Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Come Meet Tiberius!

If your kids are home from school this week for the holidays, it's the perfect time to come by and meet our newest resident, Tiberius the lion!

Tiberius, a juvenile male African lion, was born at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY on March 7, 2013 to first time parents Asha and Chester. Tiberius was hand-raised by keepers at the Seneca Park Zoo, along with his sister Savanah.

Photo by Marie Kraus, courtesy of Seneca Park Zoo

He was brought to Buffalo on a breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for African lions living in Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

After he has some time to grow accustomed to his new home, Tiberius will be introduced to a pair of half-sister lionesses, Lelie and Lusaka, who were born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 2010.

The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Sustainability Partners. 

Tiberius, a beloved animal within the Rochestercommunity, will be out for public viewing in the Buffalo Zoo’s lion exhibit from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. daily. 

Photo by Kelli O'Brien, courtesy of Seneca Park Zoo

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Goodbye Diana Bear

 The Buffalo Zoo is saddened by the loss of its spectacled bear, Diana, who was humanely euthanized on December 16 due to declining health. At 35 years old, Diana was the oldest spectacled bear in the world at the time of her death. Spectacled bears typically live around 20 – 25 years in captivity, and slightly less in the wild.

Diana’s personality and longevity made her a favorite Zoo resident for staff and guests. Her presence in the Zoo’s Vanishing North exhibit will be sorely missed.

Diana was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL in January of 1979, and has been at the Buffalo Zoo since May of 1980. Over her long life, Diana gave birth to three surviving cubs, who parented a total of eight offspring of their own, greatly contributing to the North American Spectacled bear population.

Diana. Photo credit: Kelly Ann Brown
Spectacled bears (also known as Andean bears) are listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals. There are believed to be fewer than 2,000 remaining in the wild. They are managed as a Species Survival Plan (SSP) by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and cooperating zoos.

“When animals in zoos live well beyond their average captive lifespan, it speaks to the high quality of care they received,” said Dr. Donna Fernandes, President and CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “The Buffalo Zoo is home to several long-lived and record breaking animals. For example, servals Bob and Zizzi are the two oldest males in the United States. In 2014 the Zoo said good bye to Delmonico, the addax antelope, and Shanta, a Sulawesi macaque, who were the oldest living individuals of their species at the time of their deaths.”

Photo by keeper Caitlyn Bruce

Monday, December 15, 2014

The baby giraffe has a name!

The Buffalo Zoo today announced the name of a baby giraffe who was born in October. His name is Sampson.

Sampson was born on Friday, October 24, 2014 to mother, 5-year-old A.J, and father, 3-year-old Moke. Both are first time parents.

The day was a special one for giraffe keeper, Vicki Hodge. October 24 is her grandparents’ wedding anniversary, and also the anniversary of the death of her grandfather, whose middle name was Sampson. She named the baby in memory of him.

The name announcement coincides with a series of billboards that were unveiled around the Buffalo area this morning, revealing Sampson’s name to the community.

The billboards are provided through the generosity of Community Papers of WNY, LLC. and LAMAR Outdoor Advertising. The newspaper group will roll out a year of family-friendly activities and promotions on and off Zoo grounds throughout 2015. These efforts serve not only to welcome the giraffe and promote the Zoo as an institution of family recreation, but also to highlight conservation efforts and educational offerings for the community at large.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Luna Updates!

Luna the polar bear is recovering from an injury she sustained during a fall this summer.

The popular polar bear cub fractured the ankle joint in her left rear leg. The Zoo’s veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Volle, with assistance from veterinary surgeons from Sheridan Animal Hospital, performed the surgeries to repair the fracture. Luna has spent the time since her fall recovering in the Zoo’s veterinary hospital, where vet staff could monitor her progress and restrict her movements.

