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Showing posts from March, 2012

Joey + joey

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


What’s better than one joey? Two joeys!


No, not those Joeys. We’re talking baby marsupials!

We’re excited to have had two little joeys born at our Australasia exhibit. Our 5-month-old, red-necked wallaby joey is just starting to peek out of its mother’s pouch, and our newborn wallaroo joey has not been seen yet but will start to emerge in June or July.


This is especially exciting news for us as it marks the first wallaby joey born at Woodland Park Zoo, part of our work with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ collaborative Species Survival Plan breeding program.

If you come by to look for the wallaby joey, you’ll want to have a bit of patience and a little luck on your side. You’ll be looking for the joey in the pouch of 3-year-old, first time mom Kiley. You can tell her apart by the orange tag on the front of her right ear.


Be prepared—Kiley can be quite shy. She tends to hide behind a row of bushes but occasionally ventures toward …

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Smell like a Komodo dragon

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications




Komodo dragons have an excellent sense of smell enhanced by a long, forked tongue that helps them detect carrion up to 6 miles away.


They also use their tongue to investigate other Komodo defecation sites. That might sound gross to us, but it provides valuable information to them about another's sex, size and age.

Photo by Mat Hayward/Woodland Park Zoo.

New tiger and sloth bear exhibit designs revealed

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications




Serving on the exhibit design team for new Malayan tiger and sloth bear exhibits has been the highlight of my years at Woodland Park Zoo. Apologies in advance--you might see an extraordinary amount of exclamation points in this blog post because I am so excited after all this time to unveil the cool features we’ve dreamed up for this new space! And with your support, we can make it a reality!


Our tigers and sloth bears currently live in 60-year-old exhibits, some of the last remaining old-school exhibits at the zoo. It’s time to transform this space into a state-of-the-art, naturalistic exhibit complex for these endangered species. We’re making it better for the animals, better for visitors, better for zoo staff and better for the environment through sustainable design.

Here’s how we’ll do it. Let me set the scene…

Enter the tropical forests of Asia and be immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of a forest teeming with life—endangered turt…

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Two sets of eyes

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications





When the sunbittern unfolds its wings, a burst of color is revealed with a pattern that looks like two glaring eyes.


The “eyes” can be used to frighten predators.

Come see the sunbittern in the always warm Tropical Rain Forest building. It's the perfect escape on a rainy day. And now rainy days at the zoo might come with a little something extra--50% off zoo admission!

With our new Rainy Day Discount, we'll activate a special coupon on select dreary days. Just visit our Rainy Day page to see if there's a coupon good for your next trip on a soggy day.

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Saying goodbye to sun bears

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



There are big changes coming soon to our tiger and Asian bear exhibits as we get ready to make over the 60-year-old spaces into naturalistic, state-of-the-art homes for these animals. Next week we’ll unveil our final design plans for the new space. But before we get caught up in what’s to come, we want to tell you about some related changes underway—saying goodbye to sun bears at Woodland Park Zoo.

As we started to gather ideas for the new exhibits that will replace this outdated part of the zoo, we had to get serious about planning for space. You see, we are seeking to deepen our commitment to and involvement in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan captive breeding programs for Asian bears. To become a center for endangered Asian bear breeding, we need to use exhibit space more efficiently to allow for multiple generations of bears—from newborns to the elderly—and account for the need to separate bears that may not b…

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Snow leopard tail

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications




Enjoying the cold, wet snow mix this week? It’s nothing to our snow leopards.


They come equipped for bundling up: snow leopards use their 3-foot-long tails as mufflers to protect their noses and lungs from freezing at night.

Archive photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

There’s a fox in my fig tree

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications


Meet some of our newest frugivores!




Six Indian flying foxes have settled in (under, actually) nicely at the Adaptations Building.

While it may be hard to tell which creature the Indian flying fox resembles most, its large eyeballs, pointy ears, reddish brown fur, long snout, and wingspan of up to six feet, all belong to the megabat Pteropus giganteus. Not quite a fox, although certainly similar in the looks department, the Indian flying fox is one of the larger fruit bats in the world, weighing as much as 3.5 pounds.

In the wild, the Indian flying fox is found on the Indian sub-continent that extends from Pakistan to Southeast Asia and China, and south to the Maldive Islands. Flying fox inhabit enormous trees such as banyan, tamarind and fig. These trees are capable of holding huge bat colonies, sometimes housing thousands of bats!

For the most part, these bats are nocturnal, leaving their roost just after sunset for long distance flights i…

Allegory of the senses…mmm smells like Fruit Loops?

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications with David Selk, Horticulture


Don’t you love the early signs of spring? Even though it’s still chilly and spring doesn’t technically start until March 20, some of the tiniest hints of the season are already in full force here at the zoo. With a few clues from our resident horticulture guru, David Selk, I went on a quick hunt for early blooms. Here are a few of the finds…


Hello spring! Above is the flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum).

Below is a fresh green sprout from an Indian Plum (Oemlaria cerasiformis), little green slivers of warmer days ahead. This is a view from the side—some pretty intense architecture! This plant is native to the Pacific Northwest, ranging from BC, Canada all the way to Santa Barbara, CA. A sure sign of spring, Indian Plum is among the first plants to leaf out and flower.











You can begin to see delicate white flowers emerge from the buds. People used to make tea from the bark, and chewed the twigs to use as a mild a…