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Showing posts from July, 2009

Male snow leopard cub needs a name

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

“Hey, sweetie” may sound pretty cute, but a male snow leopard cub needs a befitting name to match his majestic beauty. Starting next week on August 4, you can help name the 2½-month-old cub through Woodland Park Zoo’s online naming poll.

The female cub has been named Batu (pronounced BAH-too), meaning firm, hard, honest in Mongolian. You'll have your choice of four Mongolian names for the male cub:

- Gobi (go-bee) – named for Gobi Desert in Mongolia
- Boke (rhymes with poke) – “Strong”
- Irbis (ear-biss) – “Leopard”
- Vachir (voch-err) – “Thunderbolt”

Mongolia is one of the 12 countries that is home to the endangered snow leopard.

The winning name will be announced when the cubs make their public debut at Snow Leopard Day on Saturday, August 15. The third annual event is hosted by the zoo and its conservation partner, the Snow Leopard Trust, to highlight the fascinating adaptations of the snow leopard and critical conservation efforts to protect th…

Zoomazium's a treat in the heat

Posted by: David Schaefer, Public Affairs

Savvy parents know all about coming to the zoo when it rains in Seattle.

They visit Zoomazium, Woodland Park Zoo’s award-winning, LEED-certified indoor play area for kids to learn about nature – and have a great time doing it.

But Zoomazium is another great choice now that the weather is in the 90’s. It’s air-conditioned!
In this all-season space, children 8 and under connect with the wonders of the natural world. Kids discover a new favorite animal, star in a nature play, or climb, slide and explore their way through a magical world. What’s more, after pretending to be a big cat or an ape, they can walk outside and in just a few short steps, meet a real live jaguar or a gorilla in a beautiful, naturalistic habitat.
The building is designed to LEED-gold standards, the first in a North American zoo. And for those trying to beat the heat in the Seattle area this summer, it is still a great idea to come to the zoo.
Zoomazium is open daily and is free w…

Storm the zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications
A Storm is coming to Woodland Park Zoo...
Meet WNBA Seattle Storm stars Ashley Robinson and Janell Burse on Sun., August 2 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Woodland Park Zoo! You can catch Robinson and Burse as they tour the Humboldt penguin and Willawong Station exhibits, then meet them for an autograph under the Storm tent at the southwest corner of the North Meadow, across from penguins.

But wait…there’s more!

For being a zoo AND Storm fan, you get half off tickets for Zoo Night at the Seattle Storm vs. Phoenix Mercury game on Tuesday, August 4 at 7:00 p.m. Follow this link to purchase regularly-priced $34 seats for just $17! Be sure to visit the Penguin Wagon and zoo table on the West Plaza before the game and say hi to us.
We'll see you there!

Tree roos are back

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

For the first time in three years, Woodland Park Zoo is once again home to the Matschie’s tree kangaroo! This endangered species is endemic to Papua New Guinea and is known for its bear-like head, bushy tail and marsupial’s pouch.

Huen, an eight-year-old male, is a little shy when it comes to the camera, but we snapped this photo of him while he was perched up in a tree. Huen arrived from Singapore Zoo in March and can now be found living in the Day Exhibit.

As one of the newest conservation ambassadors at the zoo, Huen represents the inspiring work of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, founded and based here at Woodland Park Zoo.

You might remember the big news we shared earlier this year when Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program celebrated a milestone with the passage of Papua New Guinea’s first ever national Conservation Area, preserving 187,800 acres of forest habitat for the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo and thou…

Zoo vets give snow leopard cubs 6-week exam

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

The pair of snow leopard cubs are growing, playing and now testing the likes of solid food! See the male and female siblings get their six-week examination and receive their first set of vaccinations as part of the zoo’s excellent animal and medical care program. Then at the end, watch them be rewarded with their first taste of solid food—chicken!


The cubs were born on Memorial Day to first-time parents, 4-year-old Helen and 3-year-old Tom. Mom and cubs remain off public exhibit to ensure continual bonding and proper nursing while staff monitors the new family via an internal web cam.