Luna's hind leg was shaved in preparation for procedures to repair her fractured leg bone. A patch of her front leg was shaved to administer an IV. Photo Credit: Kelly Ann Brown/Buffalo Zoo
Last week, Luna was returned to the holding area adjacent to the temporary exhibit space that the polar bears share with the tigers. She was reintroduced to her playmate, Kali, and the two celebrated their second birthdays together with special cakes from their keepers.

Luna celebrated her 2nd birthday with a special ice treat "cake" from her keepers. Photo credit: Kelly Ann Brown/Buffalo Zoo
The polar bear cubs are no longer the small, fluffy cubs they once were. Luna’s current weight is around 440 lbs, and Kali is a whopping 770 lbs. The average adult male polar bear weighs between 800 and 1,200 lbs. Females are usually smaller, weighing between 400 and 800 lbs.

Luna will remain off exhibit until her balance and use of her hind leg are fully restored, to avoid the risk of another injury.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Zoo Choo Train will Offer Rides to Mall Shoppers This Winter!

The Buffalo Zoo’s “Zoo Choo Train” ride has been moved to the Eastern Hills Mall for the winter season.

The Zoo acquired the new train ride for the 2014 season, and it quickly became a favorite among Zoo visitors. The Wattman mini-express train features five cars, including a turn-of-the-century style engine and caboose. Zoo officials have teamed up with the Eastern Hills Mall to give the community an opportunity to enjoy the train during winter months.

The Zoo Choo Train will be open to mall visitors beginning on Wednesday in front of one of the mall’s anchor tenants, in the family attraction corridor. It will operate there until the end of March 2015.The cost per ride will be $2, and 100% of proceeds will be retained by the Buffalo Zoo.

“We are excited to partner with the Buffalo Zoo this holiday in welcoming the Zoo Choo train to the Eastern Hills Mall,” said Brandon Salinas, Business Development Manager for the Eastern Hills Mall. “It’s a wonderful added value for our guests, and supports a cultural icon of the Western New York Community.”

The Zoo Choo Train ride became a favorite among Zoo visitors this season!
“The ride became very popular among visitors this summer, and it seemed a shame that it would be put away for winter,” said Donna Fernandes, President & CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “The Eastern Hills Mall has graciously allocated space for us and offered to give all of the proceeds from the train back to the Zoo. We’re grateful for their partnership, and hope that families in Western New York will continue to enjoy the Zoo Choo Train at the mall until it comes back to the Zoo in the spring.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


by Courtney Macklin, animal keeper for the Buffalo Zoo

Animalpalooza at the Buffalo Zoo is an event being put on by the Zoo’s Training and Enrichment Committee. The main goal of the committee is to enhance the lives of the animals in our care. It gives the keepers a chance to share ideas, challenges, successes, and information as well as providing resources and supplies.

Usually, when people think of enrichment, they think treats and food, which is just one of many enrichment methods. During Animalpalooza, keepers will be teach visitors about the different types of enrichment activities, including exhibit design, sounds and smells, and training techniques. Training allows us to provide the animals with mental stimulation, exercise, and routine medical care. Training techniques are universal, and can be used on any animal. You can come to Animalpalooza and learn some basic animal training techniques that you can try on your pet dog, cat, or even fish!

Training sessions are used to enrich the lives of Zoo animals.

The event runs two days, November 28th and 29th, and will feature fall-themed enrichment for the animals, a training demo, bake sale, basket raffle, enrichment for kids, and more! It will be fun for the whole family and a great alternative to black Friday madness. All profits go to the committee and will benefit the animals.

