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Showing posts from June, 2014

Arubas shake it up for the summer

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications It’s summer time! The season for lounging in the sand, soaking up the sun and shaking your rattler! Our beautiful female Aruba rattlesnake , Crotalus durissus unicolor, is doing just that at the Day Exhibit. An Aruba's sunset-colored coil. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/WPZ. These peach and rose colored rattlesnakes don’t just shake it for anybody though; this rare rattler is only found on one small Caribbean island, Aruba.  Because the species has such a small range, it is nearly extinct in the wild. The snakes are critically endangered primarily because of habitat loss as well as persecution, especially due to tourism and urban sprawl. These snakes live in vulnerable habitat in a tiny area. Fortunately, the government and people of Aruba understand the importance and value of their own special kind of rattlesnake, and have set aside a large portion of the interior of their island as protected habitat for this rattlesnake and other w

Protecting pollinators: the butterfly effect

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor Like these? Blooming plants at Woodland Park Zoo. Photos by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo and Mat Hayward/Woodland Park Zoo. Then we need these: Photos from top, clockwise: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo; Flickr user jeffreyww under Creative Commons License ; Flickr user leshoward under Creative Commons License .  At Woodland Park Zoo, we’re abuzz, aflutter and atwitter about the big news coming from the White House: the announcement of a new federal strategy for protecting pollinators . With a focus on honeybees and other essential pollinators like native butterflies, birds and bats, the strategy establishes a task force and goals for population restoration, habitat protection and public education to stem the losses from this blooming crisis. The White House makes a case for the economic importance of pollinators, which “ contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruit, nuts, and veg

Take part in Washington’s largest Community Solar project

Posted by: Kerston Swartz, Public Affairs Woodland Park Zoo, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) and Seattle City Light are partnering on Community Solar on Phinney Ridge , a new community solar project going live summer 2014. The project will produce approximately 75 kilowatts of energy from solar panels installed on building roofs at the zoo and PNA, making it the largest community solar project in Washington state. The Rain Forest Food Pavilion will soon be decked out with solar panels. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. Enrollment has just begun for City Light customers to participate in Community Solar on Phinney Ridge . You can purchase energy from the solar-modules, and then receive annual credits for the amount of energy generated by your units. Customer investment will end in July 2020 when ownership of the solar panels is transferred to the zoo and PNA. A rendering of the zoo's commissary with a solar panel installation.  As part of the Commu

Last chance to see sloth bears before exhibit makeover

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson with Rebecca Whitham, Communications Sloth bear mom Tasha and 18-month-old cubs Randhir and Kushali will make their final appearance July 6 before construction begins to rebuild their home. The cubs turned 1 last December and celebrated with piñatas. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. The exhibit makeover will mark the second and final phase of our new Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit, and it’s all possible because of your support ! Thanks to you , we opened phase one of the exhibit in 2013, which features Asian small-clawed otters, a tropical aviary and a nature play area. Over the next year, we’ll complete construction for the final phase , which will bring new homes for the sloth bears and mark the return of tigers to Woodland Park Zoo in May 2015! Remember when the cubs were this small? Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. Our three sloth bears will live in an off-view exhibit during the construction, so plan a visit soon to see t

Who’s Your Favorite Giraffe at the Zoo?

Posted by:  Kirsten Pisto, Communications, with Katie Ahl, Giraffe Keeper Photos by Stan Milkowski  Giraffe soak up the sun on the savanna at Woodland Park Zoo. World Giraffe Day, June 21, is just around the corner and we are excited to proclaim our love for giraffe alongside Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s (GCF) inaugural event for this amazing species. GCF would like to highlight the tallest and longest-necked animal on the longest day (or night, depending on which hemisphere you live in) of the year! By raising awareness and looking at the challenges giraffes face in the wild, we can all help secure the future for these amazing creatures. Let’s celebrate these graceful, gorgeous animals with a closer look at our own herd at Woodland Park Zoo. Giraffe keeper Katie Ahl gives us the lowdown (err, the high up?) on our four tallest residents. WPZ: Katie, how long have you been working with giraffe and what is your favorite part? Katie: I've been at Woodland Par

TKCP-PNG receives United Nations Equator Prize 2014

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program - Papua New Guinea ( TKCP-PNG )—Woodland Park Zoo’s partner non-governmental organization—was recently awarded the United Nations Equator Prize 2014. This highly-esteemed award honors TKCP-PNG’s initiatives in advancing local innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. We’re very proud of TKCP-PNG’s commitment to creating a sustainable landscape to support the animals, habitat, and indigenous communities of Papua New Guinea’s YUS Conservation Area. Tree kangaroo joey peers out from Mom's pouch. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. Last year, Woodland Park Zoo’s flagship conservation program, TKCP, proudly established TKCP-PNG to manage TKCP’s YUS Conservation Area, a 180,000-acre area voluntarily pledged by local landowners to help protect the wildlife native to PNG’s Huon Peninsula. The YUS region (encompassing the Yopno-Uruwa-Som watershed) is home to more t

Black-breasted leaf turtle flips for its meal!

