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Showing posts from March, 2024

Refreshed structures in the gorilla yard make for lots of shenanigans! Big thanks to our Exhibits crew!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo "Hello down there!" The view from the top of the trees in the east gorilla yard includes the Olympic range and the top of Space Needle. On behalf of our gorilla keepers and the gorillas themselves, we’d like to send a heartfelt thank you and shout-out of gratitude to our AMAZING Exhibits team! This talented crew has spent nearly a month refreshing the structures in the east yard where western lowland gorilla Kwame and his family spend much of their time. (The gorillas spent time in their indoor and outdoor behind the scenes areas while the Exhibits team worked their magic.) The exhibit refresh included repairing and repainting two huge trees (25 and 30 feet tall), restringing hundreds of feet of vines and installing new hammocks for the gorillas to lounge on. On the left, a member of our Exhibits crew works on a platform supported by special scaffolding to put the finishing touches on

Juniper and Fern—Catch Up With These Beary Best Buds

Posted by Hattie Potter, Development Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Juniper and Fern are beary best buddies! It's been a while since we last gave an update on our brown bear besties, Juniper and Fern, and we didn't want to let another month go by without catching up with these fluffy girls! It seems like just yesterday that the zoo first welcomed these rescued cubs , but these two are growing fast. Thanks to your support, we're able to continuously apply new strategies for leading edge animal care and wellness, ensuring that our urban forest provides animals like Fern and Juniper the best environment to learn and grow. Their animal care team took a little time to answer our questions and fill us in on what these two have been up to! The 2-year-old cubs spend lots of time swimming, chasing each other and napping together. What are the names and ages of our brown bears? It's estimated that Fern and Juniper were born in January of 2022. The zoo celebrate

Hippo procedure reveals cancer diagnosis: palliative care plans being developed to ensure ongoing quality of life

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo A biopsy of tissue samples collected during a recent medical procedure on Water Lily the hippo has revealed a diagnosis of fibrosarcoma, a type of cancer of connective tissue. The 45-year-old hippo, affectionately known as Lily, is receiving top-notch medical and comfort care from her health team. An expert team of animal health professionals recently performed a dental exam on Lily and evaluated a wound and swelling on her cheek that had become abscessed. The procedure was necessary to define the cause of the wound and prevent it from worsening and causing other potential serious complications. The successful procedure involved nearly 30 zoo staff and a veterinary dentist who specializes in megavertebrate patients. Lily and Lupe in 2021 The procedure was the first time that Lily had been placed under anesthesia, and her care team made the most of the opportunity by conducting additional health

A baby gorilla is on the way! Pregnant gorilla will be a first-time mom this summer

 Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Akenji in 2020, photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Woodland Park Zoo recently tested one of its western lowland gorillas for pregnancy. Using the same type of an early-detection kit used for humans, the zoo is proud to announce the test results: two pink lines, which means a pregnant gorilla!  The expectant gorilla is 22-year-old Akenji, and this will be her first baby. Akenji is due to give birth the end of June or early July; the gestation period for gorillas is eight to nine months. It's two solid lines for Akenji! Photo by Woodland Park Zoo Is the pregnant gorilla showing a baby bump? “It’s hard to notice a belly bump because gorillas characteristically have big bellies due to the high volume of fibrous vegetation they digest,” said Rachel Vass, an interim animal care manager at Woodland Park Zoo. “However, our gorilla care staff notice she’s a little wider across her upper midsection and chest. Her belly is bigger, but the

Zoo’s Geriatric Hippo Healing Well After First Dentist Visit

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications You’re never too old to have your first dentist visit! The zoo’s oldest hippo is now healing after undergoing a complex anesthetic procedure. Water Lily, affectionately called Lily, is 45 years old, and this was the first time she’d been to a dentist. While the tooth fairy won't be visiting her, she is receiving loads of care and treats to help her recover.  Yesterday, an expert team of animal health professionals performed a dental evaluation of Lily and treated a wound and swelling on her cheek that had become abscessed. The procedure was necessary to prevent the wound from worsening and causing other potential serious complications. The procedure involved nearly 30 zoo staff and Dr. Michael Lowder, a veterinary dentist who specializes in megavertebrate patients and traveled to Seattle to work alongside the zoo’s animal health team. In order to perform the dental procedure, talented Exhibits and Facilities team members used a rigging syste

Zoo’s Geriatric Hippo to Undergo Dental Procedure

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications Lily in 2015, Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo Please join Woodland Park Zoo in sending your well wishes to Water Lily (affectionately called Lily) the hippo as she prepares for dental surgery today! Woodland Park Zoo’s animal health team is set to perform dental work and wound surgery on 45-year-old Lily, the zoo’s oldest hippo and beloved among the zoo community. The upcoming surgery is to address a wound in the back of Lily’s jaw which has become abscessed, and veterinarians believe it may be related to a tooth problem. Lily’s attentive animal keepers originally observed changes in her teeth while looking in her mouth. While surgery presents inherent risks, this procedure is manageable and necessary to address the underlying cause and to prevent infection and other potential complications. Lily will be fully anesthetized for the procedure, which is a massive undertaking. The surgery will involve nearly 30 zoo staff, and a veterinary dent

Sempurna the tapir leaving zoo for new adventures

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Sempurna the Malayan tapir in 2023 Woodland Park Zoo’s 3-year-old, female Malayan tapir named Sempurna (AKA the #SeattleWatermelon) will be leaving and heading off to a new home and adventures. The last day to see Sempurna will be March 13 in the zoo’s Trail of Vines habitat. Come and wish this sweetheart well! Sempurna will move to a zoo in North America that is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA); Woodland Park Zoo is also an AZA-accredited zoo. The Malayan tapir Species Survival Plan made the recommendation which includes plans to breed her in the future. Sempurna’s new zoo has asked Woodland Park Zoo to help keep their name under wraps so they can welcome her with a big splash when she’s ready to meet her new community! Sempurna in 2023 at Trail of Vines Sempurna was born to mom Ulan and dad Bintang in June 2020, a year that Woodland Park Zoo experienced an extraordina

World Wildlife Day 2024: Digital innovation boosts wildlife conservation in Papua New Guinea

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications Woodland Park Zoo is home to five Matschie’s tree kangaroos, currently living behind the scenes while their new state-of-the-art exhibit is being built. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Imagine a world without digital technology. It would be nearly impossible to track a mysterious animal that has exceptional climbing and jumping skills…an animal that lives high in the dense canopy of the tropical cloud forest… a forest that flourishes in the remote, rugged mountains of the Huon Peninsula in Papua New Guinea. If not for the ever-evolving digital assets of today, little would be known about this stealthy animal, the Matschie’s tree kangaroo, found only in Papua New Guinea. March 3, is World Wildlife Day, a day the United Nations designated a decade ago to celebrate Earth’s precious wild animals and plants. The theme for 2024 is Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation. Adorable Matschie’s tre