What’s Happening at Woodland Park Zoo
What makes Woodland Park Zoo famous? It is famed for
revolutionizing the world of zoos by immersing visitors in
naturalistic exhibits. The top award-winning zoo set an
international standard for animal care and realistic landscape
exhibits that allow animals to thrive and be seen in
naturalistic environments. In 1979, Woodland Park opened the
first naturalistic gorilla exhibit in the world, establishing a
Tracing Woodland Park Zoo’s 104-year evolution yields a
treasure-trove of stories about advances in wildlife
conservation, exhibit design, education, veterinary science and
plant care. Please consider us a resource for any features you
may do that involve these topics or others, such as worldwide
conservation efforts, family classes, botanical gardens and
more. Here’s a taste of what’s happening and angles of interest:
Hot and Cold Spots at Woodland Park Zoo
Discover the “hot” and “cold” spots at Woodland Park Zoo. Fall
and winter offer visitors of all ages and backgrounds an
expanded repertoire of animal behaviors. Ask for a rainy day
tour map at the gates . And, don’t forget to seek dry, warm shelter and
sustenance in the Rain Forest Food Pavilion and take a global
shopping expedition in the ZooStore:
Discover animals and plants that have adapted to the cold in
the award-winning Northern Trail — indoor,
underwater views of grizzly bears swimming or wrestling and
river otters gliding. Mountain goats, snowy owls, wolves,
elk and bald eagles are also along the trail.
Escape winter’s chill and trek through the different layers
of a rain forest in the warm, humid environment of the
award-winning Tropical Rain Forest. The
interior portion displays ocelots, pygmy marmosets (the
world’s smallest monkeys) and tropical birds. The outdoor
loop showcases the new Jaguar Cove, lemurs
and monkeys, and covered shelters feature two gorilla
Enter the world of earth’s smallest animals — arthropods —
at the indoor “Bug” World. More than 22
species are showcased such as Australian walkingsticks, dung
beetles, flamboyant flower beetles, Madagascar hissing
cockroaches and African giant millipedes.
Experience a slice of desert life in the heated
Exhibit featuring a gallery of smaller-scale
exhibits with amphibians and reptiles. Kids especially
delight in the gigantic Brazilian cockroach exhibit swarming
with thousands of “nature’s recyclers” and the 18-foot
reticulated python. A walk through Night Exhibit
treats visitors to two-toed sloths, a variety of prosimians,
tamanduas (lesser anteaters), fruit bats, vampire bats and a
new colony of Rodrigues fruit bats.
Take shelter in the
with covered viewing of felines, other small mammals and
rare Komodo dragons. Cat lovers will especially enjoy two
Sumatran tigers born December 2002.
African culture and the country’s wildlife through the eyes
of the people who live there. A recreated schoolhouse offers
sheltered viewing to a savanna dotted with giraffe, zebra,
gazelle and patas monkey.
Explore the wild life of “down under” at
where covered areas offer viewing of tree kangaroos,
wallaroos, kookaburras and other animals native to this
corner of the world.
Journey through the tropics of Asia and come upon the zoo’s
herd of elephants, including an Asian elephant calf living
amidst a Thai forest. Continue to the Trail of Vines
where orangutans, siamang apes, monkeys, Malayan tapirs and
Indian pythons can be viewed from covered shelters.
Twin sloth bears were born at the zoo January 3, 2003. The
cubs and mother remain off view in a heated maternity den
where they are receiving excellent maternal care. Newborn
cubs are extremely tiny and blind at birth. They open their
eyes at about 3 weeks old and can walk at 4 weeks. Unlike
other bear species, sloth bear mothers carry cubs on their
back when cubs reach about 2 months old.
A pair of Sumatran tigers born December 2002 marked a
significant birth for the rare tiger subspecies in zoos and
in the wild. The female juveniles are on view daily with
their mother in the tiger grotto.
A female gorilla was born August 30, 2002, the second
offspring between 32-year-old Amanda and 23-year-old Vip.
The infant also represents the zoo’s eleventh successful
The “Wild” Side Meets Zoo Life —
Zookeepers introduce a variety of activities to
encourage a full spectrum of species-specific wild behavior.
Enrichment approximates the challenges and opportunities animals
would face in a wild environment and reinforces natural behavior
such as exploration and foraging. To make the lives of the zoo’s
animals more enriching and entertaining, zookeepers introduce a
variety of activities.
Samples of enrichment activities:
Sun bears, sloth bears: whole fruit buried; hidden logs
drilled with holes and stuffed with raisins or live
mealworms; bamboo popsicles scattered; allspice and other
spices sprinkled; honey and molasses drizzled on tree snags.
Felines: elephant poop for cats to roll in; catnip; herbs
and spices such as fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg; frozen chicks
and gizzards hidden in logs.
African wild dogs: fresh herbs and spices such as fennel,
cinnamon, nutmeg; sticks buried in sand and smeared with
spices or civet musk; hidden horse meatballs; meat smeared
Tropical Rain Forest birds: fruit kabobs (grapes and other
fruit hung on trees); bamboo.
Goeldi’s monkeys: raisins, live mealworms and grapes hidden
Orangutans: artificial durian fruit stuffed with peanut
butter; logs stuffed with raisins.
Gorillas: fruits and vegetables scattered every morning;
hidden logs stuffed with raisins and other treats.
Grizzlies: frozen salmon carcasses and apples tossed in
underwater viewing pool.
Wolves: knucklebones; frozen chicks.