Zoo Happenings

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ZooBoo continues this weekend

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

Have you ever wondered, “How fast can an elephant eat a pumpkin?” Or “Who would win a standoff between a meerkat and an African spurred tortoise when the prize is a delicious Halloween treat?” If you guessed that I won’t tell you, you’re correct! You have to come to ZooBoo and see for yourself.

Animal enrichment is only one delightful aspect of ZooBoo. This merry-not-scary event also features 15 trick-or-treat stations, photo opportunities with costumed characters and the stunning autumn backdrop of the Zoo. Bring the entire family to this spooktacular Halloween event. Each ZooBoo weekend is a great opportunity to snap unique photos of your family enjoying the event. Enter these photos in the ZooBoo Costume Contest on Instagram and you could win a wonderful prize courtesy of your Zoo! See below for details.

ZooBoo will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the remaining Saturdays (Oct. 18 and 25) and Sundays (Oct. 19 and 26) in October. Trick-or-treat tickets are $8.50 each and include a bag to carry treats. Non-members must also pay Zoo admission; children age 2 and younger and our Zoo members are free. Animal enrichment programs are included with admission.

We look forward to seeing you and your family this weekend at ZooBoo!

- Michele Schepisi-Ritchie, Office and Marketing Assistant

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It’s ZooBoo time!

Photo by Wayne Panepinto

Photo by Wayne Panepinto

If you ask Zoo staff and volunteers what they enjoy most about working at ZooBoo, you will get a variety of answers. Many will tell you that seeing families dressed in their Halloween best and having fun tops the list. Others enjoy seeing the joy on children’s faces as they receive a treat or watch the Zoo’s animals receive their treats. Some like the festive, family-friendly atmosphere and the camaraderie of helping to put on one of the most fun Zoo fundraisers of the year. Each year during this family-friendly event, the Zoo is overrun with pirates and princesses, witches and wizards, football players and fairies. The beautiful autumn foliage serves as the perfect backdrop during this merry-not-scary trick-or-treat event. There is so much to see and experience at ZooBoo – here is a list of tricks for making your visit a treat:

  • Are you a Seneca Park Zoo Member? Purchase your trick-or-treat tickets (good for any ZooBoo day) until 4 p.m. Friday (Oct. 10). This enables you to take advantage of Express Check-in; just have your tickets, membership card and photo ID ready.
  • Avoid crowds; visit the trick-or-treat stations in any order.
  • Look for schedules and maps throughout the Zoo. Schedules will enable you to see some of your favorite animals receive Halloween treats. Maps will direct you to important places like restrooms and concessions, in addition to trick-or-treat stations.
  • Take advantage of unique photo opportunities. Costumed characters will be located at the front of the Zoo, just inside the Front Gate. A variety of characters will be available each ZooBoo day.
  • Visit the pavilion and enter to win wonderful prizes, including a $100 WalMart gift card, a $100 ZooShop gift certificate and a large, plush orangutan.
  • Remember that a portion of every ZooBoo ticket benefits Health in Harmony, a nonprofit organization committed to saving orangutans in their natural ranges.

Put on your merry-not-scary costume and bring your family to trick-or-treat at the Zoo. It truly is the Halloween destination this autumn.

WHAT: ZooBoo, A SPOOKTACULAR FUNDRAISER! A merry-not-scary trick-or-treating event.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October

COST: Seneca Park Zoo Members pay $8.50 for each trick-or-treat ticket. Non-members pay Zoo admission plus $8.50 for each trick-or-treat ticket. Scheduled programs are included with admission.

 – Michele Schepisi-Ritchie, Office and Marketing Assistant

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Genesee Trail Day: History, conservation and education

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

Saturday, October 4 is Genesee Trail Day at Seneca Park Zoo. Join our docents from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as they highlight the natural history of the Genesee Valley. Representatives from Ganondagan will be on hand to help you explore the cultural history of the People of the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee). Natural and cultural artifacts, touch tables and the Zoo’s own animals will be the focus of this annual event.  Learn more about lake sturgeon, specifically how the Zoo’s conservation efforts have helped the Genesee River become pure again. Better water quality has also helped river otters. Learn more about our otters during a special talk at 11 a.m. in the ECO Center. Animals played an important part in the development of civilizations along the Genesee River; learn what may be done to promote conservation of some of our most important local species and resources. The event is free with Zoo admission and offers family-friendly fun in a stunning autumn setting.

Zoo Boo 2014Zoo members visiting this weekend may stop by the Front Gate to purchase trick-or-treat tickets for ZooBoo. This annual merry-not-scary Halloween event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October (Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26). Discount advance sale tickets, available to our Zoo members only, are $6.50 and may be purchased online or by phone through Sunday, October 5 and at the Front Gate through Friday, October 10. Visit www.senecaparkzoo.org or call the Membership Office at (585) 336-7212 for more information or to purchase your tickets. Tickets will be available at the Front Gate each day of the event for both Zoo members and non-members. Ticket price at the gate will be $8.50 each.

