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Showing posts from January, 2013

A zoo for all

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications/Public Affairs

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.  

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 want to thank each of our partner organizations for their commitment to our community. It is this spirit of collaboration and kindness that makes Seattle such an inspiring place to be.
The zoo has a way …

Sneak peek at Asian small-clawed otter exhibit

Posted by: Steve Sullivan, Membership and New Ventures

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!

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 on-time, on-budget progress toward completing a new, naturalistic exhibit for Asian small-clawed otters, a species joining the zoo family for the first time. The exhibit will also open with a nature-play area for our youngest forest adventurers and a colorful tropical forest aviary, all brought to life through generous community support. New exhibits for endangered Malayan tigers and sloth bears are planned for phase two of this ambitiou…

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.

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 levels, in addition to taking routine blood samples and x-rays.

The 7-year-old male and his soon-to-arrive, 3-year-old female mate will be the first of their ki…

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 we couldn't…

Students put on a conservation town hall

Posted by: Rob Goehrke, Education

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.

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.

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 leopards—from conservationists and national parks to craftspeople and hun…

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

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

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.

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.

We took a look at their eyes…

…and teeth…

…and all looked good.

Those teeth represent an important milestone for the cubs. They have all grown in most of their baby teeth, which means that they are starting to sample solid foods—delectable ground turkey and raw beef.

Our vets noticed that the cubs’ tummies feel less full than they did at their last exam, which is likely because now that they eat some solid foods, they aren’t filling themselves up on mom’s milk as much as they used to.

We took some measurements of the cubs and all are growing o…

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.

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 it Sunday yet?

In the meantime, show your Seahawks spirit and get a zoo admission discount. From Jan. 11-13, wear any Seahawks garb such as a jersey, sweatshir…

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.

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 about 10 minutes. But sometimes, the guests are so engaged, the visit can be much long…