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Showing posts from June, 2015

Elephant update: Chai and Bamboo making friends at Oklahoma City Zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor


Chai and Bamboo are making friends! Now that the elephants have cleared standard quarantine at their new home in Oklahoma City Zoo, the two have begun spending time with their new herd mates, Asha, Chandra, Malee and Achara.

Video: Elephants at OKlahoma City Zoo via NewsOK.

Introductions began with physical interactions through barriers inside the elephant barn, which allowed the keepers to observe behaviors and body language while the girls touched and smelled each other. Chai started out a little shy but receptive to her new herd mates. Bamboo stood her ground early on but soon after was cautious yet curious and allowed the other elephants, including the two babies, to snake their trunks all over her, taking in her scent and feel.


Within days the barriers were removed. First, the doors inside were opened and all the females joined each other, which allowed keepers to assess further how they would get along. Then they were given outdoor access togeth…

How to Keep Cool: Like a Grizzly

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications

It's getting hot, Seattle. A typical Northwest summer has around three days that reach over 90 degrees, and we'll be hitting that sweaty benchmark this weekend! Mother nature is mixing it up this summer, with an early heat wave bound to put our internal thermometers to the test.
The ice cubes in your chai tea latte are melting. Your dad's under-Crocs socks have come off. It might even be too hot to (gasp) paddle board. 
So, how are you going to survive this summer heat? Never fear, grizzly bears Keema and Denali have your back. Take it from these two furry, rain-loving locals—keeping cool is easy:

Video: How to Keep Cool Like a Grizzly Bear.

While our grizzly brothers have access to the cool pool, their keepers also supply them with special icy treats such as frozen salmon and fruit popsicles to beat the heat. Animals across the zoo are given special enrichment to help keep them cool, including sprinklers for the red pandas, ice piles…

ZooCrew students get hands-on experience with wildlife conservation

Posted by: Stacey Hammond, Education

The ZooCrew after school program season has come to a close.

This past quarter, the students studied the Asian tropical rain forest. They learned about deforestation and how the palm oil and lumber industries impact animals across the globe. After learning about the issues, the students took action to help animals by working on various projects.

WildSense One of the projects was contributing to a citizen science initiative called WildSense. Students helped record and document global tiger populations by going through tourist photos and camera trap images and classifying tigers in them. The students started off by first identifying if the photo had a tiger in it. Next, the students recorded the number of tigers in the photo, the weather conditions, the tiger’s general location, behavior, etc. After classifying over 100 images, ZooCrew students gave their feedback and suggestions to the developers in the hopes of improving the user experience for ot…

Jon Huertas promotes carnivore conservation, announcing new role as animal ambassador

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications Photos by John Loughlin/Woodland Park Zoo
In the company of wolves and grizzlies, Castle actor Jon Huertas came to Woodland Park Zoo today to announce his new role as Celebrity Ambassador for Wildlands Network, advocating for carnivore conservation. Jon spoke to a crowd of carnivore enthusiasts made up of zoo visitors, ZooCorps teen volunteers, a local boy scout troop and more than a few starstruck zoo staff!



Jon spoke about his passion for all things wild, but especially his enthusiasm for protecting large carnivores in North America. He had a special message for the young audience, “Please educate your parents, your grandparents and your friends. If we lose carnivores, we lose our habitat.” The actor and animal lover told the teens that he is passionate about educating others on the importance of nature corridors and protecting wild spaces. Huertas reiterated that living in harmony with carnivores is possible, a message he hopes will spread throu…

A who’s who of the herd for World Giraffe Day

Posted by: Katie Ahl, Zookeeper
This World Giraffe Day, coming up June 21, stick your neck out for these amazing animals by coming to visit them at Woodland Park Zoo. Here you can meet our four giraffe up close during the Giraffe Feeding Experience or watch them wander our African Savanna among zebra and oryx. Then talk to one of our keepers or volunteers about how Woodland Park Zoo and you can help save giraffe in Africa.

A Who's Who Here’s a who’s who of our giraffe and how to tell them apart by their spots.


Olivia is 8 years old and the mother of our little guy, Misawa. She has been an excellent first time mom to Misawa and is very independent. She is lighter in color and has several spots above each eye. She also has a cool crown spot on her right shoulder. Her ossicones (horns) are smooth and slender.


Tufani is almost 7 years old (her birthday is July 8!) and she is the sister to Olivia and aunt to Misawa. Tufani has a lot more sass to her personality but when it comes down …

Stick your neck out for World Giraffe Day

Posted by: Bobbi Miller, Conservation

Their gentle but steady gait across the African savanna would seem to indicate the land’s tallest mammal hasn’t a care in the world. With a neck and legs that help to elevate it to anywhere between 14 and 17 feet tall, the giraffe snacks from the tops of acacia trees and should easily be able to see predators approaching on the savanna.


But giraffe are under increasing pressure in their homeland, causing their population numbers to have dropped by more than 40% over the past decade and a half. Despite the fact they can run at speeds of 31 miles an hour for a sustained period, they can’t seem to outrun the threats that are impacting the 9 known subspecies.

In particular, giraffe are subject to poaching, disease, fragmentation and degradation leading to loss of habitat, and the expansion of human populations. Today, when you add up all 9 subspecies, there are probably fewer than 75,000 giraffe left in the wild. While that seems like a fairly large n…

Rose Garden reaches color peak

Posted by: Alissa Wolken, Communications

A visit to Woodland Park Zoo offers endless opportunities to witness the magnificent, from Malayan tigers taking a quick swim, to a baby porcupine discovering its new world.


But the beauty of nature isn’t just witnessed through the zoo’s animals; it is also experienced through the stunning horticulture on zoo grounds, including the exquisite Rose Garden.


Hitting its color peak now through September, the garden is calling to you.


Just beyond the South Entrance of the zoo is a field of vibrant color and brilliant architecture that creates a memorable showcase of nature for all visitors and passersby to enjoy.


Woodland Park Rose Garden offers a splendid setting for flower lovers to stroll the grass pathways circulating through 2.5 acres of rose displays. The garden's extensive collection features 200 varieties and 3,000 individual plants including bush roses, hybrid teas, miniatures, climbers and tree roses.


It's free to visit, open from 7…

New lemurs move it, move it to Seattle

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor


Quick, name a zoo animal with black and white stripes…

Chances are you said “zebra.” But soon you might consider another possibility after you meet the newest Woodland Park Zoo additions, a colony of ring-tailed lemurs!


Their debut marks the return of this endangered species to Seattle for the first time in nearly 20 years. 

That long tail striped with black and white rings gives the lemur its name and serves as a counter balance when leaping from tree to tree. 

Ring-tailed lemurs use trees as a place to eat, nap, and interact with their troop mates, but this species can also be spotted on the ground more frequently than other lemurs.

That’s where you might find them sunbathing in the morning, sitting in a yoga-like pose with limbs outstretched to maximize surface area while soaking up some rays. Us Seattleites, we know a thing or two about making the most of a sunny day, so these lemurs fit right in!

The all-male troop arrived together from Lincoln …