brewer.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Children from around the city sporting penguin hats and bearing plastic shovels joined Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, King County Executive Ron Sims, and other elected officials today in scooping the first piles of dirt for a new home for penguins.
A new colony of Humboldt penguins will return to the zoo when the state-of-the-art exhibit opens in summer 2009. The new exhibit will tell a powerful story about conservation globally while making an impact on resource conservation locally. We'll save 3 million gallons of water a year and with a new filtration system and permeable concrete, there will be no polluted pool water or storm water run-off rushing down to Puget Sound to make a mess of things. That's good for the water and good for the fish!
Take a peek at the construction site next time you are at the zoo to see how things are coming along.
And if you want to be a part of the penguins' new home, go to www.zoo.org/penguins to find out how to get your name engraved in the exhibit!
Photos by: Ryan Hawk and Tianna Klineburger
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The flamingos are doing great in their new exhibit! They are slowly becoming accustomed to a constant stream of curious visitors. Flamingos are a gregarious species, meaning they like to live in large groups. Our flock currently has 27 members, but will soon grow when we add six new hand-raised female flamingos to the exhibit. We hope that the flamingos will be more comfortable in a larger group and begin breeding. Look out for breeding behaviors like nest building or synchronized group “dances,” which eventually lead to eggs and then a crèche (a congregation of baby flamingos separated from the adults, except for feeding). Babies don’t resemble the adults as closely as you might think; instead of being pink with a long curved beak, they spend their first two years fluffy white and straight-beaked.
Already, our flamingos have begun building nests from mud, sticks, and sometimes even feathers. Flamingos are extremely protective of their nest sites and will become defensive (raising their feathers and squawking loudly) if they think their nests are threatened. Besides the nests the flamingos are constructing, there are full-size models of nests outside the exhibit where you can get a closer look and see what the nests are like up close. Keep your feathers crossed for upcoming chicks!
(Zoo Corps is the
Photo: A flamingo sits on a mud nest. Photo by Arianne.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Fabulous weather, delicious food, and up close encounters with the zoo’s raptors made the night memorable. But it’s the tremendous success of the evening’s auctions that made the night important—important to the animals at Woodland Park Zoo and to the wildlife of the world that will be helped by the conservation projects funded through this event.
This year, we raised $1.75 million! Of those contributions raised, $662,000 is specifically earmarked toward this year’s Fund-Our-Future: “Project Aves.” The project will bring additional birds to the zoo such as Chilean flamingos and Humboldt penguins, support the successful recovery of threatened bird species in the wild, and support our bird education programs at the zoo and across Washington state.
It’s always a blast to watch the spirited bidding wars during the live auction. The victors of these battles got to take home amazing items like tickets to Super Bowl XLIII and even a trip to
It takes a whole year to put on an event of this magnitude. So while we’re all happily celebrating our roaring success, we’ll go right back to work gearing up for next year!
Photos by Ryan Hawk.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Although they nested again in 2004, but the nest failed. It's not known why the egg failed to hatch. Up to seven eagles were seen flying around the area and this activity may have caused the pair to abandon the nest, however no one can know for sure (except the eagles!).