Monday, August 25, 2014

Two Buffalo Zoo Employees Recognized as Leaders in Their Field

Two of the Buffalo Zoo’s animal keepers have been appointed to leadership positions in their respective fields.

Penny Felski, the Zoo’s herpetological manager, was recently appointed to the amphibian taxon advisory group (TAG) steering committee for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.)

A TAG is responsible for the conservation of a certain species or group of species among AZA accredited institutions.

Felski participates in a number of reptile and amphibian conservation efforts including the Zoo’s Puerto Rican crested toad and hellbender head start programs.

Keeper Penny Felski. photo credit: Chris Baker
Joe Hauser, rhino keeper at the Zoo, was recently appointed to the International Rhino Keepers Association’s board of directors. The International Rhino Keepers Association (IRKA) is dedicated to the sharing of knowledge in relation to the five species of rhinoceros.

Hauser was implemental in the success of the artificial insemination procedure that led to the birth of the Zoo’s new baby rhino, Monica.

Keeper Joe Hauser. photo credit: Kelly Brown
“We’re very proud of Penny and Joe for their accomplishments,” said Donna Fernandes, President and CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “All of our keepers work incredibly hard to take care of the animals and do so much behind the scenes to advance the conservation of a number of endangered species. Penny and Joe are a great example of that.”

To learn more about AZA taxon advisory groups, visit  For information about IRKA, go to

Friday, August 15, 2014

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 16, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., shoppers at participating TopsFriendly 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: Kellogg’s Apple Jacks® and Froot Loops® or plain cereals; dog biscuits (all sizes); extracts and spices; peanut butter; plastic toys (Frisbees and balls); rawhide chews; Purina® Whisker Lickin’s® cat treats (soft); as well as a variety of other items. The items may be purchased at the following Tops locations:

  • 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 the 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 at

Friday, July 25, 2014

Early Entry for Zoo Members

The Buffalo Zoo has added a new membership perk for those who want to skip the lines that sometimes form at the admission gates during the summer season.

Members may enter the Zoo at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 2. Admission gates normally open at 10 a.m.

Watch the animals wake up as our Zoo staff prepares them and our buildings and grounds for a fun day ahead. Our Beastro concession stand will be open early so you can relax and enjoy your morning coffee with the animals.
Please note that this privilege is extended to MEMBERS ONLY. Be prepared with your valid Buffalo Zoo Membership card and a second form of identification. Membership admission windows will be open for anyone who needs to purchase or renew a membership that morning. For more information, please call the Zoo's membership office at (716) 995-6131.

Get ready to rise and shine with the animals!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Get Your Buffalo Zoo 2015 Wall Calendar Before They Sell Out!

The Women’s Board of the Buffalo Zoo is pleased to present the 2015 Buffalo Zoo Calendar.

The wall calendar showcases photos taken by participants in the Zoo’s annual photo contest. It features stunning full-color photos of the animals and highlights Zoo events as well as fun facts about all of the animals pictured.

This year’s calendar is priced at only $10 and includes $50 in valuable Zoo coupons!

It’s not too early to pick up these very popular calendars. 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.

There were only 500 calendars printed, and when they're gone, they're gone! Get yours today.

The Buffalo Zoo would like to thank our generous sponsors of the 2015 calendar:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baby Monkey from Buffalo Zoo is Hand Raised in Des Moines

A baby Japanese macaque who was abandoned by his mother at the Buffalo Zoo is being hand-raised by keepers at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa.

The baby, named Nikko, was born on June 5 at the Buffalo Zoo. Shortly after his birth, keepers noticed that his mother, six-year-old Yuki was not holding him. This indicated that the first-time-mom may not be caring for her newborn properly. Keeper staff retrieved the baby to warm him and give him fluids, and make sure he was healthy. After multiple attempts to reunite mother and baby, Zoo staff determined that the baby’s best chance at survival was to be hand-raised.

Nikko the Japanese macaque. Image courtesy of the Blank Park Zoo.