Animalpalooza Schedule

Friday, November 28, 2014

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Bake sale in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Basket raffle in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Guess the pumpkin’s weight at the main entrance
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Enrichment activities for kids in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls lobby
11:00 a.m. – Get your photo taken with mascots Hank the rhino and Sam the hellbender in the reptile house
11:30 a.m. – Capybara enrichment and keeper talk in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls
12:00 p.m. – Elephant enrichment and keeper talk at the elephant house
12:30 p.m. – Meerkat enrichment and keeper talk at the meerkat exhibit (near gorillas)
1:00 p.m. – Rhino encounter at the rhino conservation station * $10
1:00 p.m. – Polar bear enrichment and keeper talk at the polarbear/tiger exhibit
1:30 p.m. – River otter enrichment and keeper talk at the River Otter Creek exhibit
2:00 p.m. – Herpetology enrichment and keeper talk in the reptile house
2:00 p.m. – Sheep training demonstration at Delta Sonic Heritage Farm
2:30 p.m. – Lion enrichment and keeper talk at the lion exhibit

Saturday, November 29, 2014

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Bake sale in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Basket raffle in the reptile house
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Guess the pumpkin’s weight at the main entrance
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Enrichment activities for kids in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls lobby
11:00 a.m. – Sea lion encounter and photo op * $25
11:30 a.m. – Anteater enrichment and keeper talk in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls
12:00 p.m. – Gorilla enrichment and keeper talk at the gorilla exhibit
12:30 p.m. – Meerkat enrichment and keeper talk at the meerkat exhibit (near gorillas)
1:00 p.m. – Rhino encounter at the rhino conservation station * $10
1:00 p.m. – Polar bear enrichment and keeper talk at the polarbear/tiger exhibit
1:30 p.m. – Elephant encounter at the elephant house * $10
1:30 p.m. – Sea lion encounter and photo op * $25
2:00 p.m. – Herpetology enrichment and keeper talk in the reptile house
2:00 p.m. – Sheep training demonstration at Delta Sonic Heritage Farm
2:30 p.m. – Lion enrichment and keeper talk at the lion exhibit

*Sign up and pre-pay for encounters at the front entrance.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Giraffe Born at the Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is celebrating the birth of a male giraffe.
The yet-unnamed baby was born on Friday, October 24 to mother, 5-year-old A.J, and father, 3-year-old Moke. Both are first time parents.

The giraffe house will be closed temporarily, as A.J. takes some time to bond with her baby, and the herd adjusts to his presence. Zoo visitors will be able to enter the vestibule of the giraffe house and view the animals through the windows.

The gestation period of giraffes is around 15 months. Calves usually remain with their mothers until they are around 22 months old.  

Giraffes are native to the plains of Africa. The number of giraffes in the wild has dropped from 140,000 in 1999 to fewer than 80,000 today. The decreasing population is attributed to poaching, disease, and loss of natural habitat.

photo credit: Zoo registrar, Kelly Brown

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Time for Another Electronics Recycling Collection at the Zoo!

The Buffalo Zoo’s Earth Smart Squad will partner with Sunnking Inc. to host another electronics recycling collection event!

We held an event in April and it was very successful! We wanted to give Western New Yorkers another opportunity to get rid of some of some clutter while they're getting ready for the holiday season. 
The collection will take place on Saturday, November 15 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Zoo’s main parking lot off of Parkside Ave.

The Earth Smart Squad wants you to keep the planet in mind while you start preparing for the holidays. Electronic waste shouldn’t be thrown out with household trash. Some items may contain materials that are harmful to the environment, and most items can actually be recycled. Electronics recycling facilities are able to dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible way.

Items that will NOT be accepted include batteries, and large appliances.

Anyone who brings their unwanted electronics to the Zoo on November 15 will receive a coupon for $1 off Zoo admission on that day.

The Buffalo Zoo’s Earth Smart Squad’s mission is to be leaders in sustainability by inspiring our organization to reduce its carbon footprint, while empowering the community to engage in green practices.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Get Ready for Spooktacular Days!

Tickets are now available for Spooktacular Days at the Buffalo Zoo, a new Halloween event debuting this year.

Spooktacular Days will replace Howl-o-ween Hayrides at the Zoo.

Spooktacular Days at the Buffalo Zoo will take place on October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26. Activities will run from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Fridays, and 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, giving families the option to participate during either daytime or evening hours.

