Friday, February 5, 2016

Family Valentine's Day Zooper Saturday!

The Buffalo Zoo will hold a Family Valentine’s Day event this weekend, as part of the Zooper Saturday series.

Spend some quality time together and show some love to the animals during the Zoo’s Family Valentine’s Day event! The event runs from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 6.

Guests can take advantage of the Zoo’s “Polar Bear Days” promotion, presented by First Niagara Bank, and visit the Zoo for a reduced admission rate of just $5 per person.

The Valentine’s Day Zooper Saturday event will feature animal demonstrations, keeper talks, and enrichment activities for the animals. You can even make a Valentine card for a family member, friend, or your favorite Zoo animal! A full schedule of activities follows:

  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Make a Valentine's card in the EcoStation
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Face painting in the EcoStation
  • 11 a.m. – Primate activity at M&T Bank Rainforest Falls exhibit
  • 11:30 a.m. – Anteater activity at M&T Bank Rainforest Falls exhibit 
  • 12 p.m. – River otter enrichment at Otter Creek, presented by 2FindYourHome
  • 12:30 p.m. – Tiger activity at tiger exhibit
  • 1:30 p.m. – Gorilla activity in the gorilla house
  • 2 p.m. – Sea Lion activity at Sea Lion Cove, presented by NOCO
  • 3 p.m. – Keeper talk in the reptile house, sponsored by GEICO

Zooper Saturdays are held on the first Saturday of every month at the Buffalo Zoo. Zooper Saturday activities are free with regular admission and feature a different animal group or theme each month. Free parking continues through February 29.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Buffalo Zoo Will Offer Admission Discount During February

The Buffalo Zoo has partnered with First Niagara Bank to offer a reduced admission rate during the month of February.

From February 1 through 29, admission to the Zoo will cost only $5 per person (admission for members is always free). The Zoo is calling the promotion “Polar Bear Days” in recognition of International Polar Bear Day, which is celebrated on February 27.

The Buffalo Zoo will celebrate International Polar Bear Day on February 27 by issuing a “thermostat challenge.” In order to raise awareness about climate change, the Zoo will encourage the community to reduce carbon emissions by turning their thermostats down a few degrees. This is the kind of small change that can have a big impact on climate change, and help to save polar bears in the wild.

First Niagara is proud to partner with the Buffalo Zoo and support their efforts to enhance conservation, education and environmental initiatives in our community,” said Scott Fisher, First Niagara Managing Director of Retail Channels. “We encourage the public to visit the Zoo in the month of February and see all that the Zoo has to offer.”

The Polar Bear Days admission discount will encourage the community to enjoy the Zoo’s new exhibit, Arctic Edge, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, in colder weather; and to observe the animals, including the popular polar bears, in the snow.

For more information about Zoo’s Polar Bear Days promotion, visit the Zoo’s Facebook page.

The promotion is made possible through generous support from First Niagara Bank.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Celebrate Surapa's Birthday with us This Saturday!

The Buffalo Zoo will celebrate the 33rd birthday of Surapa the elephant!

The special birthday event will take place this Saturday, January 16 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will be free with regular Zoo admission.

There will be a variety of family-friendly activities in and around the Zoo’s elephant barn near the main entrance. Visitors will be able sign up for encounters with the birthday girl, watch her receive birthday gifts, and more. Elephant art work will be available for purchase, and elephant artifacts will be on display in the gorilla vestibule.

The complete schedule follows:

  • 11 a.m. – Birthday presents for Surapa at the elephant barn
  • 11:30 a.m. Elephant keeper talk 
  • 1:30 p.m. – Elephant encounter (visitors may sign up at the main entrance)
  • (All day - Elephant painting sessions and training sessions!)

Surapa is an Asian elephant. Zoo officials estimate that she was born in January of 1983.

Activities are subject to change due to weather conditions or animal concerns.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Buffalo Zoo Welcomes First Baby of 2016: A Gorilla

The Buffalo Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a baby western lowland gorilla.

The baby was born on Sunday, January 10 at 11:04 p.m. to mother, 18-year-old Sydney, and father, 28-year-old Koga. Sydney has displayed strong maternal instincts and is taking great care of the troop’s latest addition. Keepers have not been able to get close enough to the baby to determine its gender. Both mother and baby are doing well.

The baby will join the gorilla troop, including the parents, big sister Amari, half sister Nyah, and Nyah’s mother, Lily. During this sensitive time, the gorillas will be given access to their interior holding areas, should they desire more privacy. Visitors are advised that the gorillas may not always be visible, but are encouraged to check back often!

During Sydney’s pregnancy, the keeper staff at the Buffalo Zoo was able to monitor the baby’s growth using ultrasound technology. She had been trained to present her abdomen to keepers and remain calm during the ultrasound process, so she did not need to be anesthetized in order to obtain images of the fetus

The gestation period of gorillas is eight and a half months. Gorillas begin walking when they are between three and six months of age, and are weaned around three years of age.

