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Showing posts from April, 2013

Countdown to debut of new otters

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

In just a few days, you’ll have the chance to meet the zoo’s new pair of Asian small-clawed otters when they make their debut in the Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit opening May 4. These are two tiny mustelids you won’t be able to resist.

The otters will debut alongside a tropical aviary and nature play area for kids—all part of phase one of the Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit complex.

To get ready for their debut, the otters have been exploring their new home, investigating every ledge, stream and den to find all the best spots for lounging, swimming, eating and playing.

Asian small-clawed otters are more terrestrial than their relatives, such as the North American river otters you see in our Northern Trail exhibit. Though, they do take to the water for swimming, fishing and even sipping a little refreshing drink.

Their water is kept clean by some clever, green engineering that turns their entire pool into a closed-loop biofiltration system. Visi…

Baby boom continues with porcupette birth

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications
Photos by: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Just when our zookeepers thought the baby boom was at bay, our porcupine pair delivered the zoo’s first ever North American porcupette (the name for a baby porcupine—and yes, the name is as cute as the baby)! Unlike the other recent births, we have to admit: we didn't see this one coming!

Our 2-year-old breeding pair, Molly and Oliver, joined Woodland Park Zoo in June 2011 shortly after their April birthdays. At such a young age, zookeepers expected that Oliver was a year shy of sexual maturity. To their surprise, Molly gave birth to a male porcupette on April 18 in the Northern Trail exhibit den! Thinking back, Molly must have become pregnant in September, giving her a seven-month gestation period before birthing the pair’s first baby.

A porcupette is born with a full coat and open eyes, contrasting many of its rodent counterparts. Within hours of birth its soft coat of quills begins to harden, i…

Wild cranes get by with a little help from their friends

Posted by: Sergei M.Smirenski, Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife
Photos by Vasili Dugintsov, courtesy of Cranes of Asia

Editor note: This update just came in from Woodland Park Zoo’s Partner for Wildlife, Cranes of Asia: Muraviovka Park. The conservation project’s director, Sergei Smirenski, shares how his crew and community came together to help endangered cranes get through some hard times this spring.

Now that it’s spring, cranes and storks are trying to make their way back to Muraviovka Park quickly from their migration routes in order to occupy and defend their nest sites from other cranes. However, due to the unusually cold and snowy mid-spring, the southern part of the Zeya-Bureya plain in the park is still covered by more than 20 inches of snow, and lakes are frozen. The cranes and storks are arriving to find that there is no food available.

Cranes can dig through the snow cover and survive for a while without food, but 10 days after they arrived, the conditions still hadn…

BECU ZooTunes presented by Carter Subaru summer concert line-up

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

See concerts, save animals! BECU ZooTunes presented by Carter Subaru is celebrating 30 years of summer concerts with this tremendous line-up for 2013:

June 23 - John Prine with Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson
June 30 – Old Crow Medicine Show with Parker Milsap
July 7 – Huey Lewis & The News: SPORTS 30th Anniversary Tour
July 17 – John Hiatt & The Combo with Holly Williams
July 24 – An Evening With Randy Newman
July 26 – LeAnn Rimes
July 30 & 31 – Indigo Girls with Lindsay Fuller
August 7 – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with JJ Grey
August 11 – Todd Snider's Traveling Folk Show Featuring Shawn Mullins, Hayes Carll and Sarah Jarosz
August 15 – Loreena McKennitt
August 22 & 23 – Brandi Carlile

Tickets will go on sale online Fri., Apr. 26, at 8:00 a.m. Proceeds from ZooTunes help to support Woodland Park Zoo's animal care, education and conservation mission.

Science is a journey of discovery. Begin yours at the zoo.

Posted by: Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President & CEO

One of the perks of my job is the daily reminder of the many pathways to science and discovery at the zoo. Each of our 300 animal species, and thousands of plant species, has a unique biology and story reflecting the way it, like millions of other creatures, has found to survive on Earth. Likewise, I’m reminded of how zoo visitors’ journeys of discovery can lead to personal insights or new knowledge, or even open pathways to careers or timely innovations. Every day, I get to watch thousands of young people, teachers and families begin this wondrous trek.

