Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo

Infobox zoo
zoo_name=Woodland Park Zoo

image_width=250 px
image_caption=Keel-billed Toucan ("Ramphastos sulfuratus"),
Tropical Rain Forest, Woodland Park Zoo
location=Woodland Park, Seattle, Washington, USA
area=92 acres (0.37 km²)
num_animals=1,098 http://www.zoo.org/zoo_info/about.html retrieved October 22, 2006]
num_species=300 http://www.zoo.org/zoo_info/about.html retrieved October 22, 2006]
exhibits=Trail of Vines, Northern Trail, Tropical Rain Forest, Elephant Forest, African Savanna

Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Occupying the western half of Woodland Park, the zoo began as a small menagerie on the estate of Guy C. Phinney, a Canadian-born lumber mill owner and real estate developer. Opened in 1899, the convert|188|acre|km2|sing=on Woodland Park was sold to the city for $5,000 in cash and the assumption of a $95,000 mortgage on December 28, 1899, by Phinney's wife (Phinney had died six years earlier, in 1893). The sum was so large that the Seattle mayor vetoed the acquisition, only to be over-ruled by the city council. In 1902, the Olmsted Brothers firm of Boston was hired to design the city's parks, including Woodland Park, and the next year the collection of the private Leschi Park menagerie was moved to Phinney Ridge.

As of 2004, the zoo includes 65 acres (263,000 m²) of exhibits and public spaces. It is open to the public daily, and an entrance fee of $11.00 per adult (13-64); $7.50 for children (3-12); free for children 2 and under is required, October 1-April 30. The fee goes to $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for children from May 1 to September 30. Its collection includes:
* 1,144 animal specimens
* 290 animal species
* 22 arthropod colonies
* 7,000 trees
* 50,000+ shrubs and herbs
* 1,000+ plant species

Woodland Park Zoo had 1.05 million visitors in 2006.

Exhibits at Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo has won more Best National Exhibit awards from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums than any other zoological institution except the Bronx Zoo in New York. It has long been a pioneer in the field of immersion exhibits: Woodland Park Zoo created what is generally considered the world's first immersion exhibit, a gorilla habitat, which opened in the late 1970s.

*Zoomazium - Zoomazium (a portmanteau of "zoo" and "gymnasium"), opened in May 2006, is an interactive playspace for children. It includes nature-themed playspaces as well as a Nature Exchange desk and open areas for interactive programs. It was built to be extremely energy efficient and even includes a "green roof", with a full-scale garden of native plants growing on the top of the building.

*Tropical Rain Forest - this exhibit won a Best Exhibit award when opened in 1992. A walkway leads up to the building with viewing into a habitat for jaguars (opened in 2003), complete with underwater viewing. Nearby is a jungle researcher's tent. Inside the building is a myriad of animals from Central and South America, including ocelots, poison arrow frogs, bushmasters, tamarins, toucans, and a wide variety of tropical birds. An outdoor loop houses several African rain forest species, including red ruffed lemurs, colobus monkeys, and a rambling gorilla exhibit.

*Tropical Asia - this consists of two components. The first, Elephant Forest, won a national exhibit award when it opened in 1990. It features a convert|1.5|acre|m2|sing=on yard complete with a full-depth swimming pool for three female elephants, two Asian and one African. The zoo has recently come under fire from animal-rights groups stemming from two incidents involving its elephants. Hansa, an Asian elephant born at the zoo in 2000, died in her sleep on June 8, 2007. A year earlier, the zoo chose to send another elephant, Bamboo, to Point Defiance Zoo in nearby Tacoma to breed with a male elephant there, rather than to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (the move did not ultimately work out and Bamboo is still at WPZ). The second part of the exhibit, Trail of Vines, takes the visitor on a journey through several different Southeast Asian rainforest habitats, featuring numerous endangered species. Beginning with Malayan tapirs, it moves on to lion-tailed macaques, Indian pythons, and finally large indoor/outdoor habitats for the siamangs and orangutans.

*Northern Trail - this exhibit also won a national Best Exhibit award when opened in 1994. It carries the visitor through the northern habitats of Tundra, Taiga, and Montane. It is landscaped to resemble an actual trail in Alaska's Denali National Park. The Northern Trail is home to a variety of North American animal species, including gray wolves, arctic foxes, grizzly bears, mountain goats, bald eagles, and Roosevelt elk (which are actually endemic to Washington).

*African Savanna - This also earned national Best Exhibit honors. The first of its kind when it opened in 1980, WPZ's savanna inspired the building of similar exhibits across the country. The visitor enters through a model African village, which blends in elements of African culture as well as important messages about the human/animal balance in conservation. The main "savanna" houses giraffes, zebras, gazelles, oryxes, and ostriches, while two connected exhibits house hippopotami and patas monkeys. As of May 2007, visitors may hand-feed the giraffes for a small fee. Hidden moats allow these yards appear to be part of a continuous landscape. In addition to the herbivores, two separate yards are home to lions and African wild dogs.

:In summer 2007, Woodland Park Zoo revamped and highlighted its African Savanna exhibit as part of its Maasai Journey program, which featured a mix of cultural and animal-themed programs about the East African grasslands.

*Australasia - Australasia has the fewest animals of all the exhibits in the zoo, but it has one of the most popular exhibits, The Willawong StationFact|date=October 2007. The Willawong Station houses over 100 parrots from Australia, there are Parakeets, Cockatiels and Eastern Rosellas. Other animals in Australasia are Kookaburras, a handful of Kangaroos, a couple of Emus and a Snow Leopard. The Kangaroos have an indoor and outdoor area.

*Temperate Forest- The Temperate Forest exhibit has over 50 different birds. It also houses several Southern Pudús, some Japanese Serows, 25 Pink Flamingos and two Red Pandas. It also has a marsh which houses several species of ducks and a Heron.

*Other highlight animals at Woodland Park Zoo include Sumatran Tigers (which have bred several times in the past years), a Raptor Center and accompanying flight demonstration, and lowland anoa. Woodland Park Zoo is one of a handful of zoos outside Japan displaying Japanese Serows, a threatened relative of the mountain goat. Woodland Park Zoo also includes a "Family Farm" exhibit, Bug World, snow leopards, and several species of hornbills.

* The zoo also houses a hand-carved carousel, originally built for the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, head carver John Zalar. In the 1970s, the carousel was moved to Santa Clara, California, where it operated into the 1990s. It was donated to Woodland Park Zoo by the Alleniana Foundation, and opened May 1, 2007 in a new pavilion on the zoo's North Meadow.


The zoo is located southwest of Green Lake, and usually approached from Phinney Avenue or North 59th or 50th Streets. The park is open daily beginning at 9:30 am, until 4 pm October 1 through April 30, and 6 pm May 1 through September 30.


External links

* [http://www.zoo.org Woodland Park Zoo Web Site]
* [http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2007/06/01 RadioLab episode on 'Zoos' - First segment describes Woodland Park Zoo's first immersion exibit]

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