Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Zoo Choo Train will Offer Rides to Mall Shoppers This Winter!

The Buffalo Zoo’s “Zoo Choo Train” ride has been moved to the Eastern Hills Mall for the winter season.

The Zoo acquired the new train ride for the 2014 season, and it quickly became a favorite among Zoo visitors. The Wattman mini-express train features five cars, including a turn-of-the-century style engine and caboose. Zoo officials have teamed up with the Eastern Hills Mall to give the community an opportunity to enjoy the train during winter months.

The Zoo Choo Train will be open to mall visitors beginning on Wednesday in front of one of the mall’s anchor tenants, in the family attraction corridor. It will operate there until the end of March 2015.The cost per ride will be $2, and 100% of proceeds will be retained by the Buffalo Zoo.

“We are excited to partner with the Buffalo Zoo this holiday in welcoming the Zoo Choo train to the Eastern Hills Mall,” said Brandon Salinas, Business Development Manager for the Eastern Hills Mall. “It’s a wonderful added value for our guests, and supports a cultural icon of the Western New York Community.”


The Zoo Choo Train ride became a favorite among Zoo visitors this season!
“The ride became very popular among visitors this summer, and it seemed a shame that it would be put away for winter,” said Donna Fernandes, President & CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “The Eastern Hills Mall has graciously allocated space for us and offered to give all of the proceeds from the train back to the Zoo. We’re grateful for their partnership, and hope that families in Western New York will continue to enjoy the Zoo Choo Train at the mall until it comes back to the Zoo in the spring.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Animalpalooza!

by Courtney Macklin, animal keeper for the Buffalo Zoo

Animalpalooza at the Buffalo Zoo is an event being put on by the Zoo’s Training and Enrichment Committee. The main goal of the committee is to enhance the lives of the animals in our care. It gives the keepers a chance to share ideas, challenges, successes, and information as well as providing resources and supplies.

Usually, when people think of enrichment, they think treats and food, which is just one of many enrichment methods. During Animalpalooza, keepers will be teach visitors about the different types of enrichment activities, including exhibit design, sounds and smells, and training techniques. Training allows us to provide the animals with mental stimulation, exercise, and routine medical care. Training techniques are universal, and can be used on any animal. You can come to Animalpalooza and learn some basic animal training techniques that you can try on your pet dog, cat, or even fish!

Training sessions are used to enrich the lives of Zoo animals.

The event runs two days, November 28th and 29th, and will feature fall-themed enrichment for the animals, a training demo, bake sale, basket raffle, enrichment for kids, and more! It will be fun for the whole family and a great alternative to black Friday madness. All profits go to the committee and will benefit the animals.



Animalpalooza Schedule

Friday, November 28, 2014

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Bake sale in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Basket raffle in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Guess the pumpkin’s weight at the main entrance
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Enrichment activities for kids in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls lobby
11:00 a.m. – Get your photo taken with mascots Hank the rhino and Sam the hellbender in the reptile house
11:30 a.m. – Capybara enrichment and keeper talk in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls
12:00 p.m. – Elephant enrichment and keeper talk at the elephant house
12:30 p.m. – Meerkat enrichment and keeper talk at the meerkat exhibit (near gorillas)
1:00 p.m. – Rhino encounter at the rhino conservation station * $10
1:00 p.m. – Polar bear enrichment and keeper talk at the polarbear/tiger exhibit
1:30 p.m. – River otter enrichment and keeper talk at the River Otter Creek exhibit
2:00 p.m. – Herpetology enrichment and keeper talk in the reptile house
2:00 p.m. – Sheep training demonstration at Delta Sonic Heritage Farm
2:30 p.m. – Lion enrichment and keeper talk at the lion exhibit

Saturday, November 29, 2014

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Bake sale in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Basket raffle in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Guess the pumpkin’s weight at the main entrance
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Enrichment activities for kids in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls lobby
11:00 a.m. – Sea lion encounter and photo op * $25
11:30 a.m. – Anteater enrichment and keeper talk in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls
12:00 p.m. – Gorilla enrichment and keeper talk at the gorilla exhibit
12:30 p.m. – Meerkat enrichment and keeper talk at the meerkat exhibit (near gorillas)
1:00 p.m. – Rhino encounter at the rhino conservation station * $10
1:00 p.m. – Polar bear enrichment and keeper talk at the polarbear/tiger exhibit
1:30 p.m. – Elephant encounter at the elephant house * $10
1:30 p.m. – Sea lion encounter and photo op * $25
2:00 p.m. – Herpetology enrichment and keeper talk in the reptile house
2:00 p.m. – Sheep training demonstration at Delta Sonic Heritage Farm
2:30 p.m. – Lion enrichment and keeper talk at the lion exhibit


*Sign up and pre-pay for encounters at the front entrance.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Giraffe Born at the Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is celebrating the birth of a male giraffe.
                                                                                                                   
The yet-unnamed baby was born on Friday, October 24 to mother, 5-year-old A.J, and father, 3-year-old Moke. Both are first time parents.

