Friday, September 20, 2013

Help the Bears Just by Helping the Planet!

Want an easy way to help the Buffalo Zoo build a new polar bear exhibit? We've teamed up with, the social network for the planet to give you just that! By participating in our 15-day challenge, you'll be able to increase your own energy conservation efforts while helping us to raise money for the new Arctic Edge exhibit.

It's super easy! Starting on September 21, you can just click here to sign up and join the Arctic Edge challengeSelect one of our animal teams and then click the yellow "Sign up and Join this team" button.

The 15-day challenge is simple. All you have to do is complete 15 actions in 15 days. The actions can be almost anything that conserves energy, from riding your bike to recycling a can!  After joining a team, you can explore the site to see the categories of actions you and your family can start doing to help the planet (and save polar bears!) To choose an action, just click on the item that closely matches the action you have accomplished.

For every conservation action you do, will donate up to $0.50 per action to the Arctic Edge exhibit. Not only will you be helping to protect the polar bears' shrinking natural habitat, but you'll be helping the Buffalo Zoo's polar bears too! Joining is free and easy, so please join the challenge today and become part of this great online green community!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tashi is Pregnant! Celebrate with us on World Rhino Day!

The Buffalo Zoo’s Indian rhinoceros, Tashi, is pregnant.

Lead rhino keeper Joe Hauser, Tashi, Dr. Monica Stoops, and Dr. Kurt Volle
The Zoo participated in an experimental Artificial Insemination (AI) procedure, and is one of the first zoos in the world to have a successful Indian rhino AI pregnancy. A team of keepers and veterinarians from the Buffalo Zoo worked with Dr. Monica Stoops from the Center of Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) based at the Cincinnati Zoo to help with the AI process.

Tashi the Indian Rhino
The procedure took place in February of 2013. If Tashi remains healthy and the pregnancy successfully goes to term, keepers expect that she will give birth in June of 2014. The pregnancy is an important step towards global rhino conservation, and is already proving invaluable to the research efforts of CREW and the rhinoceros species survival plan (SSP.)

Anyone interested in learning more about Tashi’s pregnancy, or about global rhino conservation should attend the Buffalo Zoo’s World Rhino Day event. On Sunday, September 22, the Zoo will host a special lecture by Joe Hauser, the Zoo’s lead rhino keeper. The event, which runs from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Children’s Resource Center (CRC,) will also feature raffles and refreshments. Tickets are only $5 at the door, and all proceeds will benefit the International Rhino Foundation. Reservations are recommended, but not required. For more information, call (716) 995-6133.

World Rhino Day is a global day of recognition and celebration of the five species of rhinoceros. It was first celebrated by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa in 2010 and has since become a worldwide day of awareness and appreciation for these beautiful animals.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Polar Bear Cubs Temporarily Off Exhibit

The Buffalo Zoo’s two famous polar bear cubs, Luna and Kali, will be temporarily off exhibit beginning on Thursday, September 19.

The Zoo is moving the cubs to a different area of the Zoo in order to relocate them to a larger exhibit space.

Zoo officials expect that the cubs will take about a week to adjust to their new holding area. After that time, the cubs will be back on exhibit in the Zoo’s current tiger exhibit. The tigers, which are a nocturnal species, will take turns on the exhibit with the cubs, and will have access to the exhibit in the evening and overnight.

The Zoo will announce when the cubs are on exhibit in their new space. Anyone who plans to visit the Zoo to see a specific animal is encouraged to call the Zoo before visiting at (716) 837-3900.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Get Ready for Polar Obsession! A National Geographic Live Event

The Buffalo Zoo will team up with Kleinhans Music Hall to present the Western New York debut of National Geographic Live: An Evening with Paul Nicklen.

The event will take place on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Kleinhans.

Paul Nicklen is a renowned National Geographic photographer and biologist, working mostly in arctic climates. A unique childhood among the Inuit in Canada’s Arctic and a professional background as a biologist enable Nicklen to take on the most inhospitable places on our planet, often working in sub-zero temperatures. His images reflect a reverence for the creatures inhabiting these isolated and threatened environments, and he hopes that his work will put real faces on climate change, making it impossible to ignore.

Polar Bear, Svalbard, Norway
Photo by Paul Nicklen. Courtesy of National Geographic.
Nicklen recently earned one of photography’s highest honors, the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year award (2012) for his photographs of emperor penguins under the ice, one of more than 20 top honors he has collected since he began his photographic career in 1995. He is the author of Polar Obsession (2009), a pictorial celebration of the polar ecosystems where he has spent most of his life.

The topic of Nicklen’s presentation will be Polar Obsession. The event will be an hour-long presentation with accompanying photography and video clips, followed by a question and answer session moderated by Dr. Donna Fernandes, President/CEO of the Buffalo Zoo.

General admission tickets cost $25. Members of the Buffalo Zoo and the Buffalo Museum of Science and Buffalo Philharmonic subscribers can purchase tickets for a discounted price of $20. Student tickets are available for $10 with a valid student I.D.

Special V.I.P. tickets will be available. The $75 package includes a one-hour meet-and-greet session with Paul Nicklen preceding the presentation, as well as refreshments, polar bear themed gifts, and priority seating. Tickets are available online or by calling the Kleinhans box office at (716) 885-5000.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Meet our latest addition!!

The Buffalo Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby western lowland gorilla.

The baby was born on Wednesday, September 4 at 12:44 p.m. to first-time mother, 12-year-old Lily, and father, 26-year-old Koga. Lily 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, though they believe it is a girl. Both mother and baby are doing well.

Photos by Kelly Brown - Registrar, Buffalo Zoo

During Lily’s pregnancy, the keeper staff at the Buffalo Zoo was able to monitor the baby’s growth using ultrasound technology. Lily 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 team worked with Bridget Gilewski, RT, RDMS of Baby’s Bungalow in North Tonawanda, who volunteered to assist with the ultrasound readings. The Buffalo Zoo is one of the only zoos to have successfully measured the development of a western lowland gorilla in utero. Their research is important to the study and husbandry of gorillas.

The baby will join the gorilla troop, including her parents as well as females Sydney and Amari, in their exhibit daily. 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!

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. 

Photos by Kelly Brown - Registrar, Buffalo Zoo