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Showing posts from August, 2009

Snow leopard cubs make debut

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Snow leopard cubs Batu and the newly named Gobi (thanks to your 35,000 votes!) made their public debut this past Saturday during Woodland Park Zoo’s 3rd annual Snow Leopard Day event.

Watch the cubs take some of their first steps into the exhibit and explore the new sights and smells.

If you want to see them in person, the cubs are typically given access to the exhibit from noon to 3:00 p.m. daily.

Video by Ryan Hawk.

Zoo in the World: Tracking the elusive snow leopard

Posted by: Kim M. Murray, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Science, Snow Leopard Trust

Read on for an update on tracking wild snow leopards from the Snow Leopard Trust’s field research base in Mongolia. The Snow Leopard Trust is one of Woodland Park Zoo’s Partners for Wildlife*.

Summer is the busiest season at the Snow Leopard Trust’s research camp in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. This summer our crew spent long days in the field looking for sites with recent snow leopard activity to deploy our trap cameras. By early July we had 41 cameras distributed over a 500-square-mile area, making it the most ambitious camera trapping study ever undertaken for snow leopards. The cameras remained in the field for a month; now we’re reviewing the images to see how many cats we photographed. Because every snow leopard has a unique spot pattern, just like a human fingerprint, we can use these photos to identify individual cats to estimate the size of the snow leopard population.

We’re also using GPS satelli…

Endangered turtles return to wild

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

After nearly a year of nourishment and care by Woodland Park Zoo turtle experts, 53 endangered western pond turtles swam their way back into the wild when we joined Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to release the turtles last week at wildlife refuge sites in Pierce and Mason Counties.

On hand to help release the shelled reptiles was 7-year-old Harrison Keyser of Sammamish, Wash. (pictured at left with his sisters) who arranged a “Turtle Trot” to raise more than $300 for the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project. Harrison told us he thought “it was really cool letting the turtles go in the pond” and he’d like to do this again next year. We’d be happy to have you back, Harrison!

The 10-month-old turtles were collected last fall from the wild as hatchlings and head started at the zoo to give them an edge on surviving in the wild. Collection Manager Mike Teller and his keepers have a system for growing the turtles to just the right size:

“We m…

Zoo Corps and Silverspot butterflies - a winning combo!

Posted by Ric Brewer, Communications

Below: WPZ staff member David Droppers with Zoo Corps interns Claire and Brenna, transport endangered Oregon silverspot butterflies for release (top) and releasing them at Cascade Head Reserve.(Photos by Katie Remine)

On Thursday, August 13, Brenna and Claire, two of our Zoo Corps teen interns got the great opportunity to have a direct impact on wildlife conservation by participating in the release of endangered Oregon silverspot butterflies at a protected site in Cascade Head Reserve, Oregon. The site, run by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department and The Nature Conservancy is not only protecting some of the last vestiges of this rare native butterfly, it also is the site of what is becoming an ever dwindling habitat, coastal grasslands. The zoo has been participating in the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly Recovery Project by raising butterfly at the zoo and releasing pupae back to this location which also hosts the butterflies' favorite food, the …

Meet the cubs at Snow Leopard Day

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


Don't miss the debut of the snow leopard cubs tomorrow, Saturday, August 15, at noon during our 3rd annual Snow Leopard Day. The male cub will get his name--chosen by your votes--and the public will see the cubs take their first official steps into the exhibit!

Enjoy a full day of activities (9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) celebrating one of the world’s most endangered and elusive wild animals. 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 them in the wild. Activities include:

* Keeper talks and special enrichment for the snow leopards
* Conservation talks by Snow Leopard Trust
* Book launch and signing of "Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia" with author Sy Montgomery
* Snow leopard-inspired crafts for kids
* Special themed programs for kids in…

Take a penguin home with you

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


Here's your chance to own one of the Penguins on the Marchpenguin statues seen migrating across Seattle this summer--a public silent auction will be held for the penguins on August 14 at the monthly Art Up Greenwood-Phinney art walk.
Meet some of the artists and place your bid on one of the 30 penguin statues that will be auctioned off to benefit Woodland Park Zoo’s field conservation programs. Woodland Park Zoo currently supports 38 wildlife conservation projects in 50 countries worldwide, including the Humboldt Penguin Conservation Center at Punta San Juan.

Save the date: Friday, August 14, 2009, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Greenwood Collective. See you there!
Photos by Ryan Hawk.

Cast your vote to name a snow leopard cub

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications
The poll is open! Cast your vote to name Woodland Park Zoo's male snow leopard cub, plus enter to win a snow leopard prize package. Vote as often as you'd like for as many names as you'd like now through midnight, August 12.
We'll announce the winning name when the cubs debut on Saturday, August 15 at noon on Snow Leopard Day. The female cub has already been named Batu (pronounced BAH-too), a Mongolian name meaning firm, hard, honest.Photo: This male snow leopard cub, pictured here at 9 weeks, needs a name selected by you! Photo by Ryan Hawk.