Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last few days of Butterflies & Blooms for the year!


Sunday, September 30 is the last day for our Butterflies & Blooms exhibit for 2007. The butterfly exhibit is one of our most popula perennial exhibits. If you haven't gotten to see it yet this year, you've got until Sunday, otherwise it's a long wait until next May! Photo by Ryan Hawk

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sukari the giraffe, 1982-2007


Staff and volunteers were saddened when Sukari, the elderly female giraffe on our African Savanna exhibit, had to be euthanized due to declining health because of age. At 25, she was extremely geriatric (giraffes in the wild usually live to be 10-15 years). Our expert Exhibits crew helped make her passing more comfortable by rigging a special platform for her to lay in. She had also had a custom-made waterbed for the last four years for her to lie down on. Keepers and the Animal Health team have been instrumental over the last few years to keep Sukari as comfortable as possible during her "golden years." Anyone with an old dog or cat knows how difficult it can be to care for an aging animal; just image when that animal is 18-feet tall!


For zoo guests who grew up and remember visiting Sukari over the last 25 years, we've created a commemorative portrait, taken by our talented volunteer photographer Dennis Dow, available for purchase online through Pictopia. You can order by going to the following site: http://pictopia.com/perl/gal?provider_id=543 Proceeds go toward animal care here at the zoo. (Photo by Dennis Dow)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Taking flight with a Northwest endangered butterfly



Woodland Park Zoo has participated in the Oregon silverspot butterfly breeding project for the last since 2000. These beautiful butterflies have not been seen in the wild, mostly the dunes and meadows along the Washington, Oregon and northern California coast, since 1990. Wanting to head off extinction, WPZ, along with Oregon Zoo and support from the Washington and U.S. Departments of Fish and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service and Lewis and Clark College are "headstarting" silverspots for release at our two zoos. We bring in eggs and care for them over the winter until they pupate. Just last month, staff from WPZ took down 162 pupated silverspots for release into a protected area on the Oregon Coast. In total, we have produced 492 pupae for release.

We're happy to be helping one of our native butterflies survive and eventually thrive once again in our region.