An 5-year-old, black-and-white Australian Border Collie named Sydney disappeared out of a Crown Hill backyard May 22 during a private fireworks display that had frightened her.

She was last seen at her home near Northwest 85th Street and Fourth Avenue Northwest.

There have been possible sightings near Carkeek Park and and the Holman Road QFC.

Sydney's owners said she is usually friendly and social but is now hungry and tired and skittish.

Residents are asked to call 206.650.8113 or 206.781.2994 if they have any information. There is a reward if Sydney is found.

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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Sydney's owners

Sydney went missing from her backyard during a private fireworks display May 22.

Animal Control officers will begin “Emphasis Patrols” at King County Parks beginning June 2 to enforce rules regarding unlicensed dogs, aggressive dogs and dogs not on a leash.

According to King County code 7.12.410, pets are required to be on a leash and under control at all times, and owners must clean up after pets.

The emphasis patrols are in response to numerous complaints from park users over the past year about aggressive and uncontrolled dogs. The first priority of the patrols is to educate pet owners about King County policies. However, the penalty for failure to license your dog is $75 and a first time off-leash offender could be penalized $25, with an additional $50 fine for each subsequent violation in a year’s time.

Marymoor Park in Redmond is the only King County Park with a designated off leash area. Unofficially known as “Doggie Disneyland,” Marymoor’s off leash area is 40 acres of open space where dogs are allowed to run freely unencumbered by human laws and regulations. Pets must be accompanied by an owner or handler and good doggie etiquette is encouraged at all times.


Ballardites can call the meerkats cute, they can call them curious and soon, they can call them by the names that they have given them.

Woodland Park Zoo is inviting the community to pick their favorite names for the zoo’s new mob of eight meerkats with a voting contest starting June 1.

The zoo has selected 16 names that reflect the meerkats’ native southern African habitat, and now it is the public's turn to cast their vote for up to eight of their favorites. The naming contest lasts through June 15.

The eight highest vote getters from the following choices will become the new names for our four male and four female meerkat mob members:

  • Kalahari (African desert)
  • Kgala (“great thirst” in Tswana)
  • Acacia (African tree)
  • Kiwano (Kalahari fruit)
  • Nossob (southern African river)
  • Baobob (African plains tree)
  • Aranos (Namibian town)
  • Molopo (southern African river)
  • Gochas (Namibian settlement)
  • Ghanzi (town in Botswana)
  • Zimba (Zambian town)
  • Erongo (Namibian mountain)
  • Dinawwa (“beans” in Tswana)
Photo credit: 
Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Four of the Woodland Park Zoo's eight new meerkats explore a ballot box, which will be used to collect votes for the meerkat naming contest, which began June 1.

Less than two weeks after euthanizing its female ostrich, the Woodland Park Zoo euthanized its 12-year-old, male ostrich earlier this week due to injuries apparently caused by a fall in its African Savanna exhibit.

The bird, named Ozzie, was the sole remaining ostrich at the zoo.

Despite emergency treatments and supportive care interventions by zoo veterinary staff to stabilize the bird and treat his injuries, the ostrich was in obvious pain from severe injuries, according to a Woodland Park Zoo press release.

“The bird progressively declined and euthanasia was the most humane option,” Dr. Darin Collins, director of Woodland Park Zoo’s Animal Health, said in the press release.

Preliminary necropsy findings confirmed leg and head trauma with extensive soft tissue muscle damage.

The zoo lost its female ostrich two weeks ago after it suffered a critical leg injury during a diagnostic medical procedure to treat a chronic fungal infection. A post-mortem examination confirmed a pelvic bone fracture and a life-threatening systemic infection of the reproductive tract.

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Photo credit: 
Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo euthanized its remaining ostrich due to injuries sustained earlier this week, less than two weeks after euthanizing another ostrich.

The fish ladder at the Ballard Locks will be closed for annual maintenance May 24 until June 4. Most of the fish ladder plaza area and the ramp to the viewing room will be closed to the public.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, which operates the Ballard Locks, conducts maintenance work on the fish ladder every spring prior to the time when adult salmon begin migrating upstream to spawn.

The fish ladder annually allows tens of thousands of salmon to migrate safely into the fresh water of Lakes Union and Washington. Last year, approximately 33,702 sockeye, 5,082 chinook and 20,732 coho adult salmon were counted in the fish ladder on their way upstream.

For current information about activities at the locks, visit the Corps of Engineers Web site at and select “Dams and Locks” then “Lake Washington Ship Canal” from the left column.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

A family watches salmon pass through the fish ladder at the Ballard Locks last summer. The fish ladder will be closed for cleaning May 24 through June 4.

The Woodland Park Zoo is inviting the public to discover how to live in harmony with bears and how to camp safely in bear country at the Bear Affair and Big Howl for Wolves event.

