November 26th, 2013 by Doree
By Shelby Ehlert, University of Washington News Lab
Most of us can remember a time in our childhood when we visited the local zoo, giddy with excitement to explore the exotic sights, sounds and smells. For one group of people, it’s memory itself that brings them to the Woodland Park Zoo in Phinney Ridge every Monday.
Since its inception in early 2011, the Memory Loss Walk has drawn individuals diagnosed with early-stage memory loss and their caregivers to partake in a morning zoo walk followed by coffee and conversation.
The program is sponsored by several organizations that partnered “because they wanted to offer individuals with mild memory loss the opportunity to join a supportive program that emphasizes socialization as well as the importance of living a healthy lifestyle,” according to Liz Rhine of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The groups involved are the Alzheimer’s Association’s Western and Central Washington State Chapter, Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Lifelong Recreation Program, the Phinney Neighborhood Association and Greenwood Senior Center, Rhine said in an email.
It was a chilly but sunny autumn morning when we met in the Woodland Park Zoo parking lot before heading out for the Northern Trail tour of the zoo.
As soon as the walk began I quickly forgot the environment we were in and became so enthralled in the conversation that it was easy to miss the many animals we passed, as these were clearly not the focus of the walkers.
This was much more than a community activity for individuals with early-stage memory loss and their caregivers – this was a family. They are united by a common experience unique to their group.
“ I think what I benefit most from is the time we spend together,” said Roger Stocker, a participant of the walk since early 2011. “It’s nice to see the stuff we see going around the zoo and I wouldn’t discredit that at all, but I think the big part of it is…the existence and presence of these people. What makes it different from other people is that we have something that we share.”
Memory Loss Walk participants take in the zoo’s bear exhibit.
As Rhine noted, the walk “offers participants an opportunity to hold conversations in a safe and stimulating environment around others who can relate and offer support.”
“You can talk about Alzheimer’s in this group,” said Ruth Mulligan, who has been participating in the walk for a year. “That’s one big difference (compared with other social settings.”
Charlie Reidy, a participant who is affected by Alzheimer’s, said there is a stigma around the disease: People are afraid of it. Because of this, the Alzheimer’s Association provides programs to bridge the gap between individuals with Alzheimer’s and the public. Reidy attends another program that helps people with early-stage memory loss learn to improvise when communicating because the struggle to recall specific words is one of the first symptoms of memory loss.
Reidy said that people react very uncomfortably if they’re talking to someone with memory loss who stops cold in the middle of a sentence. They don’t know how to respond. However, the discomfort can be avoided or at least mitigated if the individual with memory loss can learn to keep talking — even out of context — rather than dwell on the word they’re attempting to recall, Reidy said.
It’s small programs like this that the Alzheimer’s Association, along with its partners, work to provide for individuals with early-stage memory loss that are truly making a difference.
“What we’ve kind of taken as a reminder is that it is what it is,” Stocker said. “What we’ve decided is the only way we can really deal with this is take it one day at a time and live life at the moment.”
“And to the fullest,” added Myriam Marquez, another participant in the walk and an active Alzheimer’s advocate.
For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association’s programs and services and ways to get involved, please contact the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or visit them online at www.alzwa.org.
Shelby Ehlert is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.
Tags: Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's Association of Washington, greenwood senior center, memory loss, Phinney Neighborhood Association, Seattle Parks and Recreation, woodland park zoo
October 22nd, 2013 by Doree
The task force that’s been evaluating Woodland Park Zoo‘s elephant program will present its final report at 6 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) at the Central Library downtown, 1000 4th Ave, 4th Floor, Meeting Room 1, Seattle.
The WPZ board appointed the Task Force to evaluate the zoo’s elephant program and exhibit, the health and care of its three elephants, and the value of the exhibit and program to the zoo’s education and conservation objectives.
At the meeting, Task Force co-chairs Jan Hendrickson, co-founder of Denny Hill Capital, and Jay Manning, an environmental attorney and former chief of staff to Gov. Christine Gregoire, will publicly present the Task Force’s key findings, recommendations and management options for the WPZ Board to consider for the elephant program and exhibit.
