The Zoo celebrated another great year working hard to maintain awareness of the Zoo’s role within the community, through its conservation and education efforts as well as fundraising events. The Zoo continues to work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and its Species Survival Plan (SSP) to help keep animal populations healthy and sustainable, therefore showing our commitment to saving species.
Learn about the great efforts we highlighted in our holiday video here: [youtube=http://youtu.be/Ljjim0xMPd0]
Check out some other highlights by clicking through the photo gallery below:
Winter Break and Spring Break camps sold out in 2014. Children ages 5 to 8 spent each week learning about animal habitats, diets, behaviors and adaptations. With behind-the-scenes glances and special enrichment programs, these camps continue to delight and educate. (Photos by Kelli O’Brien)
2014 highlighted our participation in the AZA’s SSP. While goodbyes are never easy, this program shows our commitment to maintaining healthy and self-sustaining populations. Read about female orangutan Dara’s move to the Virginia Zoo: http://ow.ly/GBEZZ; male white rhino Roscoe’s move to The Wilds in Ohio: http://ow.ly/GBF7F and male African lion Tiberius’ move to The Buffalo Zoo: http://ow.ly/Gm5w3 (Rhino photo by Tina Fess; Lion photo by Diane Schwarz; orangutan photo by Dr. Jeff Wyatt)
Keeping in accordance with the SSPs set by the AZA, we welcomed female Canada lynx Bianca as a companion and mate for male Gretzky (read more: http://ow.ly/GDTbj). We added cisco, a fish native to the Great Lakes, to our lake sturgeon tank in the ECO Center as part of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (read more: http://ow.ly/GDTuC). Finally, in December, a ring-tailed lemur pair, male Bradigan and female Selma, joined our radiated tortoises in a mixed-species exhibit to educate visitors on the fragility of the natural range of these species on the island of Madagascar (read more: http://ow.ly/GDTA2). (Lynx photo by Marie Kraus; cisco and lemur photos by Kelli O’Brien)
Conservation Education Days, like Orangutan M.O.M. Day and Elephant Awareness Day, continued to draw visitors intent on learning how to make a difference in the conservation of these species. Also highlighted were the Zoo’s ongoing conservation efforts in partnership with Health in Harmony (Bornean orangutans) and International Elephant Foundation (African elephants.) Learn about Conservation Education Days in 2015: http://ow.ly/GBRKJ
In early June, the Seneca Park Zoo Society welcomed new Executive Director Pamela Reed Sanchez, who took on the role vacated by the retirement of Rachel Baker August. Reed Sanchez joins the Zoo Society following 12 years at the George Eastman House, most recently as Director of Strategic Planning and Resource Development. More: http://ow.ly/GBSEW (Photo by Kelli O’Brien)
Summer included our popular Summer Program schedule that highlighted natural behaviors of African elephants, Bornean orangtuans, North American river otters and more. The Zoo hosted Open Late Tuesdays in July and August to better make the Zoo accessible to working families. Our ZooCamp program was a huge hit with kids ages 3 to 12.
We celebrated the Jungle Jog 5K and Seneca Park Mile event’s 25th anniversary in 2014, with nearly 1,100 runners participating. The Seneca Park Mile and Kids’ Run Run took place in lower Seneca Park while the 5K course took runners through the lower park as well as inside the Zoo. In total, the event raised $25,000 for the Zoo. More: http://ow.ly/GBRY4 (Photo by Vasiliy Baziuk)
The Zoo participated in the PhotoFinish 5K, hosted by the George Eastman House, raising $5,995 for the Zoo and earning an additional $1,000 in the Environmental category. More: http://ow.ly/GBGLh (Photo by Kelli O’Brien)
The Zoo collaborated with the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society to highlight the Bergen Swamp, bringing along a Zoo resident, the Massasauga rattlesnake, to educate about its natural history. More: http://ow.ly/GBToO (Photo by John Adamski)
Beautiful autumn weather and excited, costumed children permeated the Zoo in October. ZooBoo continues to be a stand-out, Merry-Not-Scary Halloween event in the community. Check out a few photos from the event here: http://ow.ly/GBRCm (Photo by Kelli O’Brien)
In November, our zoo keeper staff presented the Animal Art Expo, an event featuring art created by our animals and sold or auctioned to benefit zoo keeper development, animal enrichment and conservation. The event was bigger than ever and resulting in a complete sell-out of original animal artwork. Watch our animals in action: http://ow.ly/GDBgg
– Kelli O’Brien, Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator
– Michele Schepisi-Ritchie, Office and Marketing Assistant