Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The "Share a Little Shade" Raffle

Community Papers of WNY and Towne Mini have teamed up for the "Share a Little Shade" raffle! Maybe you've seen some billboards around town talking about it. Here's what the fundraiser is all about.

The Zoo needs to build a shade structure for the giraffe yard, so our herd (including babies Sampson and Zuri) can get a little shade this summer!

To help us raise money, CPWNY are holding a raffle. The winner will receive either a one year lease on a car from Towne Mini, or $5,000 cash! The drawing will take place on December 31, 2015. The Zoo needs about $25,000 to build the shade structure for the giraffes. The raffle has already raised more than $20,000! (as of Sept. 21, 2015.) Raffle tickets are just $5 and can be purchased in person at the following locations.

The Zoo would like to thank Community Papers of WNY and Towne Mini for their support.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Polar Bear Kali expected to move to Saint Louis Zoo

Luna’s mother Anana to re- join Luna in Buffalo 

Pending the final approval of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and under the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums [AZA], the Buffalo Zoo anticipates moving the juvenile polar bear Kali to the Saint Louis Zoo for its new arctic exhibit, Polar Bear Point.

Kali, the young male cub rescued in Alaska after the death of his mother, came to the Buffalo Zoo in May of 2013 to join Luna, the young female cub born at the Buffalo Zoo in November 2012. In cooperation with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Polar Bear Species Survival Plan® (SSP) of the AZA, it was determined at that time that the best placement for the orphan cub would be Buffalo, where both cubs could benefit from the company of another bear during their important developmental period.

“Keeping the bears together for the first 2 ½ years of their life was important to their social and psychological development, but now they have reached the age where they would be separating from their mothers and siblings if in the wild,” said Buffalo Zoo President and CEO Donna M. Fernandes.

“We would like to invite the Western New York community to come to the Buffalo Zoo to say good bye to Kali and wish him well as he prepares to travel to his new home. Kali is expected to leave Buffalo toward the end of April,” she added.

This photo of Kali was taken in 2013. Now he weighs over 800 lbs!

The Buffalo Zoo expects to welcome Luna’s mother, Anana, back to Buffalo later in the spring.  Anana has spent the last two years at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago on breeding loan.

“While saying goodbye to Kali will be sad to all of us who have grown to love him, we are delighted to be getting back our breeding female and the opportunity for more cubs,” Fernandes continued.

The Buffalo Zoo is a pioneer among zoos its size in supporting and expanding the gene pool of a diverse number of wild animals. In fact, the Buffalo Zoo is responsible for 4,710 births among 32 species. Buffalo, Toronto and Toledo are the only North American zoos that successfully reared polar bear cubs in the last five years. In all, the Buffalo Zoo polar bear breeding program has produced 10 cubs since 1985.

Following the departure of Kali, who is now more than 800 pounds, Luna will move to the polar bear holding facility in the Buffalo Zoo’s new Arctic Edge exhibit.

“We will arrange for a video camera feed so visitors can observe her while she awaits completion of her new outdoor habitat,” Fernandes said.

The new $14 million Arctic Edge exhibit design specifically accounted for the Zoo’s track record in breeding polar bears and development of protocols that enhance those efforts. Arctic Edge, will also contain wolves, bald eagles and Canadian lynx, and is scheduled to open in September 2015.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Updates from the Giraffe House

Young Sampson was interested in his new half-sister, Zuri, the moment she was born! Since then, the two have spent time interacting between the mesh in the giraffe house.

Sampson (far right) has shown interest in Zuri from day 1! Photo by keeper Allie Killam
We can't wait for the weather to warm up a little more, so the herd can spend some time outside in the yard. Zuri and Sampson will be so much fun to watch running around!

Sampson and Zuri are half-siblings. Sampson was born in October to mom A.J. and father, Moke. Moke also sired Zuri who was born in February to mom Agnes.