Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Happy Leap Day!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications




Happy Leap Day to you on this Wonderfully Wild Wednesday!


A clucking frog? During the breeding season, the Oregon spotted frog’s call is a series of clucking noises. We’re doing our part to keep them clucking. At Woodland Park Zoo, we raise Oregon spotted frogs until they are large enough to survive on their own, then release them into protected wetlands here in Washington.

The Leap Day celebration continues at the zoo today and Sat., March 3. We’re celebrating amphibian conservation success stories through frog-themed crafts, keeper chats on frogs and amphibians, puppet shows and interactive activities. Hear from national experts, including our curator of herpetology, Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, about what is being done to save amphibians. Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society members also will be on hand to discuss frogs and other amphibians.

On March 3, kids ages 3-12 dressed in green or other frog-themed gear will receive free zoo admission with a paid adult. From noon to 1:00 p.m, kids can meet Everett AquaSox mascot Webbly the tree frog. We hope you'll hop on over and join us!

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Frogs get a helping hand from citizen scientists

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications




Cold rain showers or accumulated snow in the suburban highlands didn’t deter 40 volunteers from trekking to Carkeek Park on Saturday for a training session on identifying eggs laid by local amphibian species.

Volunteers inspect possible egg masses underwater at Carkeek Park. Photo by Stan Milkowski.

Outfitted in knee-high boots or hip waders, the volunteers carefully treaded in Carkeek’s ponds under the guidance of biologists and naturalists from Woodland Park Zoo, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Seattle Parks and Recreation. The industrious scene was a practice session for a new amphibian program that teams ““citizen scientists” with Woodland Park Zoo, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park to survey amphibian egg masses in ponds and wetlands in western Washington.
Hand-held GPS units, digital cameras, field identification guides and, for some, polarized sunglasses, were the tools of the day. The special sunglasses help reduce any blinding glare on the water’s surface.

Citizen scientists take notes to mark their findings at Carkeek Park. Photo by Sarah Lovrien/Woodland Park Zoo.

“I found one!” or “Ooh, this mass is the size of a bubble tea pearl” were heard among the volunteers wading knee-high in the ponds. One volunteer had an iPhone equipped with a waterproof case to allow underwater photos – a handy tool for the murky water of wetlands.

Thanks to grant support from the NW Zoo & AquariumAlliance, the new regional program will help keep a watchful eye on eight amphibian species: western toad, Northwestern salamander, northern red-legged frog, Pacific tree frog, Oregon spotted frog, rough-skinned newt, American bullfrog and the long-toed salamander. The Alliance promotes collaboration on regional conservation among zoos and aquariums in the Pacific Northwest.

Long-toed salamander egg mass. Photo by Stan Milkowski.

A few egg masses discovered during the training session were confirmed to be the long-toed salamander. According to WDFW, this is typically the first species to breed and lay eggs in Pacific Northwest wetlands. Unfortunately, due to the cold snap, the early-laid eggs will most likely not survive.

Each of the volunteers has committed to surveying for amphibians at least once a month through August. Teams will be monitoring designated Seattle and Shoreline city parks and other wetland sites throughout western Washington.

Amphibians around the world are under siege by a number of threats including the loss of habitat, climate change, infectious disease, pollution and pesticides. However, state biologists lack sufficient data on what’s happening to amphibians in our own backyard. Documentation by citizen volunteers will help provide critical data on local populations, which over the long term can help determine if amphibian species in the region are declining or increasing, and why.

Long-toed salamander. Photo by Stan Milkowski.

The ancient class of amphibians includes salamanders, newts, an obscure group of legless creatures known as caecilians and, of course, the icons, frogs and toads.

Volunteers use a guidebook to help in identification. Photo by Stan Milkowski.

A waitlist has already begun for next year's class of citizen scientists in the Amphibian Monitoring Program, but you can join the list to stay tuned for details about the 2013 class.