The male weighed in yesterday at 7 pounds and the female, 6 pounds. According to their keepers the cubs are venturing outside the birthing den more frequently and playing, particularly favoring a game of playing with mom’s tail!

Dr. Kelly Helmick, associate veterinarian at the zoo, gave the cubs a clean bill of health and will continue to administer exams and the nece…

Northern helmeted curassow chick hatches

Posted by: Mark Myers, Animal Curator
A Northern helmeted curassow chick hatched 6/26 with a little assistance from keepers since the chick wasn’t making much progress after 48 hours of effort.

It is now located behind the scenes in a brooder box next to its mother in the zoo’s Conservation Aviary in the Temperate Forest zone. By keeping it next to her, the chick should become more properly socialized and have less of a chance of imprinting on humans. To reduce imprinting, staff minimizes talking in the presence of the chick.

Like chickens or turkeys, curassow chicks are precocial at hatching—meaning they are born relatively independent—and with guidance, they learn to eat on their own very quickly. To stimulate it to eat, we use objects like tweezers or a long stick with a red tip to point food out to the chick.

These chicks are also very arboreal and they like to perch up off the ground. At hatching, their wing feathers are very well developed which allows them to take short flights at …

Help us restore habitat at Licton Springs Park

Posted by: Katherine Steen, Education

Want to join a Woodland Park Zoo team restoring habitat for wildlife at Licton Springs Park? Sign up for a habitat restoration event with us and EarthCorps!

Back on May 16, our zoo team had a great time with EarthCorps and community volunteers restoring habitat at Golden Gardens Park. And now, we’re doing it again!

This summer WPZ invites you to share the habitat by taking action to protect and restore wildlife habitat around the world and in our own backyards. On Saturday, July 11th, a team of zoo staff, volunteers, and friends will be joining Earth Corps and the Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration event at Licton Springs Park in north Seattle.

Add it to your calendar!
Saturday, July 11th, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

What to expect:
You'll be side by side with zoo staff and volunteers planting native trees, shrubs, and ground cover.

EarthCorps will provide gloves, tools, water, light refreshments (coffee, tea, water and donuts!) and a talk that co…

Frog recovery program making headlines

Posted by: Bobbi Miller, Field Conservation


Did you see today’s Seattle Times cover story about the Cedar Creek Corrections Center inmates helping to raise and reintroduce endangered Oregon spotted frogs to Washington habitats? It’s all part of a great recovery program Woodland Park Zoo has joined with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Northwest Zoo and Aquarium Alliance.

Here in our own Northwest backyard, we’ve seen populations of the Oregon spotted frog diminish significantly, all but lost to wetland degradation and chytridiomycosis—a deadly, fast spreading fungus. Add to that the introduction of predators such as the bullfrog, and this native frog has disappeared from much of its original habitat. These factors prompted Washington state to list the species as endangered in 1997. It may also ultimately lead to a federal endangered listing soon.

But hope is on the horizon. Woodland Park Zoo has joined a multi-institution recovery project that is pairing captive rea…

Meet our new giraffe, Tufani

Posted by: Walter Dupree, Animal Collections Manager


On June 23, Woodland Park Zoo became home to another significant addition…a bouncing eleven-month-old female giraffe named Tufani. She came to us from Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri. For those that remember, this is the same zoo that sent us Olivia, our other female giraffe. In fact, Tufani and Olivia are half sisters. And no, they don’t seem to recognize each other, but with giraffe, you never know.

Like Olivia, Tufani is a Rothschild’s giraffe also known as Baringo or Lado giraffe. Although she is not a Reticulated giraffe like our males, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan manages them as one sub species so we have future breeding recommendations already. But don’t expect to see any infant giraffe running on the savanna anytime soon as our girls are still a bit young.

If you’ve never seen a giraffe shipment before, it’s an interesting undertaking. I bet a few of you are wondering how we get t…