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Showing posts from February, 2008

Name the Baby Gorilla!

If it weren't thrilling enough when our latest western lowland gorilla was born in October, now the entire community gets the opportunity to help name her! The now 4-month-old gorilla has been through quite a bit, when a congenital defect called for surgery to correct. Thanks to a team of physicians from Seattle's Children Hospital, she's now right as rain and ready for a name. In cooperation with Ivar's and Kidd Valley restaurants, we're looking for a name that derives from the languages of their origin countries. In this case, names of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and Swahili languages are the suggested sources. It's not too hard to discover appropriate names: simply go online and type in "Yoruba language", etc., in any search engine, or visit your local library and find dictionaries for those languages. Then visit any Western Washington Ivar's or Kidd Valley restaurant to pick up and fill in an entry form. The contest runs from March 2 through March 23.

Leap Day celebrates the kick off to Year of the Frog

Kids 3-12 who "go froggy" get in free today at the zoo to celebrate the Year of the Frog, a campaign to alert people to the plight of amphibians around the world. Just come dressed in green and you get in free and get the chance to participate in a number of frog-related activities. The more than 6,000 species of frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are currently in the midst of a crisis where their numbers are drastically falling due to the infestation of the chytrid fungus as well as tremendous habitat loss. Woodland Park Zoo is joining with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Amphibian Ark and hundreds of zoos and aquariums around the world to help save amphibians from extinction. Currently we are working with several regional partners to help create a recovery plan for the endangered Oregon spotted frog which has declined over 90% of its historic range. Find out how you can help frogs and other amphibians, too. Visit http:

These orangutans aren't "over the hill"

Turning 40 isn't going to be traumatic for Towan and his twin sister Chinta on Saturday. The party starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs to 12:30 p.m. The orangutans will receive wrapped "presents" that they enjoy tearing into, special treats and our human guests will receive tasty gourmet cupcakes courtesy of Cupcake Royale (while supplies last!) and everyone is welcome to enter into a free raffle to win one of Towan's increasingly famous works of art (see below to the entry that offered two of his paintings for auction on eBay). Our February entry showed Towan and Chinta as infants, so we thought it only fair that we post photos of them now (That's Towan , the male on the left, and Chinta , the female, on the right). They would also like to say hello to Hannah, Mark and Conni up in Vancouver, B.C. Hannah was looking forward to coming to the birthday party, but unfortunately she's not feeling well so the orangutans hope this finds her on the mend!

Orangutan twins hit the big 4-0!

Turning 40 is a milestone for humans…and for non-human animals too! Join Woodland Park Zoo at a birthday party for its twin orangutans turning the big 4-0. Towan (toe-WAHN) and Chinta (CHEEN-tuh), brother and sister, respectively, will open gift-wrapped presents with their favorite treats and indulge in special “orangutan” birthday cupcakes. All five of the zoo’s orangutans will join in the celebration. Birthday festivities include: complimentary cupcakes for visitors (while supplies last), an opportunity to meet the keepers and hear about the day-to-day quality care provided for the great apes, a photo collage of the twins, an orangutan discovery box with fascinating facts and items, and a free raffle for a commemorative art piece hand painted by orangutan Towan. The birthday party is free with zoo admission. Born at Woodland Park Zoo in February 1968, the twin orangutans gained instant national celebrity status as the first-known twin orangutans born in a zoo. Photos of the pair in d

The "Andy Warhol of Apes"

39-year-old orangutan Towan enjoys painting. He's become a "master" artist it seems and two of his paintings are now being offered in an eBay auction in order to raise funds for the 2009 International Congress of Zookeepers/American Association of Zoo Keepers conference that will be held at Woodland Park Zoo in September 2009. Painting is one of the activities that several animals at the zoo take part in that helps stimulate them physically and mentally. The orangutans are offered non-toxic paints and canvas in order to provide them an activity, much like kids in pre-school will enjoy dabbling in the "fine arts" with finger painting. The ICZ/AAZK conference is a great way that zookeepers from around the world get to meet, interact, and network new ideas for animal husbandry, enrichment, and other topics related to improving and increasing the quality and depth of care they give to the animals. Bidding on Towan's two original paintings goes until February 8,