Until then, if you want to learn more about the amazing world of amphibians, join us for Leap Day: Amphibian Conservation on February 29 and March 3 at Woodland Park Zoo (full schedule at the links). We’ll celebrate amphibian conservation success stories through frog-themed crafts, keeper chats on frogs and amphibians, puppet shows and interactive activities. Hear from national experts, including our curator of herpetology, Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, about what is being done to save amphibians. Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society members also will be on hand to discuss frogs and other amphibians.

On March 3, kids ages 3-12 dressed in green or other frog-themed gear will receive free zoo admission with a paid adult. From noon to 1:00 p.m, kids can meet Everett AquaSox mascot Webbly the tree frog! 

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Childhood wishes become grown-up realities

Posted by: Jennifer Larsen, Tourism Marketing



Did you ever visit a place when you were a child and think to yourself, “I want to work here when I’m big!” I think for many of us growing up in the Seattle area, that place was Woodland Park Zoo. In March of last year, that kid-sized dream became a reality when I became the zoo’s new Tourism Marketing Coordinator. What does that mean? It means that I am tasked with getting more Seattle visitors to come to the zoo. Bottom line, it’s up to me to let everyone who is visiting Seattle know how great Woodland Park Zoo is, and that it is a must see on their list of things to do here.

Kids have been connecting with wildlife at Woodland Park Zoo for generations. (Archive photo of Monkey Island courtesy of the Knudson family. Penguin photo by Jennifer Svane.)

A lot of what I talk about with visitors associations, hotel concierges, convention services and group operators comes from observing our exhibits, talking with keepers and other staff members about their experiences here at the zoo and also reading up on the history of this area and the zoo itself. Finding out, for example, that our dwarf crocodiles in the Day Exhibit first came here as young adults in 1973, made me realize that they have grown up with me, and are the same animals I saw as a young girl, since I have been visiting Woodland Park Zoo now for just over 40 years. It’s that sense of wonder and realization that the zoo has been intertwined with my life all these years that makes working here so special.


Female West African dwarf crocodile, a Woodland Park Zoo resident since 1973. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Every day here offers a chance to learn more about this cherished community landmark and the animals who reside at the zoo.  More than that though, is the constant reminder of how many people are impacted by their experiences as children: we carry those memories with us into our day to day lives, and many times, they direct our grown-up aspirations and dreams.

A future veterinarian? This young visitor learns empathy for animals while playing at a "veterinary clinic” inside Zoomazium. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Do you have any photos of yourself at Woodland Park Zoo when you were young? We’d love to see them! Feel free to share them on our Facebook wall or post a comment here with a link to your favorite photos.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Gulp!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



From observing pond turtles foraging, biologists have found that western pond turtles swallow all their food in water and appear unable to swallow food in air!




















Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Drink up! Conservation coffee is here

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


PNG YUS coffee is now available at Woodland Park Zoo ZooStores and Caffe Vita locations.

Seattle is about to taste the first ever coffee made available in the U.S. from a remote part of Papua New Guinea—the Yopno Uruwa Som region of the Huon Peninsula—home to the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo, the little known animal that inspired this whole effort.



So how did we get from ‘roo to brew? 

Tree kangaroo joey Yawan in his mother's pouch, behind the scenes at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

To protect an endangered species like the tree kangaroo, you need to protect its habitat.


Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program helped make that possible in 2009 when we worked with Papua New Guinea villagers in the remote Huon Peninsula to protect 180,000 acres of their land in the nation’s first Conservation Area.

Picking coffee cherries in the shade. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

But to make sure that land stays protected not just in name but in action, we had to make it possible for these villagers to find an ecofriendly, alternative income source that would give them the money they need to send their children to school while protecting their land from destructive activities like logging and mining.

In comes the coffee.

A grower picks fresh coffee cherries in Papua New Guinea. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.  

As we blogged last fall, the villagers in this area have long farmed coffee, but their nearly impossible-to-reach landscape made it unlikely that their product would ever reliably be made available to any market.

