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Top 13 of 2013

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

At last count, more than 260 babies were born at Woodland Park Zoo in 2013, and hey, there’s still a few hours left in the year! We may have had our hands full of cubs, chicks, pups and kits, but the year was also marked by many other new additions: from a new exhibit that transformed the oldest part of the zoo, to new conservation programs that fight for a future for wildlife.

Let’s take a look at the Top 13 zoo stories of 2013 that made us smile, made us care, and made us act to make a difference:

13.  Living with bears

Picnics aren't just for Yogi Bear—here in the Pacific Northwest, you may truly encounter a bear while hiking, picnicking or camping in the great outdoors, and sometimes even in your own backyard. What do you when a bear crashes your barbecue? Better yet, how can you make sure the bear never gets invited in the first place?


With the help of destructive grizzly brothers, Keema and Denali, we demonstrated bear safety tips w…

Kid-at-heart member discount for WildLights

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



For zoo members who are truly kids at heart, we have the best WildLights deal yet! From Dec. 31 – Jan. 4, adult zoo members will be admitted to WildLights presented by KeyBank at the kids’ price, just $6.50 per person. (Offer only available for at-gate purchase with member ID; not available online.) See why WildLights brings out the kid in all of us!


This kid-at-heart discount is offered just in time to celebrate Zoo Year’s Eve at WildLights. On Dec. 31, join Radio Disney Seattle at WildLights for entertainment, games, crafts, prizes, music, and a fun way to ring in the Zoo Year with the whole family. We’ll celebrate the new year at 7:00 p.m. so even the youngest among us has a chance to join in! PLUS: the first 200 kids through the door get a free party hat.

Happy Holidays to our pack

Posted by: Deborah Jensen, President and CEO


The holidays are a time to reflect on the wonders the year has brought us. All of us thank you for your generosity which has made Woodland Park Zoo's mission possible. Your support is the gift that keeps on giving, generation after generation.

VIDEO: Happy holidays from Woodland Park Zoo


We wish you the best for 2014, and hope you enjoy this short video highlighting some of the wonders you've helped us achieve.

Share the joy of the season with your loved ones—send a free Woodland Park Zoo holiday e-card. Browse the designs to get started on your paper-free cards.

Double Trouble Birthday Bash

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Happy Birthday, Randhir and Kushali! Our twin sloth bear cubs, born a year ago December 18th, celebrated their 1st birthday with shiny piñatas!


Keepers filled three piñatas (including one for the cubs’ mom, Tasha) with meal worms and dried tropical fruits such as papayas and mangos. The piñatas were hung from the logs in the sloth bear exhibit just high enough that the bears had to resort to some pretty acrobatic moves to reach them. There was a lot of excitement, including a boxing match between one cub and a stubborn green piñata. After the cubs and mom knocked their piñatas to the ground, they were quick to tear open their presents and snuffle up their birthday treats!




The rambunctious 1-year-olds have made quite the pair since debuting last spring in the Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit. We’ve watched these two grow from tiny little squeals (literally, keepers could only hear them at first—it was a few weeks before we had visual confi…

'Twas a Winter Celebration

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications

‘Twas a celebration of winter, and all through the zoo
every creature was stirring (especially the ‘roos)!


Giant light bulbs were strung above the gray wolves with care,
in hopes that treats would fall for all four wolves to share.


In the Bamboo Forest Reserve, a small-clawed otter climbed upstream.
Awaiting it at the top was a giant fir tree!


And Priscilla, the anoa, was given a tasty green wreath,
which she nibbled on—so gently—with her two front teeth.


When in Jaguar Cove arose a bright, white treat,
disguised as a snowman, three hungry jaguars dug into juicy meat!



Don’t worry, zoo fans. You haven’t missed out!
We have more enrichment coming soon—there's no need to pout.

Join us December 21-23 at Woodland Park Zoo
for three days of Winter Celebration (from 11 to 2)!

Congrats to the first Advanced Inquiry Program grads

Posted by: Jenny Mears, Education


Woodland Park Zoo is proud to announce the graduation of its first cohort of Advanced Inquiry Program Master's students! Offered in partnership with Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the Advanced Inquiry Program is a ground-breaking graduate degree focused on inquiry-driven learning as a powerful agent for social change, public engagement and ecological stewardship. These graduates' journey began two-and-a-half years ago, in graduate courses at the zoo along with web-based courses that connected them with a broad network of educators and community leaders from around the world.

While these students may have decided to join the AIP to further their own education (or just because they wanted to hang out with animals at the zoo), ultimately, they empowered their audiences and their communities in the process, and are now making positive change in the world together. Collectively, these graduate students furthered their interest in connecting …

Expanding Living Northwest carnivore research

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications


The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s Science and Technology Program has awarded Woodland Park Zoo a generous two-year grant—a portion of which will help fund wolverine monitoring research in the North Cascades—as a part of the expansion of the zoo’s Living Northwest field conservation program.


With the $240,000 grant, Woodland Park Zoo will continue to build the Living Northwest conservation program, which leverages zoo-based resources to carry out Pacific Northwest wildlife projects focusing on endangered species recovery, conservation science and community-based education.
“Woodland Park Zoo conducts leading conservation research in our region,” said Susan M. Coliton, Vice President of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “Their work will lead to a better understanding of impacts on carnivore habitat and populations; and, importantly, a sharing of that information with the scientific community and the public.” 

The first priority of th…

Top 10 reasons to visit WildLights

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


Whether it's your first time or a return to an annual tradition, a visit to WildLights presented by KeyBank this year will bring more lights, more animals and more fun to your holidays! You might say there are 575,000 sparkling reasons to come to WildLights, but what other activities can you look forward to during your visit?

Here are the top 10 experiences you can't miss at WildLights this year!

1. See the all new and classic light displays
Approximately 575,000 energy-efficient LED lights recreate wild animals and wild places in two and three dimensions along the zoo’s pathways and North Meadow. An animated display of nature’s wonder is woven into the zoo’s famous greenery inspired by exotic destinations from across the globe.

Last year’s favorite displays, Northern Lights, The Water Hole and Jungle Lights, are joined this year by all new displays: Monkey Business, Glow-rillas, Komodo Crossing, Eagle’s Nest and Grizzly Creek. Now yo…

Break out of hibernation for Winter Celebration

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


You spend all that time decorating the tree, and then a grizzly comes along and gobbles it up.


Well, hopefully not at your house, but that’s exactly what happens at Woodland Park Zoo’s Winter Celebration, Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 21-23. Break out of hibernation and join us for some holiday-themed treats for the animals. They'll much on decorated wreaths and evergreen trees, and tear into gift wrapped boxes filled with favorite foods.


'Tis the season for sharing, so invite a friend to join you by sending a free Woodland Park Zoo holiday e-card! Browse from several designs and get started on making your tree-free card today.