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Showing posts from February, 2014

Spring Fecal Fest starts today

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications

Get your hands on the most desired poop in Seattle. Woodland Park Zoo’s Spring Fecal Fest is here. The annual poop event attracts local gardeners to enter the lottery to purchase the exotic, highly-coveted Zoo Doo and Bedspread that Dr. Doo, also known as the “Prince of Poo,” the “GM of BM” or the “Grand Poopah,” has been piling all winter. Entries are accepted through March 17.

Pick up where the animals left off. Zoo Doo is the richest, most 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 to grow your 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.

Do you use Zoo Doo to keep your garden growing green? Submit a photo…

Keep Puget Sound Clean: Make it hippo-poo free

Posted by: Laura Lockard, Director of Public Affairs and Communications

Friends, we need your help! We have an opportunity to clean up Puget Sound by making a major difference here at the zoo—using green technology to keep hippo waste from overflowing into local waterways. It’ll take the support of the state legislature to get us there, so we’re asking you to raise your voice and let Capital Budget Chairs, Rep. Hans Dunshee and Sen. Jim Honeyford and their committees know you support this effort!

Here is what’s at stake:

Woodland Park Zoo is asking the state legislature to help with our commitment to sustainability and resource management in the Puget Sound area by requesting state capital funding for our priority sustainability project: reducing water waste from the zoo's hippo pool in the African Savanna exhibit. With an approximately $2 million state investment, completion of the hippo pool project would accomplish the following:

Use green technologies to clean and recycle water…

Citizen scientists on the search for amphibians

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

In Seattle’s scenic Carkeek Park, you might spend a lot of time looking out at the boats, across at the mountains or up at the clouds. But have you ever looked down? There’s a world teeming below your feet in the Carkeek wetlands, a world we’re just beginning to document with the help of volunteers through the Amphibian Monitoring Program, a Living Northwest citizen science project.

Video: Amphibian Monitoring with Citizen Scientists. Produced by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo.
The citizen scientists have all signed up for a 6-month stint, committing to do monthly monitoring sessions in local wetlands of their choice to help document the presence of native and non-native amphibians. Carkeek Park serves as a training ground for new volunteers.

Amphibian Monitoring is offered through Woodland Park Zoo’s Living Northwest program, in partnership with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), Northwest Trek, and Point Defiance Zoo &…

Tree kangaroo conservation coffee is back

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Hello down there!

Woodland Park Zoo is home to endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroos, native to the cloud forests of Papua New Guinea. From the trees, tree kangaroos can leap 60 feet to the ground without getting hurt. Don’t try this at home!

You can help protect tree kangaroos and their tree-top homes by looking for PNG YUS coffee, now back in stock at Caffe Vita thanks to a partnership with Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program. The conservation coffee supports eco-friendly livelihoods for the landowners that share tree ‘roo forests.

Denver Zoo makes good on Super Bowl wager

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

A case of trout is on its way to our sea eagles now that Denver Zoo has made good on its Super Bowl wager with us. We agreed to modify the wager so that instead of their bird curator, John Azua, hand delivering the trout while wearing a Seattle Seahawks jersey, he is heading off on a planned trip to South America to support condor conservation.

Though we won’t meet John in person, the good sport posed for this photo. In the end, birds win—Seahawks, sea eagles and condors alike!

Send a Valentine e-card to your friends

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

This Valentine's Day, tell your special someone that you love them and the environment by going paper-free and sending a Woodland Park Zoo e-card instead. Below is a peek at the card designs. Start building your Valentine e-card now.

The orchid and the fungi: true love and mycorrhizal cheating

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo

With Valentine’s Day on the way, you might find yourself selecting flowers—perhaps a beautiful orchid—for your partner. But did you know orchids have their own partners?

Orchids and certain fungi share a symbiotic relationship. The idea of symbiosis, whose Greek roots mean “living” and “together,” sounds almost romantic. Yet when it comes to symbiosis—the relationship between two species in which one species is dependent on the other—not all is created equally (i.e. “It’s complicated.”)

If symbiosis were a box of chocolates (we’re really going hard with this Valentine’s Day theme), it would come in different flavors—some sweet, and some you want to spit out.

Mutualism is any relationship between individuals of different species where both individuals benefit.

Commensalism describes a relationship between two living organisms where one benefits and the other is not significantly harmed or helped.

A parasi…

Four more otter pups join the family

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

We got squeals, they’re multiplying.

Please help us welcome to the world four new Asian small-clawed otter babies that have been squealing and chirping away since their birth on January 20!

The new litter—three females and one male—is spending time in a behind-the-scenes den with mom Teratai and dad Guntur. This is the second litter of pups born to this pair, who famously gave birth to four boys last June just a month after debuting on exhibit in the new Bamboo Forest Reserve.

Video: The newest otter pups behind the scenes with mom, dad and their four brothers.
The four older brothers, Sherman, Thomas, Chancellor and Maxwell, have taken a lot of interest in the little pups. While mom nurses the newborns, the father and older brothers pitch in to provide supportive care.

The parents and the older siblings have daily access to the outdoor exhibit, but they are primarily choosing to stay indoors to be with the pups. Viewing in the exhibit will re…

Snow day at Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications
Photos by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Most of the snow has already melted away, but thankfully we have these great photos to help us remember this weekend's winter wonderland!

The lion cubs discovered snow is the perfect landing pad for pounces.

The snow leopard is a natural in the snow with thick fur and a long tail that acts as a scarf when they need to tuck in and warm up.

The elephants chose to explore the snow throughout their exhibit.

Snow provides a new tactile sensation to an elephant's trunk.

Graceful cranes look especially beautiful in a snowy setting. 

In the center is a juvenile flamingo distinguished by its black and gray feathers that have not yet all turned to pink. Snow is a new experience for the young one.

Chilean flamingos are hardy birds that are built to withstand extremely cold winter nights in their native South American habitat.

Some animals look for shelter or heated spaces in the snow, while others head righ…

Bringing Tahitian snails back from extinction

Posted by: Gigi Allianic with Rebecca Whitham, Communications

We’re committed to putting an extinct snail species back on the map in its native Tahiti. But first, we’re putting it on the zoo map. What was once a behind-the-scenes conservation breeding program is now front and center for zoo visitors with the new snail lab on view near the zoo’s Bug World.

VIDEO: Extinct species making a comeback in Seattle. Produced by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.
Around 100 different species of Partula once existed on islands stretching across the South Pacific from Palau to French Polynesia, but due to the introduction of an invasive and carnivorous snail, Partula were reduced to about five species in less than 10 years in the 1980s. Before they vanished completely, scientists stepped in and collected small remnant populations of snails on the islands and sent these precious few to zoos for captive breeding. However, a survey conducted in 1987 on the island of Moorea could not locate a single living …

Take your sweetie to our Valentine's Day Celebration

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

It may be all about the chocolate for you, but it's heart-shaped steaks, herbal bouquets and strawberry ice pops for the animals at Woodland Park Zoo's Valentine's Day Celebration coming up this Sat., Feb. 8, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The sweet treats are designed to bring out the wild side of each animal, catered to their favorite flavors and the unique ways each likes to hunt, peck or dive into decadent treats. See the full schedule of enrichment activities to see which animals will be joining in.

If you are ready to plan a date with your special someone, send them a free Valentine e-card. We have lots of fun and flirty designs to choose from, inspired by the zoo's animals!