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Showing posts from February, 2018

Drafting a Future for Rhinos: Assam Rhino Reserve

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Inspired by the sweeping marshlands of Northeast India—where broadleaf forests meet elephant grasses, rolling rivers and dense pockets of jungle—Assam Rhino Reserve evokes the timelessness of nature’s grandeur. Yet look closer. The new exhibit, opening this May at Woodland Park Zoo, confronts one of the most enduring battles of species conservation: wildlife trafficking. The same wildness we revere in Earth’s breathtaking landscapes, we put at risk for trinkets, knickknacks, placebo medicines, and trophies.



Rhinos have become one of the most iconic symbols of wildlife trafficking. But trafficking is not an issue isolated to the wildlife of Asia and Africa. The Assam Rhino Reserve will help shed light on a very local problem—trafficked animals that are smuggled through our own sea and airports, and local species that are also being illegally killed for their parts.

“This is a huge challenge,” says Woodland Park Zoo senior interpretive content dev…

Zoo Welcomes Peter Zahler as Vice President of Conservation Initiatives

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications

As Peter Zahler asks in his article, Super Rare Super Squirrel, “What glides down mountains at night, sleeps in cliff caves during the day, eats primarily pine needles, and was thought to be extinct for 70 years? And, at four feet in length, is the biggest gliding mammal in the world?” Hint: it’s the same species that Peter rediscovered in Pakistan in 1994—the woolly flying squirrel (which was then thought to be extinct).
Peter is no stranger to enigmatic species having led conservation projects from Alaska, Arizona, Venezuela and Peru, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji to the temperate mountains and vast grasslands of Central Asia. He has studied animals like the Asiatic cheetah, snow leopard, markhor, hoatzin, bristle-thighed curlew, Mongolian gazelle and grasshopper mouse.


Peter’s 30 years of professional experience in conservation leadership includes field programs, research, training, capacity building and communications.  He knows that wildlife …

6-week-old sloth bear twins open eyes and wiggle around

Posted by Alissa Wolken, Communications

Hello, little ones!


Footage of 6-week-old sloth bear cubs in the den with mom, Tasha. (https://youtu.be/mbOJOale-Fs)

Tasha's 6-week-old sloth bear cubs have opened their eyes! New footage, captured on the zoo’s maternity den cam, shows the growing cubs becoming more mobile and opening their eyes. The two cubs, born December 27, 2017, are the offspring of 13-year-old mother Tasha and 17-year-old father Bhutan.


The mother and newborn cubs remain in an off-view maternity den to allow for their best possible welfare. This time is critical for maternal bonding and undisturbed nursing. Animal care staff is monitoring the new family via a camera inside the maternity den to ensure the cubs continue to thrive. Currently, the cubs are doing well and developing well. 
Woodland Park Zoo is a participant in the sloth bear Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program under the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) that ensures genetic d…

Chinta the orangutan celebrates her milestone 50th birthday!

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications
Chinta, our eldest female orangutan, is turning the big 5-0—a cause for celebration! Join us on February 17 for Chinta's birthday bash. The zoo will shower Chinta and her fellow companions with gift-wrapped presents full of favorite treats, streamers and flowers. And, of course, birthday cake! Chef David Van Gelder with Lancer Hospitality, the zoo’s food concessionaire, will bake a ginger-carrot cake fit for an orangutan and loaded with favorite ape ingredients including carrots, sweet potatoes and ginger.

The birthday girl is the oldest animal currently living at Woodland Park Zoo and one of the oldest female orangutans in North America.
Save the date for Chinta's birthday bash! Saturday, February 17, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.Cake and presents for Chinta: 10:30 a.m.
Birthday activities will take place at the orangutan exhibit located in Trail of Vines. 
Born at Woodland Park Zoo in February 1968, Chinta is distinguished by ragged bangs gracing…