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Showing posts from April, 2020

Zoomazium to You: Shake, Rattle, and Roar

Posted by Janel Kempf, Early Childhood

Music and dance are important to so many people, in cultures all around the world. We use it to express joy and sorrow, to deepen our connections to our culture and nature, and even to learn.

Animals around the world and all over the zoo use music and dance in their daily lives as well—and at the zoo, some of them are hard not to notice! Siamang pair Bagus and Sam live in the Trail of Vines near the Malayan tapir and the orangutans, but can be heard well outside of zoo grounds when they really put their hearts into singing duets. Their complex song is an important pair-bonding activity for these small apes, and in their native habitat lets other siamang pairs know their territory is already taken.
Pair bonding is a common purpose in the animal world for dancing, too—just like it can be for people! Not far from Bagus and Sam, in the Assam Rhino Reserve, a beautiful bird couple may have caught your eye. They’re demoiselle cranes Louis and Antoinette,…

Happy World Penguin Day: We're celebrating the hatching of two penguin chicks!

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

Just in time for World Penguin Day on April 25th... we are proud to announce the hatching of a pair of Humboldt penguin chicks! The first chick hatched on April 3 to mom Rosie and dad Leo, and their second chick hatched three days later. The parents have produced seven other chicks together from previous breeding seasons.



Video: https://youtu.be/gYN3LLbP4GA

The new chicks represent the 73rd and 74th successful hatchings of Humboldt penguins at the zoo since its first breeding season in 2010, which was a year after the zoo opened the penguin habitat. With the new additions, the zoo’s colony currently consists of 41 penguins.

“Being playful, curious and charismatic, penguins are a favorite for our guests, and we can’t wait to share the new penguin family with our community,” says Mark Myers, bird curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “Every chick produced in our colony is an important addition to the Assoc…

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Posted by Tany Holzworth, Learning and Innovation
Woodland Park Zoo volunteers are at the heart of our mission to save wildlife and inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives. These animal lovers make local impacts with global waves! Our volunteers use their unique skills to ignite hope and action for conservation in our community. During National Volunteer Week, April 19-25, we want to thank all of our volunteers for sharing their passion and talent with our zoo community. To our volunteers, we appreciate you, we value you, and we miss you. 

Though we can’t possibly illustrate the scope of diversity and richness of our volunteer community in a single blog post, we've asked a few of our volunteers to share highlights of their experiences at Woodland Park Zoo and why they choose to volunteer with us. To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we hope these stories make it clear just how vital volunteers are to our mission. Let's applaud our volunteers for makin…

Zoomazium to You: A Den Full of Cubs

Posted by Janel Kempf, Early Childhood

Note: Now that Washington schools will be closed statewide for the rest of the year, each Zoomazium to You post will include School Connections—a note on the academic skills addressed by each activity. These may be school readiness skills for very young children, or connections to Next Generation Science Standards or other statewide standards for early learners.

Out in the forests and up on the mountaintops, this is the time of year bears are waking up. Wherever it’s cold and snowy, brown and black bears (the two species native to Washington) den up for the winter, snoozing through the season. When the snow starts to melt and the tasty spring seedlings sprout, they emerge into the sunlight to feast! 

At the zoo, you’ll notice our brown bear brothers, Keema and Denali, slow down a lot during the winter, but they don’t curl up in a den and sleep for months at a time. Down here in the Puget Sound basin, it doesn’t get cold enough for bears to den, unl…

Tapir birth window opens and baby proofing habitat is completed!

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications

How do you prepare for a baby tapir’s (#SeattleWatermelon) home? There may not be any cabinet safety locks, electric outlet covers or furniture safety straps, but baby tapir-proofing an exhibit is done very carefully!


In January, Woodland Park Zoo announced the joyful news that its Malayan tapir Ulan is expecting her first baby. The father is Bintang. And, starting now, the birth window has opened for Ulan. This means that animal care staff are closely observing the 8-year-old expectant mom for any unusual behaviors or signs of labor. Ulan’s due date is between April and June.

Like human parents who put their hearts and minds into preparing a nursery for a new baby and baby proofing their home, the zoo makes suitable preparations for animal “nurseries.”

“We have to think like a baby tapir. Where can I explore? Can I squeeze my head under that fence? Ooh, a pool of water, I want to jump in!,” explains Kevin Murphy, an animal curator at Woodland P…

Be a sofa scientist!

Posted by Katie Remine, Living Northwest Conservation Coordinator and Bobbi Miller, Wildlife Conservation Manager


Just because we’re practicing physical distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t do our bit for wildlife and the great outdoors! There are still plenty of ways you can engage in conservation actions right from your living room or backyard. Woodland Park Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation staff invite you to join them as a wildlife conservationist with these five activities you can do from the comfort of your couch (or hammock)!


1) Report your sightings of urban carnivores Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle University’s Seattle Urban Carnivore Project explores how mammalian carnivores, such as coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, and even cougars and bears live and interact with people across urban and suburban areas in the Seattle region. If you're seeing more wildlife in your own neighborhood, please visit our Carnivore Spotter website where you can record your local carnivore sightings an…

Earth Day's 50th Anniversary: We're celebrating from home

Posted by Stephen Reed, Communications

Woodland Park Zoo is celebrating Earth Day from home this year. April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an incredible milestone for a day dedicated to protecting the planet and celebrating nature. How are you planning to celebrate Earth Day this year? 
While we aren’t able to celebrate with all of you in person, we hope you will join us in some of the following activities that can help protect our planet and inspire a connection with the incredible animals who share our home. Happy Earth Day!
Here are a few ways to get Earthy with us...Join Woodland Park Zoo on April 22, for a virtual Town Hall presented by Amazon. 
This Earth Day, chat live with zoo experts and hear inspiring stories of how we’ll do anything for animals, even while we’re closed. We want to connect you directly with zoo staff who, even during this unprecedented time, are continually dedicated to caring for our animals, saving wildlife and inspiring conservation. Ge…

Zoomazium to You: Fun with Sensory Play

Posted by Janel Kempf, Early Childhood

We’ve all been home for a while now, and some of us are starting to get a little antsy.

For those of us with a houseful of early learners (and just one early learner can be a houseful!), getting a little antsy probably started around day two. Just like growing bodies need new clothes on a regular basis, growing brains need new experiences just as regularly. 
We’re not the only smart species in need of lots and lots of sensory input! Ambassador Animal Lucy is a raccoon, a super-smart and curious critter. If you’ve ever had the good luck to see Lucy working with her keepers at the zoo’s Alvord Broadleaf Theater behind Zoomazium, you’ve probably seen her recycle—gathering up objects and putting them in a recycling bin. One of the most delightful things about this behavior is that she does it with her hands! A raccoon’s hands (okay, technically their front paws) are incredible tools, similar in many ways to our own hands. And they are very sensitiv…

Zoomazium to You: Caring for Neighborhood Birds

Posted by Janel Kempf, Early Childhood

Editors note: While Woodland Park Zoo is temporarily closed to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in our community, our staff and educators want to share a few ways you can connect young learners to nature and nature play... and what better way than to bring Zoomazium to you! Each week, we'll add an activity to this blog to help your family create innovative and educational play time at home. For more information about activities for families, visit zoo.org/zootoyou. This week, enjoy some more time with the birds...

We know you miss all your favorite zoo animals—and we know there are plenty of you who especially miss the birds. From Lola the aplomado falcon to Gomez the Humboldt penguin to Mbuni the ostrich, we have as many wildly different birds as there are people to love them!

If you have young bird lovers at home missing their feathered friends, Susan Parke from the zoo’s Early Childhood team knows how they feel. She misses the…