Monday, February 28, 2011

Buffalo Zoo—Revised Hours

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Zoo will once again be open seven days a week beginning Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Visitors can enjoy the Zoo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The grounds remain open for one hour after gates close.

The Buffalo Zoo’s parking fee has also resumed. The fee is $3.50 for cars (with a portion of the proceeds going toward conservation projects) and $6.00 for buses.

For more information, please call (716) 837-3900.

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Polar Bites 2011 a Huge Success!

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Zoo and the Pro Zoo Board are proud to announce that Polar Bites 2011, held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, was a huge success as more than $30,000 was raised for the Zoo.

This ever-growing annual event featured food, beer, wine and specialty services from 45 of the area’s finest establishments. Other highlights of the evening included a basket auction, silent auction and visits with some of the Zoo’s animal ambassadors. The Zoo wishes to thank Phillips Lytle, LLC, Creditors Interchange, M&T Bank, 97 Rock, Classic Hits 104.1, Fox 29, My TV and Buffalo Spree for their generous sponsorship of the event.

Celebrity judges voted for their favorite selections falling under eight different categories:


Award Vendor

Best Beer Flying Bison

Best Dessert Bravo! Cucina Italiana

Best EntrĂ©e Lebro’s Restaurant

Most Unusual Fare Templeton Landing Restaurant & Events

Best Presentation Rich’s Catering

Best of Show The Wine Thief Bar & Restaurant

Best Wine Passport Wine & Spirits

Best Specialty Vendor Spa Go of WNY

The following is a list of generous participants:


Boston Beer Co. Passport Wine & Liquor

Bravo! Cucina Italiana Photo Booths for Fun

Brodo Pizza Plant Italian Pub

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Quick Caricatures by Tom Baldwin

CJ's Sundae Bar Rich's Catering

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Rich's Dessert Builders

Creekview Restaurant Risa's Restaurant

Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars Saranac

Flying Bison Brewing Company Seneca Niagara Spa & Salon

Fulkerson Winery Southern Wine & Spirits

Global Group Wine & Spirits Spa Go of WNY

Greek Goddess Products, Inc. The Gourmet Store

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill Templeton Landing Restaurant & Events

Johnson Estate Winery The Melting Pot Restaurant

Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream The Tonawanda Castle

Lake Placid Craft Beers The Wine Thief

Lebro's Restaurant Vetter Vineyards

Long Trail Brewing Company VOS Selections

Merritt Estate Winery White Springs Farm Estate Winery

Niagara Landing Wine Cellars Willow Creek Winery

NorthAmerican Breweries Wilson Farms

Old Orchard Inn Yancey’s Fancy

Panera Bread

Celebrity Judges

Joe Arena, WIVB-TV/Channel 4

Russ Burton, WGRF-FM/97 Rock

Elizabeth Carey, Business First

Jim Fink, Business First

Andrew Galarneau, The Buffalo News

Dennis Gallagher, Buffalo Rocket

Laura Gray, WKBW-TV/Channel 7

Melissa Holmes, WIVB-TV/Channel 4

Chris Klein, WGRF-FM/97 Rock

Jane Kwiatkowski, The Buffalo News

Heather Ly, WGRZ-TV/Channel 2

Aaron Mentkowski, WKBW-TV/Channel 7

Jarod Miller, Animal Exploration With Jarod Miller

Marc Odien,

Ron Plants, WGRZ-TV/Channel 2

Mark Sommer, The Buffalo News

Jon Summers, WKBW-TV/Channel 7

John Zach, WBEN 930AM

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Think Spring and Get your Zoo membership for 2011

Become a Member.

By becoming a Buffalo Zoo member you'll receive a year round pass to great animal adventures enlightening educational programs and sensational special events.
Every visit to the Zoo is a unique experience that awakens your senses. With a Buffalo Zoo membership you may visit the Zoo as often as you like - and your admission is absolutely FREE. Most importantly, you’ll be helping to preserve some of the world’s most precious inhabitants - our remarkable animal collection.

Apply Online!

All members receive the following:

When purchasing your membership consider joining at a higher membership level. Upper membership level categories will receive extra benefits.

$40 Individual
Covers only the person whose name appears on the card.

$55 Individual PLUS
Five FREE parking vouchers, five FREE carousel rides, five FREE train rides. Allows you ONE additional guest EACH visit.

