Friday, August 21, 2015

Come Play in Our New Nature Playground!

We've opened a brand new nature playground area for visitors!

The playground, which is located within the Zoo’s Delta Sonic Heritage Farm exhibit, is intended to encourage “nature play” among child visitors. Nature play is unstructured childhood play in wild areas. Studies show that there are many positive impacts of such play time on a child's social, emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being.

It is meant as a space for kids to figure out how they want to use the natural elements for unstructured play time,” said the Zoo’s Education Curator, Tiffany Vanderwerf. “As a conservation organization, the Buffalo Zoo wants to encourage nature play because studies also indicate that play in nature is the most common influence on the development of conservation values and behaviors. We LOVE that! It is right in line with our mission. We're sure it will be super popular. Kids and parents asked us about the area every day while it was being built and couldn't wait to come back to try it out.

The new nature playground features a hollow log for crawling, a sand dig pit, log balance beams, a log stepping garden, and log tables and chairs for resting and quiet play. Most of the materials were sourced locally from fallen trees at the Zoo, or locations nearby. The giant hollow log was donated by Tree Care of New York.

The play space was made possible through a grant from Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium, a collaboration between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and The Walt Disney Company to provide financial, logistical, and creative support to zoos and aquariums seeking to increase or enhance family-centered nature experiences in their communities.

The nature playground is free with regular Zoo admission.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The 2016 Calendar Features ZOO BABIES!

The Buffalo Zoo’s 2016 wall calendar is now available for purchase.

The wall calendar, presented by the Women’s  Board of the Buffalo Zoo, showcases photos taken by participants in the Zoo’s annual photo contest. It features stunning full-color photos of the animals and highlights a recent baby boom, Zoo events, and fun facts about all of the animals pictured.

This year’s calendar is priced at only $10 and includes $50 in coupons for discounts on Zoo admission, membership, concessions, gift shop purchases, birthday parties, and more!

It’s not too early to pick up these very popular calendars, which sold out last year. They are available in the Zootique gift shop or by calling (716) 995-6131. All proceeds from the wall calendars will benefit the Zoo’s Adopt-an-Animal program, a dedicated funding source which provides food for the animals.

The 2016 Buffalo Zoo wall calendar is sponsored by:

Bob & John's La Hacienda/The Wellington Pub
Christopher Scinta Photography
Daily Planet Coffee Company
Fairy Cakes Cupcakery
Fleet Feet
Johnny's Meats
Market on Elmwood
Michael Donnelly Interiors & Gallery
Mighty Moe's
Savory Sips / Daisy’s Dog House
Talking Leaves
The Tree House Toy Store

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Shop for the Zoo Animals at Tops Friendly Markets

Help fill the pantry for the Buffalo Zoo’s animals this fall and winter! On Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., shoppers at participating Tops Friendly Markets locations will have the opportunity to purchase an extra gift for the Zoo to help keep the animals happy and healthy.

After selecting items from the Zoo’s grocery wish list, which will be provided at each location, shoppers can leave their gift with a Zoo volunteer in the store lobby. All of these generous donations will then be used as special enrichment treats to promote the animals’ natural behaviors and to stimulate them physically and mentally.

Requested grocery items include: whole grain, low sugar cereals; dog biscuits (all sizes); canned dog food, canned cat food, extracts and spices; peanut butter; plastic toys (Frisbees and balls); rawhide chews; soft cat treats; as well as a variety of other items. Participating Tops locations include:

  • TOPS Friendly Markets 2101 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo  NY  14207
  • TOPS Friendly Markets S 6150 South Park Ave. Hamburg NY 14075
  • TOPS Friendly Markets 1740 Sheridan Dr. Buffalo  NY  14223
  • TOPS Friendly Markets 2351 Maple Rd. Williamsville  NY  14221

With an annual grocery bill of $250,000, providing food and treats for more than 1,200 animals at the Zoo is a tremendous task. The Buffalo Zoo wishes to thank shoppers in advance for helping the animals and supporting Tops Friendly Markets, one of the Zoo’s most generous sponsors!

For more information about the Zoo’s annual adoption program, please call (716) 995-6131 or visit us online!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Zoo Adds Downtown Stops for Zoofari Shuttle Service

The Buffalo Zoo has added two downtown stops to the Zoofari shuttle service schedule to tap into the Buffalo tourism market.

