Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Two Down for International Polar Bear Day!

by giraffe keeper, Vicki Hodge

Hi all! February 27 is International Polar Bear Day. A few years ago, the Buffalo Zoo launched an initiative for local schools to help celebrate the day, and do some conservation for polar bears at the same time. We called it Bundle up for Polar Bears! The challenge was to raise awareness about climate change which affects polar bears, by reducing carbon emissions through the simple act of lowering the thermostat a few degrees. If every school in Western New York participated, the combined amount would be significant. Polar Bears International liked our idea so much that they adopted it and changed the name to the Thermostat Challenge which they now do on the every International Polar Bear Day!

We want to do our part to help the cause, so here is what were asking everyone to do. Along with our schools and the Zoo, you can turn the heat down 1 or 2 degrees at home or in your work place this Saturday, February 27. For example, we will turn the heat down from 65°F to 63°F in the giraffe house and other places throughout the Zoo.

All you need to do to take part is set your thermostat down and put on an extra sweater or sweat shirt for the day. You probably won't even notice the difference in temperature. It's easy! Then you can say you helped save the polar bears and their sea ice! If that is not incentive enough, on average if you turn back your heat 2 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 1% on your fuel usage and that means more $$$$ in your pocket!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Help Us Say Goodbye to the Gray Wolves

The Buffalo Zoo’s gray wolves will leave this week.

The Zoo’s pair of wolves, who reside in the Arctic Edge exhibit, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, will leave for their new home on Wednesday.

After careful consideration, Zoo officials have decided to relocate siblings Timber and Willow. The young pair, who will be two in April, arrived to the Buffalo Zoo in September 2015 from the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park in Watertown, N.Y. Their arrival was part of the Buffalo Zoo’s opening of its newest signature exhibit, Arctic Edge, where the two wolves were to have found their permanent home.

Keeper staff has kept a close eye on the pair since their arrival, and observed that the wolves were not settling into their new habitat as expected. Continued observations over the six-month period led to the decision to seek an alternate arrangement. They will be transported to another accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that offers a different enclosure configuration, and may appeal better to the wolves’ juvenile energy and shy behavioral characteristics.

“We will always keep the best interests of the animals in mind,” said Buffalo Zoo President & CEO, Donna Fernandes, Ph.D. “We love the wolves, and like the public, we have enjoyed having them here, but we recognized the difficulties they were having and feel we have made the best choice for their overall comfort and well-being.”

In the spring, modifications will be made to the former wolf enclosure in Arctic Edge to welcome arctic fox. Smaller, more curious and social, it is anticipated that the arctic fox will be a fitting addition to the exhibit. Arctic fox are native to the regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Acquisition details are still being finalized and will be shared with the public when more information becomes available.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Family Valentine's Day Zooper Saturday!

The Buffalo Zoo will hold a Family Valentine’s Day event this weekend, as part of the Zooper Saturday series.

Spend some quality time together and show some love to the animals during the Zoo’s Family Valentine’s Day event! The event runs from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 6.

Guests can take advantage of the Zoo’s “Polar Bear Days” promotion, presented by First Niagara Bank, and visit the Zoo for a reduced admission rate of just $5 per person.

The Valentine’s Day Zooper Saturday event will feature animal demonstrations, keeper talks, and enrichment activities for the animals. You can even make a Valentine card for a family member, friend, or your favorite Zoo animal! A full schedule of activities follows:

  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Make a Valentine's card in the EcoStation
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Face painting in the EcoStation
  • 11 a.m. – Primate activity at M&T Bank Rainforest Falls exhibit
  • 11:30 a.m. – Anteater activity at M&T Bank Rainforest Falls exhibit 
  • 12 p.m. – River otter enrichment at Otter Creek, presented by 2FindYourHome
  • 12:30 p.m. – Tiger activity at tiger exhibit
  • 1:30 p.m. – Gorilla activity in the gorilla house
  • 2 p.m. – Sea Lion activity at Sea Lion Cove, presented by NOCO
  • 3 p.m. – Keeper talk in the reptile house, sponsored by GEICO

Zooper Saturdays are held on the first Saturday of every month at the Buffalo Zoo. Zooper Saturday activities are free with regular admission and feature a different animal group or theme each month. Free parking continues through February 29.

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