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Year of the Tiger: Celebrate with conservation actions to show your stripes!

 Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications Celebrate the powerful roar of the tiger as we usher in the 2022 Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger.  It's year of the Bumi! Lunar New Year is celebrated across the globe, but especially in East Asia where traditions and interpretations are as unique as the many cultures that mark this special date. The Chinese zodiac suggests that those born in 2022, Year of the Tiger , will be brave, competitive and confident. Tigers are seen as a sign of good luck, an auspicious symbol in many cultures, and what better time to harness some positive energy into protecting this endangered species. Just six subspecies of tigers survive today: Malayan, Amur (or Siberian), Indian (or Bengal), South China, Indo-Chinese and Sumatran. All are endangered or critically endangered. The Malayan tiger lives only on the Malay Peninsula and the southern tip of Thailand. The population for Malayan tigers is dangerously low, with fewer than 250 living in their home range.
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A peek inside the bright, colorful and noisy Tropical Rainforest aviary!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications, with contributions from animal keepers Erin Martin and Catherine Vine The Tropical Rainforest (TRF) building hasn’t reopened to the public just yet (we’ll share a schedule for inviting you back in as soon as we have some details) but there’s a lot happening inside. Our animal keepers are busy 7 days a week, caring for the many species that call it home—and every day our horticulture team tends to all the plants, flowers and trees that provide the lush backdrop for all of their habitats. Our our horticulture team tends to all the plants, flowers and trees that provide the lush backdrop for the naturalistic habitats in the  Tropical Rainforest building. Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo The large, domed walk-through aviary inside of the TRF building is teeming with life—especially the feathered kind! It is an indoor oasis that is home to more than 30 birds of more than a dozen South American species. Some are artfully camouflaged while other

Empathy for wildlife a driving force for conservation

Posted by Sydney Dratel, Empathy Initiatives Imagine a virtual classroom full of kindergarteners staring at a Madagascar hissing cockroach. You might imagine grimaces and comments such as "Scary", "Gross!" or "Freaky". However, by the end of such a session with the 6-legged critter, not a single one of the 154 students who participated expressed a negative or even neutral emotion about this bug. They even said they would be happy to see the cockroach and would help it if it was in danger! Why? Because staff focused on building empathy for the cockroach by working with the students to name her 'Sophia'. This project was just one of Woodland Park Zoo’s pilot round grants to build organizational capacity to foster empathy in partner zoos and aquariums. Did you know that Woodland Park Zoo has a team in our Learning & Innovation department dedicated to developing and carrying out a range of Empathy Initiatives? Empathy is a powerful emotion that  dr

Zoo loses oldest orangutan. We will miss you sweet Melati.

 Posted by Gigi Allianic/ Woodland Park Zoo Melati, photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Woodland Park Zoo is mourning the loss of Melati, a female orangutan who passed away while recovering from a surgical procedure. The surgery was performed to remove possibly cancerous growths of the uterus and left ovary as a life-saving measure and to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with her significant reproductive disease.  The 193-pound orangutan would have turned 50 on December 27 and was the oldest orangutan living at the zoo. The median life expectancy for orangutans is 28 years; in zoos, orangutans are now living in to their 40s and 50s because of the evolving field of zoo medicine, which includes geriatric care. “Losing our animals is very difficult, they are family to us. Melati lived at Woodland Park Zoo for nearly five decades and was a role model mother to her two offspring who continue to thrive here,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “Mel

Nature Lovers Gift Guide: 2021

Get your gifting on with wildlife in mind! Looking for that perfect thing for the animal lover, tree-hugger, or wildlife warrior in your life? Here are our top 10 gift ideas for all the sugarplums on your list.  1. A gift that lasts all year long Give the gift that keeps on giving with unlimited admission and fantastic benefits! Buy a membership for family or friends (or yourself!) and save $15 with promo code GIFT2021 (now through December 31). 2. A cuddly gift with conservation benefits Give the gift of a ZooParent adoption  to help fund the care of all the amazing animals at Woodland Park Zoo and make a difference for wildlife! Our $69 seasonal snow leopard special includes a plush toy, an adoption certificate, color photo, fun fact sheet, and more! 3. The perfect present for every budget Did you know that more than 2 billion plastic cards end up in landfills each year? Opt for sustainable and help prevent plastic waste, buy a Woodland

Kids in Kyrgyzstan Trek Sky-High to Help Save Snow Leopards

 Posted by Meghan Sawyer, Communications Snow leopard at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. Snow leopards were once considered the kings of the mountains, but this majestic cat is considered globally vulnerable to extinction. Snow Leopard Foundation in Kyrgyzstan (SLFK), supported by Woodland Park Zoo, is working to protect this vulnerable species—and they’re getting help from kids to do it! The elusive and powerful snow leopard evolved to survive the harshest conditions on the planet: high, rugged and snow-covered mountains with sky-high elevations—but human-wildlife conflict is endangering snow leopards’ survival. SLFK led in-person eco-camps in the Shamshy Valley of Kyrgyzstan this summer, teaching local students about not only snow leopards and how to protect them, but also about nature and conservation for all local species. SLFK’s eco camps were launched in 2018 with eight students in attendance. After a two-year hiatus due to the ongoing pandemic, the cam

Seattle to Bulgaria: Animal Keeper Joanna works to protect threatened red-breasted geese

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications with Joanna Klass, Lead Animal Keeper Red-breasted goose at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo You may already know that Woodland Park Zoo’s animal keepers are extraordinary! They’re passionate about what they do, they tend to the needs of all the different species in our care, and they have individual relationships with their animals based on a foundation of trust. But did you know that many of them are also deeply involved in conservation efforts for some of those animals’ wild cousins? Such is the case for Lead Animal Keeper, Joanna Klass. Joanna has worked with a lot of the zoo’s waterfowl species (different types of ducks, geese and swans) and she has a particular interest in red-breasted geese—one of the most threatened goose species in the world. Red-breasted geese are a smaller species (relative to other geese) with very distinct red, black and white blocks of color. Lead animal keeper Joanna Klass, seen here with