Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More colorful than ever

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Keep an eye out for the fun Woodland Park Zoo busboards, billboards, and radio commercials featuring our new penguin exhibit--now "more colorful than ever" thanks to an all new exhibit design that lets penguins swim, sun, dive, splash and porpoise the day away.


Explore the exhibit, play games, and download colorful penguin desktop backgrounds at http://www.morecolorful.org/.

Monday, April 27, 2009

ZooTunes summer lineup

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

A family-favorite for more than a quarter-century, we’re proud to introduce our exciting summer concert series lineup and a new partner, BECU! We’re also pleased to announce returning presenting sponsor Carter Subaru and our ticketing sponsor, Metropolitan Market.

Without further ado, here are the performers for this year:

June 17 – The B-52s
June 24 – Mavis Staples with special guest Allen Toussaint
July 1 and 2 – Three Girls and their Buddy featuring Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller
July 15 – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
July 19 – Los Lobos
July 22 – Cowboy Junkies/Son Volt
July 26 – Indigo Girls
July 30 – Jewel
August 13 – Joan Baez
August 16 – Nanci Griffith
August 19 – Susan Tedeschi with J.J. Grey & Mofro
August 26 – Amos Lee

Tickets will go on sale on Monday, May 4 at 8:00 a.m. at local Metropolitan Market stores, and in limited quantities at the zoo and BrownPaperTickets.com. For complete ticket information, performer bios and shuttle, parking and directions, visit the official ZooTunes website.

Which shows do you plan to catch?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thousands of villagers turn out for Earth Day celebration

Photos and emails are trickling in from WPZ staffers who are currently up in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, celebrating what may be one of the most inspiring Earth Day stories this year.

On Earth Day yesterday, thousands of Papua New Guinea villagers gathered in the Teptep village on the Huon Peninsula to hold a traditional Sing Sing, or celebratory gathering, to honor the creation of their nation’s first national Conservation Area. The new YUS Conservation Area—187,000 acres of tropical forest made up of land donated by 35 local communities—will be protected forever from hunting, logging and development.


Joining them at the Sing Sing were Woodland Park Zoo Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program staff, representatives from Conservation International, and dignitaries of Papua New Guinea including the Acting Prime Minister—as it is the 12-year culmination of our work together with the villagers of PNG that has brought about this conservation milestone.

Lisa Dabek, TKCP Director and WPZ Field Conservation Director, reported back that among all the festivities, the highlight for her was seeing the schoolchildren from one village write a song and perform a dance celebrating Woodland Park Zoo and the work of all the partners to protect their forests! As a local saying goes, “No forests, no life.”

Woodland Park Zoo is honored to be part of a great Earth Day for everyone.


Photos provided by Ryan Hawk (Woodland Park Zoo) and Bruce Beehler (Conservation International).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Posted by: Jenny Mears, Community Engagement Coordinator

(Originally posted in Woodland Park Zoo's Backyard Habitat blog.)

There are many ways you can celebrate Earth Day in your own backyard and in your community!

- Sign up for Water Features for Wildlife class on April 29 at Woodland Park Zoo: http://www.zoo.org/educate/adult/workshops.html

- Check out Savvy Gardener classes and a feature story on welcoming wildlife into your garden: http://www.savingwater.org/savvygardener/default.htm

- Sign up for a habitat restoration event with EarthCorps this weekend: http://www.earthcorps.org/volunteer.php

- Challenge yourself to some of the easy actions on the zoo's tip list for protecting endangered species and habitats: http://www.zoo.org/conservation/help.html

- Share how you're spending this Earth Day, Week and Month: Feel free to post your plans in the comments section and share links for your favorite eco-projects.

Together, we can share the habitat!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Call for Artists: Penguins on the March

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

We are really excited about a new project. Woodland Park Zoo and The Greenwood Collective are inviting artists of all experience levels to participate in Penguins on the March, a community art project designed to celebrate the zoo’s new penguin exhibit, spotlight Seattle’s arts community and benefit Woodland Park Zoo’s field conservation projects around the world.