After reaching out to multiple Zoos with experience hand-raising Japanese macaques, officials in Buffalo learned that the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines had a baby born on the same day under similar circumstances. Keepers there agreed to raise the baby from Buffalo along with their newborn, a female named Anika.

On June 7, just two days after Nikko’s birth, a team of keepers from the Buffalo Zoo drove to Indiana to meet with a team from the Blank Park Zoo and hand-delivered Nikko to his new keepers.

Blank Park Zoo staff reports that Nikko is thriving in his new home with his surrogate sister Anika, and a third baby female who was born on June 16.

The babies are not yet on exhibit for the public, so officials at the Blank Park Zoo have set up a live webcam feed where viewers can watch the macaques play and grow over the next few weeks.

Watch live streaming video from wild_zoo_tv at

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Historic Birth of Indian Rhino at Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is celebrating the birth of a female Indian rhino calf produced by artificial insemination (AI.)
The baby rhino, weighing in at 144 pounds, was born to mother Tashi on June 5 at the Buffalo Zoo. She is the first offspring for a male rhino who never contributed to the genetics of the Indian rhino population during his lifetime – a major victory for endangered species around the world and a lifetime of work in the making.

Monica, the newborn Indian rhino calf. Photo by Kelly Brown - Registrar, Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo’s head rhino keeper, Joe Hauser, and veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Volle, worked closely with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) to plan and execute the successful AI procedure. The CREW team also assisted with monitoring and caring for Tashi during her 16 month gestation.

Tashi, the Buffalo Zoo’s 17-year-old female, has previously conceived and successfully given birth through natural breeding in both 2004 and 2008.  Unfortunately, her mate passed away and the Buffalo Zoo’s new male Indian rhino has not yet reached sexual maturity. Because long intervals between pregnancies in female rhinos can result in long-term infertility, keepers at the Buffalo Zoo knew it was critical to get Tashi pregnant again and reached out to CREW for its expertise.  

Photo Credit: Kelly Brown - Registrar, Buffalo Zoo

“We are excited to share the news of Tashi's calf with the world, as it demonstrates how collaboration and teamwork among AZA Zoos (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) are making fundamental contributions to rhino conservation,” said Dr. Monica Stoops, Reproductive Physiologist at the Cincinnati Zoo’s CREW. “It is deeply heartening to know that the Cincinnati Zoo's beloved male Indian rhino Jimmy will live on through this calf and we are proud that CREW's CryoBioBank™ continues to contribute to this endangered species survival.”

The calf’s father, Jimmy, died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2004 and was dead for nearly a decade before the AI procedure took place.  Over the course of those nine years, Jimmy’s sperm was stored at -320°F in CREW’s CryoBioBank™ in Cincinnati, before it was taken to Buffalo, thawed and used in the AI. 

Photo Credit: Kelly Brown - Registrar, Buffalo Zoo
 “Without Dr. Stoops’ dedication to the species, and to the development of AI science, there is no doubt this calf would not be here today,” said Hauser. “She has spent countless hours spear-heading research and technology for Indian rhino conservation and the Buffalo Zoo is excited to acknowledge that dedication and announce that the name of the calf is Monica.”

The successful birth demonstrates that AI science is a repeatable and valuable tool to help manage the captive Indian rhino population. With only 59 Indian rhinos in captivity in North America and approximately 2,500 remaining in the wild, being able to successfully introduce genetics that are non- or under-represented in the population is critical to maintaining the genetic diversity necessary to keep a population healthy and self-sustaining.

Dr. Donna Fernandes, president of the Buffalo Zoo, is very excited about the rhino birth. “We are always thrilled to welcome a new baby to the Zoo, but this birth is particularly exciting because the science involved is critical to saving endangered animals.  This type of professional collaboration among AZA Zoos is vital to the important work we do as conservation organizations,” she said.  The science behind the successful birth could be a boon to thousands of species across the globe that face extinction from habitat loss, poaching, and population fragmentation.