For the cost of regular Zoo admission, plus an additional $5, guests can partake in activities including indoor treat stations, Halloween-themed games, and free train and carousel rides. The experience will conclude with the fall favorites of donuts and apple cider.

Click here to purchase tickets, or call (800) 838-3006.

The event is designed to be fun and friendly rather than frightful. Spooktacular Days offer an early, safe, and fun Halloween experience for children of all ages!

The Spooktacular Days at the Zoo are sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets and 97 Rock.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zooper Saturday with Dallas the Sea Lion!

The Buffalo Zoo will hold a Zooper Saturday event featuring Dallas, the California sea lion.

Dallas the sea lion

Zoo visitors can learn all about sea lions and get to know Dallas and his keepers during a day of keeper talks and enrichment activities on Saturday, October 4th. A full schedule of activities follows.

  • 11 a.m – 2 p.m. – Face painting in NOCO Sea Lion Cove (rain location in M&T Bank Rainforest Falls)
  • 11 a.m. – Sea Lion demonstration in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 11:30 a.m. – Keeper talk in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 12 p.m. –  Sea Lion enrichment in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 1:30 p.m. – Photo encounters in NOCO Seal Lion Cove (pre-registration required)
  • 2 p.m. – Keeper talk in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 2:30 p.m. – Sea Lion demonstration in NOCO Sea Lion Cove
  • 3 p.m. – Ice treat sea lion enrichment in NOCO Sea Lion Cove

Registration is required for the photo encounters. For a $25 fee, participants will be able to get up-close and personal with Dallas the sea lion, and receive a 4x6 photograph to take home. Anyone who wants to participate can register at the Zoo’s admission gates when they arrive. There are a limited number of reservations available.

Zooper Saturdays take place on the first Saturday of every month. Activities are free with regular Zoo admission.

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

The Buffalo Zoo thanks NOCO for their sponsorship of the Sea Lion Cove exhibit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meet Buffalo Bill Brandon Spikes at the Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo will host a special meet and greet with Buffalo Bills captain Brandon Spikes this weekend.

Spikes is partnering with the Zoo to chair their Adopt an Animal program. To kick off the partnership, he will make an appearance at the Zoo this Saturday, September 20, from 1:30 pm until 2:30 pm.

The Zoo will offer a special adoption package through the 2014-2015 football season, featuring a North American porcupine that the Zoo has named “Spikes” in honor of the Bills player.

Brandon Spikes bottle fed Spikes the porcupine at the Zoo earlier this month.

A limited edition adoption package will be available for only $10 during the event on Saturday. Anyone who purchases the package during the meet and greet will have an opportunity to have their adoption certificate autographed by Brandon Spikes.

The Buffalo Zoo has an annual grocery bill of around $250,000. The Zoo’s Adopt anAnimal program helps to pay for food for the animals throughout the year.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Meet our new Baby Snow Monkey

The Buffalo Zoo’s latest addition, a baby Japanese macaque, is now on exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo.

The baby was born to 16 year old mother, Debbi, on August 30. The baby’s father is eight-year-old Ketu, who has had one other offspring. This baby is Debbi’s fourth.

Debbi is proving to be a nurturing and protective mother. Keepers have not yet been able to get close enough to determine the baby’s gender.

Debbi the snow monkey with her baby.

Debbi and her baby are on exhibit daily in the Zoo’s Vanishing Animals Exhibit starting at 3 p.m.

Japanese macaques are often referred to as snow monkeys because their natural habitat is in the snowy mountain regions of Japan. The wild population of snow monkeys is threatened by the replacement of natural forests in Japan with lumber plantations and other developments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Luna the Polar Bear Recovering After Fall

Luna the polar bear is recovering at the Buffalo Zoo after falling into a moat over the weekend.

