Zoo Happenings

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Before they head back to school, bring the kids to the Zoo

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photos by Kelli O’Brien

Give the kids something wild to talk about when they’re asked how their summer was – head to the Zoo this weekend!

Bring your family to the Zoo to experience our unique Summer Programs. These fun and educational experiences end Monday, September 1. Watch daily as sea lions, otters, polar bears and more exhibit natural behaviors from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Does your kid love alligators? Our 1:30 p.m. Alligator Feeding on Monday, Sept. 1 is right up their alley! For a full Summer Program schedule, click here.

Jack CarsonWhat’s happening this fall? Grandparents Day, Elephant Awareness Day, a Go Green! Recycle Rally, animal birthdays, ZooBoo, to name a few!

Looking for unique ways to celebrate a fall birthday? Book your child’s party during the month of September, October or November and receive 10% (members and non-members) off, during our fall special, by using the code FALL10. That’s an additional 10% off for our Zoo members on top of their year-round 10% off discount. Offer only valid for new bookings.


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Zoo Jersey Auction at Frontier Field on Aug. 23

Red-Wings-Alligator-JerseyThe Rochester Red Wings team will look a little wild during their second game against Scranton/WB on Saturday, Aug. 23. They’ll be wearing alligator-themed jerseys that you can bid on during the game!

Join us at Frontier Field for the 7:05 p.m. game (the second game of a doubleheader that evening) and cheer on your local ball team while helping to raise money for the Zoo. All money raised from these cool jerseys benefit your Zoo.

Gather your family and friends and come on out for a night of family fun in Rochester! To purchase tickets, click here.

Photo by Jeff Gerew

Photo by Jeff Gerew

Also taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day will be Snakes and Friends Day. Docent touch table stations around the Zoo highlight unique attributes of reptile and amphibian “friends” along with the important role they each play in the environment.

At 1:30 p.m. learn about your Zoo’s efforts to conserve the endangered massasauga rattlesnake here in New York and pick up a few tips on how we can co-exist amicably with the snakes that share our habitat. This special meet and greet with one of our eastern massasauga rattlesnakes takes place in the grassy area adjacent to the Animal Hospital on the lower east side service road (or inside hospital if raining).

Stations to be featured throughout the day:

  • Snakes (E.C.O. Center): Focuses on the unique features of snakes and how they help control the rodent population.
  • Alligators (Alligator Exhibit): Focuses on our visiting alligators and how they help create a viable ecosystem for other animals.
  • Turtles/Tortoises (African Spurred Tortoise Exhibit): Focuses on our tortoises and highlights why you should not seek one for a pet.
  • Frogs (Main Building): Focuses on frogs, how they serve as an environmental indicator for pollution and health hazards, as well as their role in helping to control the insect population.
  • Lizards (Main Building): Focuses on our gila monsters and how lizards and reptiles can be helpful in developing medicines and cures for ailments

See YOU at the Zoo!


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ZooBrew, meerkats and elephants, oh my!

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

ZooBrew, sponsored by Lake Beverage, is this Friday (Aug. 8)! Cost is $10 and includes Zoo admission and live music by Fat City, Neil Van Dorn 3 and Key Dreamers. Adult beverages and food will be available for purchase.

This month’s 21-and-older happy hour will include a Littleneck Clam Bake sponsored by Palmer’s Food Service. Clams may be purchased by the dozen for $7, or as a full dinner with salt potatoes and sweet corn for $9. Check in through Yelp that night and enjoy a special at the ZooShop, too. Parking is extremely limited, so please carpool and always bring a designated driver with you.

We’ll also be celebrating a Meerkat Birthday from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9. At 2 p.m., join Zoo staff as we sing happy birthday as their keepers give them special enrichment.

elephantTuesday, Aug. 12th is World Elephant Day and the Zoo will #GoGrey for the occasion! World Elephant Day is a chance to learn about elephants and to spread awareness about the threats they face in the wild.

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 12.

Cost: Free with Zoo admission.

How can you help?

Wear grey and share your “elphies” that day with the hashtag #GoGrey! Click here to print out a #GoGrey Elphie sign. Click here for other ways you can help spread the word.

Schedule of activities for August 12:

All day: Stations – Elephant Drawing/Pledge to Help, Elephant Conservation and Elephant Natural History

1:30 p.m.: Interpretive Program – Elephant Experience

2 p.m. and 6 p.m.: Photo Op at Elephant Watering Hole – we ask that visitors wear grey to show their support!


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Parties at the Zoo start this weekend with an animal birthday

Meerkat bdayThere’s wild animal fun for visitors of all ages during our animal birthday parties. Help Zoo staff sing “Happy Birthday” to our African penguins this Saturday (Aug. 2). Save the date for our Meerkat Birthday next Saturday (Aug. 9) The birthday animals will receive special treats, too! All parties take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the animals’ exhibit. Click here for details.

