In celebration of International Migratory Bird Day May 8, the Woodland Park Zoo is offering a guided tour of zoo grounds with a keeper for attendees to learn firsthand about the wild birds that the zoo home and those that make it a temporary home during their annual migration.
Zookeepers and expert staff give natural history and birding tips to participants of all ages and levels of experience.
International Migratory Bird Day highlights the migration of nearly 350 bird species between nesting habitats in North America and nonbreeding grounds in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Many think of migratory birds as symbolic harbingers of spring and melodious songsters of the woods, but migratory birds are also an important economic resource, controlling insect pests and generating billions in recreational dollars, according to a zoo press release.
Unfortunately, research has shown that many migratory bird populations are in decline, facing a growing number of threats on their migration routes and in both summer and winter habitats, according to the press release.
The Woodland Park Zoo euthanized a 19-year-old, male elk April 13 due to a decline in health from age-related concerns, including limited mobility, joint discomfort and poor eyesight.
Despite treatments that included anti-inflammatory medication for the control of joint associated discomfort, the life of the elk, named Woody, had become compromised, according to a zoo press release.
The elk arrived at the zoo as a young calf in 1991.
During recent weeks, the zoo’s animal management and animal health staff had been closely monitoring the elk’s mobility, condition and pain levels, according to the press release.
“It became increasingly apparent he was in discomfort from suspected osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, not uncommon in geriatric animals, including humans,” Dr. Darin Collins, the zoo’s director of animal health, said in the press release. “Our staff had successfully managed his arthritid joint disease with supplements; however, during the last month he began declining in his comfort level with signs of increased mobility challenges and a reduced appetite. Euthanizing the animal was the most humane option in his continued care.”
Animals First Foundation (AFF) came to Pet Elements at 6701 California Avenue SW on Saturday April 10 joining and Teri Ensley of Furry Faces Foundation to bring more attention to the issue of animal adoption. AFF is a West Seattle based animal rescue group. They accept many of the dogs with special needs, giving them everything they need until finding the perfect home.
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The non-profit, West Seattle-based Animals First Foundation, which is dedicated to support and promote the preservation and well-being of all animals; both domestic and wildlife, holds a rock 'n roll auction fundraiser Sunday, April 18, 2pm-5pm at the Feedback Lounge.
Prior to that event, Animals First Foundation is involved in a fundraiser Saturday, April 10, 11am-3pm at Pet Elements, 6701 California Avenue SW. At least one dog and some cats will be on hand for adoption.
The Woodland Park Zoo’s all-new, sustainably designed West Entrance opens to the public on May 1, replacing the current North and West Entrances.
The new entrance is set back from Phinney Avenue North between North 55th Street and North 56th Street. A landscaped path leads visitors to the new Bank of America Commons, a welcoming space for groups to gather in the West Entrance before embarking on their zoo adventure.
The commons features state-of-the-art soundscaping with real audio samples from Woodland Park Zoo animals.
The 58,000-square-foot West Entrance complex also contains ticketing booths, family restrooms, member and visitor services, a coffee cart and a second ZooStore location.
As part of Woodland Park Zoo’s ongoing commitment to green practices, the new West Entrance is targeting Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building certification system, according to a zoo press release.
The first chick was discovered to have hatched in the Woodland Park Zoo's Humboldt penguin exhibit April 1 as part of six eggs in three nests, marking the first breeding and nesting season for the colony of 18 penguins since the exhibit opened last May.
The chick represents the first offspring for mother Dora and father PJ, both 3 years old. The second egg in their nest shows pipping activity and is expected to hatch April 4. The newly hatched chick weighs 2.1 oz.
It will be early summer before any of the chicks emerge from the nesting burrows and venture outdoors into the public exhibit.
“This hatching is significant for the penguin Species Survival Plan,” Mark Myers, a Woodland Park Zoo curator who specializes in birds, said in a press release. “Humboldt penguins are an endangered species, and here at the zoo these birds are important conservation ambassadors to teach visitors about the impacts humans have on penguins in their range countries.”
On March 28, Diana Lind and her husband were motoring their sailboat toward the Ballard Locks when they saw a plume shoot out of the water.
Lind said they slowed down to watch as what she believes was a gray whale did a loop around the area for approximately 20 minutes. She said she thinks there were two whales swimming side by side.
Andrea Takash is the spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the Locks. She said they don't have any mention of whales in their log books from over the weekend.
Gray whales do occasionally swim near the Locks, though it is rare, Takash said.
The Army Corps of Engineers only knows of one instance where a gray whale made it into the Locks, she said.
Video by Diana Lind.
Shana Gray got her pure bred Pomeranian Fifi (Foxy Lady Fifi her full name) from a breeder in Kirkland 2 years ago. Even though Fifi is only about 5 lbs in weight she has an extremely protective attitude.
"She doesn't let anybody get close to me," explained Gray, " I can't have a boyfriend."
"She doesn't like toys, she just likes to be in my business. She sleeps in the bed and watches movies, She watches the animal channel and barks at all the dogs on TV," said Gray.
Fifi likes chicken and greens and cornbread, "She doesn't like dog food," said Gray. Fifi is truly a one woman dog and doesn't even have any canine friends. "She loves me, I can't get rid of her," Gray offered, "She follows me into the bathroom, up to the bathtub and peeks over the edge to see if I'm still alive. She's my little baby."
Gray originally wanted to get a Pomeranian "Since they're so cute," she said, "but now that I've gotten her she's not so cute. She's more like a pit bull. When the other dogs come around I have to hold her. When we come to the park everybody else leaves once we'll get here."