The weather may be cooling down, but Book and Beast is gearing up! At 11 a.m. nearly every Wednesday through March, Book and Beast brings story-time and an animal encounter to you and your children. Each week will feature a different book and an animal from our Education Collection. Book and Beast takes place in the Z.O.T. Zone and is free with Zoo admission. Check the Zoo’s online calendar for the complete schedule.

The Zoo is open year-round and autumn is a lovely time to see YOU at the Zoo!

- Michele Schepisi-Ritchie, Office and Marketing Assistant


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Make a date with fall this weekend

Photo by Marissa SmithlerIt’s time to say goodbye to one of our most popular warm-weather animals. The American alligators currently in residence at Seneca Park Zoo will be heading to their winter home in Florida shortly. With a spectacular autumn-weather weekend in the forecast, it’s time to plan a trip to your Zoo. Our alligators’ toothy “smiles” and prehistoric appearance continue to intrigue and entertain our visitors each summer.

Because they are ectothermic, our cold western New York climate is not suitable for alligators in winter. Ectothermic species are those that warm themselves by obtaining heat from their environment. This is the reason that you may see alligators lounging in the sun on cooler autumn days as opposed to floating in their pool on hot summerones. The Zoo has other ectothermic species, including reptiles, amphibians and fish. You’ll notice that once the weather gets cooler, our red-eared sliders disappear from the Genesee Trail pond and ’Dozer, the male African spurred tortoise, will begin to spend his days inside and off-exhibit. (You may still see Shelley, the female African spurred tortoise, who resides with the meerkats in the Main Building.) Bring the family, your cameras and enjoy autumn on our beautiful tree-lined pathways as you visit with the alligators.

Photo by Pam CowanZooBoo, our merry-not-scary Halloween fundraiser, is just around the corner. Our Zoo Members may purchase discounted advance sale tickets online or by calling the Membership office at (585) 336-7212. Online and phone sales end on Sunday, October 5, so don’t forget to purchase your tickets today!

New to ZooBoo? Here’s what to expect:

  • Three consecutive Saturdays and Sundays of Halloween fun (Trick-or-treat tickets are good for one day only)
  • Fifteen stations positioned throughout the Zoo, offering candy and trinkets to those who have purchased trick-or-treat tickets
  • Costumed characters available for photo opportunities
  • Zoo animals enjoying their own Halloween treats
  • Friendly and helpful volunteers and staff
  • Specials at the ZooShop, Eagle’s Landing Café and Crater Canteen
  • A merry-not-scary atmosphere, decorated in celebration of the season

Time:  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dates:  Saturdays and Sundays, October 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26

Cost per trick-or-treating ticket: Zoo Members: $6.50 in advance through Oct. 10 (good for any ZooBoo day); $8.50 at the gate the day of the event; Non-members: $8.50 plus Zoo admission.

Trick-or-treating tickets will be available at the Front Gate each day of the event. Zoo Members not trick-or-treating are free; Non-members not trick-or-treating pay Zoo admission only.

ZooBoo is just one of the Zoo’s events that make us The Natural Place for Families. See YOU at the Zoo!

- Michele Schepisi-Ritchie, Office and Marketing Assistant

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Conservation is BIG this weekend at Seneca Park Zoo

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

What is the largest land mammal in the world? If you answered, “elephant” you would be mostly correct; African elephants are larger than the Asian species. Seneca Park Zoo is home to two beautiful African elephants, the only African elephants residing in New York State. Genny C and Lilac have lived at the Zoo for 35 years and as they have gradually migrated from exhibits near the front of the Zoo to a state-of-the-art exhibit at the back of the Zoo, they have remained popular with both visitors and staff. Join us from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 20 as we celebrate Elephant Awareness Day and learn why elephants are considered one of the smartest mammals on earth. Genny C and Lilac, along with zoo keepers, docents and education staff, will spend the day teaching visitors about African elephants and the importance of conservation when it comes to saving this majestic species. We have scheduled a full day of activities meant to inform, entertain and prompt involvement in our visitors. The event is free with Zoo admission. Watch a short video of what you can expect here.

DSC_8501Schedule of Activities for Elephant Awareness Day:

  • 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. – Elephant Bath Demonstration – Watch zoo keepers give Genny C and Lilac their daily bath, a necessity in keeping elephant skin healthy.
  • 11 to 11:15 a.m. – Elephant painting – Watch as one of our elephants shows off her artistic ability by producing a painting that a lucky visitor will win! Enter the drawing to win.
  • 11:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m: Silent Auction open. Bid on three different prizes: Be an Elephant Keeper for a Day, Elephant Painting Experience as well as an elephant painting created by Genny C and Lilac on Saturday.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Elephant Barn tours – Our state of the art elephant barn does much more than just shelter our elephants.
  • 1:30 to 1:45 p.m. – Enrichment Demonstration – Watch Genny C and Lilac exhibit some of their learned behaviors and have fun in the process. Our educators will answer your questions.
  • 2 to 2:15 p.m. – Watermelon Eating Contest – Join in the fun and see if you can eat as much watermelon as an elephant!
  • 2:30 to 2:45 p.m. – Foot Care Demonstration – Proper foot care in elephants is extremely important. Watch zoo keepers go through the foot care routine.
  • 2:45 to 3 p.m. – Medical Behavior Demonstration – How do you weigh an elephant or give her a shot? Zoo keepers will have Genny C and Lilac demonstrate some of the behaviors they have learned to make a visit from the veterinarian go smoothly.
  • 4 p.m. – Silent Auction winners announced.
  • 4:15 p.m. – Elephant dinner – See just how much elephants eat for dinner.

