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Showing posts from 2017

Lulu the giraffe turns 6 months old

Posted by: Alissa Wolken, Communications



Today is Lulu's half birthday! In honor of the special day, we asked lead keeper Katie Ahl for an update on Seattle’s tallest baby.


Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ): How is Lulu doing?

Katie Ahl (KA): Lulu is doing great. She was introduced as part of the herd from very early on and has positive relationships with each herd member, but in general she is a very independent calf with a lot of spirit.


WPZ: Can you describe Lulu’s relationship with the rest of the herd?

KA: It looks a little different with each member. Her mom, Tufani, is her home base when something startles her. But I often see Lulu hanging out with Olivia, who is just as great of an aunt as she was a mother. Lulu also has a lot of contact and check-ins with dad, Dave. They are both very cute together; she spends more time with him out on the savanna than in the corrals


WPZ: Speaking of the herd, how are they doing?

KA: They’re doing well. We just received our new breeding recommendations t…

Sparkling lights, cozy nights and many warm smiles

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, communications
Photos by Pisto, Woodland Park Zoo

Sparkling colors and magical scenes draw many families to explore Woodland Park Zoo's WildLights. This year, in addition to welcoming members and visitors—the zoo's Community Access Program invited some very special community members to share in the magic of the season.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, the zoo invited more than 50 community partners to attend WildLights presented by Sound Credit Union. These local organizations serve low-income, at-risk or underserved children and families in our shared community and include organizations such as Mary's Place, Ryther, Big Brothers Big Sisters Puget Sound, Sibling House, White Center CDA, Youthcare, Treehouse and more. By partnering with these organizations over the Thanksgiving weekend, the zoo welcomed more than 3,000 attendees to our Community Access Program WildLights nights.
We believe that all kids should be able to come to the zoo and work wi…

Follow Ben to see how WildLights gets its sparkle

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications Photo by Kirsten Pisto, Woodland Park Zoo
Hey everyone, we’d like to introduce you to Ben Haager, our events installation coordinator. He’s the Clark Griswold of WildLights, except that Ben is actually really good at keeping the lights on! Here’s Ben with a very special Woodland Park Zoo WildLights takeover to show you what is takes to get our glow on…

Hi everyone! It’s my first year coordinating WildLights presented by Sound Credit Union—and I am learning A LOT. Like how to hang and secure large light displays—I even had to get scissor lift certified—and become an expert in Santa decorations. There are lots of trips to Home Depot and local hardware stores as well as vintage thrift stores to find supplies for outfitting Santa’s camp which has a very PNW vibe. It smells pretty great in Santa’s camp thanks to loads of pine our horticulture crew has strewn up, they do such a great job with all the boughs. I really like the details we have at Santa’…

Grow with Yola, hello 2!

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Happy Birthday Yola!

A very gorilla birthday
Mischievous, playful, smart, curious, adorable and loved—that’s Yola. Today, November 20 is her second birthday. The 2-year-old gorilla won’t be getting a heart-shaped cake or streamers, she won’t be renting a bouncy house either—instead she’ll spend the day with her gorilla group, her family, doing what all 2-year-olds do best. She’ll push boundaries by stealing someone’s stick, she’ll snuggle up close to mom when she feels like it, she’ll play chase with her aunt Akenji, and undoubtedly she’ll investigate whatever Leo is up to—but most importantly she’ll be a gorilla.
Being a gorilla is important. Gorillas are endangered. We hear that word a lot, but let’s think about what that really means. Their habitat and natural range is shrinking every day, and while we’ve made some progress in providing them protection —most of the wild population lives outside these protected areas. Many gorillas live in area…

Sunbittern chick makes fluffy debut

Posted by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo
The cutest, fluffiest little sunbittern chick hatched recently in the Tropical Rain Forest (TRF) canopy!  
At  two or three weeks old, it can already be seen stretching its legs and its trademark long, thin neck around the nest. If you are willing to crane your own neck a bit, you can get a good view!
Sunbitterns typically look for dips in tree branches to lay their eggs, lining the nests with mud, moss, plant fibers, and other soft materials. Females lay between one and two eggs, and both sexes share the nest guarding, incubation, and brooding duties.

Once the egg(s) hatches, usually in about thirty days, the parents will continue to share feeding and brooding duties.

Our chick fledged the nest recently and its downy plumage is already beginning to be replaced with adult feathers. Those same feathers will result in the sunbittern’s signature plumage, which when displayed with spread w…

Home Sweet Home Thanks to Seattle Park District Funds

Posted by Kizz Prusia, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo
There really is no place like home. Home is where we rest, relax and where we go to recharge. For our residents—the 1,200 animals who call Woodland Park Zoo home— home is where they snooze, play, explore and snack.
Seeing Woodland Park Zoo as a home is crucial to how we care for our animals—and just like your home—the zoo needs improvement from time to time to stay in top condition.
We are extremely grateful to Seattle voters for passing the Seattle Park District ballot measure nearly three years ago. The funding provided by the Park District—about $1.8 million a year—goes toward maintaining our dens, trees, caves, hot rocks, roofs and watering holes.
With this funding, we are able to update old parts of the zoo and keep new parts well-maintained. We consider this “home improvement” to also be preventative maintenance. We’d like to highlight a couple of important projects we have done around th…

Welcome Joy and Scarlet, new maned wolves

Posted by Alissa Wolken, Woodland Park Zoo Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo
We have some new long-legged creatures to introduce you to! We welcomed two female maned wolves, sisters Joy and Scarlet, from the Little Rock Zoo in mid-October. You can now visit them at their exhibit in the zoo’s Wildlife Survival Zone.


The arrival of Joy and Scarlet followed the departure of the our sole maned wolf, Vinny. Vinny was recommended to be sent to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center to be paired with a female for breeding under the maned wolf Species Survival Plan, explains Shawn Pedersen, a collection manager at Woodland Park Zoo. Little Rock Zoo was looking for a home for their two young females, so we were able to move Joy and Scarlet here.
Since arriving in mid-October, the nearly 1-year-old sisters (born December 21, 2016) are settling into their new home quite well. “These two are young, playful and are adjusting well to their new surroundings,” says Pedersen. “Joy and Scarlet are…