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Showing posts from July, 2017

Orphaned monkey rescued from street entertainers gets a second chance

Posted by: Kelly Martin, Colobus Conservation Ltd., a Woodland Park Zoo Wildlife Survival Fund project


Editor’s note: When an animal needs help, you can rely on our conservation partners to step up. Colobus Conservation Ltd., a Woodland Park Zoo Wildlife Survival Fund project based in Kenya, may have started with a focus on saving colobus monkeys, but their mission now impacts wildlife and communities well beyond that scope. This is one of those stories.



Mel, a young female vervet monkey, arrived at Colobus Conservation a few weeks ago after being rescued from street entertainers trying to sell her to tourists passing by. Colobus Conservation was called to the scene by a concerned individual after witnessing little Mel tied up, alone and on the ground. She was being handed around for people to see. The asking price for her started at $10.

Team Colobus moved fast. As so often happens, on our arrival the individuals left the scene quickly, knowing that what they were doing is illegal. We…

Baby snow leopard instantly improves your day

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor


Here is your first look at our newest addition!

Born July 6, this little snow leopard had her first veterinary exam on Thursday. It was the first time we’ve been able to get close to baby, since snow leopards are born so helpless and depend on mom’s close care.



Video: Two-week-old snow leopard baby 

The exam went quickly because snow leopard mom Helen wouldn’t have it any other way. We got a good look at baby and that's when we found out we have a girl on our hands. She currently weighs 2.6 pounds and appears to be healthy. One of her eyelids has already opened and one remains closed. A cub’s eyelids normally open around two weeks. Her belly was full of milk, which means she is nursing and getting nourishment.


Helen has been a great mom to her two previous litters with a different mate. She’s nurturing her cub very well and they’re bonding together in an off-view den where they can have some quiet, private space together.

Parents Helen and Dhirin w…

Siamang travels 3,200 miles to meet her match in Seattle

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor


Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. Sam and Bagus. Some duets are timeless.

For newly matched siamangs Sam and Bagus (bah-GOOSE), it’s only been a week and yet somehow it’s like they’ve been together forever.


Sam lost his mate here at Woodland Park Zoo last year when our geriatric female Briony passed away. Across the country, Bagus lost her long-time mate at Palm Beach Zoo. A siamang’s social life is naturally structured around being in a bonded pair. Though Sam’s and Bagus’s keepers gave them all the TLC two lone siamangs could ask for, we all knew that what they needed most was to be part of a pair again.

Sam and Bagus were well matched on paper. We work with other accredited conservation zoos through the Species Survival Plan to track the genetics of endangered species, such as siamangs, in our care. This way we can collaborate on matchmaking, finding pairs that are right for breeding or companionship. But animals have th…

Local medical team helps save gorilla's life

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

Their patients are usually human. But a team of local medical specialists joined Woodland Park Zoo's animal health team last month to perform emergency umbilical hernia surgery repair on 38-year-old gorilla Vip. The all-star team re-convened with our veterinary team over the weekend to examine silverback Vip’s surgical site and perform dental and sinus procedures. The good news: Vip is doing great!
“Thanks to the expertise of the medical team, Vip successfully pulled through both the surgery and follow-up examination and is back with his family as he recovers,” said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health. “The elderly gorilla remains under close observation by his attentive caretakers and we’ll continue to keep him on a prescribed program of analgesics and joint medication.”
Prior to the surgery, keepers had reported the 430-pound western lowland gorilla had shown signs of decline including mobility challenges, a …

Every child deserves a butterfly moment

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

Standing in the sun-soaked tent at Molbak’s Butterfly Garden, we are surrounded by fluttering pollinators, gorgeous blooms and the giggles of some very special visitors. They wait, holding very still, anticipating a lucky butterfly landing. 

“I really think they will land on me,” an optimistic 4-year-old Emilio explains to his mom. The butterflies seem to flit and dart just above the laughter of this group of toddlers. These kiddos and their parents are here with a group called YoungLives, which offers support and provides resources for teen moms and their young children in the greater Seattle area. YoungLives is part mentorship and part community resource for young mothers (primarily middle school through high school-aged) at a time when they may feel isolated from family, friends or schoolmates. YoungLives is an offshoot of YoungLife, a nondenominational Christian ministry for adolescents. 
Th…