Don’t forget to stop by the ZooShop and donate to International Elephant Foundation, an organization committed to the conservation of elephants both in their natural ranges and in zoological facilities.

Recycle GraphicsOur Go Green! Recycle Rally will take place in the Zoo’s main parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 21. Members of the community are invited to bring electronics such as televisions, computer monitors, DVD players, microwaves and gaming systems to be recycled through our partnership with Sunnking Electronics. The Zoo cannot accept air conditioners or hazardous wastes such as paints, solvents and cleaners for recycling. Recycling is free except for batteries, which are $2 per pound to recycle. Locked bins will be available for recycling sensitive documents through Shred-Text. The Zoo will also be collecting donations of clothing, shoes and bicycles to benefit Volunteers of America.

Conservation concerns us all, so come to the Zoo this weekend to get involved with conservation efforts and have a great time in the process! The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Arrive by 4 p.m. and stay until 5 p.m. Our Zoo Members may enter the Zoo at 9:30 a.m.

See YOU at the Zoo.

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Animal birthdays are a blast!

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

Don’t miss out on any of the birthday fun this Saturday (Sept. 13) as the Zoo celebrates our Bornean orangutans turning another year older!

From 1 to 3 p.m., visit with orangutans Kumang, Denda and Bella and learn about their wild counterparts from our docents, or volunteer educators. You’ll even have a chance to support wild orangutans in their natural ranges by donating to Health in Harmony via our donation box, located next to the Orangutan Exhibit.

At 2 p.m., join in a special Happy Birthday sing-a-long with keepers and staff and watch as our orangutan trio discover birthday enrichment items located in their exhibit. Gather the family and head to the Zoo for a fun and educational bonding experience.

Are you a Zoo member? While you’re here, take advantage of ZooBoo discounted advance tickets at the Zoo’s Front Gate, on sale through Oct. 10. Save $2 per trick-or-treating ticket – these are good for any ZooBoo day!

Coming up next weekend: Elephant Awareness Day (Sept. 20) and Go Green! Recycle Rally (Sept. 21).

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Last ZooBrew of 2014 promises to be wunderbar!

PrintOktoberfest may be a month away for most, but The Wildest Happy Hour in Town, ZooBrew, returns Friday, September 5th to satisfy your Bavarian cravings a bit early! ZooBrew is back and brings autumn brews, local wines and super grill specials. Try a Rohrbach’s Beer Brat with sauerkraut and German potato salad in the Oktoberfest Tent. Enjoy live music at three venues located throughout the Zoo. Bill Schmitt & the Bluesmasters will be featured at the Pavilion; Joe Brucato will be performing at the Tent. As you walk through A Step Into Africa to visit the lions, goats, baboons and elephants, you will enjoy the musical talent of Amy Montrois at the Canteen. Don’t miss this ZooBrew – the last of 2014!

ZooBrew features:

  • $10 admission
  • Five cash bars
  • Three live musical acts
  • Seasonal and local brews and wines
  • Delicious food specials
  • Oktoberfest Tent with more delicious food and drink specials

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. Event ends at 9 p.m. The event is restricted to persons 21 and older ONLY with proper identification. Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged.

Don’t forget to pick up a ZooBrew T-shirt at the ZooShop – supplies are limited on these collectible T’s!

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

Head to the Zoo for National Grandparents’ Day! Sunday, September 7th, Seneca Park Zoo will celebrate Grandparents’ Day by offering ONE free grandchild admission with ONE paid grandparent admission all day. In addition, we will be offering encore presentations of some of our most popular Summer Programs, including our spectacular Stage Show. These programs are free with Zoo admission, so take advantage of this last summer hey-day before the leaves start to fall and the alligators go south for the winter!

Grandparents’ Day Program Schedule:

  • 10:30 a.m. Otter Experience: A staff member will guide you through this program as you witness the amazing behaviors our otters have learned.
  • 11:30 a.m. Sea Lion Experience: Watch as our sea lions are fed and learn exactly what they eat from an education staff member.
  • 12:30 p.m. Stage Show: This show introduces you to a variety of birds from around the world. You will learn about their habitats, adaptations and conservation issues.
  • 1:30 p.m. Elephant Experience: Watch as our elephants interact with their keepers and display natural behaviors. You will learn all about these magnificent creatures during an educational talk.
  • 2:30 p.m. Stage Show: (See above)
  • 3:30 p.m.  Tiger Experience: Watch as one of our tigers interacts with her trainer and displays natural behaviors.
  • 3:30 p.m. Lion Experience: Watch as our lions interact with their keepers and learn all about them during an educational talk.

See YOU at the Zoo.


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