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Showing posts from June, 2011

Animal Spotlight: A tribute to Jake and Juanita

Posted by: Kelly Gross, Zookeeper with Dana Wooster, Zookeeper



Earlier this summer, we lost an amazing animal: Jake, the remaining member of the dynamic lion duo many visitors and staff alike have so many fond memoires of, the wonderful Jake and Juanita.

Jake was born at Woodland Park Zoo on June 10, 1991. According to longtime feline keeper Dana Wooster who began taking care of him when he was 11 months old, as a young lion Jake was always getting into trouble with his twin brother, Elwood. The two of them were very playful and were forever sneaking up and pouncing on their parents and aunts. At some point their mother, Sukari, gave up trying to keep them in line. Because of their mischievousness, Dana always imagined that if Jake and his brother had been human they would have been stealing hubcaps or committing other petty crimes. As they matured their manes began to grow, first into spiky mohawks, making them look quite punk, and then into magnificent manes. Jake took after his fat…

Coming up: Red, White & Zoo!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



Even the animals will have a blast over the Fourth of July weekend with our annual Red, White & Zooenrichment event, presented by Zookeeper and Columbia Pictures.

Before you get your grill going, celebrate with us this Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and see meerkats, grizzlies, orangutans, hippos and many more animals enjoying a Fourth of July picnic featuring a menu of star-shaped popsicles, watermelons and even corn on the cob!

The Fourth of July-themed treats are part of the excellent animal care program at Woodland Park Zoo and the zookeepers’ ongoing efforts to help enrich the lives of the zoo’s animals, promote natural animal behavior, keep animals mentally stimulated and engage zoo visitors.

Here’s the full schedule of activities for the two days:

Willawong Station - 10am-2:30pm
Sow bugs (Bug World) - morning/afternoon
Anoas - 10am
Hippos - 10:30 a.m.
Tigers - 11 a.m.
Golden lion tamarins - 11 a.m.

Snow in June?!

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications


Snow is in the forecast at Woodland Park Zoo with the hatching of a snowy owl chick! This owlet was hatched on June 13 but we have not yet determined the gender of the chick.

Keepers have been monitoring the owlet and it appears to be in good health. The parents and chick live in our award-winning Northern Trail exhibit, but you won’t be able to spot the chick just yet as mom is sitting on the nest taking good care it. The owlet is growing very quickly, and it might be just another week or two before visitors will be able to spot it.

This species of owl is migratory and nomadic. Every seven to 10 years, the Arctic-dwelling snowy owl appears in Washington state during winter months in large numbers, known as an "irruption," a period when young owls leave their breeding range in search of food.

Many raptor species are facing decline due to human-imposed activities. Raptors provide many benefits—they consume many animals that humans co…

More tree roo joey spotting

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


Our little tree kangaroo joey is showing its face a bit more these days.

We’re excited to catch and share these glimpses of the joey that is just now starting to emerge from its mother’s pouch at six months—that was a long wait for us to get a peek!

A tree kangaroo joey will typically remain in its mother’s pouch for about 10 months. Once out, it’ll continue to return to its mother’s pouch until it is fully weaned, usually at around 13 months.

Tree ‘roo mom Elanna is taking good care of the joey and the two are doing well in a quiet, behind-the-scenes exhibit at the zoo.

Woodland Park Zoo is home to the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program that is working to protect the endangered tree kangaroo and help maintain the unique biodiversity of its native Papua New Guinea in balance with the culture and needs of human communities.

If you’d like to help conserve tree kangaroos, you can go to www.zoo.org/treekangaroo/give, or use your cell phone to do…

Grizzlies vs. backyard barbecue

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications


“There goes the barbecue…”



Last week we shared some photos from our Bear Affair event held June 4. In our latest video, you can see 700-pound grizzly bear brothers, Keema and Denali, in action. Watch with your sound turned up to hear bear expert and zoo conservation partner Chris Morgan provide insight on bear safety as the grizzlies show us exactly how much damage they can do to our campsites and backyards.