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications Last year, Day Exhibit keeper Alyssa Borek took this footage  of a black breasted leaf turtle tasting a hibiscus flower. It was pretty adorable. More recently, keeper Peter Miller captured this video of a very acrobatic black-breasted leaf turtle dining on an elusive meal worm. Go get ‘em! In the wild, black-breasted leaf turtles eat various invertebrates, such as insects, worms, and grubs. They also eat decaying fruit found on the forest floor and venture into streams to collect insect larvae. At the zoo, the turtles dine primarily on insects with occasional fruits, vegetables and sometimes flowers. The black-breasted leaf turtle is one of the smallest in the world, at about five inches long. They have a unique and beautiful shell with rough edges which resemble a leaf. Black-breasted leaf turtle are in danger, and you can help! They are listed as endangered due to habitat destruction and over collection. They are also used in trad

Otter brothers turn 1

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications When otters play tug-of-war, we all win. Photo by Stan Milkowski/Woodland Park Zoo. In just one year’s time, our four little Asian small-clawed otter boys, Chancellor, Maxwell, Sherman and Thomas, went from being babies to being big brothers ! The pups, named for the Seattle Seahawks Legion of Boom, were born June 11 last year, just in time for Father’s Day. Today we celebrate their first birthday with a look back at what they’ve learned and experienced in their first year. They learned that fish is delicious… Soooooo good! This photo was taken in August 2013 when the pups were two months old. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo. …that the Seahawks rule… These champion otters were named for the champion Seahawks' Legion of Boom. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. …that Dad can’t help but be overprotective sometimes… When the pups were first learning to swim outdoors, dad had a habit of not letting the

Salmon toss kicks off this weekend’s Bear Affair

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications The fishmongers toss salmon in front of the grizzly exhibit. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. The scene: Pike Place Fish Market fishmongers gather in front of Woodland Park Zoo’s famous brown bear exhibit, as grizzly brothers Keema and Denali go into overdrive sniffing out the scent of salmon in the air. The bears catch the scent. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. This moment feels so perfectly Seattle. Bear. Woodland Park Zoo. Salmon. Pike Place Fish Market. So Seattle. Photo by John Loughlin/Woodland Park Zoo. Then the toss begins. Tossing a "stunt" salmon. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo. If you've seen the famous fish tossing at Pike Place Fish Market, you’ll know the rush of excitement that runs through the crowd as the fishmongers toss what they call a “stunt fish” back and forth. You hold your breath each time to see if they’ll catch it. Unless you’re a grizzly bear. In that ca

Dave the giraffe arrives at Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications Moving a giraffe is one tall order, but zookeepers at Woodland Park Zoo know just how to handle it. On May 30, we welcomed nearly 2-year-old Dave the giraffe to our herd, all the way from Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Dave steps out of the trailer and into his new home at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo. Dave made the 2,000-mile trek from the Chicago area in an extra tall trailer, offering greater neck and leg room for the long haul. The heightened trailer is equipped with slip-proof flooring and lots of bedding for resting. At his young age, Dave is not quite full grown, reaching just under 11 feet tall. His smaller stature made for a more comfortable move. To ensure a smooth transition from Brookfield Zoo, we worked together to find experienced drivers who specialize in large animal transportation for zoos nationwide. The extra tall trailer provided stretching room for the young giraffe. Photo by Kirs

Rare pheasant hatches

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications The chick was photographed here at 8 days old. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. For the first time at Woodland Park Zoo, an Edwards’s pheasant has hatched—a bird that is believed to be extinct in the wild! The Edwards’s pheasant is not exactly common in zoos either. Only 15 individuals live in seven zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. We have been providing a home for a pair since 2012. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. You can see the 6-year-old mother and 1-year-old father in our Conservation Aviary located in the Temperate Forest zone. The little chick, now just under 2 weeks old, is being hand-reared by zookeepers behind the scenes to help ensure it gains weight as expected of a growing chick and hits all of its important developmental milestones. With such a significant hatching of such a rare species, we’re taking extra precautions to ensure its health and survival. A close up of the ch