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Pandemic baby boom encourages rhino recovery

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo While the rest of the world was slowing down during the pandemic, newest census data reveal greater one-horned rhinos were having a baby boom in Assam, India. Today, on World Rhino Day, Woodland Park Zoo is celebrating a massive milestone for the vulnerable species—the population has climbed to 4,014 in the Assam province.  Rhino in Manas National Park Assam is home to 70% of the world's greater one-horned rhino population, with Nepal being the only other country with this rhino species. Earlier this year, the government of Assam completed its biannual rhino census and found that the greater one-horned rhino population increased by 274 since they last counted! Woodland Park Zoo's conservation partner, International Rhino Foundation , says the pandemic played a significant role in this latest rhino population growth, sparking that baby boom while many protected areas were closed to visit
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Kids at Seattle Children’s Pick Sweet Name for Penguin Chick

Posted by Lauren Carroll-Bolger, Communications Humboldt penguin chick, Yolanda! Photo: Celine Pardo/Woodland Park Zoo One of Woodland Park Zoo’s Humboldt penguin chicks was named by kids at Seattle Children’s, and we are delighted to share the name they have chosen for this penguin is YOLANDA! Our Animal Care Team provided four names for the children to vote on, and Yolanda, meaning violet, was the clear winner. Help us give a warm welcome to Yolanda! Hello, Yolanda! Photo: Celine Pardo/Woodland Park Zoo Woodland Park Zoo partners with Seattle Children’s to provide uplifting virtual animal experiences for the hospital’s long-term patients. Monthly virtual experiences range from rhino feedings to veterinary exams for the animals, and the kids get to spend time asking questions and getting to know the animals and staff. In previous months, animal keeper Celine Pardo introduced the kids to our Humboldt penguins which led to an opportunity for the children to name our newest chick. “I can

Gorilla families settle in, continue to thrive

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications   Kitoko loves to climb! It's a skill he learned from his mom, Uzumma. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Many of you already know that we now have two Western lowland gorilla family groups here at Woodland Park Zoo, each led by its own silverback. And both are continuing to do really well! Nadaya is a spectacular silverback! Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Silverback Nadaya is one of three gorillas we welcomed earlier this summer to form a new family group with 37-year old Jumoke, who had been living alone since Vip (an elderly silverback who was her mate) died last year. This is 21-year-old Nadaya’s first time as the head of his own group of females and he is making great strides as he learns how to be an adept leader. In addition to Jumoke, Nadaya’s group includes females Olympia (26-year-old) and Jamani (22). In the rare instance when he might "get on the wrong side" of one of them, all three femal

For the first time, camera station documents a Pacific marten in Olympic National Forest

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications A Pacific marten has been recorded by a motion-triggered wildlife camera, marking the first time the species has been recorded by a camera survey in Olympic National Forest.  A Pacific marten visits a scent dispenser at Olympic National Forest in January 2022 As part of an ongoing collaboration, Woodland Park Zoo partnered with Olympic National Forest last summer to install six motion-triggered camera and scent dispenser stations in the National Forest in hopes of detecting martens, a rare native carnivore thought to be occurring there in only very sparse numbers. A month ago, the survey team returned to the station and discovered multiple photos of a single Pacific marten, which had visited the station in January 2022. Only two dozen marten sightings have been confirmed on the Olympic Peninsula in the last half century, with half of these attributed to surveys with remote cameras and scent dispensers over the last few years and all in Olympic N

Inspiration for International Orangutan Day: Batu and Godek

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications Take inspiration from Godek and Batu! Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo The word orangutan comes from two Malay words, "orang," meaning person and "hutan," meaning forest. For International Orangutan Day, Woodland Park Zoo is highlighting the "people of the forest," the challenges they've overcome and how we all can help save these critically endangered apes. Orangutans face several threats that are rapidly destroying the forest environments they require for survival, including human overpopulation, logging and agriculture. One of the most significant threats is the conversion of forests to unsustainable monocultures, such as palm oil plantations. Watch: The HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme is a long-time Woodland Park Zoo partner dedicated to conserving Borneo's threatened habitats and wildlife species. For the past few years, HUTAN’s researche

We will miss you greatly, sweet Goodwyn the elk

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Woodland Park Zoo has said goodbye to its only male elk, Goodwyn. The 20-year-old elk was euthanized due to a significant decline in health and quality of life. The life expectancy for elk in human care is 18 to 22 years; in their natural range, 16 years. Majestic Goodwyn in 2018, photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo According to Dr. Tim Storms, director of animal health at Woodland Park Zoo, the geriatric elk had been declining in mobility and losing weight for several months, which is not uncommon for aging animals. “We did a complete exam of Goodwyn in March, including radiographs of his limbs, and found arthritic changes in multiple joints, especially his knees. We initiated a formal process to evaluate his quality of life and track indicators of his welfare daily. This is a standard process that we activate for any individual once there is a concern for its well-being,” said Storms. “Goodwyn’s caretakers had him under close observation and

Kaa is our main squeeze for World Snake Day!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications Photos: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Hello, Kaa! Snakes "smell" with their tongues, or more precisely use them to pick up scents in the air.  July 16 is World Snake Day, a day to appreciate these amazing and often misunderstood reptiles. All over the world, snakes play a vital role in maintaining balance in ecosystems—both as predators and as prey. Who better to serve as an ambassador for all of snake-dom than Kaa, our 19-year-old, male reticulated python. Our animal keepers estimate that Kaa is currently around 17 feet long and probably weighs between 125-135 pounds. Kaa—who is named after the Jungle Book character—arrived at Woodland Park Zoo 11 years ago and he currently lives in a habitat maintained just for him in the Trail of Vines area right next to our orangutan habitat. Reticulated pythons are native to southeast Asia and, when full grown, are among the longest snakes in the world—and they keep growing throughout