The polar bear fell into the exhibit’s protective moat on Saturday afternoon. Luna was anesthetized, and a team of keepers were able to carry her out of the moat and transport her to the Zoo’s veterinary hospital. The Zoo’s veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Volle, took X-rays and determined that Luna had fractured her tibia and fibula above the ankle joint on her left rear leg. She sustained no other injuries from the fall. A pair of board certified veterinary surgeons from Sheridan Animal Hospital performed surgery to repair the fracture on Sunday.

Luna is recovering in the Zoo’s veterinary hospital. Zoo staff reports that she is alert and eating, and that she is able to walk. Luna will remain off exhibit for several weeks to restrict her movement while her leg heals.

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 https://www.aza.org/taxon-advisory-groups.  For information about IRKA, go to http://www.rhinokeeperassociation.org.

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 www.buffalozoo.org

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 livestream.com

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!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Featured BuffaLoveFest Vendors: Gizmo's Creations, Ooo La La Fashion Truck, Devil Chicken Design and Mary Grace Artisan Jewelry

BuffaLoveFest is tomorrow! Don't forget to check out all the wonderful vendors we have coming. All the vendors are featured on this blog and on The Good Neighborhood Blog!

Gizmo's Creations

1. How do you/your products embody "BuffaLove?"
People are able to show their love for Buffalo by wearing the jewelry. It's a fantastic city and people take pride in that.

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
Buffalo necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, cuff links and tie tacks.

3. How does your business contribute to our community?
We do a number of fundraiser events in the community to support different causes such as domestic violence and children with disabilities. We also sell in different boutiques and help out one another in growing the local businesses!

Ooo La La Fashion Truck

1. How do you/you product embody "BuffaLove?"
We are part of the Buffalo trucker community and support creativity dreams and small businesses in our area. Buffalo has a stereotype of not being a fashinable city and we are here to change that by spreading pink power to all #Buffalove.

2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
Our Ooo La La Fashion Truck is a mobile boutique filled with clothing, accessories and so much more.

Here is a sneak peak at what the fashion truck looks like inside.

3. How does your business contribute to our community?
We are Buffalo's first mobile boutique and we are bringing fashion to the streets. We have a fun and unique way to dress the people in Buffalo in fabulous fashion.

Devil Chicken Design

1.  How do you/your products embody “BuffaLove?”
I am a visual artist from Buffalo.  All of my work in some way or another reflects my life in this city.  I see my work as a reflection of both the hardships and successes of Buffalo.  My work is layered and textured with a variety of materials and media.  It shows the scars of the process that it went through to become something new, something more than what it was originally intended to be.  To me that is what Buffalo is.  That is why I choose to live and work here.

 2. What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
 The BuffaLoveFest is a great opportunity to connect with the community and showcase the work that I have produced.  The best part of my work with Devil Chicken Design is the opportunity to meet and communicate with the people of the towns we exhibit in.  That is what I am looking forward to most about the BuffaLoveFest.  The icing on the cake is that I will get that opportunity in such a unique and historical location like the Buffalo Zoo!

 3.How does your business contribute to our community?
Devil Chicken Design contributes to the community by providing visual imagery unique to Buffalo.  I am proud to be a part of the resurgence of our city. A resurgence that has been spurred forward by the arts and cultures that have been a part of our city for over 100 years.

1. How do you/your products embody "BuffaLove?"
In 2003, I was taught how to make jewelry at the famous jewelry store – Where the Wild Things Are located on Lexington Avenue in Buffalo.  Also in 1995 I was taught how to make jewelry by Annie Shepard of In the Beginning, a Buffalo company, and worked for her for eight years until I launched my own business.
2.What are you selling at BuffaLoveFest on May 30th?
I will be selling sterling silver and gemstone jewelry.

3. How does your business contribute to our community? 
I contribute to many charitable organizations and donate jewelry to many benefits in the area for basket auctions.

Tickets for BuffaLoveFest are available now. Click here to get yours before they sell out!