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Showing posts from January, 2018

Not as simple as it seems: ZooCrew students tackle wildlife trafficking

Posted by: Ryan Driscoll, Education Photos by Ryan Driscoll, Woodland Park Zoo

The issues of poaching and wildlife trafficking can seem black and white—it’s bad news.  At least that was the initial sentiment of many of the middle school students who participated in this last semester’s ZooCrew, Woodland Park Zoo’s after-school program. However, as the students explored the issue, they started to realize just how complex the causes and solutions can be.  
One student explained why poaching in Africa can be a difficult issue, “people poach because they need the money and they can’t find a job that will pay them enough.  They need to have a way to feed their families.”  This led the students to explore a range of solutions such as recruiting those poachers to become rangers (who protect wildlife), building sustainable industries and supporting local communities that offer alternative employment.  They then explored ways that people here in Seattle could help. They created projects based…

Become a citizen scientist for local “wetlands watch” program

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications

How would you like to lend a helping hand to frogs, toads and salamanders in our backyard? You can by becoming a volunteer citizen scientist to monitor our ponds and wetlands!
Over a six-month period, citizen science volunteers will monitor eight different species of frogs, toads, and salamanders in wetlands throughout western Washington, which may include Mercer Slough Nature Park, parks in Seattle and King County and, potentially, Snohomish County Public Works sites.
Volunteers are required to participate in a classroom and field training session on February 10 or February 17. Teens between ages 14 and 18 are welcome and encouraged to join a monitoring team with at least one other teen participant. Sign up for a training session at www.zoo.org/amphibianmonitoring.
We will team up with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct the field training. Participants are equipped with hip waders, GPS units, aquascopes, and other monitor…

Red panda receives special therapy sessions

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by John Loughlin, Woodland Park Zoo
While standing on his green balance bone, Yukiko the red panda moves his head from side to side, then up and down. The movements work his abdominal and back muscles as well as spine flexibility. The red panda is undergoing therapy which includes massage, laser therapy and exercises which work his muscles and strengthen his core.
Yukiko is 12 ½ years old, so he is showing the normal signs of aging which include minor spondylosis, aging in the spine. Yukiko’s keepers noticed a slight decline in mobility as he moved around his enclosure and especially going up and down the ramps. After deciding on a therapy program with our veterinary team, keepers introduced Yukiko to the therapy equipment, such as his green balance bone and the laser therapy equipment.
Because Yukiko was already very comfortable around his keepers, his therapy was a breeze. The positive relationship he shared with keepers combined with …

Philanthropy is sweetness for the soul: Remembering Floyd Udell Jones

Posted by: Carolyn Stevens-Wood, Staff Writer
Financial Trader. Poet. All-around sweet guy.
Floyd Udell Jones
(1927 – 2018)


Goldie stood to the right upon entering Floyd’s sitting room.
He had a place of honor right behind a sofa on a small platform by the window.  Goldie the lion sculpture was purchased on a trip to South Africa Floyd took with his companion, Alene Moris, a number of years ago. The purchase was a quick decision, something for which Floyd was well known, on a side trip during a delay en route to the airport. Floyd was taken with the beauty of the lion, a piece of incredible artwork composed of thousands of tiny gold beads in intricate handiwork. Goldie served as a reminder of the safari they took and the extraordinary memories of seeing lions in their wild habitat. Floyd was keenly aware that most people will not have the chance to see the majestic, awe-inspiring lions in Africa as he did, and wanted them to be able to see them up close at the zoo. “I didn’t get the…

Keeper Spotlight: Reptiles and Amphibians with Alyssa Borek

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications

In case you missed our keeper spotlight on Instagram (@woodlandparkzoo) last week, here’s an inside look at what it’s like to work with snakes, lizards and turtles as part of Woodland Park Zoo’s reptile and amphibian team.
Hey everyone, we'd like to introduce you to Alyssa Borek, lead keeper on our reptile and amphibian team. Alyssa is a herpetologist—an expert in caring for our turtles, snakes, frogs and lizards. We're going to hand you over to Alyssa today for an up-close look at what it takes to care for these amazing creatures. Enjoy!
Hi everyone, thanks for following me along today as I show you a few really cool parts of being a zookeeper and working with herps. In this photo, I am holding one of my favorite turtles here at Woodland Park Zoo!  This is one of our female flowerback box turtles, or as I refer to them, Cuora galbinifrons.  These turtles are Asian box turtles from China, Vietnam, and Laos and are Critically Endangered in…

New Year welcomes sloth bear twins!

Posted by Alissa Wolken, Communications

As a very auspicious start to 2018, we are excited to announce the birth of twin sloth bear cubs. The tiny cubs were born December 27, 2017, in an off-view maternity den. The first cub made its appearance around 3:20 a.m., while the second cub took its time—appearing almost 11 hours later. Animal management has been diligently watching and listening to the twins and mom since the birth—keepers can tell a lot from the noises the cubs make, like whether or not they are nursing etc. So far they say the little family is doing great.

Mom, 13-year-old Tasha, is showing all the signs of being a protective and attentive mother. She has experience after all, having successfully raised two cubs in 2012. Bhutan, the 17-year-old father, is hanging out away from mom and cubs to give them plenty of quiet time.
Tasha and cubs will remain off view to allow for peaceful family time. This time is critical for maternal bonding and undisturbed nursing. Animal care …