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Showing posts from December, 2010

Top 10 of 2010

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

This week marks Woodland Park Zoo’s 111th birthday, and what a 111th year it has been! In 2010 we celebrated conservation successes, won a national best exhibit award, hatched endangered species and so much more.

Here’s my personal pick of the top 10 zoo stories of 2010, in no particular order. What were your favorite zoo experiences this year?

1. Endangered penguin chicks hatch in new exhibit



2. Snow leopard cologne sniff test helps conservation research in the wild



3. Rescued golden eagle finds new home at zoo

4. Meerkats return to the zoo after 10-year absence—and they’re meerkute!


5. Elephant Chai predicts winner of the Apple Cup


6. Zoo wins national Best Exhibit Award for sustainably-built Humboldt penguin exhibit

7. Teens raise and release endangered turtles into wild


8. Community celebrates endangered species with zoo’s Limited Edition art and Trophy Cupcakes

9. Zoo blog readers help raise money to fight fires in endangered crane habitat

Zoo staffer wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by: Kiley Jacques, Senior Rose Gardener

If ever an opportunity arises to visit the “bowels” of the zoo, take advantage of it. And when we say bowels, we mean it! It is there you will find Mr. Jimmy Bucsit flipping, and forking, and hauling, and hosing, and performing all kinds of other duties required to keep those famous piles of poop percolating in the Zoo Doo yard. It is for that work—25 dedicated years of it—that Jimmy was honored this month with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Organic Recycling Council.

Jimmy Bucsit (middle) poses with Woodland Park Zoo's current Dr. Doo, Dan Corum (left) and the zoo's first Dr. Doo, Jeff Gage (right). Many of our visitors have experienced the fun of Fecal Fest and purchased our well-known Zoo Doo, and increasingly popular Bedspread. Well, it is thanks to Jimmy and his 25 years of commendable service that we are able to provide such unique offerings. It is with his help that we are able to create and maintain a major…

Happy holidays

Posted by: Woodland Park Zoo staff

Thank you to all who have helped make Woodland Park Zoo a truly magical place for families in our community and for our zoo family here and around the world.



We hope you’ll spread the holiday cheer and pass this video or a zoo holiday e-card along to your loved ones.

On behalf of all the animals and staff, we wish you a happy holiday season and a wonderful 2011.

Video produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Update: Progress in wake of wildlife park fire

Posted by: Bobbi Miller, Field Conservation

In June, we posted urgent news from the field about a devastating fire that severely damaged parkland in Russia vital to the survival of endangered cranes. Touched by the tragedy, our generous readers and zoo supporters contributed $800 to help Cranes of Asia, a WPZ Partner for Wildlife, purchase firefighting equipment to control dangerous fires in the future. Here is an update on the progress of that critical effort…

The afternoon was still and hot until the winds began to pick up at the Muraviovka Park in the Amur region of Russia. It was the sort of day where you can feel something is about to happen, you just aren’t sure what that something might be—until you look out to the horizon and see it, the smoke from a wildfire.
On May 2 this year, the crew at Muraviovka Park—a crucial nesting and breeding ground for the endangered red crowned crane, and the home of WPZ Partner for Wildlife Cranes of Asia—could do little but watch as over 90% of th…

Newborn elephant observed in the wild

Posted by: Mustafa Hassanali, Tarangire Elephant Project, Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife

Any time an endangered animal gives birth in the wild it is an event to be celebrated. When it is an African elephant calf born in the evening twilight rather than late at night, and observed by WPZ Partner for Wildlife the Tarangire Elephant Project, it is a moment to be shared with everyone that supports the zoo, its partners, and our conservation mission. The following is an update from the field by Tarangire field assistant Mustafa Hassanali on the newborn elephant he observed in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania…
In the early evening on September 9, we saw Olive and her 18-year-old daughter, Olie, huddled together in an area of open grassland. They adopted a threatening posture as we drove up close to them, as we didn’t yet realize what was happening. Olie ran away with her calves and then we saw Olive and a small female calf, which had probably been born only a few minutes earlier. She…

New female lion gets a check up

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

One-year-old lion Adia recently arrived at the zoo to join our African Savanna exhibit, thanks to the leadership of Jungle Party 2010 Chairs Nancy and Rick Alvord. Last week, the young lion underwent a full physical examination by our animal health team. Such routine physicals give us essential baseline medical information for new animals including blood work, radiographs, and dental examination.

Adia, whose name means “gift” in Swahili, got a clean bill of health from her vets. The young lion weighed in at 150 pounds, around half the weight she is expected to grow into as an adult. She shows her young age in her fur as well—as a juvenile, Adia still has rosette-like spots on her fur, typical of lion cubs.

Thanks to the generous contributions of Karen L. Koon, our animal health team recently acquired a digital radiography machine that we were able to use during Adia’s exam. Taking baseline x-rays of a new animal is important in order to have a r…

Tracking snow leopards in Mongolia

Posted by: Jennifer Snell Rullman, Snow Leopard Trust, Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife

This conservation update comes from the Snow Leopard Trust, a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife working to study and conserve wild populations of the endangered snow leopard. Their field research, based in Mongolia, includes camera monitoring and GPS collaring of wild snow leopards in order to better understand the range and behavior of this elusive species. The more we know about snow leopards, the better we can protect them…

As we come to the end of our 2010 field season, we are pleased to close the year with two wonderful stories.

The first is about Tsagaan, who has been out of contact since March 2010! This fall, our team caught up with Tsagaan, a large adult male cat we have been following for two years. Although re-collared in March 2010, his collar never switched on and we received no GPS locations over the last eight months. Within weeks of placing this new collar in September, we r…

Prescient pachyderm prognosticator predicts pigskin prizewinner

Posted by: Ric Brewer, Communications



Chai (rhymes with eye), our female Asian elephant, doesn't yet have the fame of the late Paul the World Cup-predicting octopus. But today she prognosticated the winner of the Apple Cup. Presented with two boxes of apples, one decorated with Dawg and the other in Coug-themed wrapping paper. The 31-year-old elephant used her trunk to snatch an apple from the purple and gold box, picking the winner with a firm bite. Then, as you can see in the video, promptly smashed the box with the Coug paper.
Woodland Park Zoo has had its own legion of fans in the region by a mere year longer than the first Apple Cup game played in 1900. But today marks the first time an animal here has "predicted" a winner in this heated rivalry. Pat Maluy, the lead elephant keeper joked that "Since Chai has never done this before, her record of forecasting the winner is perfect. But I guess we'll know after Saturday's game if she has an pre-cognitive ab…