More information can be found at www.elephanttaskforce.org. Written questions from the public in attendance will be addressed by the Task Force.
Tags: elephants, woodland park zoo
August 28th, 2013 by Doree
Woodland Park Zoo’s Elephant Task Force meets again today to discuss the health and well-being of the zoo’s three elephants: Bamboo, Chai and Watoto. The task force meeting is from 4-8 p.m. downtown at the US Bank Center, 1420 5th Ave., 4th Floor Conference Room.
Task force meetings are open to the public. You can see past meeting summaries and video on the task force website.
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants plans to demonstrate before that meeting, beginning at 3 p.m., claiming task force members are too close to the zoo and not objective.
Tags: Elephant Task Force, elephants, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, woodland park zoo
August 19th, 2013 by Doree
Woodland Park Zoo’s Fall Fecal Fest is underway. Anyone wanting to purchase some special compost for their garden has until Sept. 6 to enter the lottery drawing.
Pick up where the animals left off. Zoo Doo is the richest, most prized compost in the Pacific Northwest. Composed of species feces contributed by the zoo’s non-primate herbivores such as elephants, hippos, giraffes and more, Zoo Doo is perfect to grow your veggies and annuals.
Bedspread, the zoo’s premium composted mulch, is a combination of Zoo Doo, sawdust, and large amounts of wood chips. Bedspread is used to cushion perennial beds and woody landscapes including rose beds, shrubs and pathways.
Do you use Zoo Doo to keep your garden growing green? Submit a photo of your Zoo Doo-grown garden on zoo.org/fecalfest and the zoo may feature it on its website!
The ability to purchase Zoo Doo is controlled by lottery, due to the overwhelming demand. Enter online by Sept. 6. Only one entry per person is eligible for each drawing. Postcards are also accepted (separate postcards for Zoo Doo and Bedspread): Dr. Doo, Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, WA 98103.
Include the following information:
- Day and evening phone numbers
- Mark postcard: Zoo Doo or B.S.
- Amount of Zoo Doo or Bedspread you’d like to purchase (anything from a garbage bag to a full-size, pick-up truck load)
- Weekday or weekend preference for pick-up
Dr. Doo will notify winners only after Sept. 6. Pick-up dates are Sept. 21 through Oct. 6. Winners load their own compost.
Prices for either Zoo Doo or Bedspread: Pick-up truck 8×4 bed – $60; 6×4 bed – $45; 6×3 bed – $35. Limit one full truck per person. Garbage cans: $8 – $10 depending on size; bags: $4 – $6 depending on size. Two-gallon and pint-sized buckets are available anytime at the ZooStore for $12.95 and $4.95, respectively.
For more information, call 206-625-POOP or visit the zoo’s website at www.zoo.org/fecalfest.
Tags: compost, Fecal Fest, fertilizer, woodland park zoo, zoo doo
July 22nd, 2013 by Doree
More than 900 people helped the Woodland Park Zoo raise $1.65 million for animal care, education and conservation programs at its July 12 “Jungle Party.”
Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.
Tags: fundraising, woodland park zoo
June 20th, 2013 by Doree
Woodland Park Zoo is hosting its free “Hoot for the Hood” for neighbors from 6:30-8 p.m. on Friday, June 28.
(T)he zoo invites neighbors to join an after-work mix and mingle. Chat with your neighbors, meet some new faces, and hang out with a penguin or two! Then, explore the zoo’s new Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit. Woodland Park Zoo encourages neighbors to bring their friends and family to enjoy animal encounters, face painting, and conservation crafts.
Enter through the Zoo’s West Plaza. Parking also will be free during the event.
Tags: woodland park zoo
May 28th, 2013 by Doree
Woodland Park Zoo’s three jaguar cubs received their first comprehensive exams last week. The 3-month-old cubs each weighed about 10 pounds. They’ll make their debut at Jaguar Cove this summer.