Daniel Shewmaker of Seattle’s Caffe Vita advises growers on best techniques for drying coffee. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Seattle’s Caffe Vita helped us cross that hurdle by using their coffee importing and marketing expertise to bring the beans here, marking the first-ever coffee from the YUS region made commercially available in the U.S. purchased directly from the growers at a fair price.

Caffe Vita brews samples of the PNG YUS coffee to test for quality and consistency. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Now you can get your hands on limited edition, 12 oz. bags of “Papua New Guinea Yopno Uruwa Som” Farm Direct coffee—grown in shade and without the use of pesticides—available now at all Seattle Caffe Vita locations and at Woodland Park Zoo ZooStores. Made up of the best in beans from 54 Papua New Guinea farmers, the coffee is mellow and honey-like, with flavors of toasted hazelnut, orange zest, and guava, finishing with cocoa and sugarcane. 

When you drink this coffee, you not only take an action that helps conservation, but you also directly improve the lives of these farmers and their families, who for the first time are earning a fair price for coffee -- money they need to put their children through school and provide for their family’s healthcare.

Children of the YUS region in Papua New Guinea. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Try a cup and if you like it, tell a friend. The more beans we can spread around town, the bigger a difference we can make for the people and wildlife of Papua New Guinea. 

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bowling for Rhinos

Posted by: Matt Mills, Zookeeper



Did you know that rhinos used to roam wild in the United States? There were even water rhinos that would swim in the lakes of central Washington! Six million years ago, during the Miocene, there were over 50 species of rhinoceros around the world! Today, five species are still alive, but their numbers are dwindling and they will only continue to exist if we act quickly.

Have you ever thought about what you could do to help?

Baby and mother white rhinos at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya. (Photo by Matt Mills)

The zookeepers and staff of Woodland Park Zoo care about rhinos. The Puget Sound chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) is having a bowling party and fundraiser for these special animals at Spin Alley in Shoreline on May 10, and you are invited to join us! AAZK began Bowling for Rhinos in 1991 as a way for chapters to raise funds for conservation and increase awareness of current rhino populations’ challenges. In the last 21 years, more than $4 million has been raised nationally, 100% of which has gone directly to saving vulnerable rhino species and their habitat in Kenya and Indonesia. By protecting rhino habitat we protect everything in their habitat, including tigers, orchids, zebras, orangutans and tapirs.

Bina at Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, Indonesia.  (Photo by Rana Bayrakci)

There is no better way to spend a Thursday evening than bowling with your friends, family and favorite zoo staff while supporting endangered species. There is a sandwich buffet included, amazing raffle prizes, and a trivia game! So even if you haven't mastered that 7-10 split, there are many ways you can join in the fun. The $25 ticket includes bowling for three hours, shoe rental and dinner. Bowling skill does not matter! You may even be bowling alongside a zookeeper! If you’d rather not bowl this year, you can enjoy the party and dinner for $15.

Tickets are on sale now, and sell out quickly! Woodland Park Zoo staffers have already reserved many of the slots, so hurry up if you'd like to join our fun.

For more details and registration, please check out the Bowling for Rhinos Seattle website.

We can't wait to spend a fun and relaxing day with our local community!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Ostrich legs

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



Baby, we were born to ruuuuuuuuun.


The ostrich may be flightless but with thick, powerful legs (seen in full glory here as the ostrich displays), it’s built for running over great distances with ease and getting up to speeds of 40+ miles per hour.

Photo by Dennis Dow/WPZ

Monday, February 13, 2012

Well I’m hot blooded, check it and see…

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications




“I got a fever of a hundred and three, come on baby…” We’ve all heard the term “hot blooded” in reference to unabashed lust, but this Valentine’s Day we are cooling things off with a little biology recap. Sorry, all you stud-muffins and flirtatious foxes, but using the term “hot blooded” is actually pretty uncool in the zoological community.

