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Showing posts from October, 2013

Earn your Master's with Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by: Jenny Mears, Education

Interested in pursuing your degree through the Advanced Inquiry Program? Join us for an informational forum on November 13!

Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) has teamed up with Project Dragonfly from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to offer the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP), an exciting Master’s program for a broad range of environmental and education professionals, including classroom teachers, zoo and aquarium professionals, and informal educators. The AIP offers a ground-breaking graduate degree focused on inquiry-driven learning as a powerful agent for social change, public engagement, and ecological stewardship. Woodland Park Zoo is one of eight institutions across the country that offers the AIP Master’s.

The first AIP cohort at WPZ started in 2011 (many of whom are graduating this December!) and students have already reported positive changes in their personal and professional lives. We asked Carole Parks, AIP graduate student and an instructor with th…

Get batty: Bat cam now streaming live

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Riddle me this, bat lovers: is there anything more awesome than a close up view of a colony of Indian flying foxes?

This Halloween, we're introducing the newest Woodland Park Zoo webcam, streaming live 24/7 from the Adaptations Building. Now you can check in on the roost of furry winged Indian flying foxes all day, or all night if you want! Watch the colony of six male fruit bats as they dine, groom each other and chill out upside down.

In celebration of the new webcam, and because bats need love all year (not just at Halloween!), let’s take a closer look at the awesomeness of bats and why they need your support. 
There are about fifteen species of bat found in Washington alone, including the big brown bat many know, and bats with catchy names like hoary bat and Myotis evotis. With so many bats in our backyard, it’s time you learned more about them.
Welcome to Bat School 101 (AKA Bats aren't just for Halloween)  How did bats become assoc…

Giraffe calf takes first steps onto savanna

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

At almost three months old, it’s time for giraffe calf Misawa to stretch his long legs. Keepers have begun to give the giraffe calf, his mom Olivia and aunt Tufani access to the savanna for short introduction sessions on warmer days.

Last week Misawa took his very first steps onto the savanna exhibit. On day one, all the animals were cleared from the savanna except the easy-to-get-along-with gazelle and ducks. It was a foggy morning when Misawa emerged through the mists to find a world full of new sights, sounds and tastes surrounding him.

He stuck close to mom’s side at first, but curiosity took over and he began to check out what the rest of the savanna had in store for him.

Day one didn’t last much longer than an hour, but he has been spending more and more time outside as the introductions continue. For now, these introductions don’t follow a set schedule. We track the weather and offer brief sessions when the days have high temperatures …

How do you brush a monster's teeth?

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Armed with a tiny toothbrush, zookeepers are determined to give our gila monster some minty, fresh breath. 

We don’t recommend trying this at home—gila monsters are one of only a handful of venomous lizards—but do watch what it takes for the keepers to ensure the oral health of an aging, 43-year-old male gila monster here at Woodland Park Zoo.

Video: Monster gets his teeth brushed. Produced by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo.

The tooth brushing and regular antibiotics help with the gila monster’s gingivitis and gum inflammation, not uncommon in aging lizards. As you can see in the video, he’s quite cooperative, allowing one keeper to hold him in place while the other gently brushes. The toothpaste leaves him with that fresh-from-the-dentist gleam. When placed back into his exhibit, he always takes a big drink of water as if to rinse!

As his oral health improves, we probably won’t need to brush his teeth as often. But he seems to enjoy the expe…

Elephant Task Force final report

Posted by: Deborah Jensen, President and CEO

The Elephant Task Force—the citizens committee that has been evaluating our zoo’s elephant exhibit and program, including a health assessment of our elephants Chai, Watoto and Bamboo—has just released their final report. I wanted to make sure that you had the opportunity to review the report for yourself.

In the report, you’ll find that the Task Force has unanimously adopted the medical assessment by the Expert Review Panel that recognizes the good health and well-being of our elephants, as well as providing multiple options for even better accommodations for our elephants.

The report recognizes that the elephant program plays a vital role in the zoo’s conservation mission and concludes that the program efforts should continue and consider further expansion to provide even more value to conservation education.

What’s next? Now that the Task Force has completed its charter and issued their final report, the zoo’s board and staff will spend …

Pumpkin Bash returns Oct. 26 & 27

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Halloween comes to Woodland Park Zoo with Pumpkin Bash presented by Delta Dental of Washington just around the corner—coming up Oct. 26 & 27.

Pumpkins for the animals, trick-or-treating, and more are in store for little goblins and ghosts at Woodland Park Zoo’s family-friendly Pumpkin Bash. See how pumpkins bring out the animals’ wild instincts as hippos chomp, elephants smash, meerkats dig, and bears crunch their way through the festive treats. Activities free with zoo admission or membership.

Exclusive Discount: During Pumpkin Bash, one child 12 years and under in costume is admitted FREE with a paid adult (cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion).

Need a jumpstart on a Halloween costume?
Download one of our free masks and get crafting on a DIY animal costume. You'll also find Facebook cover photos free to download that you can use to get you and your friends in the Halloween mood!

Lion cubs nearing their first birthday

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The lion cubs' first birthday is just weeks away, coming up November 8. The growing quadruplets have come a long way since their debut.

Remember when they took their first steps outside at just three months old? The foursome stuck close to mom and tentatively explored all the new sights and smells that surrounded them. Now at 11 months old, the cubs run this space with total confidence. (Love that there’s one staring off into space in both photos!)

They are coming into the age now where they would begin to hunt. Those predatory behaviors we've watched them develop through play are starting to become more honed and skilled. Take a look at those no-joke claws.

It is easy to tell the two girl cubs, Nobuhle  and Busela, from their two brothers, Pelo and Rudo, now that the boys are beginning to grow shaggy, starter-manes. Think of a teenage mustache—it's a good start, but doesn't amount to much yet!

They'll keep growing their m…

Your next cup of coffee can win you a visit to Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Did you know that whenever you buy a 12 oz. bag of Caffe Vita's Zoo Special Reserve coffee, Caffe Vita donates $1 of every purchase to Woodland Park Zoo? We love their commitment to helping the environment, which is why we serve this shade-grown, organic and Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee here at the zoo, too!

Now through the month of October, when you buy a 12 oz. bag of Zoo Special Reserve at any Caffe Vita location, you will automatically be entered to win a Woodland Park Zoo Family Fun Pack good for two adult and two child zoo admission tickets to keep or to share!

We recommend drinking the coffee, but the grizzlies have other ideas about the best way to use those grounds.

Inside a conservation commerce workshop in Mongolia

Posted by: Terry Blumer, ZooStore
Photos by Terry Blumer/Woodland Park Zoo

Editor’s Note: In this final installment, ZooStore manager Terry Blumer takes us inside the conservation commerce workshops in Mongolia he recently helped lead for local artisans, creating an eco-friendly income alternative to poaching in snow leopard habitat with the zoo’s conservation partner, the Snow Leopard Trust. See parts one and two to catch up with Terry’s travels and understand the role of conservation commerce in the zoo’s conservation mission.

Four large work areas, lots and lots of wool and fifty-plus people make for an action packed and fun-filled day! Well, actually, five days—but time passes quickly when you are working hard AND having fun and that is exactly what we've been doing. Introducing new ideas and discussing techniques and topics is challenging enough in one language and twice as lengthy and challenging when going through a translator.

Challenges aside, this is important work. We’ve…