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Showing posts from January, 2011

Hooray for horticulture

Posted by: Kiley Jacques, Senior Rose Gardener It seems there is a widespread message today to be green . We are encouraged to recycle, compost and support sustainability. But have you ever thought to see green ? To imagine what your neighborhood would be without all the trees, shrubs, lawns and diverse vegetation that give life to your world? To view the landscape that surrounds you as a softening agent in a time of all-things-asphalt? More specifically, can you picture our zoo without greenery? Essential to Woodland Park Zoo is a commitment to naturalistic exhibits. Over the years, much thought has been given to the role horticulture plays in exhibit design. The creation of bioclimatic zones—organizing exhibits in such a way as to group together animals from similar habitats—has proven very effective. Construction plans now begin with the researching of an animal’s native environment. It is thought that, with proper planting techniques, our zoo education department can use exhibits

Tiny endangered Egyptian tortoises hatch

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications UPDATE: The two hatchlings are now on view in the Day Exhibit! Two critically endangered Egyptian tortoises hatched at the end of December and are being cared for by zookeepers behind the scenes at the Day Exhibit. Watch this video to see the tortoises at two weeks old exploring their surroundings. This tiny desert-living tortoise is facing intense pressures in the wild. Despite its name, the Egyptian tortoise is actually now extinct in Egypt and only small populations remain in Libya. Habitat destruction and human encroachment have devastated the Egyptian tortoise’s native habitat, and the illegal international pet trade has nearly depleted wild populations. The successful hatching at Woodland Park Zoo helps maintain genetic diversity and is part of our commitment to the conservation of this species. Since 2001 we have also supported the Egyptian Tortoise Conservation Program , a multidimensional program dedicated to habitat and species cons

Historic carousel goes solar

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications The carousel pavilion is getting solar panels this week! There’s a myth that solar energy doesn’t work in Seattle’s famous gray skies, so we’re especially excited for this project that will not only provide us with renewable energy, but also serve as a very public demonstration that solar energy is a viable option in our community. Big thanks to Seattle City Light for making this project possible with a generous $70,000 grant from their green power program, which is funded by voluntary contributions from customers in support of renewable energy education. The solar panels are expected to produce 9,000 kilowatt-hours annually, enough to offset the electricity required to power the carousel, which completes an average 100,000 rides per year. The 9,000 kilowatt-hours number has double significance—according to Seattle City Light, it’s also the annual amount of electricity needed to power the average Seattle home, making this project a great ren

Sea eagles newest members of Seahawks 12th Man

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications This week a stunning pair of Steller’s sea eagles made their debut in our award-winning Northern Trail exhibit, joining the honorary ranks of the Seattle Seahawks’ 12th Man just in time to salute the Seahawks as they face the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s divisional playoff. The sea eagles’ connection to the Hawks runs deep—the Seahawks actually helped bring these beautiful birds to the zoo! Back in 2008, Seahawks executives co-chaired the zoo’s major fundraiser, Jungle Party , and, under their leadership, helped raise funds to bring the sea eagles to the zoo and support their daily care, including quarantine, veterinary care, nutritional plans and enrichment. So we’re cheering on the Seahawks this week ourselves: visit the zoo this Saturday or Sunday and get a Seahawks #12 button (while supplies last) at either zoo entrance! When you visit, be sure to make your way up to Northern Trail to see these impressive birds in person. Along with the harp

We want to hear from you

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications We're listening! Looking at the year of blogging ahead of us, we want to make sure that we’re telling the stories that you care about and find useful. So we added two buttons at the bottom of each of our blog posts that let you give us easy feedback when you find something interesting and you want “ More like this ” or when something is informational and you “ Learned something new .” We’ll use that feedback to help drive what kind of content we post, so please click to let us know what you think on future posts. Of course, you are also always welcome to give us feedback in the comments section of each post, discuss a post with us and other fans on Facebook or Twitter , or shoot us an email . Tip: If you are reading our blog via feed or email subscription, you may have to view the blog post online to access the feedback buttons. Ear photos by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

An officer, a zookeeper and a dog go Bear Smart

Posted by: Wendy Gardner, Zookeeper, Grizzly Bear Outreach Project Field Assistant, Sky Valley Bear Smart Project Leader I have a passion for educating people on ways to prevent human-bear conflicts so that bears do not die needlessly because of human caused problems. Since 2006, I have worked as a field assistant for the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (GBOP), a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife . In 2010, I had the privilege to expand my work in the field, joining with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Enforcement Officer Nicholas Jorg in the Skykomish Valley to establish the Sky Valley Bear Smart Project, focusing on educating the public in the Gold Bar and Sultan communities on how to be Bear Smart . One of the most rewarding and thrilling experiences in my new position came last summer when I helped Officer Jorg handle a female bear that was roaming campgrounds in Monroe. The bear was drawn in by the temptation of food left out by a young group of campers. (Exampl