The event features talks by the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project and zookeepers, enrichment treats for bears and wolves, campsite demonstrations by Boy Scouts and activities focused on what bears and wolves need to survive in the wild and how we can all coexist.

Approximately 20,000 black bears exist in Washington and fewer than 30 grizzly bears remain in the North Cascades and Selkirk Mountains. Biologists believe there could be as few as 10 individual grizzly bears in the Cascades.

The zoo’s grizzlies will rip through a campsite and back yard set up in their naturalistic exhibit to show the messy results of improperly stored food and garbage in bear country.

There will also be an opportunity to hear about wolf conservation efforts by Wolf Haven International and learn about the plight of Asian bears.

Photo credit: 
Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo grizzly bears will be tearing through a campsite June 5 as part of a demonstration about how humans and bears can coexist.

Woodland Park Zoo euthanized a 4-year-old, female ostrich last week.

The ostrich’s leg was critically injured during a diagnostic medical procedure to treat a chronic fungal infection. The bird was medically treated for pain with anti-inflammatory medications and monitored closely for an observation period of 24 hours. Necropsy findings confirmed a pelvic bone fracture.

Additionally, contributing causes for this bird’s overall poor condition included life-threatening complications associated with a systemic infection of the reproductive tract. The concurrent infection had compromised this bird’s overall state of health at the time of the leg injury.

The ostrich could no longer stand or care for herself without pain.

“She would not have been able to live a quality life with one functional leg, so we made the humane decision to euthanize her,” a Woodland Park Zoo employee said in a press release.

The skeleton of the ostrich has been donated to The Burke Museum for educational purposes through a research collaboration between Woodland Park Zoo and the University of Washington.

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Photo credit: 
Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo euthanized one of its two African Savannah ostriches last week after the bird suffered a leg injury.

In the heart of Des Moines, on what was once called Cherry Street, is an old farmhouse that had cows, a barley field, fruit trees and chickens. It was a seven-acre farm that provided for a family of eight, back in its day.

The farm was subdivided and is now just a half-acre with only a pear and walnut tree left to harvest. However, being from Montana, I figured that I could resurrect the farm. So, with a shaft of wheat in my mouth, I tilled up the rich earth for a vegetable garden and decided to "git me some chickens!"

Truth be told, many city dwellers are trying their hand at playing farmer, and Urban "Chickenry" is becoming more and more common.

Perhaps folks are getting tired of wimpy eggs that come from miserable, tube-fed hens and vegetables that have less nutrition than the cardboard containers in which they're packaged. Even "cage free" doesn't mean what you think and "organic" isn't a guarantee, either.

Photo credit: 
Photo by Mindy Sauerlender

Urban rancher Lee Ryan herds her 'girls' with a walking stick and cow bell.

The goat first showed signs that she was going into labor at 10:30 p.m. She expelled a certain kind of discharge, similar to when a woman’s water breaks. She nickered during contractions. And of the estimated 145 to 155 days of a goat’s gestation period, this was day 148.

All of this meant one thing to Ingela Wanerstrand: She wasn’t sleeping inside that night.

Wanerstrand dragged a sleeping bag into her Ballard backyard, where pregnant Noni lives in a custom-built barn. She curled onto a pad on top of the hay, shutting the door between the barn and the milking shed to allow Noni some privacy.

“She’s kind of a shy goat,” Wanerstrand said. “I thought, ‘I’ll just let her do it herself, and if she needs me, I’m nearby.’”

A yelp woke Wanerstrand from her makeshift bed at 3:30 a.m. Anxious, she checked on her pet. Noni had just given birth to two females.

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Photo credit: 
Photo by Rachel Solomon.

One of Ingela Wanerstrand's baby goats explores the surroundings inside its barn in Wanerstrand's Ballard backyard. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

The Woodland Park Zoo is all hands on deck in preparing for the May 1 grand opening of its new 58,000-square-foot West Entrance.

The new entrance will replace the current West Entrance and is located off Phinney Avenue North between North 55th Street and North 56th Street. It features ticketing booths, member and guest services, a second ZooStore and a coffee cart.

"The zoo has 750 regular volunteers, and even they can't do it alone," said Kim Haas, zoo spokesperson.

Luckily for the zoo, the impending West Entrance opening coincided with Kohl's Volunteers Go Green Event, brining 100 employees from the national department store to the zoo to volunteer their help April 27.

Haas said it was important for the zoo to get those extra volunteers when it did.

Mike Whatley, Kohl's district manager, said in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Kohl's was looking to help out with green projects, as well as projects that focus on children and education.

The Woodland Park Zoo fit those criteria and presented an opportunity for the department store, which is located largely outside Seattle, to connect with the city, he said.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Volunteers from Kohl's stock stuffed animals in preparation for the May 1 opening of Woodland Park Zoo's new West Entrance. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE THE NEW WEST ENTRANCE.

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