Always be bear aware. If we do our part to keep attractants like garbage, birdseed and barbecues contained when camping or living in bear country, practice bear safety and give these animals plenty of space, we can help protect not just bears but people too.

And never keep marshmallows in your sleeping bag!

For more info on grizzlies, how we're protecting them in Washington state and what you can do to be bear safe, visit: http://bearinfo.org/.

Video shot and edited by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo.

GiveBIG challenge: Help us create more wonder, more wild

Posted by: Kate Neville, External Relations


Save the date!

Next Thursday, June 23, the Seattle Foundation is promoting GiveBIG, a communitywide day of online giving to local non-profits.


On this day, gifts to Woodland Park Zoo made through the GiveBIG event will be stretched by the Seattle Foundation. This is especially exciting because every dollar will go towards our Campaign for More Wonder More Wild that will not only support our ongoing commitment to animal care, conservation and education, but also help us to build a new, naturalistic exhibit complex for tigers and Asian bears.
Our community needs more wonder. Our world needs more wild. Here’s how you can help make that happen:

1) On June 23, from 7:00 a.m. to midnight, visit the zoo’s page on the Seattle Foundation website

2) Click the red DONATE NOW button and make a donation to the zoo through our Seattle Foundation page (this is the only way your gift will count towards the GiveBIG event)

3) Funds from a stretch pool created b…

Rare tree ‘roo joey begins to emerge

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications




Exciting news—we’ve made the very first sightings of our Matschie’s tree kangaroo joey! At six months old, the joey is just now beginning to emerge from its mother’s pouch. First the keepers spied only the joey’s ear poking out of the pouch, but within a few days, its whole face emerged.
Joey’s face emerges. Photo by Wendy Gardner/Woodland Park Zoo.
Born the size of a lima bean in December 2010, the joey has been developing unseen inside its mother’s pouch where it gets nourishment and protection. Tree ‘roo mother, four-year-old Elanna, has been cleaning the joey and providing excellent care. The two are living adjacent to father Huen in a quiet outdoor exhibit behind the scenes at the zoo where keepers can closely monitor the progress of mom and joey.
Mother Elanna feeds while joey remains protected in pouch. Photo by Wendy Gardner/Woodland Park Zoo.
This rare birth, part of the cooperative breeding Species Survival Plan program for this endan…

Grizzlies tear up tents

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



At Bear Affair this weekend, zookeepers teamed up with bear ecologist Chris Morgan from the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project—a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife—to demonstrate what happens if we don’t follow safety precautions when living or camping in bear country.



Our partners at GBOP want us all to be Bear Smart and act responsibly to ensure the safety of people and bears. They tell us sanitation and common sense are the keys to preventing problems. Remember, food and odors attract bears. Carelessly stored human food, livestock feed, garbage, and even barbeque grease and bird seed can attract bears and keep them coming back. Do not allow a bear to get a food reward and associate that reward with humans—you may endanger yourself and other people, and the outcome is often the unnecessary death of a bear.

Bear Affair visitors learned Bear Smart tips and practices, but if you missed the event, you can find those tips at the GBOP website. Be …

NY kids gets Skype interview with penguin keeper

Posted by Ric Brewer, Communications


At the end of April, the kids at an Upper Eastside Manhattan first-grade class were treated to something special: a "virtual visit" via Skype with Woodland Park zoo penguin keeper, Celine Pardo. The class had been studying penguins and when they discovered that WPZ had won the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Exhibit Award for our Humboldt penguin exhibit, they sought out to speak with us. After contacting us via email, their teacher Jen arranged the live interview.



Celine, along with several penguin props, interacted via Skype with the kids. They had incredibly astute questions for her, gleaned through their studies. The first-graders ask everything from the details of penguin evolution to where are a penguin's ears. Both the kids and Celine had a great time.
Here's the note their teacher emailed us immediately following the interview:


Before the Skype interview, the kids used books, a few used the Internet, interviews with …