The giraffe house will be closed temporarily, as A.J. takes some time to bond with her baby, and the herd adjusts to his presence. Zoo visitors will be able to enter the vestibule of the giraffe house and view the animals through the windows.

The gestation period of giraffes is around 15 months. Calves usually remain with their mothers until they are around 22 months old.  

Giraffes are native to the plains of Africa. The number of giraffes in the wild has dropped from 140,000 in 1999 to fewer than 80,000 today. The decreasing population is attributed to poaching, disease, and loss of natural habitat.


photo credit: Zoo registrar, Kelly Brown

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Time for Another Electronics Recycling Collection at the Zoo!

The Buffalo Zoo’s Earth Smart Squad will partner with Sunnking Inc. to host another electronics recycling collection event!


We held an event in April and it was very successful! We wanted to give Western New Yorkers another opportunity to get rid of some of some clutter while they're getting ready for the holiday season. 
                                                                        
The collection will take place on Saturday, November 15 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Zoo’s main parking lot off of Parkside Ave.

The Earth Smart Squad wants you to keep the planet in mind while you start preparing for the holidays. Electronic waste shouldn’t be thrown out with household trash. Some items may contain materials that are harmful to the environment, and most items can actually be recycled. Electronics recycling facilities are able to dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible way.

Items that will NOT be accepted include batteries, and large appliances.

Anyone who brings their unwanted electronics to the Zoo on November 15 will receive a coupon for $1 off Zoo admission on that day.

The Buffalo Zoo’s Earth Smart Squad’s mission is to be leaders in sustainability by inspiring our organization to reduce its carbon footprint, while empowering the community to engage in green practices.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Get Ready for Spooktacular Days!

Tickets are now available for Spooktacular Days at the Buffalo Zoo, a new Halloween event debuting this year.

Spooktacular Days will replace Howl-o-ween Hayrides at the Zoo.



Spooktacular Days at the Buffalo Zoo will take place on October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26. Activities will run from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Fridays, and 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, giving families the option to participate during either daytime or evening hours.

For the cost of regular Zoo admission, plus an additional $5, guests can partake in activities including indoor treat stations, Halloween-themed games, and free train and carousel rides. The experience will conclude with the fall favorites of donuts and apple cider.

Click here to purchase tickets, or call (800) 838-3006.

The event is designed to be fun and friendly rather than frightful. Spooktacular Days offer an early, safe, and fun Halloween experience for children of all ages!


The Spooktacular Days at the Zoo are sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets and 97 Rock.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zooper Saturday with Dallas the Sea Lion!

The Buffalo Zoo will hold a Zooper Saturday event featuring Dallas, the California sea lion.

Dallas the sea lion

Zoo visitors can learn all about sea lions and get to know Dallas and his keepers during a day of keeper talks and enrichment activities on Saturday, October 4th. A full schedule of activities follows.

  • 11 a.m – 2 p.m. – Face painting in NOCO Sea Lion Cove (rain location in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls)
  • 11 a.m. – Sea Lion demonstration in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 11:30 a.m. – Keeper talk in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 12 p.m. –  Sea Lion enrichment in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 1:30 p.m. – Photo encounters in NOCO Seal Lion Cove (pre-registration required)
  • 2 p.m. – Keeper talk in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 2:30 p.m. – Sea Lion demonstration in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 3 p.m. – Ice treat sea lion enrichment in NOCO Sea Lion Cove

Registration is required for the photo encounters. For a $25 fee, participants will be able to get up-close and personal with Dallas the sea lion, and receive a 4x6 photograph to take home. Anyone who wants to participate can register at the Zoo’s admission gates when they arrive. There are a limited number of reservations available.

Zooper Saturdays take place on the first Saturday of every month. Activities are free with regular Zoo admission.

For more information about the Zooper Saturday event, call (716) 995-6133.

The Buffalo Zoo thanks NOCO for their sponsorship of the Sea Lion Cove exhibit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meet Buffalo Bill Brandon Spikes at the Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo will host a special meet and greet with Buffalo Bills captain Brandon Spikes this weekend.

Spikes is partnering with the Zoo to chair their Adopt an Animal program. To kick off the partnership, he will make an appearance at the Zoo this Saturday, September 20, from 1:30 pm until 2:30 pm.

The Zoo will offer a special adoption package through the 2014-2015 football season, featuring a North American porcupine that the Zoo has named “Spikes” in honor of the Bills player.

Brandon Spikes bottle fed Spikes the porcupine at the Zoo earlier this month.

A limited edition adoption package will be available for only $10 during the event on Saturday. Anyone who purchases the package during the meet and greet will have an opportunity to have their adoption certificate autographed by Brandon Spikes.

The Buffalo Zoo has an annual grocery bill of around $250,000. The Zoo’s Adopt anAnimal program helps to pay for food for the animals throughout the year.