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Showing posts from September, 2015

A walk on wild’s side

Posted by: Lavaniadevi Gopalakrishnan, Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT), a grantee of Woodland Park Zoo's Wildlife Survival Fund

Editor’s Note: Adapted from an article originally published in MYCAT Tracks: The Malaysian Tiger’s Struggle for Existence, Vol  5 2014. Woodland Park Zoo and MYCAT collaborate to enhance tiger and rain forest conservation in Peninsular Malaysia. In June 2016,  14 Association of Zoos & Aquariums tiger keepers, including WPZ’s Christine Anne, will travel to Malaysia to participate in a special CAT Walk designed for zoo professionals.


Footsteps echo in the forest. A group of people hike in a single line along a logging road, their eyes scrutinising the trail for something. They are seen almost every weekend here, in a relatively unknown part of the Malaysian forest, occasionally even spending the night in the forest. Who are these people, and what are they looking for?


They are members of the general public, MYCAT volunteers participat…

Speak up for Washington’s Wild Future!

Posted by: Fred Koontz, Ph.D., Vice President of Field Conservation

Here’s your chance to tell the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) how much you care about our local animals and habitats.

Jim Unsworth, WDFW Director, has announced an exciting new multi-year initiative, Washington’s Wild Future: A Partnership for Fish and Wildlife. The idea is to seek public comments and ideas to strengthen the department’s relationships with communities, increase support for conservation and outdoor recreation, and help ensure the department meets the public’s needs.


Four regional public forums have been scheduled for October.  Each meeting will begin with a presentation about the importance of fish and wildlife to Washington’s quality of life and the economies of its local communities. Participants will then be invited to speak with department representatives, as well as Dr. Unsworth.

Four upcoming Wild Futures meetings are scheduled for 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the following dates and …

Penguin Chick Check-Up

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo


The two tiniest members of our Humboldt penguin colony received their first exam last week at the Animal Health Department. The chicks—the 49th and 50th Humboldt penguins to hatch at Woodland Park Zoo since 2010—were given a clean bill of health by our animal care experts and Associate Veterinarian Dr. Kelly Helmick. The chicks hatched in July, just days apart, so they are both right at the two month mark. While keepers have been weighing and monitoring their growth and health all along, their first official neonatal exam is an important milestone in their development.

The exam consisted of anesthetizing the young birds to allow veterinary technicians to collect a blood sample, taking a cloacal culture, giving appropriate vaccinations, and injecting a small transponder under the skin. The blood work tells the vets a lot about the health of the penguin chicks, and it’s also the best way to dete…

Bon voyage, Misawa! The lovable “grumpy face” giraffe departs zoo in October.

Posted by: Alissa Wolken, Communications

Woodland Park Zoo is preparing to say goodbye to its tallest baby, 2-year-old male giraffe Misawa (me-SAW-wah). The infamous “grumpy face” giraffe will pack his bags in early October and travel south to Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas to begin his own family.

Misawa was born at Woodland Park Zoo on August 6, 2013. He is the son of 8-year-old female Olivia and 7-year-old male Chioke, who passed away before Misawa was born from complications associated with his gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. “Misawa’s birth was particularly significant for Woodland Park Zoo,” explained Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at the zoo. “He not only carries on the genes of his late father Chioke, but he was also the first viable giraffe born at the zoo since 1997; his set of circumstances makes his story, and him, all the more extraordinary.”

The zoo introduced Misawa to the public by revealing incredible footage from his birth that included him standing for t…

Seattle Youth Climate Action Network teens launch climate challenge

Posted by: Eli Weiss, Education
Adapted from a blog post that first appeared on The Ocean Project.


Woodland Park Zoo, along with our partners the Seattle Aquarium and Pacific Science Center are working together to build the Seattle Youth Climate Action Network (CAN). The goal of this project supported by The Ocean Project’s Innovative Solutions Grants+ is to train and support teen leaders, helping them create a campaign that encourages their peers to take measurable action on the issue of climate change.


In collaboration with partner staff and community agencies and organization, we are beginning to build local support and enthusiasm for the project. Seattle Youth CAN is picking up momentum—we have had a handful of successful events and have already learned a lot about starting a local youth network.

Our training model for this effort has included engaging teen participants in hands-on action; a full day of instruction on climate science, communication strategies and local examples of…

The Life of a Papua New Guinea Conservation Ranger

Posted by: Daniel Solomon Okena, Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife


Steep mountainous terrains, thick dense forest, and narrow walking tracks shifting due to landslides and floods. The environment I live in is extremely harsh and unforgiving, and may seem uninhabitable. But our people have been living here for many generations.


Here, we build a hut, plant a garden and hunt for our food. We collect our water, firewood, building materials and food from the surrounding land. We teach our children how to do the same. A great thing about living in this environment – everything is free! We pay no rent or water bills, we do not have to buy our land, and our food and building materials are simply free. All we need to do is manage these resources sustainably.

The concept of conservation is not new to us. Traditionally, our village chiefs and elders were entrusted to be the stewards of the land; a great privilege and honor. Some of the land outside of o…

ZooCrew middle schoolers explore Washington’s watersheds

Posted by: Caitlin Potter and Stacey Hammond, Education

If you visited the zoo during July, you may have seen a group of enthusiastic, orange-t-shirt wearing learners writing in their nature journals at the maned wolves exhibit, designing a scavenger hunt along the Northern Trail, typing away on computers at the building across from Bug World, observing the birds in the Tropical Rain Forest Dome, or reading about animals as they snuggled up in the den on the Discovery Loop.


For five weeks this summer, twelve 6th and 7th grade students from Asa Mercer, Washington and Denny Middle Schools explored ecosystems, watersheds and science careers through the ZooCrew Summer Learning Program, Woodland Park Zoo’s middle school outreach program. The ZooCrew Summer Learning Program is a free program in which students participate in nature explorations and science investigations, meet and work with STEM professionals, produce and showcase their own film, participate in leadership and team building a…