$50 Grandparents
Covers two grandparents and up to five grandchildren on each visit.

$60 Grandparents PLUS
Five FREE parking vouchers, five FREE carousel rides, five FREE train rides. Allows you ONE additional guest EACH visit.

$65 Family
Covers two adults and their children (to 21 years of age) residing in the household.

$80 Family PLUS
Five FREE parking vouchers, five FREE carousel rides, five FREE train rides. Allows you ONE additional guest EACH visit.

$125 Supporting
Same as Family PLUS - PLUS...Zoo tote bag, Annual Report recognition. Allows you TWO additional guests EACH visit.

$250 Sponsor
Same as Supporting PLUS...Zoo note paper, invitation to Thank You Reception.

Save BIG by joining for more than one year

Membership Category

1 Year

2 Years

3 Years





Individual Plus








Grandparents Plus








Family Plus




The Buffalo Zoo offers a wide variety of membership categories and many valuable membership benefits.

If you have any questions about membership, e-mail us or call us at (716) 995-6131. Office hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 p.m. Thank you.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bundle Up for the Polar Bears

Bundle-Up02Calling all school administrators, faculty and students! Wear your favorite sweater, hoodie or jacket to school on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, and help save polar bears!

The Buffalo Zoo, in conjunction with Polar Bears International (PBI), is launching the “Bundle Up For Polar Bears” initiative to encourage local action on a worldwide conservation issue.

We are requesting that schools lower their thermostats by two degrees on this date to lower carbon emissions. Reducing our carbon footprint can slow and even reverse the climate changes which are causing sea ice to melt. Sea ice Polar-Bear-Hug02is a necessity for polar bears as they use it for hunting.

By bundling up in your favorite warm clothing, you’ll “bearly” notice the cooler temperature in your school…AND you’ll raise awareness on what we can all do to make a difference in preserving the future of polar bears!

For more information, please call (716) 995-6128. To register your school so we can track participation and count up the carbon emissions you save, please complete our Online Registration Form.

Once you are registered, you will receive follow-up information, including a Bundle Up poster, as well as a link to the Flickr photo site. After March 1, you can upload your school’s Bundle Up photos to this site so others across the country can see the involvement of Western New York students in this program!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Buffalo Zoo’s Snow Leopard Cubs To Move to the Chahinkapa Zoo

Ketu and Makalu, the Buffalo Zoo’s two male snow leopard cubs, will find a new home at the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, North Dakota.

The cubs will leave the Buffalo Zoo early Thursday morning and travel by truck to North Dakota. The Chahinkapa Zoo’s curator, Tom Schmaltz, will accompany the cubs and monitor them throughout the trip to ensure they arrive safely.

The transfer was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to help secure the future of threatened and endangered species. Breeding recommendations are made after the SSP management committee evaluates the ages and relatedness of all the individual animals of a species in captivity to ensure the population remains genetically diverse and demographically stable. Additionally, zoos and aquariums participating in SSP programs collaborate to move animals to other AZA-accredited facilities where space is available for exhibition and breeding.

The Chahinkapa Zoo will serve as a holding institution for the snow leopards for at least five years until they are able to enter breeding recommendations. The cubs will be exhibited together, and Chahinkapa Zoo visitors will be able to view them beginning on April 30, 2011 when the Zoo reopens for the season.

“We are very excited to welcome Ketu and Makalu to our zoo,” said Chahinkapa Zoo Director, Kathy Diekman. “We’re certainly pleased to collaborate with the Buffalo Zoo and participate in this very important program.”

“It’s always sad when our animals, especially young ones, move on to other facilities,” said Buffalo Zoo President/CEO, Dr. Donna Fernandes. “However, we have to keep in mind that this benefits the species as a whole, and in that regard, we are happy that our cubs are growing into healthy adults that will hopefully help contribute to their species’ future.”

Buffalo Zoo visitors will still be able to view the cubs’ mother, Annapurna, and their father, Dwaine. To ensure genetic diversity within the captive population of snow leopards, another breeding recommendation for the pair is not expected for another few years. (Please note that before the cubs leave on Thursday, Buffalo Zoo visitors will have another chance to see the cubs. They will be on exhibit this Wednesday from approximately 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.)

