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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
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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

A loving goodbye to red panda, Yukiko

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Red panda Yukiko was 16 years old. Photo by animal keeper Megan/ Woodland Park Zoo We are sad to announce that our beloved red panda, Yukiko, was humanely euthanized today after an examination to evaluate cardiac issues related to old age. At 16 years old, Yukiko lived well beyond the life expectancy of his species. The median life expectancy for red pandas in zoos is 10 years and 8 years in their natural habitat. The geriatric red panda was recently diagnosed with severe heart disease and had been under close observation and treatment. Because he stopped taking prescribed medications and his appetite had decreased for the last few days, Woodland Park Zoo’s animal health team brought in a veterinary cardiologist to better define his heart condition. The exam revealed that he was in heart failure due to advanced cardiomyopathy. Due to a poor prognosis and the compromised quality of Yukiko’s life, the decision was made to humanely euthanize him. Yu

Bat Week 2021!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications It's Bat Week!  October 24-31 is an international celebration of the vital role that bats play in nature. It’s an opportunity to look at all the good things these misunderstood mammals do to keep our environment healthy—and to take action to keep THEM safe! So, let's show some bat-love for our flying (and mostly nocturnal) friends! Check out the "fingers" on the wing (a modified hand) of this Indian flying fox! Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo Bats are super cool! Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly (although some other mammals “glide”). A bat’s wing is actually a modified hand—similar to yours. They also come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny, adorable bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to the big, beautiful flying foxes that can have a wingspan of up to six feet. Little brown bat. Photo: J.N. Stuart via Flickr: Bats eat tons of “pests”.  It

Welcome beautiful Batu! Female orangutan joins Godek on Trail of Vines

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren Meet our new Sumatran orangutan, Batu! Beautiful Batu! There's a new red-haired beauty on the Trail of Vines! The Orangutan Species Survival Plan identified Batu as a future breeding mate for Godek, our 12-year-old, male Sumatran orangutan who has lived at the zoo since 2017. Batu, also 12, arrived in May from Philadelphia Zoo. Species Survival Plans are conservation breeding programs across accredited zoos to help ensure healthy, self-sustaining populations of threatened and endangered species. After completing a standard quarantine earlier this summer at the zoo’s veterinary hospital, Batu was moved to the orangutan exhibit in off-view dens while she acclimated to her new home. According to Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo, the introduction process has been slow, but thoughtful. “Every animal is different and moves at its own pace during introductions. As we do with all our animals, we foll

Every day is World Gorilla Day with Kitoko and Zuna!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications Hello, Zuna! Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo  With World Gorilla Day coming up in just a few days (it’s September 24) this is the perfect time for an update on the youngest members of our western lowland gorilla family—Kitoko and Zuna! While mom Nadiri is trying to rest, Zuna uses that time to explore! Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Little Zuna is nearly 8 months old right now and is doing great! She weighs around 11 ½ pounds now, which is double her birth weight. Zuna continues to become more and more active and while mama Nadiri tends to keep her close, she is on the move whenever she gets the chance. Sometimes, when Nadiri is trying to get some rest (because being a gorilla mama is a 24/7 job!) Zuna uses that time to venture out a bit—climbing or toddling around. She still takes bottles from the gorilla keepers a few times a day but is trying lots of solid foods now too, including cucumber, yams, carrots and