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Showing posts from January, 2013

A zoo for all

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications/Public Affairs Photo provided by Somali Community Services Coalition We believe that every kid (and kid at heart) should have access to their local zoo. In 2012, Woodland Park Zoo’s Community Access Program (CAP) partnered with 700 local human service organizations who offered their clients more than 40,000 complimentary passes to Woodland Park Zoo.   Photo from Academy for Precision Learning with middle school students on a field trip at Woodland Park Zoo this past summer. Thanks to support from zoo visitors and zoo members, we are able to reach out to folks in our community who would not otherwise be able to visit. The partner organizations determine how passes are distributed, serving homeless shelters, food banks, senior centers and homes, refugee communities, minority programs, disabled and mental health facilities, low-income youth centers, education programs and more. We are extremely proud of this program and wa

Sneak peek at Asian small-clawed otter exhibit

Posted by: Steve Sullivan, Membership and New Ventures Asian small-clawed otters are coming to Woodland Park Zoo. Photo taken at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. On May 4, phase one of the Asian Tropical Forest initiative—Woodland Park Zoo’s most extreme makeover in the heart of the zoo since 1996—will be unveiled to the community. We’re so grateful to all of you who have made this major milestone in the More Wonder More Wild Campaign possible! Monica Lake, capital project manager and Erik McCormick, of Turnstone Construction express our zoo’s deepest gratitude for your support! (Turnstone is a rock work subcontractor of this project’s general contractor, Berschauer Philips.) Photo by Steve Sullivan/Woodland Park Zoo. Otterly awesome We broke ground on the new exhibit complex in September 2012, and hundreds of you joined us. Since then, construction crews, exhibit designer Studio Hanson/Roberts and the zoo’s exhibit team have made

New otter is in great shape

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications Nearly two weeks ago, a male Asian small-clawed otter arrived at the zoo. Albeit a little early, this little fella is here in anticipation of the first phase of the zoo’s new Asian tropical forest exhibit complex , which he will call home upon its opening in May. (Psst…look for more news about progress on the new exhibit coming up on the blog this Thursday.) All newly arrived animals go through a routine quarantine examination and weigh-in by zoo veterinarian staff. Much like your yearly physical at your doctor’s office, quarantine exams help our animal management staff gather information about the animal’s overall health and well-being. The zoo’s Director of Animal Health, Dr. Darin Collins, checks the otter’s heartbeat during the exam. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. Today, our new otter received his quarantine exam and, as expected, he is in great shape!  The veterinary staff checked his weight, pulse and oxygen leve

Sloth bear cub update: It’s twins!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Surprise! We’re excited to announce that we have not one, but two sloth bear cubs doing well behind the scenes at Woodland Park Zoo. It turns out our big news about having a cub born back in December is even bigger news, now that we know we have twins! Video: Sloth bear mom Tasha leaves the maternity den briefly, lured by a snack of crickets offered by zookeepers, revealing the two cubs she birthed on December 18. The case of the hidden sloth bear cub Back on December 18 when the cubs were born, 7-year-old mother Tasha was so quick to build a fortress of hay around her cubs to protect and support them in the maternity den, that we never got much of a visual on the litter. We spotted one cub, but we suspected there was a second cub in the litter, hiding out from where we could see it. What made us think we had two cubs? Through baby monitors, keepers could hear what sounded like two cubs breathing, grunting and nursing. But since

Students put on a conservation town hall

Posted by: Rob Goehrke, Education Partners One of my favorite things about working at Woodland Park Zoo is bringing amazing partnerships into the classroom. This season, our ZooCrew middle school program partnered with the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT)--a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife conservation partner --in some exciting ways. Curriculum While deciding which animal to focus on this season, we came across a new curriculum guide that SLT put together in partnership with Facing the Future. With our snow leopard cubs just born months earlier, it seemed like a great fit. Curriculum from During our first lesson, the ZooCrew students learned that snow leopards are a top predator and a keystone species—they have a much larger impact on their ecosystem than some other species, which makes their protection even more important. During the next few weeks, the students learned about different types of people involved in protecting snow le

Lion cubs are healthy, playful and a bit of a handful

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications Zookeeper Pam Cox soothes a cub as it wakes up from its vet exam. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo. Can you believe the lion cubs are 2 months old now? The growing boys and girls (two of each) were due for another health checkup with the zoo’s veterinarians yesterday, and they aced their exams. Zookeeper Matt Mills carries a cub to the exam table. He holds the cub just like its mother would and the cub is relaxed by the comforting position. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo. Now weighing in at a healthy 21 to 23 pounds each, the wriggly quadruplets are getting harder to handle, so the cubs were anesthetized for parts of this latest checkup and round of blood draws and vaccinations. A cub hisses at the immobilizer mask after it was removed. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo. We took a look at their eyes… Vets are looking for clarity and good response in the eyes. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Hawks vs. Falcons

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications With this weekend’s Hawks vs. Falcons game rapidly approaching, let’s take a look at some of the strengths of each opponent. Red-tailed hawk (left, photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo) and peregrine falcon (right, photo by Dennis Conner/Woodland Park Zoo) 1. Hawks capture and kill their prey with their feet, yet falcons rely on the tomial tooth of their beaks to break the necks of their prey. (I wouldn’t want to be that unlucky fellow…) 2. Hawks are known for their slow glides in the sky, while falcons are known for their incredible soaring speeds.  Falcons have produced speeds clocking in at 200 miles per hour! 3.Hawks have broad, wide wings that are perfect for soaring. Falcons have long, slender wings that are pointed at the tip, which give them greater agility in the air. Both hawks and falcons are strong and powerful creatures, but we’ll let the playoffs determine which of the two is best on the field. Is i

Empathy, healing and inspiration

Posted by: Lorna Chin, External Relations, with contributions from Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo Animal Health I have been involved with both Woodland Park Zoo and Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington since 1998. It’s a joy to share the zoo with Make-A-Wish kids who are awaiting their wish experiences. A recent experience with a young girl named Nicole brought together the things I love most about both organizations. Nicole and her mother first came to visit in March. Her Make-A-Wish volunteers Audrey and Stephanie said she had a special request to see the elephants. Nicole was about to have major surgery for her bone cancer and this was going to be a fun day before she’d be laid up for several months. Nicole, Chai and zookeepers, March 2012. Photo courtesy of Audrey Seale. A typical experience involves the keepers sharing their vast knowledge of the animals, talking about their daily routines, and answering questions. Sometimes these visits are pretty quick, lasting