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Showing posts from November, 2010

Herkimer Coffee donation brews orangutan, gorilla comforts

Posted by: Roxanne Murphy, Community Relations Here at Woodland Park Zoo, we develop many sizes of partnerships with all sorts of community organizations, but sometimes the sweetest of such partnerships are the simplest and directly in our neck of the woods. This is exactly what we realized when we recently got a call from Herkimer Coffee , located just a few blocks away from the zoo on Phinney Avenue. Sure, several zoo staffers and volunteers get their morning or afternoon pick-me-ups here, but Herkimer manager Chad Smith was thinking about the zoo on a deeper level. He and his family not only love the zoo as members, they’ve also spent time here and on their own learning about orangutans . They share our same strong affinity for these inspiring and intelligent primates. Chad specifically noticed that we use burlap bags in our orangutan and gorilla exhibits. In case you didn’t know, orangutans are arboreal, living in treetops, and they rarely come down from the trees. When they do, o

Komodo dragon vs. turkey leg

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Getting ready for Thanksgiving? Enjoy this clip of our Komodo dragons gulping down a turkey treat. The footage was featured nationwide on NBC's Today Show. Watch the video below or visit the Today website to view. Visit for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy The turkey treat was given to the Komodo dragons and other zoo carnivores at our annual Turkey Toss enrichment event, held last Saturday. Turkey Toss is part of the zoo’s ongoing enrichment program to help enrich the lives of the zoo’s animals, promote natural animal behavior, keep animals mentally and physically stimulated and engage zoo visitors. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Snow day at the zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Though the winter storm watch advisory caused the zoo to close early today for visitor and staff safety, the animals did quite well in the snow. They have indoor access and heated areas, but some chose to go out and explore in the snow anyway. It can be quite enriching for them! Here are some photos we took of the animals in the snow today, some a natural fit for the white-capped scenery, others a departure from the usual snowy scene: If the snow continues to impact zoo operations, we'll post updates to our website at . Be safe out there, everyone! Photos by Ryan Hawk and Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Limited Edition spotlight: African wild dog

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications This week, we released the first of six prints for our Limited Edition campaign , this one highlighting the endangered African wild dog . With only 3,000 African wild dogs left in the wild, this is a species on the edge, surviving in scattered packs across sub-Saharan Africa, a result of habitat loss and fragmentation. What isn’t fragmented is this species way of life in the pack—their social structure is remarkable. Even the scene at a kill for these carnivores is polite and orderly, with pups eating first while the adults fend off scavengers. How do they keep the peace? They frequently use ritualized gestures of appeasement to prevent any serious infighting. Most appeasement behavior is ritualized food-begging, but other gestures are familiar to anyone who owns a pet dog, such as whining, tail-wagging, and rolling over to expose the belly. You can see some of their hunting instincts at work if you ever catch our African wild dogs enjoying a

Limited Edition art highlights endangered species

Posted by: Dr. Deborah Jensen, President and CEO Animals shouldn’t come in limited edition, yet dwindling wild populations have one fifth of the world’s vertebrates teetering on the edge of extinction. This fall, we launched our Limited Edition art campaign to draw attention to the plight of endangered species, what we’re doing to conserve them, and how you can help. The campaign started with billboards around town showing artist renditions of six of the endangered species Woodland Park Zoo is working to save: Panamanian golden frog ; western pond turtle ; African wild dog ; Sumatran tiger ; golden lion tamarin ; and red crowned crane . The six works of art, shown above, were designed by prominent Pacific Northwest artists Troy Gua, Natalie Oswald, Fumi Watanabe, Don Clark, Fiona McGuigan and Jesse LeDoux. The numbers scribbled in the left-hand corner of the billboards—evocative of limited edition artwork—represent the number of individuals of that species remaining in the wild: 1,10