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Showing posts from March, 2021

Farewell to Vip: Our Very Important Primate, father to Yola and charming gorilla will be greatly missed

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Woodland Park Zoo Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo We are sad to announce that Vip, our 42-year-old western lowland gorilla, passed away this morning. For the past few weeks, the male gorilla had been lethargic and not eating well. A recent immobilization and examination did not reveal anything significant. Vip was renowned as the first zoo gorilla born in the Netherlands. Named for being a V ery I mportant P rimate, the male ape had seven daughters, including 5-year-old Yola and 13-year-old Uzumma, who is the mother of 1-year-old Kitoko. Vip lived at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston before moving to Woodland Park Zoo in 1996. At the time of his death, Vip lived with his female companion, Jumoke. “Losing one of our gorillas is deeply sad for our zoo family. During his 25 years at Woodland Park Zoo, Vip was dearly loved by the zoo’s staff, volunteers, members, donors, visitors and the community. In his own right, he became a very important primate t

Baby Zuna gets a taste of springtime sunshine... and a tiny tooth appears!

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Spring is here and our baby girl gorilla, 8-week-old Zuna, enjoyed a splash of sunshine in an off-view outdoor area. #SoakUpTheSun Precious baby Zuna in the spring sunshine   Gorilla keeper Stephanie Payne says, “It’s too early to really recognize any strong personality traits, but Zuna has the incredibly cute habit of sticking her tongue out, as evident in her photos! For now, she’s pretty mellow, but that could change as she’s more able to project her likes and dislikes.” The baby gorilla reached a new milestone last week: “Zuna’s first tooth has emerged, a lower incisor,” adds Payne. “We can’t wait for her to start walking and climbing, which should be in another couple of months.”  Little Zuna gets a taste of spring sunshine Read more about caring for baby Zuna:  Q & A with gorilla keeper Stephanie: Get the scoop on caring for Nadiri and her baby Zuna   and stay tuned to updates and miles

Q & A with gorilla keeper Stephanie: Get the scoop on caring for Nadiri and her baby Zuna

 Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications and Stephanie Payne, Gorilla Keeper Zuna, seen here at just about 5 weeks old, is the picture of sweetness—and those eyes are everything! Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Note from the Editor: In case you haven’t already heard, our newest gorilla baby has a name ! Little Zuna—which means “sweet” in the African language, Lingala—was  born on January 29th  and is officially 6 weeks old now. She is the second baby and second daughter for 25-year-old mom Nadiri and the first between her and 21-year-old dad Kwame. Nadiri did not immediately hold and nurse her baby after giving birth, so the gorilla keepers have been providing round-the-clock care and bottle feedings of human infant formula. While Nadiri has been showing increasingly skilled maternal care and even  started to nurse Zuna —a wonderful indication of the growing bond between them—we knew that these brief bouts of nursing weren't going to be enough to replace the bott

Oh, how sweet it is! Our new baby gorilla has a name!

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications We are happy to announce that the newest member of our gorilla family has a name! The newborn girl, who will be 6 weeks old on Friday, has been named Zuna (zoo-nah), which means “sweet” in the African language, Lingala (lin-gah-lah). Lingala is a Bantu language spoken in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a large part of the Republic of the Congo, two of seven countries that the western lowland gorilla lives in. Zuna will be 6 weeks old on Friday. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Zuna is the second baby for mom Nadiri and the first between her and dad, 21-year-old Kwame. Since Zuna was born, the gorilla keepers have been providing round-the-clock care and supplemental bottle feedings of human infant formula. “Nadiri has been showing good maternal care and while she and Zuna continue to bond, nursing has not been sufficient for proper nourishment,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Z

Red panda update, Good luck Hazel!

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo We have some red panda updates for you! Over the past year, you’ve been watching Hazel and her joyful cubs Tián and Zan learn and grow. Now, the cubs are as big as mom and are ready to have some more time on their own. Hazel, who has been an absolute gem of a red panda, will be moving on to her new home at Memphis Zoo for breeding with a new male. Hazel is leaving Woodland Park Zoo at the end of March. She arrived at Woodland Park Zoo in 2017 to be paired with Yukiko under the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), a conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of red pandas. Hazel has had two pairs of cubs with Yukiko, the most recent cubs (born May 25, 2020) Tián and Zan will remain here together until fall 2021 when they will leave for their new homes according to the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Until then, the almost-fully-grown cu

Women fighting for wildlife: Meet conservation heroes breaking the mold

Posted by Meghan Sawyer, Communications Photos courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo We all have the power to help save wildlife. This #InternationalWomensDay, Woodland Park Zoo shines the spotlight on women around the world who are breaking down barriers to shape a new future of conservation.  From the all-female team of reforesters who are planting a forest from the ground up, to a brave woman trekking through lush landscapes to help stop poachers in their tracks, to the story of two women living an ocean apart and working together to help save one of the most biodiverse habitats on planet Earth; these women are paving the way for future female conservationists everywhere.  Tree kangaroo joey, Keweng. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo. From Seattle to the forests of Papua New Guinea “When I first went to Papua New Guinea, people doubted I had the physical strength and wherewithal to do the work. I took that as a challenge.” -Lisa Dabek, PhD, Founder of Tree Kangaroo Conservati

Happy birthday, Kitoko! Five highlights from one fabulous year!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Today, March 4, is a very special day—the day we wish little Kitoko a happy 1st birthday! What better way to celebrate than to share with you some highlights from this very special western lowland gorilla's first year! 1. Birth and first days Kitoko was born on March 4, 2020 to first-time mother Uzumma and silverback male, Kwame. Instantly our collective hearts melted seeing how quickly Uzumma took to her new role —doting on her new baby, nursing him, cuddling him and patting him to sleep. No doubt, she has given him the very best start in life… and given us more memories to treasure! Watch here: "I only have eyes for you!" Uzumma gazes lovingly at her newborn baby. 2. Growing, climbing and exploring! Kitoko was a bright-eyed and curious baby right from the start and he has met every milestone while growing and learning about the world around him. H