Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby gorilla born at the zoo!!


Everyone was extremely happy when a brand new baby gorilla was born here this Saturday, October 20 at around 3:30 a.m. The baby, a female, is the 12th gorilla born at Woodland Park Zoo and the third for the parents, Amanda (37 years) and Vip (28 years). This morning, mother and baby were out in the public exhibit since temperatures were so balmy and mother and baby appeared to be bonding very well.

All the gorillas in the group are very interested in the newborn, especially Amanda and Vip’s other two daughters, 9-year-old Ngozi and 5-year-old Calaya.


As we are able to get more photos and video, we'll post them to the zoo's website, but here's a "teaser" shot for now! Photo by Ryan Hawk.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The leaves are falling



It's not quite Vermont, but the color of the season is in full swing at the zoo. The several types of maple trees on the grounds are brilliant in their oranges, reds and yellows right now as are many other types of trees and plants. The 92 acres of the zoo offers hundreds of great opportunities to see some beautiful plants, even during fall and winter! (Take a look at the aerial shot of the zoo below.)




Several other plants are blossoming right now, too! To see a few, take a look at the What's in Bloom:



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What Would You Do With Zoo Doo?


KIRO tv recently visited the zoo to film an iWitness Video presentation of lucky Zoo Doo lottery winners picking up their loads of rich, composted Zoo Doo. For those of you not in the know, Zoo Doo is the waste-products left from the zoo's herbivores (elephants, giraffe, hippo, gazelle and many more) that is gathered up and composted into an incredibly rich and fertile soil additive coveted by gardeners. The original idea for Zoo Doo came about more than 20 years ago when costs for disposal of the animals' waste was getting expensive, so it was decided to compost it back into a usable product for on grounds. The idea grew and now each year we host a Fall and Spring Fecal Fest that people can enter a lottery to win loads of the fecund fecal fallout. Now it's also recognized that this is a great way to reduce landfill and bring in a little extra money as well.




To read more about Zoo Doo, visit this section of our website: http://www.zoo.org/zoo_info/zoodoo.html


Smaller quantities are always available in our ZooStore!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mountain gorillas at risk


There is a disturbing article in the October issue of Smithsonian Magazine about recent incursions into mountain gorilla habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The article details the account of three mountain gorillas were slaughtered by rebel forces for food. So called "bushmeat" continues to be a threat for many species, but is particularly detrimental to the tiny populations of mountain gorillas which number perhaps 800 total in their three range countries.



The online version doesn't contain the disturbing shots of villagers bringing the three gorillas' bodies out of the forest to be buried.


Woodland Park Zoo supports two conservation programs focusing on gorillas: the Mbeli Bai Project that studies western lowland gorillas in the Congo and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Bushmeat Task Force which helps with programs to help curtail the bushmeat trade in Africa and other countries. (Photo of lowland gorilla at WPZ by Dennis Conner)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Critter Photos


We have many wonderful and extremely talented volunteer photographers who help us document the zoo and our animals. These folks include Brittney Bollay, Dennis Dow, Mat Hayward and Dale Unruh among our most prodigious and frequent shutterbugs. Mat recently created a slideshow on his blog that documents some of his recent shots. Visit him and tell him what you think?

Monday, October 1, 2007

A yummy fall meal


People seem to notice the beautiful orb weaver spiders much more as the chilly fall weather begins. This is perhaps due mostly to the fact that the dew makes their elaborate web much more visible.

Here's a great shot by our zoo photographer Ryan Hawk of an orb weaver with a "dangerous" meal---a hornet. It's amazing that the spiders are able to wrap-up these stinging critters safely. This photo is a great reminder of what a service spiders perform for us by gobbling up things that we consider pests!

So even if spiders make you a bit edgy, remember they're out there working hard for you!