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Showing posts from May, 2012

The hatching of a ball of fluff

Posted by: Mark Myers, Curator of Birds It's that great time of the year when many of the birds at Woodland Park Zoo begin to nest and raise chicks. By far the most unique species we breed is the tawny frogmouth. They look like owls, but they're actually relatives of nightjars (nighthawks, whip-poor-wills, etc.). This primarily nocturnal species is native to Australia, and the zoo has two pairs in an off-exhibit area for breeding purposes. Tawny frogmouth chick at four days old. The ball of fluff in this photo is the fourth chick produced by a pair we received from the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia in 2009. It hatched on May 17, and the parents are raising it on a diet of insects and small mice. When hatched, it weighed 0.6 ounces (17.5 grams). The small, white dot towards the upper tip of the bill is the egg tooth. This is what the chick uses to break the shell as it is hatching. The egg tooth will eventually fall off as the chick ages. The frogmouth

Snow leopard cubs show their spots

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications A snow leopard’s spots are a thing of beauty, and in this case, that beauty is skin-deep. That's because the pigmented spots go beyond the furry surface and are actually part of the snow leopard's skin itself. You can see it here in this shaved patch on one of our snow leopard cubs . The cubs each had a tiny patch shaved during their first health exam to help zookeepers tell them apart on the internal web cam we use to monitor mom and cubs. Notice how the rosette on the shaved patch continues from fur to skin. Snow leopard spots aren’t just for looking pretty. They provide critical camouflage for these hunters, allowing them to blend into their rocky environment as they stalk prey. However, that camouflage and slinky elusiveness also make them difficult to study in the wild! That’s why our conservation partners at the Snow Leopard Trust use hidden cameras that are motion-activated to snap photos of

Give Ten for Tigers: You did it!

Posted by: Team Tiger You’ve shown your stripes and caused an uproar for tigers through our Give Ten for Tigers campaign. Thanks to you, we’ve gone over goal and raised an incredible $115,000 well before the deadline and we got the $100,000 match!!! We now have enough to start construction on the first phase of the incredible new tropical forest exhibit for tigers, sloth bears and otters! We can’t thank you enough for giving to the cause and spreading the word to your friends. Every dollar and every share helped get us here. YOU got us to this first critical milestone! Construction on this first phase, which includes the home of the new Asian small-clawed otters, will begin the day after Labor Day and open May 2013. In the meantime, everything that’s come in over the $100,000 goal, and every dollar raised from now on, will help build the second and final phase of the new home for our tigers and sloth bears , which will open in 2014. Thanks so much for givin

Woodland Park Zoo gets even greener today

Posted by: Paul Balle, Development Officer I was very excited the day that Forterra, formerly Cascade Land Conservancy, invited Woodland Park Zoo to become a founding partner in their new Carbon Capturing Companies (C3) program. That partnership was announced today at Forterra’s annual breakfast. As a zoo employee and member of our Green Team, an active conservationist, and someone who’s been heavily involved with our WPZ Sustainability Plan and calculating the zoo’s annual carbon footprint, C3 seemed a natural way to partner with 14 businesses and organizations—INCLUDING a famous rock band (Pearl Jam!)—to help make our region greener while offsetting our annual carbon emissions by planting trees in our region. In a nutshell, here’s how C3 works:  Companies and organizations who want to reduce their carbon footprint—and its effects on our region—are encouraged to participate by joining the C3 program. What’s the carbon cost of doing business? Photo by Ryan Hawk/

Baby, baby, baby!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications We have three little secrets to share: Triplet snow leopards were born on May 2! The precious cubs, born to 7-year-old mother Helen and 6-year-old father Tom, have been tucked away under mom’s close care in a behind-the-scenes den. Today marked the first day our keepers and vets were able to access the cubs for a quick health exam—which means it was also the very first opportunity we had to take photos. At 2-weeks-old, the cubs are a healthy weight, ranging between 2.1 and 2.4 pounds.   We were able to determine that we’ve got two females and one male on our hands. Snow leopard cubs are born with their eyes closed, and our little trio is just starting to open their eyes. After the brief exam, the cubs were quickly returned to mom who is taking excellent care of them. This is her second litter of cubs, and that maternal experience is paying off. She’s nurturing the three cubs very wel

Training tigers behind the scenes

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Keepers train our tigers and sloth bears behind the scenes to get them to cooperate with their daily care. But in our new exhibits , we’re bringing the behind the scenes front and center with special training areas in the exhibit. You’ll get to watch keepers interact with the animals up close as they train right in front of you! Training is an essential part of providing excellent care for these intelligent, powerful animals. It's a lot easier to give medicine to or examine a body part of a massive tiger when it is cooperating! When you Give Ten for Tigers , you help us bring this and other cool features to the zoo! Thank you.