Through August, the Zoo will be Open Late Tuesdays! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stroll through the Zoo on a summer evening with the family.

Summer in Rochester isn’t complete without attending the wildest happy hour in town, ZooBrew. You won’t want to miss this 21-and-older night out with friends and, of course, with our animals! Join us from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8. This month’s ZooBrew will also include a Littleneck Clam Bake sponsored by Palmer’s Food Services, at the Tent near our Amur Tiger Exhibit. Clams will be available for purchase by the dozen or as a full dozen (prices TBD).

Cost is $10 and includes admission to the Zoo as well as live music. Adult beverages and food available for purchase. Music schedule for Aug. 8 is: At the Pavilion: Fat City; At the Canteen: Neil Van Dorn; At the Tent: Key Dreamers

Please note: Parking for this event is extremely limited. Please carpool and bring a designated driver. No children will be allowed to enter the Zoo for this event. Front Gate closes at 8 p.m.

See YOU at the Zoo.


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Going to the special showing of Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

Photos by darlene Benzon

Photos by darlene Benzon

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is not just a movie title, it’s the perfect description of Madagascar. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I can’t wait to see it and compare it to my experiences. I’ve been to Madagascar twice, and there is still so much more to see. Dr. Patricia Wright (who is featured in the movie and will be introducing the film at this special showing) invited us and planned a trip for docents in 2007.

Mouse Lemur IMG_2987smEleven of us were able to go. She showed us her beloved Ranomafana National Park with it’s golden bamboo lemurs, greater bamboo lemurs, Milne-Edwards’ sifaka, and mouse lemurs. I’m sure you will see all of these in the movie without the rainy hike through the forest. I can only guess as to the other lemurs that are featured in the movie, but I’m sure you will see some of my favorites. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and temperaments. I’ve only seen 15 of the over 100 species in the wild, including holding the smallest mouse lemur (as part of the research going on at ValBio at Ranomafana) and watching and listening to the largest lemurs, the Indris with their haunting calls. Being there once only made me want to return (which I did).

Silky_MG_9561_6602smIt’s hard to imagine just how many varied environments there are on an island only 1,000 miles long, but we saw spiny forests, coastline, rice fields, rivers, mountains, rain forests. Each has lemurs that take advantage of the particular food available.

We met the wonderful Malagasy people and listened to their music. We watched them weaving, and making paper with flowers pressed in it, farming, playing and breaking rocks down to gravel by hand. We saw children going to school, working in fields, laughing, playing and waving to us.

When you see this movie you will begin to understand the wonder and beauty of this land. By coming to this special viewing you will be helping these lemurs and the Seneca Park Zoo conservation efforts. If you choose to attend our 21-and-older Party Madagascar the following night at the Zoo, you will be helping even more. I hope to see you there.

- darlene Benzon, docent


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Stay local and enjoy Independence Day in wild style!

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

Don’t miss out on our membership special only available at the Front Gate (Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6): Join or renew your membership and take $10 off.

471-107751-products_firecrcker_300x300All weekend long, our Summer Programs will engage and enthrall the whole family. And leave the cooler at home – we’ve got delicious lunch options for you at our Eagle’s Landing Café or Crater Canteen, whether it’s a family meal or an afternoon treat. As a bonus: Firecracker popsicles are only $1 all weekend.

We also have a free giveaway for each child who comes to the Zoo Friday through Sunday. And, mention “July4thWeekend” while shopping at the ZooShop and you’ll get 15% off your purchase.

See YOU at the Zoo for red, white and blue!


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Open Late Tuesdays starts July 1

Open Late collage 1We’re excited to announce that Open Late Tuesdays are starting back up for the summer! On Tuesday nights in July and August, enjoy a 5:30 p.m. Hyena Experience with our spotted hyena Lou and engage with our zoo keepers during our 6:30 p.m. Keeper Talks. You can view a complete Keeper Talk schedule here. So save the dates, gather the kids and plan an evening visit with our animals while spending quality time together. And no need to eat dinner at home – our Eagle’s Landing Cafe, Crater Canteen as well as various snack kiosks are ready to serve you delicious food options!

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday (June 28), join us and learn about the fascinating country of Madagascar as we celebrate its Independence Day during Discover Madagascar Day. Touch table stations highlighting lemurs, reptiles and more will be available along with family-friendly games. This event is free with Zoo admission!

And don’t forget – our Photo Contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. next Tuesday (July 1) so get those photos in. Click here for details.

See YOU at the Zoo.

- Kelli O’Brien, Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator

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