A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Woodland Park Zoo celebrates neighbors at Hoot for the Hood on June 24

June 6th, 2016 by Doree

Neighbors of Woodland Park Zoo are invited to its annual Hoot for the Hood neighbor celebration from 6:30-8 p.m. on Friday, June 24.

Join your neighbors at the zoo for an after-work mix and mingle. Chat with other community members, cool down with ice cream and enjoy a walk through our recently opened Banyan Wilds exhibit, home to Malayan tigers.

The event is free and parking that evening also is free. Use the West Plaza entrance on Phinney Avenue North between North 55th and 56th streets.

The zoo says the event is “for our closest neighbors in Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, Fremont and Green Lake.” You can RSVP online.

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Zoo’s new red panda now on view to the public

April 8th, 2016 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo’s new red panda, who arrived in February from Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska, is now on exhibit in the Wildlife Survival Zone. Carson was named after Tonight Show host Johnny Carson.

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo.

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo.

Currently, the zoo’s other male red panda, 10-year-old Yukiko, and Stellar, the zoo’s 8-year-old female red panda, live off exhibit where the two can spend time together through the breeding season and beyond. The zoo hopes for a baby red panda in the near future.

Red pandas share the name of giant pandas, but more closely resemble raccoons. While scientists still debate which family red pandas belong to — raccoons or giant pandas — recent studies suggest that they are equally related to three different groups of animals that include skunks, weasels and raccoons.

In the wild, fewer than 10,000 red pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas and Myanmar, and share part of their range with giant pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing local populations.

In the wild, red pandas primarily eat bamboo shoots and leaves, grasses, roots, fruits, lichens and acorns. They occasionally eat insects, eggs, young birds and small rodents. At the zoo, red pandas are fed leaf-eater biscuits, bamboo, and various fruits and berries.

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9-1-1 Hero Award ceremony at zoo Thursday kicks off month of learning 9-1-1 skills for children

March 29th, 2016 by Doree

King County 911 Program Office is bringing 9-1-1 skills to children all over the county during April, to help them know what to do in an emergency. The kickoff event, at 10:30 a.m. this Thursday at Woodland Park Zoo’s Zoomazium, will feature a 9-1-1 Hero Award ceremony for 9-year-old Austin Holdt, who called 9-1-1 in December when his grandmother fell unconscious.

The program is taking its Emery the Emergency Penguin storybook tour to 13 libraries across King County in April. Children will hear the new story “Emery and the Ice Carnival,” learn a 9-1-1 song and receive an Emery coloring book.

You can hear the catchy 9-1-1 jingle and find other resources on the King County 9-1-1 website.

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Woodland Park Zoo’s Spring Fecal Fest begins today

March 7th, 2016 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo’s prized compost is up for lottery beginning today through its Spring Fecal Fest. Zoo Doo is only available this year in amounts of 5, 32 and 50 gallons; no truckloads because of a limited supply. However, Bedspread (composted mulch that consists of Zoo Doo, sawdust and wood chips) is still available by the truckload, as well as the smaller amounts.

Pick up where the animals left off. Zoo Doo is composed of species feces contributed by the zoo’s non-primate herbivores such as hippos, giraffes, mountain goats, tapirs and more, and is perfect to grow veggies and annuals.

Dr. Doo’s private reserve of Worm Doo, usually reserved just for the zoo’s greenhouse, will also be sold this spring. Worm Doo is worm castings made from Woodland Park Zoo’s Zoo Doo compost and zoo coffee grounds. It is an exceptional rich soil and microbial diverse soil amendment recommended for seedlings, potted plants or in the garden. It’s been pooped once by exotic herbivores and pooped again by compost loving worms.

Worm Doo will be sold in pint sized containers at the ZooStores for $10 starting March 7. There will be a limited supply so get it while it lasts.

Zoo Doo: 5 gallons $5; 10 gallons $10; 25 gallons $20; 50 gallons $35. Limited to 100 gallons per recipient. No truckloads. Pint-sized buckets are available at the ZooStore for $4.95.

Bedspread: Pick-up truck 8×4 bed: $60; 6×4 bed: $50; 6×3 bed: $40. Winners can get up to two full truckloads per person.

For the chance to purchase Bedspread or Zoo Doo, fill out the online form today through March 29 (only one entry per person for each drawing). Entries will be selected randomly; only entries selected will be contacted. No phone or mail orders. Pickup dates are April 9 – May 1.