In the recent past, hot blooded (or warm blooded) and cold blooded were ways to describe an animal’s thermoregulation. Within the last 30 years, studies in the field of animal thermophysiology have revealed just how wild temperature control is between each species, and it’s pretty sexy stuff!

Flamingos pair up to create a stunning heart-shaped beak rub.  Flamingos are endothermic homeotherms. By constantly ingesting shrimp, these water birds keep their luxurious pink feathers looking bright; the shrimp also keep their metabolic rate nice and even. (Photo by Mat Hayward/ WPZ).

There are three types of thermal stability in animals:

Homeothermy: when an organism maintains a relatively constant body temperature. This temperature is usually higher than the average warmth of the subject’s environment. Most birds and mammals—which includes us humans—are homeotherms, and maintain thermal homeostasis.

Poikilothermy: a poikilotherm is an organism whose internal temperature varies considerably, usually a consequence of variation in the ambient environmental temperature. Most reptiles and amphibians are included in this category and depend on their environment for heat and cooling. 

Grizzlies are heterothermic. A tent to keep warm? Nope, they thermoregulate naturally. By lowering their core body temperature and heart rate during long winter months they don’t need as much fuel (berries and groundhogs) to sustain them. But when spring rolls around, their energy intake will rise substantially… watch out huckleberries.(Photo by Mat Hayward/ WPZ)

Heterothermy: is a physiological term for creatures that share characteristics of both poikilothermy and homeothermy. Heterothermy has been found in a number of mammalian orders, but within the primates so far it seems to be restricted to one family of Malagasy lemurs.

  • Temporal heterothermy refers to animals that are poikilothermic or homoeothermic for a portion of the day, or year. Often, body temperature and metabolic rate are elevated only during activity. When resting, these animals reduce their metabolisms drastically, which results in their body temperature dropping to that of the surrounding environment. This makes them homoeothermic when active, and poikilothermic when at rest. Bats and hummingbirds go into what is known as torpor and bears hibernate. Both are examples of heterothermy; where the internal temperature of the animal drops during specific periods of time, usually when food is scarce.
  • Regional heterothermy describes organisms that are able to maintain different temperature zones in different regions of the body. This usually occurs in the limbs, and is made possible through the use of counter-current heat exchangers. These exchangers equalize the temperature between hot arterial blood going out to the extremities and cold venous blood coming back, thus reducing heat loss. Penguins and many arctic birds use these exchangers to keep their feet at roughly the same temperature as the surrounding ice which prevents the birds from getting stuck to ice sheets!

Got it? Not so fast. There is another factor in determining whether an animal is so-called warm or cold-blooded.

This graph shows us the difference between endotherms and ectotherms. The jaguar keeps her body roughly the same temperature throughout the day. Her fur keeps her warm and she can pant to cool down. She has to find plenty of food to keep her metabolic rate constant. The Burmese vine snake is dependent on its environment to provide shade or sunny places to keep warm. It can slow down its metabolic rate if food is scarce.(Graph by Kirsten Pisto/WPZ)

Organisms can generally be divided into two types of thermoregulators: endotherms and ectotherms.

Endotherms (most mammals and birds) create most of their heat via metabolic processes, burning cell's energy, to produce heat, and are colloquially referred to as warm-blooded (deriving energy from food intake).

For ectotherms (reptiles, fish and most amphibians), temperature is mostly a function of the environment, and they are sometimes referred to as cold-blooded (soaking up sunrays or laying on a hot rock).

Nina, a western lowland gorilla, keeps her energy high with a Valentine’s treat. Gorillas constantly forage for nutritious snacks. (Photo by Ryan Hawk/WPZ)

People are both endotherms and homeotherms; we maintain a constant temperature through our metabolic process (perhaps why we crave more carbs in the winter). Fish are ectotherms: if they live in a small stream that has varied temperatures, then they are poikilothermic; however, if they happen to live in a large body of water which keeps a stable temperature, then they become homeotherms.  Most endotherms are also homeotherms, but not all ectotherms are poikilotherms…agh!