Artists are invited to paint, embellish and decorate 22-inch fabricated penguins by the end of May. Penguins on the March will be unveiled at the Space Needle in early June. The artist decorated penguins will migrate throughout Seattle neighborhoods (including Fremont and Ballard) landing at The Greenwood Collective during the July 10th monthly art walk for a silent auction to benefit the zoo’s field conservation projects.

The call for artists has begun, and online and email artist submission will be open through April 30th. Here's how to enter:

In-person Submissions: The Greenwood Collective (8537 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle)
Online Submissions: www.zoo.org/penguinsonthemarch
Email Submissions: penguins@urbanlightstudios.com

For more information, contact penguins@urbanlightstudios.com or call (206) 913-2835.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Penguins in action

Watch the penguins explore their new exhibit for the first time and see some of the amazing underwater views visitors will get when they visit. And don't forget to turn up the sound for full effect!

The all new exhibit transports zoo visitors to the desert coast of Punta San Juan – home of the largest colony of wild Humboldt penguins in Peru. Watch the video for a peek at the shoreline cliffs, nesting burrows, rocky tide pools, crashing waves and sunny beaches in the naturalistic new home for penguins.

And with special windows and acrylic walls, dramatic vantage points will offer guests nose-to-beak viewing as penguins splash, dive and swoop underwater.

See it all for yourself when the exhibit opens on May 2!

Flamingo courtship begins

Posted by: Ernie Rose, Flamingo Keeper

'Tis the season of the penguin...but the flamingos are still here and doing some really cool behaviors. This is their first full breeding season in the new exhibit and they are beginning to show some of their synchronized courtship/breeding behaviors. Things to look for are:

Head flagging: They all stretch their necks up high like they're trying to peek over a wall and then start turning their heads from side to side. At first just a few them are doing it, then more and more, and after awhile they are all in synchrony.

Wing saluting: At first it looks like one or two might be just stretching one wing or the other. One does it, then another, and as it progresses through the flock it gets faster and faster where each one is whipping out one or both wings and drawing them back in very quickly.

Marching/parading: While they are head flagging, the entire flock will begin moving in one direction or another and march back and forth across the exhibit.

We expect these behaviors to increase in intensity over the season, but at this time they seem to be most active in the morning and late afternoon. Sunshine also seems to get them going, so on a cloudy or rainy day you might not see them being very active, but even if the sun comes out for just a little while they often react to it.

Hopefully this will all lead to nest building, egg laying, and baby flamingos.

Photos by Dale Unruh and Zoo Corps.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Penguins take their first swim

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The new colony of Humboldt penguins was introduced today for the first time to Woodland Park Zoo’s new penguin exhibit, and boy was it a thrill to watch!

The 20 tuxedoed birds waddled outdoors onto the beach and naturally did what penguins in the wild do—go swimming!

Up until today, the penguins (10 males and 10 females) had been in standard quarantine in the interior enclosure of the new exhibit as part of our excellent animal care program. They arrived three weeks ago from five other zoos and aquariums, and had been behind the scenes getting used to each other, their keepers and their new daily routine.

After showing great signs that they were adjusting well, the penguins were ready to take their first steps outside since arriving—and what a day for a debut with the sun shining and the water glistening blue!

The birds wasted no time in exploring the depths of the pool, the sunny beaches and the shady nooks of their exhibit. Some even built up speed and porpoised into the air!

The penguins’ introduction proved a moving moment for Woodland Park Zoo staffers who have put countless hours into planning and building this exhibit. OK, I admit it: some of us even shed a few tears at the sight of our penguins delighting in their new digs.

The colony will spend the next few weeks adjusting to the new exhibit, exploring the boundaries and finding favorite spots—just in time for our highly anticipated opening day on May 2!

Video to come soon, but here are some photos from the exciting day:


(Click the slideshow to view larger photos)

Photos by Dennis Dow and Ryan Hawk.