Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Zooper Saturday Event Featuring the River Otters and Big Cats, Saturday, March 3, 2012

Buffalo, NY – Come see the Buffalo Zoo’s river otters and fine felines in action!

Enjoy enrichment for the animals and keeper talks about these species. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and activities (with the exception of raffles) are free with Zoo admission. River otters will be featured from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and the cats will be featured from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

For more information, please call the Events Coordinator at (716) 995-6133 or visit

The event schedule is as follows:

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Face Painters (Face painting will take place inside the EcoStation exhibit.)

11:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. Raffles ($1 per ticket or $2 for three tickets)
Photo raffle (river otter): Front gate
Raffle items (big cats): EcoStation
You do not have to be present to win.

River Otters:

11:15 a.m.                    Keeper question and answer session

11:30 a.m.                    Fish feed

12:00 p.m.                    Feeder toy enrichment for the otters

12:30 p.m.                    Raffle winners announced

12:45 p.m.                    Ice treat enrichment for the otters

Big Cats

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.   Help keepers make enrichment for the cats

1:00 p.m.                      Lion enrichment

1:30 p.m.                      Tiger Enrichment

2:00 p.m.                      Serval demonstration

2:30 p.m.                      Snow leopard enrichment

2:45 p.m.                      Raffle winners announced

3:00 p.m.                      Visitor-made enrichment given to lions/tigers
This event is part of the Zoo’s new “Zooper Saturdays.” On the first Saturday of every month, different areas of the Zoo will be highlighted for visitors to enjoy. Join us for activities, including animal enrichments, health fairs, raffles and more each month! These events will combine some of your old favorites and even spice them up with new offerings, too, so be sure you don’t miss out! The next Zooper Saturday event will be held on Saturday, April 7 (our Ape-ril event) and will feature the Buffalo Zoo’s Western lowland gorilla troop.

Buffalo Zoo—Revised Hours

Buffalo, NY – Please note the Buffalo Zoo will once again be open seven days a week beginning Thursday, March 1, 2012. 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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Help Amphibians Leap Ahead of Extinction! February 29, 2012

Buffalo, NY – Celebrate Leap Day in a unique way! Join the Buffalo Zoo, in conjunction with the conservation group, Amphibian Ark, in participating in the international event, “Leaping Ahead of Extinction: A celebration of good news for amphibians in 2012!”

On Leap Day (Wednesday, February 29), nature lovers are invited to come to the Buffalo Zoo to learn more about the Zoo’s involvement in amphibian conservation and what we can all do to help protect these species. From 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., the Zoo will offer keeper talks, animal enrichment and conservation-related activities.

Amphibians (frogs, toads, newts and salamanders) are in need of our help because they are one of the most imperiled groups of living organisms. For every one species of bird or mammal that has declining populations, there are two to three amphibian species that face extinction in the wild. Amphibians are also considered by scientists to be environmental indicators. If amphibian populations die off, it not only affects the food chain but also raises red flags on what might be occurring in a given environment.

More than 55 institutions from 17 countries, including the United States, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia and Ecuador, are participating in the celebration, initiated by Amphibian Ark.

For more information about the international event, please visit For information about the Buffalo Zoo’s event, please call (716) 995-6133.

The Buffalo Zoo and Amphibian Ark thank you for doing your part in helping to save amphibians!

About Amphibian Ark
Amphibian Ark was founded in 2006 by the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Its mission is facilitating partnerships that ensure the global survival of amphibians, focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature. For more information, please visit

About the Buffalo Zoo
Founded in 1875, the Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the United States. 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 is also involved in a variety of conservation projects, including projects that relate to amphibians. These projects include: sending Buffalo Zoo keepers to assist amphibian keepers at a facility located in El Valle, Panama to help treat frogs collected from the wild that are suffering from chytrid fungus; breeding Puerto Rican crested toads and then sending tadpoles to Puerto Rico to be released into the wild to help repopulate the species; and working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to collect eastern hellbender eggs and hatch them, rear the hellbenders and then release them back into the wild once they have reached a certain size.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Join us in the Buffalo Zoo’s “Bundle Up For Polar Bears” Initiative! February 27 – March 16, 2012