Found in the high mountains of Central Asia, including the Himalayas, Altai and HinduKush, snow leopards are solitary animals that typically only come together for breeding. Snow leopard cubs open their eyes at seven to nine days, eat solid food at two months and follow their mother on hunts at three months. Snow leopards are highly endangered due to poaching for the fur trade, loss of habitat, dam projects and a loss of food sources.

About the Buffalo Zoo

Founded in 1875, the Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the United States. The Buffalo Zoo welcomes more than 450,000 visitors each year and is the most visited attraction in Erie County. Located on 23.5 acres of Olmsted's beautiful Delaware Park, the Buffalo Zoo houses approximately 1,000 endangered and exotic animals and offers visitors a variety of events and educational programs year-round. The Buffalo Zoo’s philosophy is to exhibit animals and plants in naturalistic settings that represent their native habitats. The Zoo is dedicated to providing visitors with a better understanding of nature, including how animals relate to each other, their environment and to humankind. For more information, please visit

About the Chahinkapa Zoo

Chahinkapa Zoo proudly adheres to its mission of Wildlife Education, Environmental Conservation and Family Recreation. Home to over 300 animals representing 70 species and six continents, Chahinkapa Zoo seeks to accomplish its mission by: Providing high quality animal care and serving as a wildlife rehabilitation center; Developing a safe, natural and healthy habitat for each species; Providing our visitors with a clean, green and natural setting; and Presenting educational programs to enhance understanding and respect for wildlife. Founded in 1933, Chahinkapa Zoo has promoted “Conservation through education” for over 78 years and has been AZA accredited since 1995. For more information, please visit

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine’s Day-Themed Activities at the Buffalo Zoo:

Family Valentine’s Day AND Sea Lion Kiss Encounters!

Have some fun with your loved ones at the Buffalo Zoo with Buffalo Zoo’s Family Valentine’s Day event on Sunday, February 13, 2011!

The event will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Enjoy animal enrichment activities and making cards for your family and friends (or even your favorite animal at the Zoo!). Activities are FREE with Zoo admission.

For more information, please call (716) 995-6133, or visit the Zoo’s website at

The event schedule is as follows:

12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Valentine’s Day card-making crafts (Activity will take place inside the education department’s Children’s Resource Center.)

The following animals are receiving a special Valentine’s Day enrichment at their exhibit:

12:00 p.m. Rainforest Animals (inside M&T Bank Rainforest Falls)

12:30 p.m. Snow Leopards

1:00 p.m. River Otters

1:30 p.m. Snakes (inside Reptile House)

2:00 p.m. Bears

2:30 p.m. California Sea Lions

Sea Lion Encounters

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet Pocus, one of the Zoo’s two male California sea lions, and his keepers on select dates in February. For $20 per person, each participant will have the chance to have a Valentine’s Day-inspired photo taken with Pocus behind-the-scenes inside the holding area at NOCO’s Sea Lion Cove. Participants can choose to receive a kiss from Pocus or pose next to him as a “trainer” holding a target pole. Photos sessions will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on February 12. On February 13, as part of the Family Valentine’s Day celebration, photos with Pocus will be at 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The minimum age requirement for participants is 6 years. Each session is limited to 15 guests and begins promptly. Reservations can be made by calling the Zoo’s Switchboard Operator at (716) 837-3900 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Sea Lion Valentine's Photos

Get your Valentine photo taken with Pocus behind-the-scenes inside the holding area at Noco's Sea Lion Cove. For $20, you can choose to receive a kiss from Pocus or post next to him as a "trainer" holding a target pole. These sessions are limited to 15 guests, so don't wait.

The photo sessions are February 5, 6, and 12 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and on February 13 at 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Participants have to be at least six years old. Reservations can be made by calling the Zoo's switchboard operator at (716) 837-3900 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jungle Love Tickets on Sale Now! Friday, February 11, 2011

Join Buffalo Zoo President/CEO, Donna M. Fernandes, Ph.D., on Friday, February 11, 2011 for a fun, enlightening lesson on Promiscuity and Infidelity in the Animal Kingdom. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and the lecture will run from approximately 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The cost of the program is $15 for non-members and $12 for Zoo members. Tickets are non-refundable, and reservations are required. Wine and cheese will be provided in the Zoo’s Children’s Resource Center, which is located in the education department. Due to the nature of this presentation, the program is only open to mature audiences (ages 21 years and older). Register online at, or call (716) 995-6133 today!

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