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The definitive guide to making hippo kisses

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

If "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" is your holiday jam, brace yourself: this is as close as it gets!

This Fri., Nov. 20, head to the Zookeepers' Holiday Silent Auction to bid on a chance to go behind the scenes with 15-year-old female hippo Guadalupe to create your very own hippo-kiss painting.

Photos: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

With a mouth that can open to a massive 150 degrees and lips that are 2 feet wide, a hippo's kiss is unforgettable. As you can imagine, it's not always easy to make a hippo-kiss painting. But don't worry, we've got a how-to guide for that:

The silent auction is held by the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Along with the hippo kiss painting experience, this year’s auction will feature extraordinary experiences found only at the zoo, including opportunities to paint behind the scenes with a colony of Humboldt penguins, meet the zoo’s snow leopards up close and learn about the adaptations that allow them to live high in the mountains, and enjoy a private keeper talk and enrichment program with the zoo’s Komodo dragon.

Zookeepers' Holiday Silent Auction

  • Friday, November 20, 2015
  • 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Bake/lunch sale, auction preview and guaranteed bids 
  • 4:00-7:30 p.m. - Silent auction and bake/dinner sale
  • Woodland Park Zoo Education Center, located adjacent to the South Entrance at N. 50th St. and Fremont Ave. N. Free parking available after 4:00 p.m. in the south parking lot at N. 50th St. and Fremont Ave. N. (located next to the Rose Garden). Entrance to the auction is free; access to the zoo is not included. 

Proceeds help support animal and habitat conservation projects around the world, the advancement of the zookeeping profession and education outreach. The Puget Sound American Association of Zoo Keepers (PS-AAZK) is a nonprofit volunteer organization made up of professional zookeepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. The PS-AAZK chapter aims to provide excellence in animal care by providing grants and scholarships for members to attend workshops, conferences and training seminars. The organization supports conservation efforts for bees, lions, vultures, tree kangaroos, iguanas and many more.  It has created an emergency fund to respond quickly when other facilities have emergent situations, such as the confiscation and follow-up care of over 3,800 critically endangered Philippine forest turtles by the Turtle Survival Alliance facility earlier this year.