Photo by Jamie Delk, Woodland Park Zoo.
The trio — born in March to the zoo’s jaguar pair, 7-year-old mother Nayla and 14-year-old father Junior — have been under the watchful eye of Nayla since birth. Jaguar births are rare, and as a “near threatened” species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the jaguar triplets are a major milestone for Woodland Park Zoo’s jaguar conservation efforts.
Health updates were put on hold while first-time mother Nayla demonstrated natural motherly care and protection, so much that keepers and veterinarians couldn’t get their hands on the cubs until late last week. Zoo staff has determined the healthy triplets include two girls and one boy, all exhibiting curiously different personalities.
With steady growth and development, the keepers are beginning to introduce the cubs to enrichment items such as boxes, paper towel rolls and small balls. Nayla and the cubs also have access to an outside yard, in addition to their indoor rooms.
Tags: jaguars, woodland park zoo
May 7th, 2013 by Doree
Woodland Park Zookeepers and other members of the Puget Sound chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (PSAAZK), will raise money for endangered black rhinos at the annual “Bowling for Rhinos” on May 18 at Lynnwood Bowl and Skate.
Matt Mills, giraffe keeper at WPZ, says they hope to raise $13,000. The money will be used for rhino conservation projects in Kenya and Indonesia.
Did you know that in 1970 it was estimated that there were approximately 65,000 black rhinos in Africa – but, by 1993, there were only 2,300 surviving in the wild, a 96% decrease? Intensive anti-poaching efforts have had encouraging results; but because the growing purchasing power of many Asian countries, and the existence of organized gangs of poachers who sell rhino horn to black market syndicates in some range countries, the poaching threat remains great and anti-poaching efforts must be continued and accelerated.
100% of all proceeds go directly to support Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) in Kenya, and Ujung Kulon, Bukit Barisan Selatan, and Way Kambas National Parks in Indonesia. LWC is a 65,000-acre sanctuary that protects black rhinos as well as other species from orchids to elephants residing within the sanctuary. Ujung Kulon National Park is home to the last 47 Javan rhinos in the entire world!! Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is a 3,500 square kilometer lush, lowland tropical rainforest where the Sumatran rhino, tiger, and Malayan sun bear live.
Registration is $25 and includes three hours of bowling, shoe rental and pizza. If you don’t want to bowl but would like to watch and eat pizza, the cost is $15. They will also have a party with trivia, games and a raffle. Bowlers are required to raise a minimum of $30 in donations.
Check out the Bowling for Rhinos Facebook page for more information, and a link to donate directly.
Tags: Bowling for Rhinos, fundraising, rhinos, woodland park zoo
April 23rd, 2013 by Doree
Woodland Park Zoo’s popular ZooTunes series is back for its 30th season this summer. Zoo members can buy online beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Members will receive a pre-sale link by email, and can purchase up to eight tickets per show. Non-members can purchase tickets online beginning at 8 a.m. Friday. Tickets also will be available at the zoo’s West and South gates beginning Friday. One child 12 and under per paid ticket is admitted free.
Concerts are held outside on the North Meadow. Concert-goers should bring their own blankets or low-backed folding chairs. Food vendors are onsite, including a beer and wine garden, but no outside alcohol is permitted. Gates open at 5 p.m.; concerts begin at 6 p.m.
Brandi Carlile’s 2011 ZooTunes’ concert. Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.