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Zoo, in conjunction with the conservation group Polar Bears International (PBI), invites the Western New York community to participate in this year’s national “Bundle Up For Polar Bears” initiative!
Beginning on International Polar Bear Day (February 27), the Zoo is asking schools, organizations, businesses and families to turn down the thermostat by two degrees on one or more dates between February 27 and March 16 to lower carbon emissions and help save polar bears. Participants are invited to “bundle up” in their favorite warm clothing to help raise awareness on this worldwide conservation issue.
Reducing our carbon footprint can slow and even reverse climate changes, which cause sea ice to melt. Sea ice is a necessity for polar bears as they use it for hunting.
“Bundle Up For Polar Bears” was launched by the Buffalo Zoo in 2011. Schools in multiple Districts registered to participate in last year’s event. The event was so popular that Polar Bears International is helping the event go national in 2012!
Help us make this year’s project even bigger and better! Schools, organizations, businesses and families can register to participate by sending an email to In the email, please state the name of your organization/school/family, the number of people participating and the date of participation. After you participate, you are also invited to upload your Bundle Up photos to so others across the country can see the involvement of Western New Yorkers in this program.
The Buffalo Zoo and Polar Bears International thank you for doing your part in helping to save polar bears!

Buffalo Zoo’s Young Indian Rhino Moves to African Lion Safari in Canada

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Zoo’s young female Indian rhinoceros, Clover, will be celebrating her fourth birthday on March 1 in her new home at the African Lion Safari in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

On Thursday, February 23, Buffalo Zoo staff bid farewell to Clover, who was born at the Zoo in 2008. Animal keepers named her “Clover” in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

Clover was safely transported to African Lion Safari where one of her keepers from the Buffalo Zoo will also help participate in her care for the next several days to ease the transition to her new home.

Clover’s mother, Tashi, took excellent care of her young one, who was the second Indian rhinoceros to be born at the Buffalo Zoo. Clover’s sister, Ashakiran was born on September 15, 2004 and now resides at the Toronto Zoo. Clover will be paired with a male rhino at the African Lion Safari in hopes that they will breed and continue to help secure the species’ future.

The breeding of Tashi and Henry, Clover and Ashakiran’s father, was recommended as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to help a species maintain a healthy and stable captive population. Before a breeding recommendation is even made, the SSP traces genetic lines of each animal and looks to see if there will be room for another rhino in an accredited facility. These efforts are made to prevent inbreeding and overcrowding at accredited zoos.

Found in northern India and southern Nepal, the endangered Indian rhinoceros is the largest of the Asian rhino species. Fewer than 200 of them were thought to exist in the wild during the early 20th century, but due to strict protection from the Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities, numbers have increased to approximately 2,500.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Register Now Because The Zoo is Sproutin’ Yoga!

Buffalo, NY– Hurry! Itty Bitty Animal Yoga at the Buffalo Zoo starts next week!

Join special guest, Bekah Starr, a yoga instructor with Sproutin’ Yoga, to let your imagination and body run wild! Through interactive games, animal observations, animated postures and basic yoga principles, we will enjoy a unique opportunity to foster creativity, focus and movement while learning more about the animals at the Buffalo Zoo. (Please note that these sessions are designed for adults with children, ages 9-23 months old.)

There are a total of eight sessions, which each run from 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Sessions take place on March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6, 20 and 27. The price (which includes all eight sessions) is $80 per adult/child pair.

Pre-paid registration and pre-payment are required. Bring a water bottle, yoga mat or towel, and be ready to have fun!

For more information on registering for the program, please call (716) 995-6128 or visit

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Buffalo Zoo Says Goodbye to Beloved Kodiak Bear, “Toby”

Buffalo, NY -- The Buffalo Zoo is sad to report that Toby, a 22-year-old Kodiak bear, was euthanized on Sunday morning.

Toby was being treated with anti-inflammatory medications for age-related degenerative joint disease characterized by progressive osteoarthritis. Last year, he was taken off the multi-level terrain of his public exhibit and moved to an off exhibit area to keep him more comfortable on an even surface with a pool to provide relief for his joints. As his condition worsened, the difficult decision to euthanize him was made.

The largest subspecies of brown bear, the Kodiak bear is found on islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in southwestern Alaska. Currently, the Kodiak bear population is stable. However, with increasing human populations brown bear habitats are often adversely affected in many areas. (Grizzly bears, for example--another subspecies of the brown bear family--are listed as a threatened species in the United States.)

Estimated to have been born in 1990, Toby was placed at the Olympic Game Farm in Washington State. He was later transferred to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in Montana in August 1993 where he was housed with Fred, a grizzly bear.

Toby and Fred both came to the Buffalo Zoo in 2002 so that the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center would have room to house four “nuisance” bears including a mother and cubs. Brown bears that reside at accredited zoos are considered to be a rescue population. If they breed in captivity, this prevents orphaned or nuisance brown bears from being rescued in the wild since there would be no space for them in zoos.