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Phinney Ridge Community Council meets Tuesday to discuss development, backyard cottages, zoo’s new exhibit

February 25th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Community Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. The meeting is open to the public.

On the agenda:

  • Continuing discussion of the proposed multifamily development at 6726 Greenwood Ave. N., which will have 55 residential units, two live-work units and commercial space at ground level, with no parking.
  • The city’s proposal to relax the rules for Backyard Cottages
  • Woodland Park Zoo’s ideas to renovate the Tropical Asia exhibit that formerly housed the elephants

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Woodland Park Zoo needs advice on major exhibit to replace former elephant habitat

February 24th, 2016 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo is asking for advice to plan its next major exhibit, the renovation of Tropical Asia, a 3.4-acre area that formerly housed elephants.

We have designed three exhibit concepts with selected species and experiences that have the potential to connect visitors with the natural history and wildlife diversity of tropical Asia, and the conservation issues impacting its animals, habitats and people.

We would like to know what you, our neighbors and biggest supporters, like about each of these concepts. Your feedback will allow us to gauge interest levels and first reactions to these early ideas and help us refine exhibit planning in the coming years.

There are two ways for you to participate:

Please take our online survey at www.zoo.org/feedback. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete and is available through Friday, April 8.

Come talk with us in person! The zoo is hosting a community open house on Tuesday, March 1, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at Woodland Park Zoo’s Education Center, located at N. 50th St. & Fremont Ave. N. Parking is free. Staff will be available to answer questions about the three concepts.

The zoo will compile the data from the survey and comments from various community conversations, and propose a final design for the area. Among the considerations, in addition to the input from the community, will be the availability of animals, the zoo’s ability to care for them in this climate, their connection to their wild counterparts and conservation education to our guests and community.


Help name Woodland Park Zoo’s baby gorilla

February 18th, 2016 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo is asking for the public’s help in naming its new female gorilla, born on Nov. 20.

Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo.

To enter, participants must choose a female name from the African languages of Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo, and submit an entry form via mail, online at www.zoo.org/babygorilla or by dropping it off at any ballot box located on zoo grounds between Tuesday, February 16, and Monday, February 29.

One winner will be selected by a judging panel of zoo staff to take home the Grand Prize:

  • One 1-year annual Woodland Park Zoo membership for one family
  • One ZooParent gorilla adoption
  • One opportunity to join a gorilla staff member for a private meet and greet for up to five people at the public viewpoint of the gorilla exhibit once the baby is on view (arranged at a mutually agreeable time)
  • One framed photograph of the newly-named gorilla infant

For official rules and terms of participation or to submit an entry online, visit www.zoo.org/babygorilla.

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Zoo’s newborn sloth bear cub dies

December 30th, 2015 by Doree

Two day ago Woodland Park Zoo announced the birth of a sloth bear cub. Sadly, today the zoo announced the cub died sometime last night.

Born December 19 to first-time mother, 3-year-old Kushali, the cub died of unknown causes overnight under the care of its mother in a private maternity den. This is the second cub to pass from Kushali’s December 19 litter—the first cub was not viable and did not survive past the first 48 hours.

“Kushali and her cub were being monitored closely by staff using cameras with microphones mounted in the maternity den,” said Martin Ramirez, Woodland Park Zoo mammal curator. “Observations indicated that the mother was attentive and nursing. Unfortunately, sometime between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on December 29, the cub passed away while the mother slept. She was observed on the cameras trying to wake it and could be heard calling it but the cub was unresponsive.”

It is not uncommon for first time sloth bear mothers to lose their litter. Sloth bears are born extremely small and blind at birth. They open their eyes at between 3 to 4 weeks old and can walk shortly after their eyes open. The first 72 hours is very critical for a cub, though it is important to monitor cubs the first few months to ensure they continue to grow and remain healthy.

“Because it is a defense mechanism in this species to consume any dead offspring so as not to attract predators, we may never know the cause of death of either cub,” said Ramirez. “It was clear that Kushali, a first time mother, was attentive and showing all the appropriate maternal behaviors, so the cubs may have been born compromised in some way but that is speculation at this point. While we’re saddened by the loss of the cubs, we were encouraged to have seen Kushali doing everything she could to care for them. She will have other opportunities to breed in the future.”

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Woodland Park Zoo cancels WildLights tonight due to storm and high wind warnings

December 3rd, 2015 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo has canceled tonight’s WildLights because of warnings of a storm bringing strong winds. WildLights is scheduled to resume tomorrow evening. All tickets purchased in advance are valid for entry on all nights through Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 24-25).

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