Western lowland gorillas are found in the lowland tropical forests of central Africa. The species is critically endangered due to loss of habitat as well as the bush meat trade.

Monday, January 11, 2016

New Event "Arctic White Out" Will Replace Polar Bites

Tickets are now available for “Arctic White Out,” a brand new wintertime fundraiser benefiting the Buffalo Zoo, presented by Inspire Dental Group.

The inaugural Arctic White Out will take place at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center on Thursday, February 18 from 6 p.m – 9 p.m. The cocktail party-style event will replace the long-running “Polar Bites” sampling event.

“There are so many sampling-style fundraiser events in Buffalo now, and we really wanted to change things up and offer something a little more unique,” said the Zoo’s events manager, Katie Jordan. “We’ve already received lots of positive feedback from local companies and vendors who want to participate. We think it’s going to be a popular addition to the Zoo’s schedule of events.”

Arctic White Out will be an all white (attire) cocktail party featuring the best in local winter indulgences. There will be spirit tastings and a signature cocktail from local vodka brand 1812, a Tom & Jerry station, ice wine samplings from Chateau des Charmes, visits from Zoo animals, dancing, auctions, an indoor snow fall, and more winter-themed fun.

Tickets to the event are $50 and include a complimentary welcome cocktail, catered hors d'oeuvres, and parking. The ticket price will increase to $60 the day of the event. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for $100 each, which include a reserved lounge area and an open bar.

Purchase your tickets online or by calling (716) 995-6133.
Attendees must be 21 or older.

The Buffalo Zoo thanks Arctic White Out sponsors Inspire Dental Group, Try-It Distributing, MASH Urgent Care, M&T Bank, and 1812 Vodka.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Warm Up with the Cold-Blooded This Saturday!

The Buffalo Zoo will hold a “Warm Up with the Cold-Blooded” event on Saturday.

Families looking for a unique wintertime experience with the kids this weekend can get out of the cold and enjoy some fun at the Zoo. The special animal event will take place in the Zoo’s historic reptile house, sponsored by Geico. Programming and activities will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 9 and will feature some of the Zoo’s reptiles and amphibians. The event is free with regular Zoo admission. A full schedule of activities follows.
  •  11 a.m. - 4 p.m – Raffles, crafts, face painting, bake sale, and hot chocolate 
  • (while supplies last)
  • 11 a.m. – Snake handling demonstration and photo op (featuring Jamaican boa)
  • 11:30 a.m. – Venomous and non-venomous snake feedings
  • 12 p.m. – Get your picture taken with SAM the hellbender and the Geico Gecko
  • 12:30 p.m. – Amphibian keeper talk and up-close encounter (featuring Puerto Rican crested toads and Panamanian golden frogs)
  • 1 p.m. – Meet the Behind-the-Scenes Reptile House babies!
  • 1:30 p.m. – Guess the weight contest (animal art prize)
  • 2 p.m. – Heloderm feeding and demo (featuring beaded lizards and gila monster)
  • 2:30 p.m. – Reptile keeper talk, encounter, and photo op
  • 3 p.m. – Raffle winners announced (need not be present to win)
  • 3:30 p.m. – Hellbender keeper talk and demonstration

Some of the animal artwork you could win at Warm Up with the Cold Blooded

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Buffalo Zoo to Receive Funds Raised for Giraffe Structure

The Buffalo Zoo will receive funds raised from a raffle campaign on New Years Eve during a check presentation ceremony and name drawing to determine the winner of a new car.

The “Share a Little Shade” raffle campaign was organized and managed by Community Papers of Western New York (CPOWNY). The Zoo was approached by CPOWNY early in 2015 to launch a campaign to raise $25,000 needed for a shade structure for the giraffe yard.

Throughout 2015, CPOWNY readers and members of the Western New York community purchased raffle tickets for the chance to win a one-year lease from Towne MINI, or $5,000 cash. A giraffe-wrapped MINI Cooper made multiple appearances at the Zoo, as well as taking center stage at regional events throughout the year to draw participants for the raffle. The raffle entries were in the thousands and exceeded the $25,000 goal.  The structure will be installed in the Zoo’s giraffe yard in 2016.

The winning name will be drawn at Towne MINI (8240 Main St.) in Williamsville on Thursday, December 31 at 10:30 a.m. Representatives from the Zoo will be present for the event and presented with a check for the funds raised. The winner will also be announced via the Zoo’s social media platforms.

“The fundraising efforts for this project would not have been successful without the help of CPOWNY and their readers,” said Buffalo Zoo President & CEO Donna M. Fernandes, PhD. “We are so very grateful to them as well as Towne MINI, Lamar Advertising, and Paula’s Donuts. Their tireless efforts helped to raise the funds we needed for this important project.”

The structure is an improvement recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation; education; science; and recreation, by means of an accreditation process every five years.