No ordinary rocks

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications We reveal a secret of zoo exhibit design in this latest video.  Help us make our design plans for a new exhibit for tigers and sloth bears a reality through our Give Ten for Tigers campaign . We're 25% to our fundraising goal and we're hoping to raise another $75,000 before May 25 in order to raise enough funds to begin on construction for Phase One of this major new exhibit project. We've been asking you to give, but we're also prepared to give back. Anyone who makes a gift is automatically entered into our Give Ten, Win Ten giveaway for a chance to win a prize pack of 10 zoo admission passes and a tiger ZooParent adoption. You can also enter to win here .  Thanks for your continued support!

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Whose claws?

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Can you guess which zoo animal these claws belong to?  We'll give you time to think. . . . . . . Did you get it?  . . . . . . Got it? It's the sloth bear! Those sharp, 3-inch-long claws belong to the sloth bear and they are used to dig out insect mounds. After digging, sloth bears  blow away the dirt with their long, mobile lips and with a huge breath, suck up the termites like a high-powered vacuum. You’ll see these adaptations up close when we transform our sloth bears’ and tigers’ 60-year-old exhibits into state-of-the-art, naturalistic homes coming in 2014.  Help us get started on the transformation : Give Ten for Tigers today at Thanks! (Photos by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.)

Wallaby joey growing up

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Can you spot the joey? Our red-necked wallaby baby is spending more time poking out of its mother's pouch, even when mom is hopping all around the exhibit like in the photo above. The infant wallaby, known as a joey in the marsupial world, still spends much of its time curled up in 3-year-old mom Kiley's pouch. As the summer progresses, it'll begin venturing out more and more, returning to mom for feedings. This is the first wallaby joey at Woodland Park Zoo, part of our Species Survival Plan (SSP) efforts in conjunction with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Led by experts in husbandry, nutrition, veterinary care, behavior, conservation and genetics, AZA-accredited institutions manage each species as one population in North America to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the population and the health of individual animals. SSPs also involve a variety of ot

Today only: GiveBIG is here

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Stretch with us! Archive image of Hadiah, the last Sumatran tiger cub born at Woodland Park Zoo, seen here in 2006 at 16 days old. We'll have a breeding pair of Malayan tigers in our new exhibit, which means we may have more cubs in the near future! Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. It’s GiveBIG day in King County, which means your $10 gift to our Give Ten for Tigers campaign will get stretched by the partial matching funds from the Seattle Foundation today only when you make your gift at this link .   Even if you can’t make a gift, click the share buttons to spread this to your friends and help us get the word out across the community. Together, we’ll create an awesome new exhibit for tigers and sloth bears at the zoo.  Remember, GiveBIG is today only. Any gift you make through GiveBIG will go directly to our Give Ten for Tigers campaign. Tomorrow we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming of Give

Let's build tigers a new home

Are you tired of our worn-out, 60-year-old tiger and sloth bear exhibits? So are we! That's why we're embarking on the biggest extreme makeover here at the zoo since the 1990s to build a new, state-of-the-art, 2-acre exhibit complex for Malayan tigers , sloth bears , small-clawed otters , tropical birds and so much more! Future plans for Woodland Park Zoo's all new, naturalistic tiger exhibit complex. If you love animals, you'll love the new experience we're designing. You should see the plans ! The exhibit complex will also play a crucial role in inspiring people to help save wild tigers  whose future is in serious jeopardy. Malayan tiger. Photo by Melinda Arnold/Dickerson Park Zoo. But we can't build it without you. Literally. If you've ever done any remodeling you know it's expensive. And we only have until May 25 to raise enough money to start construction on Phase One of the exhibit complex (which will include an exhibit