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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


NOVEMBER 1, 2011

New donkey Rrrrriiiicoooo and fellow animals to participate in a kicking exhibition to celebrate the Seattle Sounders FC playoff match.

Media Contacts:
Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham
206.548.2550 |


A soccer ball kicking exhibition will take place at Woodland Park Zoo as animal residents – a new Sicilian miniature donkey named Rico, a juvenile frisky lion, grizzly bear brothers, a pack of wolves and a snow leopard – play with Seattle Sounders FC soccer balls in a “wild” rally for the team’s run for the MLS Cup playoffs.

Rico, a 4-year-old male donkey, is the latest addition to the zoo’s Family Farm and is impressing zoo staff with his soccer playing skills.

Sounders FC will play at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, October 29. The return leg will be played on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, November 2. 

Soccer balls for the animals are part of the zoo’s excellent animal care program to help enrich the lives of the zoo’s animals, promote natural animal behavior, keep animals mentally stimulated and engage zoo visitors.

Seattle Sounders FC executives served as co-chairs of the zoo’s 35th annual Jungle Party held in July and helped raise $1.5 million to support the zoo’s excellent animal care, inspiring education programs and field conservation projects around the globe and in Washington state.


Photo op:  Tuesday, November 1

                        Donkey: 10:15 a.m.
                        Lion: 10:40 a.m.
                        Snow leopard: 11:00 a.m.
                        Grizzlies: 11:20 a.m.
                        Wolves: 11:45 a.m.


Meet PR staff at the West Entrance at Phinney Ave. N. between N. 55th & N. 56th Sts. Park in the inner north lot off N. 59th St. & Phinney Ave. N. where offices are located.  


4-year-old donkey Rico; 2-year-old African lion Adia; 5-year-old snow leopard Tom; 17-year-old grizzly bears Keema and Denali; and 1-year-old wolves Doba, Shila, Aponi and Kaya.


The community is invited to watch the kicking exhibition with zoo admission: Adult (13-64) $11.50; Child (3-12) $8.50; Toddler (0-2) free. Active and retired U.S. military and their families, seniors and people with physical disabilities receive an admission discount. Zoo members receive free zoo admission year round. The zoo is open 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily through April 30. Parking is $5.25 and is limited. Consider taking the bus, biking, walking or carpooling. For bus service to the zoo, visit:

Visit for a schedule of free fall and winter programs and a Rainy Day Tour map. For more information or to become a zoo member, call 206.548.2500 or 548.2599 (TTY), or visit the zoo’s website at