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Showing posts from January, 2017

Our gift to the Internet: tiny otter pups

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor


Congratulations to mom Teratai and dad Guntur on their third litter of pups! Four Asian small-clawed otters were born December 9, 2016, and are just now becoming more mobile and have fully opened their eyes.

Asian small-clawed otters are all about family, and the new pups are being cared for attentively by their parents and three older sisters. They are spending their time in a private den behind-the-scenes.

The whole family pitches in to raise the pups. Mom nurses the newborns and dad and siblings provide supportive care. Occasionally, the adults leave the den to go outdoors briefly, but prefer to stay indoors to focus on their pups.

Watch: Fall in Love With Tiny Otter Babies

Teratai and Guntur are experienced parents, and have successfully raised two previous litters. Though our keepers have a close eye on the family, we trust Teratai and Guntur to do all the work, and we remain hands off as much as possible. Next week the pups will have a veterinar…

New life emerges as hopeful sign after Woodland Park Zoo fire

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

Resilient frogs, lizards, and turtles show that life goes on after surviving the December fire that damaged the Day and Night exhibit building where they resided.

Since being safely evacuated from the building through a heroic effort by Seattle Fire Department and the zoo’s animal care staff, a pair of tiger-legged monkey frogs has produced 50 tadpoles—a first-time breeding at the zoo for this species.

Watch the video: A Sign of Hope After Woodland Park Zoo Fire

“We observed the monkey frogs in a ‘love embrace’ on Christmas Eve. The fact that these animals could breed and reproduce after a fire and being placed in temporary housing is a testimony to the excellent care and dedication provided by our animal care staff. This is wonderful news and a sign of hope after the fire,” said Jennifer Pramuk, PhD, animal curator and an expert in reptiles and amphibians at Woodland Park Zoo.

In addition, shield-tailed agamas (lizards found in Somalia and Ethi…

ZooCrew middle schoolers tackle invasive species

Posted by: Ryan Driscoll, Education

Studying Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea) and the issues surrounding invasive species, students from three Seattle middle schools—Asa Mercer International, Washington and Denny International—are resisting the invasion thanks to another great term of our ZooCrew after-school program.



Using a combination of games, research, and some hand-crafted wanted posters, students explored the impact invasive species have both in Australasia and here in the Pacific NW. They also generated ideas on what people in our communities could do to help, and learned about advocacy strategies to get their messages out there. Of course, this was all while getting to interact with live animals and examining biofacts from Australia and New Zealand!

All of this new information was then applied to their group projects which are highlighted below:


Western Shield Camera Trap Project


Since our focal area was Australasia, it was only fitting that students …

It may stink like a skunk, but new wildlife research technology works like a charm

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications


As part of a Woodland Park Zoo wildlife study, remote cameras and new, innovative scent lure dispensers—created by the zoo, Idaho Fish and Game, and Microsoft Research and installed last winter in Washington’s Cascade Mountains—have successfully captured images of wolverines, a carnivore rarely seen in the wild.

Research scientists deploy motion sensor remote cameras and odorous scent attractants to capture images of elusive species such as wolverines, lynx, fishers, cougars, grizzly bears and gray wolves but, in the past, have faced challenges during the winter.

Scents naturally fade and need to be refreshed every few weeks, said Robert Long, PhD, a carnivore research ecologist and a senior conservation fellow in Woodland Park Zoo’s field conservation department. “Deep snow and dangerous avalanche conditions in the Cascades typically make it too risky in backcountry terrain to routinely change out baits or replenish odorous lures,” explained L…

Meet Rufous: He is very social, enjoys hay and is fond of back scratches

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


Ahem, drum roll please... Meet Rufous!



Rufous is the newest member of the Family Farm. This miniature Jersey cow is just 9 months old, but he has already become a barnyard favorite. Right now he weighs about 415 lb, but he'll be full grown at about 3 years old and could weigh between 1000-1200 lb. His tawny red fur is especially handsome.




His main diet is Timothy Hay, a high fiber basic grass hay. The young cow enjoys playing with and eating his browse, fresh edible plants provided by his keepers. Rufous received a Christmas tree, which he nibbled on and also turned into a sparring partner. Sparring is definitely one of his favorite pastimes, a natural behavior for young bull calves. He pushes his ball around the yard with his forehead and feet. Keepers also hung a jolly ball in the barn for Rufous to knock around.





Like his barn-mates, miniature donkeys Sam and Rico, Rufous likes to run and …