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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vote “turtles” and help save a species

Posted by: Kate Neville, Development

Here’s your chance to help us save endangered turtles—all you have to do is cast a vote!
Woodland Park Zoo has been selected as one of three local conservation organizations to participate in the 2009 Patagonia Voice Your Choice Program.

From September 24 through October 24, customers at the downtown Seattle store will learn more about each of the three selected organizations. Customers can then vote for their favorite organization.

Grants will be awarded based on the voting—First place: $2,500, Second place: $1,500, and Third place: $1,000.

Proceeds from this program will go to Woodland Park Zoo's Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project, a collaborative, grass-roots effort to restore Western pond turtle populations in Washington state. Funds will help cover the costs of Woodland Park Zoo's headstarting program, in which baby turtles are reared in captivity, then released into the wild when they are large enough to be safe from predators.

Western pond turtles were on the verge of extinction in Washington in 1990, with only a mere 150 turtles left in the wild. Thanks to the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project, we’ve helped boost the population of the species to about 1,500 in Washington state. Now we’re asking for your help to grow this successful conservation effort even more and keep hope alive for this endangered species.

Come visit us at our in-store zoo booth at Patagonia, October 3 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. and October 4 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Busy that weekend? No problem—you can come to the store to cast your vote any day between September 24 and October 24. You can even return the next day and vote again; only one vote per day please.

(Patagonia is located in downtown Seattle at 2100 First Ave. For store hours and directions, call (206) 622-9700 or visit them online.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flamingo Chick Tests the Waters

Posted by: Ryan Hawk, Photographer

The first Chilean flamingo chick born at Woodland Park Zoo continues to grow and develop. Its big legs, loud squawks, and fuzzy/downy white feathers make this little guy unique. (Seen here in the tub of water at 1 week old.)

Now 2 weeks old, the chick has been introduced to water, as well as to solid foods in the form of a slurry which it has already learned to filter feed from.

The chick is currently off public view.

Photos by Ryan Hawk

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Celebrating conservation in Papua New Guinea

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Woodland Park Zoo's conservationists and staff photographer traveled to Papua New Guinea in April this year to help celebrate the passage of PNG’s first national Conservation Area—a conservation milestone 12 years in the making with Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, partners, and PNG villagers and government.

This video transports you to the Sing Sing celebration in the highland village of Teptep, Papua New Guinea, complete with songs and dances honoring this national achievement and the international unity behind it. Hear from the many Papua New Guinea nationals who have contributed their own land, time and dedication to this project.

In the words of one PNG landowner you’ll see in the video, “I saw that people were destroying the land. But I said, save the land. Save it and look after it. Easy does it—step by step.”

This is one huge step we are proud to be part of.

Go here to learn more about the 187,000 acre YUS Conservation Area and how you can help support it into the future through Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program. You can also help by spreading the word of this conservation breakthrough--please share this blog post and video with your friends.

Video produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pretty in downy white

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

We’ve got exciting news! A Chilean flamingo chick has hatched at Woodland Park Zoo, marking the first time the zoo has successfully hatched a Chilean flamingo in its 109-year history!

The chick hatched in an incubator on August 25, following a 29-day incubation period. To ensure a higher chance of survival, a team of dedicated and expert staff are hand-raising and hand-feeding the chick off public exhibit for now.

You might remember the arrival of a new flock of more than 25 flamingos last year. They debuted in a brand new 4,000-square-foot exhibit that opened in May 2008.

This spring represented the first full breeding season for the new flock in the new exhibit as the graceful birds put on a striking show of synchronized courtship and ritualized behaviors for zoo guests – head flagging, wing saluting and marching in sequence and unison. This active display culminated with nest building, egg laying and one chick to date!

Zoo guests can see the adult flamingos and nests in their exhibit near the Temperate Forest. An additional three eggs are currently being artificially incubated and are expected to hatch within the next few days.

Are you wondering why the chick isn’t pink? Flamingo chicks hatch with a whitish, gray down and don’t acquire pink feathering (at first mixed with gray-brown contour feathers) until about 1 year old. They are fully pink by 2 to 3 years of age.
Photos by Ryan Hawk.

Fall Fecal Fest is back

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Fall is around the corner, which means it’s time for Woodland Park Zoo’s annual Fall Fecal Fest. Garden enthusiasts and Zoo Doo loyalists, get ready to enter a drawing to purchase the highly coveted Zoo Doo.

The pungent piles of poop make up the richest, most highly aromatic and exotic compost in the Pacific Northwest. This year there is less Zoo Doo to go around, making the lottery more competitive.

How do you get your hands on this precious poop?

Dr. Doo is accepting entry cards for Zoo Doo or Bedspread (a composted mulch made from the manures and bedding of the zoo’s non-primate herbivores) from September 11 through September 25 only. Entry cards will be randomly selected according to supply and demand. Dr. Doo will contact the lucky drawn entries only. The Fecal Fest traditionally sells out.

The rules:
Only one postcard per person is eligible for the drawing. Phone orders will not be taken. Send a standard postcard to Zoo Doo, Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, WA 98103. Include the following information:
- Name
- Day/evening phone numbers
- Preference: Zoo Doo or Bedspread
- Amount of Zoo Doo or Bedspread you’d like to purchase (anything from a garbage bag to a full-size pick-up truck load)
- Weekday or weekend preference for pick-up

For costs and pick-up details, you can check out the Zoo Doo webpage or call the poop line at 206.625.POOP.

Wondering which animals contribute to Zoo Doo? All the non-primate herbivore animals are happy to doo their part. These animals include, elephants, hippos, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, oryx, ponies and others. Woodland Park Zoo creates 1,000,000 pounds of compost each year saving $60,000 per year in disposal costs.