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Showing posts from July, 2015

Winners of the MyZoo Kids’ Thank a Tiger Hero Contest

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Conservationists and rangers are real heroes working to protect tigers and their habitat. In May, we asked young MyZoo magazine readers to create their own thank you posters and we’d send them straight to our colleagues in the tropical forests of Malaysia.
Drum roll please…

Suhyeon Choi, age 8, won the Grand prize (ages 7-10) which includes a zoo Overnight Adventure on August 15, 2015. Congratulations Suhyeon! This is what Suhyeon had to say about tigers, "I love tigers because they are cute yet fierce and I love animals all the same". We couldn’t agree more. Suhyeon’s creativity and her rainbow palette really stood out to the judges.



Ella Gruner, age 6, won the Grand prize (ages 3-6) which includes a tiger ZooParent adoption and plush! When asked why she loves tigers, Ella said, “I love tigers because they live in one of my favorite places, the jungle.” We really loved her delicate tiger drawing as well as the amazing penmanship and…

Reasons for Hope on Global Tiger Day

Posted by: Dr. Fred Koontz and Bobbi Miller, Conservation Team
Tigers have always been around, right? Who didn’t grow up seeing Tony the Tiger hawking breakfast cereal, watching Tigger bounce (“Bouncing is what Tiggers do best”) across the pages of Winnie the Pooh, or hearing the story of How the Tiger Got His Stripes? The fictional tigers that brought us a happy childhood are still around, and will be for generations to come, but can the same be said for the real deal—tigers in the wild?

Today we focus on those real-life wild tigers, and what can be done to ensure that they too remain for generations to come.
Global Tiger Day was set aside to promote the protection of wild tigers and their habitat, and to further awareness and support for their conservation. If there was ever an animal that needed our protection, it’s the majestic tiger.
Just over 100 years ago there were as many as 100,000 wild tigers living in Asia. Today there are fewer than 3,200 wild tigers, with only 7% of th…

50th penguin chick marks Woodland Park Zoo milestone

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

…49…50!


With two late-in-the-season Humboldt penguin hatchings, Woodland Park Zoo has hit a new milestone—50 chicks hatched since 2010, the first breeding season in our new penguin exhibit.

Over the last six breeding seasons at the zoo, penguin chicks have typically hatched between April and May. While the two chicks are latecomers, they are genetically valuable to the North America population. They are the first offspring for 3-year-old father Maximiliano and numbers 11 and 12 for 8-year-old Dora.

Video: Tiny penguin chicks mark 50th hatching at Woodland Park Zoo.

The chicks are off exhibit in nesting burrows where they are under the care of the parents. To ensure the chicks are achieving growth milestones, staff weighs them as they develop. Staff minimizes intervention to allow the parents to raise their chicks and gain parental experience.


This year’s breeding season produced a total of eight penguin chicks, six of which have now joined the o…

Conservation researchers observe rare early parenting behaviors in young gorillas

Posted by: Marie Manguette, Mbeli Bai Gorilla Study, a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife

At Mbeli, we follow twenty-one groups of gorillas that come to feed in the clearing. The number of individuals in a group ranges from just two to around 13. In gorillas, it is generally only the mother that takes care of her infant, with no assistance from the other members of the group.

On rare occasions however, we have observed juveniles carrying their siblings on their back or helping them when they are climbing trees. These altruistic behaviors have been observed in only two of the groups followed at Mbeli, and in both female and male juveniles. While rare in the wild, this phenomenon seems quite common in habituated or captive groups of gorillas. 
Zulu’s group is one of these groups where juveniles have been observed caring for and supervising their siblings without interruption from the mother. There are a total of eight individuals in the group, including the silverback, Zulu. The re…

Browse gardens abundant with edible flowers

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by Kirsten Pisto/WPZ.


The delicate petal of a sweet rose, the crisp stem on a freshly cut camellia and a mouth full of luscious nasturtiums leaves! The zoo’s browse gardens are bursting with color and we are celebrating this summer yield with a special delivery of mouthwatering garden plants to our resident herbivores. This is the fifth summer of cross-department collaboration between horticulture, animal management, ZooCorps and the commissary. The program has been a great success in ensuring the animals receive fresh summer treats as well as providing an excellent learning opportunity for our ZooCorps teens.
Browse gardens are scattered throughout zoo grounds, tucked behind buildings and in-between exhibits, they offer an extra space for horticulture to grow fresh herbs, flowers and some fruits and vegetables. When summer does its part and the browse gardens begin to flourish, the teens in ZooCorps assist with tending the gardens and a…

Animal selfie!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

When lead keeper Stephanie Miller tried to snap a photo of our male blue-billed curassow, he showed a lot of interest in her phone.

Playing along, Stephanie reversed the camera so he could see himself on the screen. And that’s when he pecked at it, amazingly hitting the shutter button just right to take this perfect selfie!


The duckface is over. It’s all about the curassowface now.

And this critically endangered species from Colombia needs all the attention it can get! Look for this beauty in the zoo’s Conservation Aviary.

New Strategic Plan: Growing our Reach and Impact

Plus our heartfelt thanks to Deborah Jensen for 13 years of service! Posted by: Bruce Bohmke, Acting President and CEO


Dear Friends, As zoo members, supporters and partners, you are an integral force in the success of our mission. You also have a vested interest in the future of your zoo. So, on behalf of all the zoo staff and board of directors, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Woodland Park Zoo’s new Strategic Plan 2015-2018: Growing our Reach and Impact.

You’ll be proud to know that Woodland Park Zoo is already recognized as a standard-setter among top zoos and aquariums in the U.S. With this plan as our compass, we will evolve to meet our community’s current and future needs, while further shaping and modeling the purpose of zoo-based conservation organizations in the 21st century.

Because a significant rise in population is anticipated for the Puget Sound region, we must dramatically increase our reach and impact to serve a growing community. But there is an even greater re…