As a leader and as a scientist, I am privileged to engage our community in building pathways to a sustainable future. In many ways, today’s youth are ahead of the rest of us in recognizing the challenges our world faces, and they are looking for ways to begin designing lasting solutions.

Of the 15 global challenges identified by the Millennium Project, many require biosciences to r…

Calling all Instagrammers

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications

No day is ever the same at Woodland Park Zoo, and our Instagram fans are capturing the proof (with fantastic photos, might we add)! Have you seen our gorillas taking a snooze? Viewed the lion cubs on the prowl? Or aimlessly explored the zoo with one of our resident peacocks? We want to know!

Follow @woodlandparkzoo on Instagram and tag your zoo photos @woodlandparkzoo or #WoodlandParkZoo to share them with us!
Stay tuned for upcoming Instagram contests and follower photos featured on this blog and our Facebook page. They could be yours! 

Thanks for sharing your great photos, Instagrammers! We’ve dedicated a Facebook tab to your Instagram photos tagged with #WoodlandParkZoo. Check out the gallery!

A Sloth Bear Cub’s Guide to Exploring

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

What’s better than one sloth bear cub? Two! We are so excited to share new photos of our adult sloth bear, Tasha, and her young cubs. Tasha has left the den and has been guiding her cubs outdoors, letting them climb and explore all the wonderful logs and branches. The cubs love the chance to practice their climbing and check out insect holes. Favorite pastimes seem to be sniffing out the exhibit and playing games of “King of the Branch.”

Mark your calendars for May 4, when the cubs will make their official debut!
NOTE: The sloth bear exhibit is currently off view while construction is completed in the area. A temporary path will open on May 4 to give you access to see the cubs on exhibit. Until then, the cubs' time spent outside is off view to visitors. Thanks for your patience. We promise the cubs are worth the wait!

From ideas to reality—how MyZoo Magazine is made

Posted by: Laura Lockard, MyZoo Magazine Editor-in-Chief

Have you seen the latest issue of the MyZoo member magazine?

Chock full of baby lions, behind the scenes information and a brand new kids section this latest issue was a hit!

Woodland Park Zoo’s member magazine, MyZoo, is created with the help of many zoo staff from a diverse pool of departments. Like caring for animals, cultivating beautiful gardens, and educating students, the content we produce and share with you takes heaps of teamwork and passionate individuals.

Before you see it, our editorial team starts with a theme for each issue as well as a handful of ideas. Of course we have to consider all of the timely events around the zoo, like four lion cubs being born! For the spring issue we were very fortunate to have our cubs in the spotlight helping to tell Woodland Park Zoo’s conservation story. When you have four furry babies, the storyboard starts to fill in fast!

Staff from around the zoo pitch their story ideas and we…

A cluster, a bloat, a rabble and a mess!

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Everyone has heard of an army of ants or a flock of birds, but how about a pounce of cats? A business of ferrets, a bloat of hippopotamuses, and my favorite, a float of crocodiles!

It seems as if there are as many bizarre collective nouns as there are animals to describe. An ambush of tigers, a tower of giraffes, a gam of whales, a charm of magpies!

So, why do we have so many unique collective names for animals? I mean, do we really need to say “There was a gaze of raccoons on my porch this morning”? And is there anything scientific about these terms?

Giving groups of animals a special name has been a tradition since the late Middle Ages. (Might explain dray of squirrels). A lot of the blame for these bizarre words was given to prioress Dame Juliana Berners, a nun and writer, who published an essay called The Book of Saint Albans in 1486.[i] Berners was the first woman to write a book about fishing and was an expert in heraldry, hawking and hun…

Conservation numbers add up across accredited zoos

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)—Woodland Park Zoo’s accrediting body—put out their latest Annual Report on Conservation Science, and the numbers are in. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums contribute $160 million a year to wildlife conservation, supporting more than 2,650 conservation projects in 130 countries!

“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are global leaders in wildlife conservation,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy, in a press release announcing the report. “While AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide great care to animals in their facilities, they are also working around the world to make a positive impact for many imperiled species.”

The latest Annual Report on Conservation Science shows that AZA-accredited zoos and aquarium funded an extensive range of projects, including support for anti-poaching teams in range country national parks, population assessments, research on marine mammal strandings as indicators of…