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Showing posts from April, 2018

Woodland Park Zoo Goes Plastic Bottle Free

Posted by Zosia Brown, Resource Conservation and Sustainability


As plastic waste in our environment becomes an increasingly important global topic, Woodland Park Zoo is celebrating a milestone in our own resource conservation journey with the announcement that we are no longer selling beverages in single-use plastic bottles.
Woodland Park Zoo is committed to protecting and preserving wildlife and habitat for generations to come. It is our role to inspire our zoo guests and communities across our region to meaningfully reduce their own impact on the planet. Our Sustainable Zoo Plan guides our own operations following a Natural Step model that aims to: take no more from the earth that it can sustainably provide; provide no more to the earth more than it can sustainably absorb; and eliminate "waste" of all kinds from our operations, instead viewing waste as a resource.
Single-use plastic bottles are highly resource intensive to produce, transport and refrigerate. Their disposa…

Camera trap footage from the wild reveals sloth bear mama and three playful cubs

Posted by: Elizabeth Bacher, communications
While you’re getting to know our curious sloth bear cubs, Deemak and Kartick, we thought you’d also like to know more about their wild cousins and how Woodland Park Zoo is working with conservation partners on the ground in their native habitat to help to protect them.
Sloth bears are endangered, mostly due to habitat loss or degradation from human expansion, retaliation from human-bear conflict and to a lesser degree, poaching. It is believed that no more than 10,000-20,000 sloth bears remain in the wild. That’s one of the reasons why Woodland Park Zoo partners with a conservation organization like Wildlife SOS.
Currently, the research study that Wildlife SOS is conducting focuses on the two types of dens that wild sloth bears use – maternal dens which are used to give birth and raise cubs, and day dens which are used as a place to safely rest during daylight hours when sloth bears are not as active. Here is some new camera trap footage r…

First snow leopard cubs caught on camera in reserve: Hunting area-turned sanctuary is working

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications


This spring has brought signs of triumphant renewal well beyond the usual spring showers, budding leaves and blooming flowers. In Kyrgyzstan, the first-ever signs of a new generation—two snow leopard cubs and their mom—were spotted on a research camera inside a new sanctuary dedicated to snow leopard protection.

In 2016, Woodland Park Zoo’s conservation partner, the Seattle-based Snow Leopard Trust, joined forces with the Kyrgyz government to convert the former hunting reserve of Shamshy, in Kyrgyzstan, into a sanctuary for snow leopards and ibex. These pictures confirm the first documented snow leopard cubs being raised inside the Shamshy Wildlife Sanctuary, or anywhere in the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range. It is also the first sign of a breeding snow leopard population in this region of Kyrgyzstan.

The snow leopard is an elusive and mysterious big cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, as well as Afghanistan, China, I…

Rhino Lookout: Save Us, Save You

Posted by Rebecca Whitham, Director of Content and Creative Strategy Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo


"Rhino! Rhino!" the forest guard shouted from the front seat of the vehicle. 
We were 5 hours into our first excursion in India's Manas National Park when we spotted him. He spotted us too. The rhino, snapping branches as he noisily dined, quickly retreated into the forest. But that first glimpse confirmed for our own eyes what we came to document: the greater one-horned rhino's unlikely comeback from local extinction.


As we prepare to open Assam Rhino Reserve at Woodland Park Zoo and welcome greater one-horned rhino for the first time, we are challenging us all to do more than see rhinos—look out for them. So zoo photographer Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren and I set out for a week in Manas on a project we're calling Rhino Lookout. We sought to discover who are the people looking out for rhino, what can we learn from their success in recovering this spec…

First rhino arrives safely at the zoo—welcome Taj! Assam Rhino Reserve opens May 5

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo

The first of two rhinos has arrived safely at Woodland Park Zoo. After a road trip from San Diego, Taj, a 17-month-old male greater one-horned rhino, arrived last Friday in healthy condition. Trained in preparation for the move, Taj traveled in a custom-made trailer driven by an expert who specializes in moving rhinos.


Taj will live at Assam Rhino Reserve which opens May 5!
Pronounced like Taj Mahal, Taj means “crown” or “jewel” in Hindi. He was born Nov. 10, 2016 at San Diego Zoo Safari Park and is the 70th greater one-horned rhino born at the Safari Park since 1972, making the Park the foremost breeding facility in the world for this rhino species. 
Taj is already settling in and getting to know his animal keepers. “Taj has spent his first few days inside the barn settling in and becoming familiar with his new surroundings and rhino care keepers. Starting this week, we will begin introducing h…

5 fun things to do at Spring Safari: African Wildlife Conservation Day

Come to the zoo this Saturday, April 14 for Spring Safari!
Posted by Bobbi Miller, Conservation
We're excited to see you at this year's Spring Safari. Here are 5 activities we think will get you pumped for an awesome day of conservation, animal encounters and springtime fun:
1. Learn about Woodland Park Zoo’s conservation programs in Africa! Check out how we’re working to save gorillas, giraffes, lions and more. The day will be filled with keeper talks and special treats for the animals in our African Savanna. Start the day by watching as our lions get a special meaty treat at 10 a.m. Come to our hippo talk with enrichment at 11:30 a.m., and don’t forget the giraffe experience—for $5 you can get up close from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. with our tallest residents. You can find a full list of all our keeper talks and enrichments here: https://www.zoo.org/events

2. Meet K9 Officer Benny! Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) first wildlife detection dog will be here with…

Honoring Leo: Save gorilla habitat with ECO-CELL

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications

Update on Leo’s passing
We’d like to share preliminary necropsy (animal autopsy) findings with you regarding our 40-year-old male gorilla, Leo, who passed away on the evening of March 29 after a brief illness. The most significant post-mortem findings indicate the upper middle-age gorilla died from an aortic aneurysm—the internal rupture of the wall of the ascending aorta, the major artery exiting the heart.
“The aortic dissection was extensive, extending into the descending aorta, down as far as the lower back region of Leo,” says Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health. Heart disease emerged as a disease of concern and a major cause of death among all four great apes (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos) in the early 1990s. In 1991, Woodland Park Zoo lost a male gorilla in his ‘20s due to acute cardiovascular failure. “This is why the Great Ape Heart Project was established among the zoo community to inves…