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Celebrating National Volunteer Week!

Posted by Sarah Bruemmer, Learning & Innovation Woodland Park Zoo Photos by Woodland Park Zoo Volunteers are at the heart of Woodland Park Zoo’s mission to save wildlife and inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives. Each one of our roughly 600 volunteers supports the zoo in positive, meaningful ways by donating their time, expertise, and passion to support our most critical needs – from horticulture and animal care to special events and education. During National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, we celebrate the power of volunteers to make a difference and the extraordinary individuals who are fostering a broad social movement for conservation at Woodland Park Zoo and beyond. As much as we would love to showcase all of the individuals who make up our dedicated volunteer community, we simply cannot do so in a single blog post! However, we did ask several volunteers to share some memories and highlights of their experiences at Woodland Park Zoo. The following stori
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Gorgeous George—the most handsome goral ever!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications At Woodland Park Zoo, our commitment to conservation starts with the 1,000 or so animals who call this place home. No matter what stage of life they’re in, they deserve the very best care—including our seniors, many of whom are still active and healthy well into their golden years. George is a Chinese goral who lives his best retirement life at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo: Tamlyn Sapp/Woodland Park Zoo Among the oldest, relative to the life expectancy for his species, is one that you might not have ever seen or even heard of. Geng Rui, a.k.a. George, is a Chinese goral who is living his best retirement life in the yards behind the elk habitat of the Living Northwest Trail—mostly hidden from the public path. What is a goral? Good question! Some say they look like a goat, while others say they look like an antelope—and they’re both a little bit right. A goral is part of a group of hoofed animals called “goat antelopes”—a term that’s related to the

Baby gorilla Zuna spending time outdoors with mom, Nadiri, and the rest of her family

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher and Gigi Allianic, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Oh, that face! Baby gorilla, Zuna, is ready to say hello to zoo visitors! The 11-week-old western lowland gorilla—the second baby for 25-year-old mom Nadiri and the first between her and 21-year-old father, Kwame, is spending a few hours outdoors each day now with her family. Their time outside in the public space, most likely between 1:45-4:30 pm, is weather-dependent and often takes place in short increments in order to accommodate the baby’s behind-the-scenes bottle-feedings. Nadiri did not immediately pick up her baby after giving birth January 29, so our gorilla keepers initially provided round-the-clock care and bottle feedings of human infant formula while they helped Nadiri build confidence as a mother and bond with her baby . Now the two are back together 24/7 and they are a great team! Nadiri’s bond with Zuna is strong. Gorilla keeper Shawn Bell tells us that Nadir

Celebrate National Wildlife Week with wild cats!

Posted by Paula MacKay, Conservation Associate, Woodland Park Zoo Photos by Woodland Park Zoo It's National Wildlife Week, the perfect time to celebrate our PNW wild cats! We're big fans of using motion-triggered cameras to help us learn more about the wildlife around us. Impassioned volunteers with the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project maintain dozens of cameras throughout greater Seattle, while researchers with the broader Northwest Carnivore Monitoring Program gather important camera data from the Cascades and the Olympics. And of the many amazing animals we observe with our remote cameras, perhaps none are more entertaining than the wild cats. If you’ve ever lived with a domestic cat, you’re already an expert in feline behavior—rubbing against your chair leg, clawing at your couch, rolling around in catnip with fervor and delight. Sometimes your cat just stares at you, as if to remind you they are a cat. Cats are our buddies, but they’re also the boss! Wild felids exhibit m

Triplets! Three bouncy baby lemurs were born March 29

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo We’re so excited to announce the latest additions to our zoo family—the birth of three red ruffed lemur babies on March 29. This is the first lemur birth at Woodland Park Zoo in 16 years. These three bouncing babies were born March 29th to first-time red ruffed lemur mom, Sally. The triplets were born to first-time mom Sally who will turn 5 this summer. There are two adult males in Sally’s group—brothers Orion and Lucien who will be 14 years old next month. We don’t yet know which one is the father of the babies, but that’s not unusual in lemur groups. A genetic test may be done later to learn that. We have not been able to determine the sexes of the babies yet, but quick neonatal exams have confirmed the triplets are thriving; the zoo’s animal health team will continue to perform exams to closely monitor their weight gains. Currently, they range in weight from 6.7 to 7.8 oz., which is within the

Happy World Health Day from the Tropical Rain Forest!

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications Today is World Health Day and we want to thank all of our visitors, members, staff, volunteers and our community for keeping health a top priority––not only for people, but for the animals too. We've asked you to visit your zoo with timed tickets (which helps spread folks out), to social distance (if you need help remembering how far six feet is, just imagine an adult tapir, from tail to snout, or our boa, Anahi, stretched all the way out!) and to mask up. You've been patient and kind as we've navigated the challenges of a new zoo experience and we want to acknowledge just how grateful we are for your understanding and willingness to go with the flow. We still have these precautions in place, but you can get a refresh on how to safely visit at www.zoo.org/visit/faq   as spring and summer heat up! For over a year now, much of the indoor space at Woodland Park Zoo has been closed to keep staff, visitors and animals healthy and safe duri

Farewell to Vip: Our Very Important Primate, father to Yola and charming gorilla will be greatly missed

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Woodland Park Zoo Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo We are sad to announce that Vip, our 42-year-old western lowland gorilla, passed away this morning. For the past few weeks, the male gorilla had been lethargic and not eating well. A recent immobilization and examination did not reveal anything significant. Vip was renowned as the first zoo gorilla born in the Netherlands. Named for being a V ery I mportant P rimate, the male ape had seven daughters, including 5-year-old Yola and 13-year-old Uzumma, who is the mother of 1-year-old Kitoko. Vip lived at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston before moving to Woodland Park Zoo in 1996. At the time of his death, Vip lived with his female companion, Jumoke. “Losing one of our gorillas is deeply sad for our zoo family. During his 25 years at Woodland Park Zoo, Vip was dearly loved by the zoo’s staff, volunteers, members, donors, visitors and the community. In his own right, he became a very important primate t