Kalisa and Hubert enjoy an enrichment treat. Lions are predatory, eating very large meals less often. Both species are homeothermic endotherms, relying mainly on food intake to regulate body temperature. (Photo by Lauren LaPlante/WPZ)

So, who holds the advantage? Like many things this time of year, it’s complicated.

Ectotherms get most of their heat from environmental sources such as sunlight energy, therefore they have less dependence on respiration for generation of heat. Because of this, ectotherms such as reptiles can survive on just a single large meal per week. They are less vulnerable to fluctuations in food supply, increasing their chances of survival. On the other hand, tropical ectotherms may be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. 

Endotherms on the other hand, can survive in harsher conditions since they don’t rely on the environment for their warmth. Another advantage is that endotherms can have internal reproduction, which depending on the predators in the environment, can be more successful than egg-based reproduction. Of course, all this internal temperature control takes a lot of energy, placing a strong dependency on food intake.

A bearded dragon manipulates his body temperature by changing locations throughout the day. Bearded dragons are ectothermic, and poikilothermic. During the cool mornings, these lizards take advantage of the sunshine and bask on the warm rocks. If they get too hot, they can angle their body away from the sun or seek shade in a burrow. It is interesting to see them stick part of their body in the sun, and part in the shade to get that perfect temperature. (Photo by Ryan Hawk/ WPZ)

Our advice for Valentine’s Day? Engage in some kleptothermy. Kleptotherms share, or steal, each other’s body heat! Animals that nest together increase their thermal inertia, reducing heat loss and providing each other warmth. There’s no discrimination amongst kleptotherms; an ectothermic animal can take advantage of an endotherm’s cozy burrow!

The zoo can be a romantic spot for hot blooded creatures, especially on chilly February afternoons. Bring your sweetheart and take advantage of some kleptothermy of your own… we hear the Jaguar Cove is particularly cozy. Photo by Rathbone Images.

Whether endo- or ectothermic, all animals regulate and maintain their body temperature with physiological adjustments and behavior. Snakes bask in the sun. Kangaroos lick their arms to cool down. Bears eat more berries and fat-rich salmon in the summer to store energy during the winter. Ostrich stick out their long necks so that they can conduct body heat to the air. Humans sweat when they are too hot, and shiver when they are too cold. (Shivering helps increase heat production as respiration is an exothermic reaction in our muscle cells.) Iguanas soak up the warmth from sun soaked rocks. Crocodiles seek cool mud in the hot afternoon. Orangutans cover themselves with large leaves when they feel too hot. Fox grow thicker fur in the winter. And hummingbirds simply head south.

So, whether you are gearing up for roses and chocolate with your schnookie-pie or celebrating anti-Valentine’s Day with your friends, remember, we’re all just homeotherms trying to keep warm.

xoxo

Learn more at: 




Thursday, February 9, 2012

Komodo dragon turns 18

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



2012 is the Year of the Dragon, and Tuesday was the day of the Komodo dragon.


That’s because the zoo’s male Komodo dragon, Loki, turned 18 on Tuesday and the keepers celebrated dragon-style: with “cake” made out of ground meat topped with a mouse.


Loki gulped down his treat with lightning speed as visitors gathered at the exhibit to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. The song lasted longer than the cake!


While we often mark our 18th birthday as the milestone between childhood and adulthood, for Komodo dragons, turning 18 means you’re well past middle aged. It’s not known just how long the average Komodo dragon life span is in the wild, but in captivity, Komodo dragons have been known to live up to 25 years.


By weight, Komodos are the world’s largest lizard. They don’t get to be that size just by snacking on birthday cake. In the wild, Komodos are known for their hunting prowess, taking down prey as big as Sunda deer, pigs, water buffalos and wild horses, and rounding out their diet with birds, snakes, fish, crabs, snails and eggs. Here at the zoo, the Komodos consume mostly rodents, though not always as artfully arranged as Tuesday’s treat!


