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Showing posts from September, 2010

Conservation leaders of tomorrow remember yesterday

Posted by: Dr. Randall Kyes, Global Field Training in Conservation Biology, WPZ Partner for Wildlife For more than 10 years, Woodland Park Zoo has supported the Global Field Training in Conservation Biology (GFTCB) program, a WPZ Partner for Wildlife . Through GFTCB, Dr. Randall Kyes, from the University of Washington and One Earth Institute, and colleagues in Bangladesh, Nepal, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Brazil have been working together to foster the next generation of global conservation leaders, training university students and professionals to be responsible for the survival of the biodiversity in their home countries. Here is the most recent news from the field from Dr. Kyes… This past summer, we completed our 13th annual Field Course in Conservation Biology at the Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. We had 10 participants including seven university students, one ranger, and two members of a local conservation o

Lion lure line

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Lions sleep. A lot. But when not sleeping, their instinct is to stalk and hunt prey . To nurture those instincts and add some excitement to our lion exhibit—both for the lions and for visitors—our keepers recently experimented with the addition of an enrichment lure line. The lure line is basically a pully system stretching across the exhibit that allows the keepers to whiz a piece of meat or other tempting treat through the air, enticing the lions’ instincts and springing them into hunting action. We did the first test of the lure line last week and had surprising results. Keepers expected Kalisa, our female lion, to show the most interest, but it was in fact Hubert, our male, who had the biggest reaction. As the line whizzed past the pair, Kalisa cautiously observed, following its movement with her head. Hubert was the first to approach. Swinging with his paws, he got the chicken into the grip of his claws and mouth and ripped it off the li

Come to the 3rd annual Dine Out for Animals

Posted by: Lucas Engles-Klann, 5-year-old animal lover With help from his parents and the support of Woodland Park Zoo, 5-year-old Lucas Engles-Klann, a WPZ member and budding conservationist, would like to invite you to his Third Annual Dine Out for Animals fundraiser… Hi all you zoo fans! Come to the Third Annual Dine Out for Animals which is happening Sunday, October 3rd from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. We're going to have a great time at Elemental and Elemental Next Door in Wallingford, thanks to Laurie and Phred who are donating their space again. Last year, we raised $5,000 for gorilla animal care and habitats at Woodland Park Zoo. This year, Dine Out will benefit even more animals: the zoo's gorillas plus also the turtles in the Day Exhibit, the Northern Trail grizzly bears, and the wildlife impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf. Why do I organize Dine Out every year? Since I was two years old, I've been really passionate about wild animals and saving them. I learned the l

Zoo wins best exhibit "Oscar"

Posted by Ric Brewer, Communications For the fifth time in our history, Woodland Park Zoo has been honored with an Exhibit Achievement Award by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) for our Humboldt penguin exhibit. The prestigious award, equivalent to an "Oscar" in the zoo and aquarium world, was presented this week at AZA's annual conference in Houston. In a rare move by AZA, the top award also went to a second institution, Oregon Zoo, for its Predators of the Serengeti. The achievement award is presented by AZA for outstanding dedication to conservation issues, construction of exhibit space and simulation of species natural habitats. The state-of-the-art penguin exhibit, opened in May 2009, transports zoo-visitors to the rocky coastal peninsula of Punta San Juan, home to the largest breeding population of Humboldt penguins in Peru. There are many factors used to determine "best exhibit" status, but the many energy-efficient and "green" elem

Bananaquits join the Tropical Rain Forest

Posted by: Ric Brewer, Communications The newest species to join our Tropical Rain Forest dome, the bananaquit , is not rare in the wild, but this oddly named bird is certainly unique due to the fact that many scientists still disagree about exactly which taxonomic group it belongs. The bananaquit ( Coereba flaveola ) is a species of passerine bird (the order of birds which contains nearly half of all bird species ranging from warblers to crows and sparrows). It features a brilliant bright yellow breast with a dark gray-to-black top and horizontal white stripes above and below its dark eye. Its beak is slightly curved and awl-like. It is tentatively placed in the tanager family, but classified as incertae sedis by other authorities (such as the American Ornithologists' Union) as its affinity to other species is uncertain. This fancy Latin term basically means, "We don't know for sure." While its classification is debated , it is often placed in its own family, Co

Bears in your backyard? Get Bear Smart

Posted by: Cathy Macchio, Grizzly Bear Outreach Project , a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife Recently I met Maggie B., who lives in Wisteria Park. For several weeks, she had a bear in her yard. Maggie and her husband, as well as a few other neighbors, do appropriately store their garbage in garages until the morning of pick-up to deter bears. Unfortunately, many of her neighbors do not follow the same Bear Smart practices, which is why the bears continue to visit the neighborhood and her backyard. The bears were entering the Wisteria neighborhood through Maggie’s yard, as well as other neighbor’s yards. Once the bear smelled ripe garbage it wandered down the alley pulling out trash from garbage cans and brought the trash back into Maggie’s yard where it ripped open the bags to eat everything and anything it could find. Over a four-day period Maggie collected three large bags of other people’s garbage from her yard and the greenbelt area adjacent to her home because she was conc

Zoo partnership brings educators to Borneo

Posted by: Jenny Mears, Education I’m straining my eyes and craning my neck while sitting in a small boat speeding around a bend in the Kinabatangan River in Borneo. “There! There!” someone shouts and points to the nearby bank. It’s then that I catch my first glimpse of an elephant in the wild, a Borneo pygmy elephant calmly grazing on grass by the river. Eventually, we turn the corner and are able to see the entire herd of approximately 45 elephants. Most of the adult elephants are also ripping up and eating the long grass; some juveniles are wrestling with each other in the river; a few of the babies are nursing. Meanwhile, I am awestruck and amazed, tears streaming down my face, unable to believe that I’m witnessing this incredible natural phenomenon first-hand. Summer 2010 found me embarking on a Field Expedition to Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia considered to be a hotspot of ecological diversity, as part of my Global Field Program Master’s degree through Ohio’s Miami Universi