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Showing posts from June, 2016

Tiger Forest in 360°

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

Malayan tigers are on a thin line between here and gone, but there is hope. If we protect their habitat and keep them out of the hands of poachers, tiger populations can rebound.

On a recent trip, Woodland Park Zoo animal care, field conservation and communications staff joined a MYCAT volunteer patrol deep in the tiger’s forest realm. They placed a 360° camera in one of the planet’s most ancient rain forests to show you what’s at stake. Use the controls to peer around this slice of tiger habitat located in a critical wildlife corridor along the edge of Taman Negara, Malaysia’s premier national park.

Video: 360° View of Malaysian Tiger Forest. 
NOTE: 360°-view enabled browser required to explore full view of the video.

The fact that you can barely see much in the distance is a good thing—the density of this forest supports incredible diversity of life. When we fight to protect tiger forests, we’re saving the home of so many more, from lichens to trees,…

Butterflies take flight at Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

The summer air is almost still, delicately scented with a sweet, seasonal bloom. Brilliantly winged creatures flit and float between lupine, spirea and honeysuckle. Here in the Molbak’s Butterfly Garden, speak softly and step carefully as you enter another world.

Opening Sat., July 2, the new exhibit takes flight with 500 free-flying butterflies from at least 15 native North American species.You’ll get a full sensory introduction to the fragility and resilience of nature as flowers bloom and butterflies emerge around you.

The presence of a single butterfly is enchanting—tiny, delicate and fairylike. Their littleness can be measured in grams, their adult lifespan sometimes just months, weeks or days. Yet butterflies are also grand in scale. In the Lepidoptera taxonomic order, there are at least 15,000 butterfly species and 250,000 moth species. In the U.S. alone there are 750 butterfly and 11,000 moth species. Butterflies inhabit every corner of …

Making a home for new François' langur family

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor with reporting by Carolyn Sellar, Zookeeper

Vegetarians sporting mutton chops? Welcome to Seattle, boys—you’ll fit right in! A family of François' langurs has just moved into the zoo’s Trail of Vines and their distinguished looks and playful antics are turning heads.

The all-male troop is led by Ding (age 17), the father of 5 rambunctious boys. As the elder, Ding acts as leader, peacekeeper and resolution maker. His larger head, balding spots and ruffled tail reflect the experience and wisdom he has collected over the years.

The boys, Ya Ya (age 5), Tang and Petey (age 4), Zhang (age 2.5) and Bouncy (age 2), are in perpetual motion. The smallest and most mischievous is Bouncy. According to zookeeper Carolyn Sellar, “Bouncy is still young enough that he gets away with a lot more than anyone else. Bouncy will soon learn his place and proper monkey ways, but he still has a lot of time to be the wild and spontaneous youngster of this high energy gro…

Fatherhood in the Animal Kingdom

Posted by: Kristin Quirk, Education

Father's Day is almost here, a good time to take a closer look at the many forms of fatherhood in the animal kingdom. While its natural for fathers of some species to be entirely absent, other animal fathers fill all sorts of roles: protector, companion, provider, disciplinarian, partner and even playmate.

Let's explore the world of animal dads.

Golden lion tamarins
A male golden lion tamarin takes his role as father very seriously. The typical tamarin dad grooms, feeds, plays with and gives his infants piggyback rides. Hey dads, does this sound familiar?

Hornbills will find a cavity or hole in a tree to make their home. The mother hornbill stays inside the tree, often molting her feathers to provide a soft nest. The large hole is closed up with mud leaving only enough space to fit her beak. The father hornbill then brings food to her and the chicks once they have hatched.

Maned wolves

Foxes and wolves work as a parenting team. Mom…

Grow with Yola

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

Video: Grow With Yola: Woodland Park Zoo Baby Gorilla

Yola, Nadiri, Akenji and Leo are ready. Now, you can visit the family starting at 1:00 p.m. daily.

Our thanks to you all for the incredible patience, kindness and support you have shown the gorillas and zoo staff as we gave Yola and Nadiri the time needed to bond and form a family.

Seeing these two together is everything we worked for, everything Nadiri worked for, and everything your support makes possible. You've followed along from Yola's first days of round-the-clock keeper care through the inspiring updates from keepers witnessing first-hand how Yola is truly growing up gorilla.

Now you can #GrowWithYola yourself and share your photos and stories to help us build the ultimate digital scrapbook as we track her growth together.

Yola is a Hausa name that means "firefly" and it couldn't be more fitting for the light she brings to her family and the spark she starts in each of…

Flying fish usher in Bear Affair and Bear Awareness Week

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

Video: TT for the Bears.

Things got very Seattle at Woodland Park Zoo when the world-famous fishmongers from Pike Place Fish Market helped us kick off Bear Awareness week and the big event, Bear Affair: Living Northwest Conservation Day presented Brown Bear Car Wash coming up Sat., Jun. 4.

Grizzly brothers Keema and Denali could smell the salmon long before the fishmongers sent the fish flying over to them, shouting "TT for the bears" as in "test toss" in fishmonger-speak.

In true Keema and Denali style, the bears let gravity do the work for them and then dined contentedly.

Don't let the beautiful exhibit design fool you—the fishmongers were a safe distance from the bears with layers of containment between them, all under the watchful eyes of our animal care crew. That's why it takes a professional to throw the fish that far!

Some brave zoo guests stepped up to the challenge to catch their own TT and what can we say, Seattl…