Mother and calf are both healthy and doing well. They will remain off exhibit for the public until rhino keepers are confident that little Monica can safely navigate the terrain of the Zoo’s rhino exhibit.

Baby Monica and mom Tashi. Photo by Kelly Brown - Registrar, Buffalo Zoo

Friday, May 30, 2014

Featured BuffaLoveFest Vendors: Woodwork Creations, Born In Buffalo, Desire Link, Jewelry By Rachel NY, Regina Rexford, and Road Kiln

Today's the day, BuffaLoveFest 2014! Here are the last featured vendors that will be here tonight selling their Buffalo-themed products and showing their Buffalo pride.

Woodwork Creations

1. How do you/your product embody "BuffaLove?"
My work enhances the symbols of the city and its teams.

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
I will be selling handmade wooden signs and ornaments of Buffalo and its sports teams. Also there will be some national sports memorialized in wood.

3. How does your business contribute to our community?
My business helps boost the image of our city.

Born In Buffalo

1. How do you/your product embody "BuffaLove?"
Our shirt designs embody the spirit and history of Buffalo. For years, we have focused on traditions and architecture in the city that has sometimes been forgotten but is making a come back; the grain elevators, the water front, the central terminal, etc.

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
We will be selling all of our best selling designs plus some of our brand new designs.

3. How does your business contribute to our community?
Our "Born In Buffalo" facebook page has over 60,000 followers. We are constantly promoting the city through posts, photos, events and outreach, allowing the many followers to stay connected to their hometown.

Desire Link

1. How do you/your products embody “BuffaLove?”
My products embody "BuffaLove" because not only do I love Buffalo, but I have several different designs that incorporate the theme of loving Buffalo

2.What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th? 
I will be selling various relief and silkscreen prints, as well as hand-stenciled Buffalo ornaments, and silkscreened t-shirts and tote bags, as well as many different designs of pinback buttons.

3. How does your business contribute to our community? 
My business contributes to the community by promoting the love of Buffalo through the various product designs.

Jewelry By Rachel NY

1. How do you/your products embody “BuffaLove?”
Jewelry By Rachel NY creates jewelry designs that are as unique and original as Buffalo! We create designs which embody our customer’s and the community’s individuality and creative spirit.

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
Jewelry By Rachel NY is known for creating quality, unique jewelry sets, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. All of our designs are one-of-a-kind. No jewelry set designs are duplicated!

3. How does your business contribute to our community?
Jewelry By Rachel NY makes donations to area fundraisers and/or benefits for organizations and individuals. We are always looking for ways to help out our community.

Regina Rexford

1. How do you/your products embody “BuffaLove?”
As a local artist, I design and fire my fused glass jewelry and small raku pottery in my sun porch studio in Cheektowaga.  I enjoy sharing the process with other local artists and exhibiting my creations among the many talented local artisans!

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
One of a kind fused glass jewelry and raku pottery- each jewelry piece is designed, fired, ground, fire-polished, then finished in either a setting or with a ready to wear bail. My pots are wheel-thrown, fired, then finished in the outdoor raku firing method.  

3. How does your business contribute to our community?
I have been fortunate to donate pieces of  my artwork to charitable organizations’ fundraising campaigns. It is also a wonderful feeling to see my jewelry worn and enjoyed by many, in our tight-knit community!

Road Kiln

1. How do you/your products embody “BuffaLove?”
My unique lines of jewelry have been created by using an American and English penny.  Many of the designs have a buffalo within the piece, helping to promote our love of Buffalo.

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
I will have men’s and women’s jewelry as well as wine charms.  Specifically, I will bring necklaces, bracelets, pins and earrings for women.  Men can purchase cuff links and lapel pins.  Wine charms make the perfect gift or look great on wine glasses at your own party.

3. How does your business contribute to our community? 
The products are upcycled from pennies and are a great way to show off our Buffalo pride.

Tickets for BuffaLoveFest will be available at the door! The event starts tonight at 5:30 p.m. See you there!