Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2019

Silverspot butterflies need your love

Posted by Barbara Segal, Intern, Communications

It takes a village to save a butterfly. Our zoo community’s mission includes saving wildlife near and far, and to save the Oregon silverspot butterfly we team up with many dedicated organizations of wildlife experts and activists. This beautiful and important pollinator once fluttered among flowers in Washington and across the west coast, but now is only found in isolated patches in Oregon and northern California. Threatened by habitat loss and invasive species, the silverspot butterfly needs our help. This means everyone from government agencies to you, our zoo community! Working together, we can bring this the silverspot butterfly back from the brink. 

The first leg of the relay began when the U.S. Department of the Interior declared the silverspot butterfly threatened in 1980. This put the wheels in motion for conservation efforts, and in 1982 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created a recovery plan, which was updated in 2001. Care…

Zoo For All: Celebrating All Abilities

Posted by Terra Vleeshouwer-Neumann, Intern, Public Affairs
Photos by John Loughlin, Woodland Park Zoo

Here at the Woodland Park Zoo, we want everybody to feel welcome. One way we are working to include more of our community is through a series of Zoo For All events. Our most recent event on July 2, Celebrating All Abilities, was a huge hit. Despite the drizzly weather, the zoo was buzzing with excitement!

To celebrate and increase accessibility, Scootaround provided free scooter/wheelchair rentals, and over 30 community organizations came together for a resource fair on the North Meadow. Guests were offered Sensory Maps that highlight areas of the zoo they can enjoy by touching or playing, as well as areas that are likely to be noisy or overstimulating. The map also suggests quiet areas where guests who are overwhelmed by all the action can reflect and recharge. There is also an accessibility guide complete with a map that shows those with mobility concerns which parts of the zoo can…

Double the Laughter at Our Kookaburra Exhibit

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications

Listen carefully. Do you hear laughter? If you’re visiting Woodland Park Zoo’s Australasia area, you just might … and it could be coming from an unexpected source. Our laughing kookaburra family has just doubled in size thanks to these two newly-fledged chicks. Mama, Tamani, and Dad, Murray, are the proud parents of two young females who recently took their first hops—and flights—from the nest, just a few weeks ago.

The laughing kookaburra is the largest bird in the kingfisher family (think large head related to body size and long beak for catching prey like rodents, insects and lizards) and is so named for its distinctive vocalizations which sound like a mix of cackling laughter, chuckles and hoots.

You may already be familiar with the call of this species* as it is commonly used in shows and movies depicting jungle scenes—however there’s really only one region of the world where you would hear it in the wild. The laughing kookaburra is nati…

Hasani Explores the Savanna

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications
All photos by John Loughlin, Woodland Park Zoo

It's a big, wonderful world out there. Especially when seen through the eyes of a curious youngster ...
This past week was an exciting one for baby giraffe, Hasani. He is doing really well, doesn't need his therapeutic shoes anymore, and is reaching all the milestones that a healthy little (not so little) giraffe calf should reach at two months old.

Hasani explores the savanna with his family.

Hasani's most recent adventures involve wandering beyond the barn and the corral area to explore the savanna. Like many babies, he is curious and seems to enjoy taking in new sights, sounds, and tastes. He is also making new friends, in the form of a group of helmeted guineafowl.

Hasani's keepers tell us he is inquisitive, but also cautious about investigating new things. Seeing and sharing the habitat with other African animal species will eventually become ro…

The Buzz 101: All Your Bee Questions, Answered!

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
with Erin Sullivan, Entomologist

To celebrate Pollinator Week 2019 (June 17-23), we asked you to send us the questions you've always wanted to know about bees. Below are just some of the bee questions we have received from across our social media platforms. Our in-househive bee expert, Erin Sullivan, entomologist and collection manager, gives us the answers we've been searching for—when it comes to our buzziest pollinators.

Q: What is the best type of hive box design for honeybees and bumblebees?

Erin: When it comes to creating a good habitat for bees in your backyard, the most important thing to begin with is looking at what's already in your garden. That means paying attention to the types of bees that frequent your yard. The bee hive or box is just the beginning. Creating a suitable habitat for bees means looking at basics, such as food, shelter and water. Does your garden have flowers blooming throughout the summer or just in the e…

Parks for wildlife? Yes, please!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications
There are hundreds of animal species that call Woodland Park Zoo home—animals that are native to many different remote habitats around the world. This includes species ranging from orangutans of the Asian tropical forest and penguins from the Pacific coast of South America to hippopotamuses and ostriches of the African savanna. But there is another community of animals that rely on the green spaces found right here at home—on our grounds and in other neighboring Seattle area parks. You may have seen them here or in nearby habitats. Or maybe you haven’t noticed them at all... but they are here if you look. We share much of our green space with local and native wildlife.
Set on 92 acres, Woodland Park Zoo offers a lush canopy that is made up of more than 90,000 plants, trees, flowers, shrubs and other greenery representing more than 1,300 species. Since the 1950s, we have increased the zoo’s tree cover by four-fold. It has become an essential …

Junior Rangers of YUS: Conservation Heroes

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Young people are the future of our communities and the future stewards of our planet. There is no better example of this than the Junior Rangers of Papua New Guinea. An integral part of the success of Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, these youth are the real conservation heroes who are learning about and working towards a sustainable and balanced ecosystem in their own communities.

The Yopno-Uruwa-Som (YUS) “Junior Ranger Program” is based around activities designed specifically for children who live throughout the YUS Conservation Area, a protected area on the Huon Peninsula in Papua New Guinea which Woodland Park Zoo helped to create. To ensure they become empowered community members, and lead through future conservation stewardship and sustainable community development, the Junior Ranger program links indigenous knowledge with citizen science through hands-on approaches and engagement in ecology. This deeper understand…