Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2013

The lion cub names are...

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The results of our Name the Cubs contest are in! More than 2,000 of you entered the contest for a chance to name one male and one female lion cub—and the winning names are:

Male cub – Rudo (“love” in Zulu, pronounced ROO-doh )

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Female cub – Busela (“happy and independent” in Zulu, pronounced BOO-sayla )

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Two lucky winners—Tate and Ross MacDonald of Seattle and Pamela Garland of Olympia—are taking home the grand prizes for submitting these winning names, as selected by our panel of zoo judges. That grand prize includes a private viewing at the lion exhibit with a keeper!

Rudo and Busela join their brother and sister, who also received names recently, this time with the help of zookeepers and donors who have helped bring big cats to Woodland Park Zoo.

The other male is now known as Pelo (“heart” in Sotho, pronounced PEE-lo) and the other female as Nobuhle (“the beautiful one”…

Three ! More! Cubs! Jaguar triplets born over weekend

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications

The zoo welcomed three cubs to the count on Friday, marking the first jaguar birth at the zoo in nearly two decades! In the last few months, the zoo seems to be bursting with babies. Can we get a cub count?

In November, we celebrated the birth of four rambunctious lions in over 20 years at the zoo. In December, mama sloth bear, Tasha, surprised us with not one but two newborns. And Friday evening, the rare birth of jaguar triplets sent the cub count soaring. In just six months, the zoo has welcomed nine cubs from three animal species! The three new cubs are celebrated as the latest members of the zoo’s newest generation.

Zookeepers are using an internal monitoring cam to keep an eye on mom and jaguar cubs inside their behind-the-scenes maternity den. Catch a glimpse of what we can see on the cam in the video below.

Video taken from the internal monitoring cam on the morning of March 25, 2013.
This is the first successful birth for our jagua…

British Columbia man bitten by viper saved by Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

Thanks to the speedy efforts and smart diagnostics of hospitals in Canada and the U.S. and a poison control center, the life of a man bitten by a venomous viper was saved by antivenin supplied by Woodland Park Zoo.

The 61-year-old Roberts Creek, B.C. man was bitten while vacationing in Costa Rica but didn’t know at the time it was a viper. On Monday when he returned to Vancouver, he immediately sought medical attention at Vancouver General Hospital where he was diagnosed with kidney failure, and suffering from bleeding and swelling from his foot to the mid-thigh.  Dr. Roy Purssell with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) was brought in. Working around the clock, the medical team figured out the type of snake based on the patient’s symptoms, a Fer-de-lance Bothrops asper, native to Central and South America. The snake is known to cause deaths in humans.

The team contacted Woodland Park Zoo and medical experts at UW Medicine’s Harborview …

Lion cubs lucky to have such a great mom

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Last week the lion cubs got their first access to the full lion exhibit that includes the watery moat. That moat was a concern for us when the cubs were still small and developing their coordination skills, which is why they were only recently given access to the area. Now that the cubs have the run of the exhibit, keepers have been watching Adia closely to make sure that she’s not too overwhelmed by trying to look after four rambunctious cubs across a large space and near that moat.

But momma proved to us this weekend that we never needed to doubt her ability to be in charge. When she was playing with a ball the other day, it got away from her and rolled into the water. The cubs rushed to the moat to get it, but with great speed, Adia headed them off, retrieved the ball herself, carried it over to a dry area and dropped it down for them to play with, masterfully keeping the cubs far away from the water the whole time. She doesn't miss a…

Cancel your weekend plans, zoo-goers! The lion cubs are waiting for you

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications

Together, our four little felines have explored most every inch of their current exhibit space. They've rolled across each thick patch of grass, scaled all logs without hesitation, licked every crevice of the viewing glass, and now we think it’s time they move on to bigger, bolder adventures. Adventures that encompass their entire exhibit!

Our animal management staff continues to keep watchful eyes on the spunky foursome. But at nearly five months old and nearly 50 pounds apiece, the cubs can run, jump, roll and roar safely in the spacious lion exhibit of our award-winning African Savanna. That means the fence has come down and they now have access beyond the smaller, moat-free yard where they first debuted.

And the best part for visitors? Because the viewing is no longer restricted to just the viewing shelter, there will no longer be a waiting line at the exhibit. Beginning Saturday, March 16, visitors will be able to watch the cubs f…

How does your garden grow? With Zoo Doo of course!

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Hey northwest green-thumbs, spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time for Woodland Park Zoo’s Spring Fecal Fest!

Dr. Doo, also known as the “Prince of Poo,” the “GM of BM” or the “Grand Poopah,” has been collecting our highly coveted Zoo Doo or Bedspread all winter and now is your chance to enter a bid to purchase the gardener’s delight!
Zoo Doo is the most exotic and highly prized compost in the Pacific Northwest. Composed of species' feces contributed by the zoo’s non-primate herbivores such as elephants, hippos, giraffes and more, Zoo Doo is perfect for growing veggies and annuals.
Bedspread, the zoo’s premium composted mulch, is a combination of Zoo Doo, sawdust and large amounts of wood chips. Bedspread is used to cushion perennial beds and woody landscapes including rose beds, shrubs and pathways.
Due to the popularity of Zoo Doo, gardening fans must enter a drawing for the chance to purchase Zoo Doo or Bedspread. Entrie…

Backyard Habitat classes help urban gardener

Posted by: Julie Webster, Zoo volunteer and Backyard Habitat class participant

Editor’s note: Woodland Park Zoo is once again offering its popular Backyard Habitat classes to help you bring more wildlife to your yard. Former class participant and zoo volunteer, Julie Webster, shares how the lessons she learned have transformed her urban garden.

When I first signed up for Woodland Park Zoo’s Backyard Habitat workshop, I was already mindful of the four basic needs I had to meet to support local wildlife in my yard: food, water, shelter and a place to raise young. But it was in the workshop that I really came to understand the importance of cover and plant layering—the essentials to diversifying a habitat—and how these principles could be applied even in a small, urban garden.

Layering isn't specifically listed in the four basic needs, but go to the forest and you will see first-hand how essential it is. From the tallest conifers down to the mosses that hug the ground, there are larg…

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Toucan vs. hornbill

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications

Although toucans and hornbills look very similar, they are from two completely different families of birds. This is a great example of what is called convergent evolution. Toucans and hornbills are beautiful, fascinating creatures and throughout time, they have both adapted similarly to survive in similar ecological niches, despite the great geographical divide between them. Toucans reside in Central and South America, while hornbills are found only in Africa and Asia.

They both play the role of forest omnivore, feeding on fruits, insects and small creatures, including bird eggs, lizards and young mice. Their similar bills come in handy when foraging for food. Both groups of birds nest in cavities. These large bills also play a part in protecting eggs and nestlings from potential predators.

So how do you tell them apart at a glance? Hornbills are easy to differentiate due to noticeable casques, the ridged structure on the bill. Researcher…