Here’s the lineup:
- June 23: John Prine with Kendel Carson & Dustin Bentall ($32.50)
- June 30: Old Crow Medicine Show ($32.50)
- July 7: Huey Lewis and the News: SPORTS 30th Anniversary Tour ($39.50)
- July 17: John Hiatt & The Combo with Holly Williams ($28)
- July 24: An Evening with Randy Newman ($28)
- July 26: LeAnn Rimes ($32.50)
- July 30 & 31: Indigo Girls with Lindsay Fuller ($28)
- Aug. 7: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with JJ Grey & Mofro ($26)
- Aug. 11: Todd Snider’s Traveling Folk Show featuring: Shawn Mullins, Hayes Carll and Sarah Jarosz ($24)
- Aug. 15: Loreena McKennitt ($32.50)
- Aug. 22 & 23: Brandi Carlile ($39.50)
Tags: concert, music, woodland park zoo, ZooTunes
April 23rd, 2013 by Doree
The first phase of Woodland Park Zoo’s new Bamboo Forest Reserve, with Asian small-clawed otters, tropical aviary, kids’ nature play area and the zoo’s new twin sloth bear cubs, opens on May 4.
Opening day celebrations will include crafts, bouncy houses, music by local favorite Johnny Bregar, performance, games and giveaways from Radio Disney, and a free Otter Pop when you purchase a kid’s meal at the Rain Forest Food Pavilion.
The kids’ play area includes a wobbly bridge and mini zipline.
Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.
The second phase of the Bamboo Forest will include space for Malayan tigers.
Tags: woodland park zoo
April 16th, 2013 by Doree
The board of Woodland Park Zoo has appointed a panel of community leaders to evaluate all aspects of the zoo’s elephant program and exhibit, from the elephants’ health and care, to the value of having elephants at the zoo, as well as the zoo’s education and conservation objectives.
Chai, WPZ’s 34-year-old female Asian elephant. Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.
The task force will meet for the first time from 4-7 p.m. this Thursday at the Central Library downtown, 1000 4th Ave., in the Washington Mutual Foundation Room (Level 4, Meeting Room 1). The meeting is open to the public. Written comments from the public will be accepted and made part of the record, but this is not a public hearing. Task force meetings also will be videotaped and posted on the task force website.
The task force is co-chaired by Jan Hendrickson, co-founder of Denny Hill Capital and a former WPZ board chair; and Jay Manning, an environmental attorney and former chief of staff to Gov. Christine Gregoire.
Other task force members include:
- Marianne Bichsel, founder and president of Bichsel Public Affairs and former senior advisor to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels;
- Grant Degginger, chair of the Construction and Environmental Practice Group at Lane Powell PC in Seattle and former Bellevue mayor and city council member;
- Gene Duvernoy, president of Forterra, a regional organization dedicated to land conservation;
- Ellen Ferguson, director of community relations at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture;
- Annette Laico, executive director of the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS);
- Jeff Leppo, a law partner in the Seattle office of Stoel Rives LLP, specializing in environmental, wildlife and natural resources law;
- Rob Liddell, M.D., medical director for Center for Diagnostic Imaging Seattle, and founding member of Woodland Park Zoo’s Conservation Committee;
- Jeannie Nordstrom, community volunteer and YWCA board member; Bryce Seidl, president and CEO of the Pacific Science Center;
- Andrew Shouse, Ph.D., associate director of the University of Washington Institute for Science and Math Education;
- Lyn Tangen, former senior director, Corporate Communications, for Vulcan Inc., and legal advisor to Mayor Paul Schell;
- Suzanne Walsh, senior program officer in education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
- Bryan Slinker, D.V.M. Ph.D., dean of the college of veterinary medicine at Washington State University.
Bichsel, Leppo, Liddell and Slinker are current members of the zoo’s board of directors. The task force is expected to name a separate panel of experts to focus on the health and care of the zoo’s elephants.
Tags: elephants, woodland park zoo
March 28th, 2013 by Doree
More than 2,000 people voted to name two of Woodland Park Zoo’s four lion cubs. Two of the cubs were named by staff.
Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.
The cubs’ names are Rudo (“love” in Zulu, pronounced ROO-doh), Busela (“happy and independent” in Zulu, pronounced BOO-sayla), Pelo (“heart” in Sotho, pronounced PEE-lo), and Nobuhle (“the beautiful one” in Zulu, pronounced no-BOO-sche).
The cubs will be out in the African Savanna from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, weather permitting.
Tags: lion cubs, woodland park zoo