Last month, the Zoo announced partnerships with Medaille College and Nichols School to make ancillary parking lots available for patrons. The Zoo also unveiled a new Zoofari shuttle bus which will run between the Medaille lot and the Zoo’s main entrance.

In addition to the Medaille parking lot to manage overflow parking, the shuttle will now make morning and afternoon pick-ups at the Hilton Garden Inn Buffalo in Lafayette Square, and the Hyatt Regency at Fountain Plaza. Zoo officials hope that these two stops will be accessible to tourists staying at many of downtown’s most popular hotels.

“Tourism in Buffalo is expanding rapidly,” noted the Zoo’s marketing manager, Todd Geise. “We want to be a part of that expansion and excitement. We’re adding shuttle stops downtown for tourists who are looking for a nice way to spend an afternoon in Buffalo with their families, in addition to whatever else has brought them to visit our city.”

The Zoo has also made Zoo admission tickets available for purchase at hotels including the Hilton Garden Inn, Comfort Suites, Embassy Suites, Courtyard Mariott, Hyatt Regency, and the Hampton Inn.

The Zoofari Shuttle runs Friday through Sunday. A complete schedule for the Zoofari Shuttle follows.

For additional information about parking options at the Zoo, or the Zoofari schedule, visit or the Zoo’s Facebook page.


Hilton Garden Inn

Hyatt Regency















Medaille Drop-off FINAL

Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn
Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Help Buy the Animals Lunch!

The Buffalo Zoo invites patrons to support the animals by buying them lunch.

The Buffalo Zoo has an annual grocery bill over $250,000 to feed over 1,400 animal
residents. During the month of July, Zoo visitors will have the opportunity to help cover that cost and “buy the animals lunch!”

Throughout the month of July, Zoo visitors can choose to add $1 to their Zoo admission, food, gift shop, or membership purchases. All proceeds will benefit the Adopt-an-Animal program and will be used to purchase food for the Zoo’s animal residents.

In addition to the “Buy the Animals Lunch” summer campaign, animal adoptions are
available year-round. Several adoption levels, starting at $25 with corresponding benefits are available. Participants can choose their own favorite animal to support or purchase a gift adoption to help make a difference.

For more information about the Zoo’s adoption program, please call (716) 995-6131 or visit the Zoo online.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stay Late on Fridays in July & August

The Buffalo Zoo will offer extended hours every Friday in July and August for our Ferocious Fridays series.

During Ferocious Fridays, admission gates will remain open until 7:30 p.m. every Friday in July and August. Visitors and their families can remain on grounds until 8:30 p.m. to enjoy the Zoo and observe the animals during the evening hours.

First Niagara customers will receive a discount admission price of $5 per person after 3 p.m. when they present their First Niagara Bank debit or credit card at the admission gates. Discount coupons for all Zoo visitors are available in select WNY print publications.

Ferocious Fridays at the Buffalo Zoo are presented by First Niagara.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Check Out the New Zoofari Shuttle!

The Buffalo Zoo today unveiled a brand new custom-designed “Zoofari” shuttle during a media event.

The Zoofari shuttle will run between the Zoo and a parking lot at Medaille College on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Zoo announced last week that it has partnered with Nichols School and Medaille College to make additional nearby parking available. Parking in these overflow lots and the shuttle service will be free for Zoo visitors.

During the announcement, Zoo President & CEO, Dr. Donna Fernandes emphasized the Zoo’s focus on customer service. She said, “We have long-recognized that we face a parking challenge as a result of […] growth. Because parking is a first step to customer satisfaction, we are happy to have established partnerships with Nichols School, Medaille College, and MASH Urgent Care to help us better serve our customers.”

The custom-designed Zoofari shuttle is wrapped in a full color graphic that features some of the Zoo’s most popular animal residents, including lions, zebras, giraffes, and gorillas. The shuttle’s graphic wrap was sponsored by MASH Urgent Care. 

Shuttle Schedule:

Medaille Lot
11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m.
12:10 p.m.
12:40 p.m.
1:10 p.m.
1:40 p.m.
2:20 p.m.*
*Last shuttle to Zoo

Zoo Entrance
1:00 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
2:10 p.m.
2:40 p.m.
3:10 p.m.
3:40 p.m.
4:10 p.m.
4:45 p.m.**
**Last shuttle to Medaille