While bears are typically solitary in nature, Toby and Fred had become used to being around one another. At the Buffalo Zoo, Toby and Fred resided in the same exhibit and delighted visitors, who loved watching them play together in their pool. Fred was euthanized in 2010 after age-related neurological changes resulted in paralysis.

Although not part of the Buffalo Zoo’s long-term collection plan, the Kodiak and grizzly bears helped educate the public about their species by serving as conservation ambassadors. The Buffalo Zoo also exhibits polar bears and Andean (spectacled) bears.

When the Zoo’s master plan was revised in 2004, the Zoo made the decision not to acquire any younger bears until a new state-of-the art polar bear facility, currently in design, is completed. The only exception made to this decision was allowing three young grizzly bears to temporarily reside at the Zoo while Utah’s Hogle Zoo completes its new bear exhibit. The young bears will be transferred to the Hogle Zoo in Spring 2012.

The Buffalo Zoo’s remaining bears are all at the end of their lifespan (generally 20-25 years) with the exception of Anana, the Zoo’s 11-year-old female polar bear, who will be the centerpiece of the new exhibit. Anana’s mate, Nanuq, who is 24 years old, was acquired on breeding loan from Madison, Wisconsin in 2009.

Four Andean (also called spectacled) bears also reside at the Buffalo Zoo: Mischief, age 16; Bernard, age 21; Fernando, age 25; and Diana, age 33. Diana ranks as the oldest of her species in a North American zoo and has developed some age-associated changes, including arthritis and some hair loss.

“While the majority of our bears are certainly showing signs of age-related issues, the Buffalo Zoo remains committed to providing high quality care for them for the duration of their lives,” said Dr. Donna M. Fernandes, President/CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “All of our bears are beloved by our staff and visitors. Toby, especially, will always have a special place in our hearts and will be greatly missed.”

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Spring Nature Camp

Are you looking for a place where your child (ren) ages 5-12 can have loads of fun during their spring break? Bring them to Spring Nature Camp at the Buffalo Zoo! You can sign up for one, two or all five days of camp fun! Camp runs from April 9-13 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. Camp topics include: Vanishing Animals, Life in the Trees, Creatures of the Night, Animal Architects, and Cool Cats. To register or receive more information, please call (716) 995-6128
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Polar Bites 2012

Presented by 2Find Your Home, Creditors Interchange, M&T Bank, & Phillips Lytle. Sponsored by 97 Rock, Classic Hits 104.1, My TV, Fox 29, and Buffalo Spree Magazine

February 16

Put some FUN in your February at Polar Bites 2012! Enjoy a fantastic evening event, which benefits the Buffalo Zoo. Join us for some culinary delights along with wines, brews and specialty services from some of the area’s finest establishments. This wildly popular fundraiser will take place on the main exhibit floor at the recently renovated Buffalo Niagara Convention Center on Thursday, February 16 from 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Enjoy a basket auction, a silent auction and a visit with some of our animal ambassadors. Tickets are $35 pre-sale and $45 at the door. A limited amount of VIP tickets are available at a cost of $60. VIP ticket holders receive early entry (5:00 p.m.) and a goodie bag. Call (716) 995-6133 or see us online to get your tickets today. Limited tickets are available and you must be 21 years or older to attend.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Zooper Saturday, February 4

Family Valentine’s Day!
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spend some quality time together at the Buffalo Zoo’s Family Valentine’s Day event! You will enjoy animal demonstrations and enrichment activities, and you may decide to make a Valentine’s Day card for a family member, friend or even your favorite animal at the Zoo!

The event runs from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and activities are free with Zoo admission.

For more information, please call the Events Coordinator at (716) 995-6133 or visit

The event schedule is as follows:

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

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

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Hot Chocolate/Coffee inside the Children’s Resource Center (while supplies last)

The following animals are receiving a special Valentine’s Day enrichment at their exhibit (please arrive promptly):

11:00 a.m. Sea Lions

11:30 a.m. River Otters

12:00 p.m. Addax

12:30 p.m. Gorillas

1:00 p.m. Macaw Keeper Talk (Inside The Living Tree House)

1:30 p.m. Meerkats

2:00 p.m. M&T Bank Rainforest Falls

2:30 p.m. Snow Leopards

This event is part of the Zoo’s new “Zooper Saturdays.” On the first Saturday of every month, different areas of the Zoo will be highlighted for visitors to enjoy. Join us for activities, including animal enrichments, health fairs, raffles and more each month! These events will combine some of your old favorites and even spice them up with new offerings, too, so be sure you don’t miss out! The next Zooper Saturday event will be held on Saturday, March 3 and will feature the river otters and big cats.

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