Thursday, February 25, 2010

Get your Zoo Doo during the Spring Fecal Fest

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

Dr. Doo, also known as the “Prince of Poo,” the “GM of BM” or the “Grand Poopah,” has been piling Zoo Doo deeper and higher all winter. What does this mean? It means the annual Spring Fecal Fest is here, the time of year when local gardeners scramble to purchase the highly coveted Zoo Doo or Bedspread.


Zoo Doo is the most exotic and highly prized compost in the Pacific Northwest, perfect for vegetables and annuals, composed of exotic species feces contributed by the zoo’s non-primate herbivores.

See how Zoo Doo gets made in this clip from the PBS show Biz Kid$:



For a chance to purchase Zoo Doo or Bedspread, send in a postcard from March 5 – 20. You can enter both the Zoo Doo and Bedspread drawings, but separate postcards are required. For Zoo Doo, mark your postcard “Zoo Doo.” For Bedspread, mark your postcard “B.S.” Entry cards will be selected randomly for as many entrants possible. Dr. Doo will contact the lucky drawn entries only. Get costs and pick-up dates on our Zoo Doo website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Annual rose pruning class coming up

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

If you enjoy the beauty of the Woodland Park Rose Garden, here’s your chance to get the secrets of this garden…

Check out the free rose pruning demonstration at the garden this Saturday, February 27, from noon to 3:00 p.m. Hosted by the Seattle Rose Society, the demonstration will include many annual rose pruning practices such as where to cut, how much to cut, how to use your tools properly, and respective pruning techniques for different types of roses.

We’ll also be on hand to discuss Woodland Park Zoo’s organic management and integrated pest management techniques used in the Rose Garden.

The Rose Garden is free to visit year round and located near the zoo’s South Entrance at N. 50th Street and Fremont Ave. N. Get info on hours and parking on our website.

Photos by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love at the zoo

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Love is in the air at Woodland Park Zoo, but it’s not just the animals that are pairing up. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s the true story of two sweethearts who not only met through the zoo, but now plan to wed here too!

Kristine & Darrell
The couple: Darrell works for Metropolitan Market, one of the sponsors of Woodland Park Zoo’s summer concert series BECU ZooTunes presented by Carter Subaru. Kristine owns and operates a local fudge company that sells to Metropolitan Market.

Meeting at the zoo: The pair had met before, but it wasn’t until they both worked at the Metropolitan Market sample booth at last year’s B-52s ZooTunes concert that they really sensed a spark. They returned to ZooTunes to enjoy the Susan Tedeschi concert—a perfect setting for a date with a romantic picnic featuring Darrell’s homemade peach & blackberry cobbler and ice cream—and have been together ever since!

Wedding at the zoo: In Kristine’s words, “The zoo was the perfect choice for our wedding because of our connection from the beginning. We’re most excited about the Butterfly Garden because of the cozy terrace for our ceremony and the natural beauty of the flowers and vines. I also have a special attachment to the butterfly because of my thyroid cancer. Having our wedding in the Butterfly Garden is the perfect way to celebrate my remission and the wonderful gift that life has given each of us—a second chance.”

Do you have a love story at the zoo? A special first date in the African Savanna, a surprise proposal at the penguin exhibit, or a romantic wedding planned in the Northern Trail? We’d love to hear your story.

Find out more about hosting your wedding or next party at Woodland Park Zoo. And don’t miss the perfect Valentine’s Day date opportunity with our valentine-themed enrichment for the animals on February 13.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Frozen Valentine

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications

The way to an otter’s heart is an ice pop made with a splash of fruit juice, a handful of smelt, a sprinkling of carrots and a whole lotta love.

Enjoy this video of Woodland Park Zoo’s pair of river otters—Sunny, the 14-year-old female, and Duncan, the 12-year-old male—as they frolic with their custom-made, heart-shaped ice pops for an early Valentine’s Day celebration:


Other zoo animals will celebrate Valentine’s Day presented by Franz Bakeries with heart-shaped ice pops, herbal bouquets, heart-shaped steaks, and more on Saturday, Feb. 13, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Full schedule of enrichment activities is available online so you can plan your perfect Valentine’s date!

The special treats are part of the zoo’s ongoing enrichment program to help enrich the lives of the animals by promoting natural animal behavior, such as foraging, playing and exploring, keeping animals mentally and physically stimulated and engaging zoo visitors.

Photos: River otter by Dennis Dow, Orangutan by Ryan Hawk. Video by Ryan Hawk.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tree kangaroos go solar---in the New York Times!

Posted by Ric Brewer, Communications

Our very own Dr. Lisa Dabek, director of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, was recently featured in the New York Times for her use of portable solar power technology in the field. Since much of her work takes her into the remote cloud forests of Papua New Guinea, you can imagine that finding an electrical outlet would be a bit of a challenge! She began using solar power to help charge field equipment and is championing this resource as technology improves (you can even charge your cell phone by the sun now!).

Read more about Lisa's solar efforts in the New York Times. And discover more about how you can help the  Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.

Dr. Lisa Dabek (right) and Toby Ross lay out a solar array to collect power to recharge their equipment in the field.
Photo courtesy TKCP

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cupcakes for turtles

Posted by: Ric Brewer, Communications

Five-year-old best friends Hannah Madsen and Sophia Rascoff aren’t just all about fingerpainting and playing dress up. These two enterprising kids are helping to make a better future for the endangered western pond turtle by raising money for their care at Woodland Park Zoo.


During a visit to the zoo, Hannah watched the video near our Template Wetlands exhibit that features the story of our conservation efforts for this native turtle. Hannah’s mom, Susan, said her daughter was so taken with these shelled creatures that she wanted to help. So she enlisted classmate and buddy Sophia and put together a bake sale to help raise money for the zoo’s Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project. The girls made a colorful sign to display at the sale and offered a variety of homebaked and donated pastries and cookies. Susan said some people even gave a $20 bill for a single cupcake!

Susan contacted the zoo to see if the girls, along with some of their classmates from a local school, could meet some of the turtle hatchlings that overwinter at the zoo, growing throughout the cold winter months so they will be large enough to be released in the summer.

On February 3, the group met with keeper Ernie Rose and was given information about the turtle rearing project and some basic rules before heading into the behind-the-scenes room where the hatchlings are housed. Afterwards, Hannah and Sophia presented a whopping $366.32 to Ernie, the bills and odd change stuffed into a can festively decorated with a frog and water motif by the girls.

While Hannah and Sophia seem to live up to the old axiom that girls are made of sugar and spice, they went a step further to show that they also can be amazingly inspiring and aware of the needs of the world around them. Thanks, Hannah, Sophia and all those who helped!