If you’d like to wish Loki a very happy 18th, you can find him and the zoo’s other Komodo dragon, Selat, in the Adaptations building, next door to the meerkats. You can also support Komodo dragons and the zoo’s animal care, conservation and education mission by adopting a Komodo today through our ZooParent program. Thanks!

Photos by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Love darts

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s a good time to meet the hermaphroditic Partula snail.


Prior to copulating, Partula shoot “love darts”—tiny bits of calcium-based material—like daggers into their partner. No one knows exactly why. Some think that this is the origin of Cupid with his arrows. 

Now there's a fun fact you can use to romance your Valentine.

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The official hippo weigh-in

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications


The results are in to cap our two-week, online contest to guess the combined weight of Woodland Park Zoo’s two hippos. Today’s weigh-in of 12-year-old Guadalupe and 33-year-old Water Lily revealed the giant pachyderms’ collective weight: 6,279 pounds with Lupe weighing in at 3,285 pounds and Lily at 2,994 pounds!

Zookeeper Matt Mills works with Lupe on the scale inside the behind-the-scenes hippo barn.
More than 2,800 people entered our statewide hippo weigh-in contest, trying to win a behind-the-scenes experience with our hippos and other prizes. The guesses ranged everywhere from 150 pounds to 6,000,000,000 pounds, but only two entrants came within one pound of the final combined weight, and by random draw, 42-year-old Alane Michels of Sprague, WA was named the winner! Alane was all smiles when we called her this morning to tell her she won, telling us "This is a dream come true! I grew up coming to Woodland Park Zoo and am such an animal nut. I can’t believe it!”

The hippos were officially weighed in this morning for the press. Lily, 33-years-old, is a bit shy and not so keen on being weighed in front of a crowd (I feel ya!), so the keepers weighed her off camera first. She came in at 2,994 pounds and then retired off to the side of the hippo barn where she quietly munched on hay for the rest of the weigh-in session.

The big star was 12-year-old Lupe who gamely stepped on the scale in front of cameras and weighed in at 3,285 pounds.



Sure we had some fun making a contest out of the hippo weigh-in, but it’s also an important part of our animal care program to make sure these girls maintain a healthy weight. The scale is a new addition to the zoo—a long time ago we used to have to partner with the Department of Transportation to bring in a scale for hippo weigh-ins!—and we can now use it to keep a close eye on the girls’ weight as a sign of their overall health.

Lupe steadies herself on the scale as the numbers fluctuate on the monitor.
Lupe in particular is an eater. When we used to feed Lily and Lupe together, Lupe would finish her meal first and then move in on Lily’s food next. Now we feed them separately so Lupe doesn’t overeat and Lily gets all the nutrition she needs. Lupe’s weight is also managed by a little keeper trick—they soak her hay in water before serving it to her, which reduces the sugar content but still provides the filling bulk. As the girls each eat about 15 pounds of hay every day, that adjustment to the sugar content can truly add up.

Fruits and veggies also make for a tasty hippo treat and were in good use this morning as we led Lupe onto the scale with apples and carrots. Hippos enjoy the interaction with their keepers, but are very independent-minded animals so training requires patience and positive reinforcement to make the animals feel comfortable. Lupe and Lily are getting quite used to the scale now and are mastering the ability to stand still long enough to get an accurate reading.

While the contest may be over, the girls will continue to be on and off the scale with their keepers and with this close monitoring, we can make slight adjustments to their diet to keep them healthy and thriving.


Photos and video by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Lemur cackle

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



Ever hear cackling in the Tropical Rain Forest exhibit?


Many visitors do not realize that intense sound is coming from our red ruffed lemurs. Red ruffed lemurs communicate to each other with a complex system of at least 12 different vocalizations that include low grunts, gurgling sounds and that cackle-like roar.

Photo by Dennis Dow/WPZ