Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2016

The Night Exhibit rises

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor


It’s a new dawn for the Night Exhibit.

Since the popular exhibit closed in the wake of the 2009 recession, we’ve heard one message from you all loud and clear—the dark night must return.

With the all new Banyan Wilds tiger and sloth bear exhibits now complete, and butterflies returning later this year, the time is right to shine a light, so to speak, on nocturnal animals once again.

In 2018, we plan to re-open a renovated Night Exhibit showcasing nocturnal animals in the dark.


Our night vision will come together over the next two years as we design, renovate and open the exhibit thanks to a public-private partnership, using funds available for major repairs from the city of Seattle Park District, along with private philanthropy.

Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, including major maintenance …

A jaguar visits the dentist

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
Providing terrific animal health care is one of the benchmarks of the zoo's mission and that includes dental care. Just like in humans, a healthy mouth is tantamount to the overall wellness of an animal. If you've ever wondered about how we provide that care, here is one detailed look at a jaguar's visit to the dentist.

It’s 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 15, and the hustle and bustle of the Woodland Park Zoo Animal Health building is well underway. The Animal Health team has prepped the procedure room for a special patient this morning, a 16-year-old male jaguar, Junior. He is here for an endodontic tooth repair on one of the biggest teeth in this big cat’s mouth, the right maxillary canine. The upper dental arcade of teeth are termed maxillary and the bottom teeth are the mandibular teeth. In the wild, jaguars use their canines to apprehend and potentially pierce the skulls of their prey. This tooth i…

Baby gorilla at two months old; curious and strong

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications Video and photo by: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
Nadiri and her baby are getting to know each other and learning new things about each other day by day. 
Here is video of our girl exploring new tactile sensations and trying out a few luscious leaves. Keeper Traci Colwell gives us a quick update on the newborn’s progress.
Video of the baby gorilla exploring new tactile sensations andtasting a tiny leaf. 
The baby gorilla receives attentive care by keeper and veterinary staff in a den behind the scenes of the gorilla exhibit, where Nadiri can see her baby and her baby can see her mom throughout the day, every day. “For the long-term benefits and welfare of the baby gorilla, it’s important for her to know she’s a gorilla, not a human. She never leaves the gorilla den. Here, she is exposed to her mom and can also see, hear and smell the zoo’s other gorillas,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “It’s also a step toward integrating h…

Borneo's elephants get a helping hand from new zoo alliance

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications
All photos courtesy of Hutan


Woodland Park Zoo, along with Oregon Zoo and Houston Zoo, announced today a new agreement with Borneo-based wildlife organizations to protect the endangered Borneo pygmy elephant.

The new partnership between Hutan and the Borneo Elephant Zoo Alliance is the first of its kind to focus on the little-known Asian elephant subspecies. Hutan’s primary area of focus is the Lower Kinabatangan flood plain in eastern Sabah, a state on the Malaysian island of Borneo. The initiative will combat the frequent and sometimes deadly conflicts between people and elephants.


Only an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 Borneo elephants remain in the wild on the island of Borneo. While Borneo elephants are fully protected under the 1997 Sabah Wildlife Enactment, their survival is threatened due to deforestation—largely driven by logging and palm oil production. Oil palm plantations are often adjacent to wildlife habitat. This inevitably results in …

Hawk Walk: Raptor Flight Practice

By Kirsten Pisto, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, unless otherwise noted
If you’ve visited the zoo during our Raptor Flight Program, you’ve seen our raptors demonstrate their skillful aerial maneuvers. Experts at flying over the crowd and returning safely to their trainer’s glove, the raptors are used to the oohs and ahhs of a large audience in the flight yard. These birds know the subtle signals of their flight trainers and are practiced at staying on task, even when the peskiest neighborhood crows taunt them from the treetops.


As proficient as these raptors are, once in a while keepers put them to the test and try out fresh scenarios. This allows the birds to learn new skills as well as strengthen their instinct to return to their handlers during the free flights. By introducing new terrain, keepers have a good idea of how tuned in the birds are.
A quiet Friday afternoon with clear skies and a slight chill in the air makes for perfect test flight conditions. Winter i…

What's new at the zoo in 2016

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

A new exhibit for North American butterflies and a stage for up-close experiences with animals such as skunks and pot-bellied pigs are among the new features coming to Woodland Park Zoo in 2016.


The butterflies and new ambassador animals will highlight a previously underused area of the zoo near the popular Zoomazium. The new outdoor stage is expected to be a real highlight for zoo guests who want to get up close and personal with these animals. In addition—to mark its 10th anniversary—Zoomazium will see a refreshment of its programming and technology.


Right next door will be the new Butterfly Garden, a completely new exhibit to replace one closed during the 2009 recession. Zoo guests will enter a covered area, stroll among free-flying butterflies, and explore the various habitats of North American butterfly species while learning about the biology, behavior, and threats facing these beautiful winged insects and other pollinators.


“These two ne…

From hunting reserve to wildlife sanctuary

Posted by: Snow Leopard Trust, a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife

Editor's Note: Woodland Park Zoo is excited to share this latest news from our Partner for Wildlife, the Snow Leopard Trust. The Trust’s work in Kyrgyzstan is in collaboration with Woodland Park Zoo and we are very proud of our Field Conservation Associate, Kubanych Jumaby, for his innovative leadership.

The following is adapted from an article originally published on the Snow Leopard Trust Blog...

The Snow Leopard Trust, Snow Leopard Foundation Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz Department of Hunting and Natural Resource Management are piloting a new, innovative conservation program: they are turning a hunting concession, where ibex were commercially hunted, into a co-managed nature reserve.

The 100 square mile former concession area, Shamshy, in Kyrgyzstan’s northern Tian Shan mountains, is home to ibex, and seasonal populations of argali and wolves. It lies within a large snow leopard landscape, and has the potential …

First video of baby gorilla: cure for the midday blues

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

In the first video of our baby gorilla, the now 6-week-old little girl gets a quick veterinary check up from Woodland Park Zoo Director of Animal Health, Dr. Darin Collins.

WATCH: Video: Baby gorilla gets a veterinary check up.
She's looking great, doing well, and with a healthy appetite, she now weighs in at 7 pounds.

As she grows, her little leg muscles are starting to develop and that means baby has now hit another milestone: she's starting to crawl! She can only cover short distances, but with the way she now holds her head steady and is starting to really take in her surroundings, she'll be an explorer soon.

The infant continues to receive round-the-clock care from zookeepers. Several times a day the keepers provide opportunities for first-time mom Nadiri and her baby to interact. During these patient introductions, Nadiri is given the choice to be with her baby and the introductions have remained positive.

In the coming weeks, we…