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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


December 6, 2011

New sloth bear to undergo quarantine exam Conservation ambassador arrives for new, naturalistic exhibit


Media Contacts:
Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham
206.548.2550 |


A 7-year-old, female sloth bear will receive a full physical examination, including blood work, radiographs and weight, by Woodland Park Zoo Animal Health staff. The bear, named Tasha, arrived at the end of October from Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas. The press is invited to a portion of the exam.

As part of Woodland Park’s Zoo’s excellent medical care program, the bear has been housed at the zoo’s Animal Health Complex for a standard 30-day quarantine period. After clearing quarantine, Tasha will be introduced to the existing sloth bear exhibit where, after adjusting to her new surroundings, will go through a series of introductions to the zoo’s only other sloth bear, a 14-year-old male named Randy.

In 2014, sloth bears will move into a new, state-of-the-art exhibit complex that will also feature Malayan tigers, Asian small-clawed otters and tropical birds. The $19.6 million exhibit project, part of the zoo’s $80 million More Wonder More Wild Campaign, will replace the 60-year-old infrastructure that critically endangered tigers and Asian bears currently inhabit at the zoo.


Tuesday, December 6, 10:30-11:00 a.m.


Woodland Park Zoo’s Animal Health Complex. Enter through the South Entrance parking lot at N. 50th St. & Fremont Ave. N. Drive straight through the road that winds north of the Rose Garden. It is the first building on the left.


The relocation of the new bear to Woodland Park Zoo was made under a breeding recommendation by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for sloth bears. Tasha has never had any offspring and the zoo’s male is the father to two offspring that were born at Woodland Park in 2004 and have since moved to other institutions.

SSPs, administered by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), are cooperative breeding programs to help ensure genetic diversity and demographic stability of endangered species in North American zoos and aquariums. Woodland Park Zoo currently participates in more than 70 AZA conservation programs. The programs also involve a variety of other collaborative conservation activities such as research, public education, reintroduction and field projects.

Sloth bears – native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka – are an endangered species. Fewer than 10,000 remain in the wild. Their survival is challenged by fragmented populations, deforestation and the bear parts trade. Sloth bears are very rare in zoos, with fewer than 50 currently living in North American zoos.

Follow the progress of the More Wonder More Wild comprehensive campaign and its eight initiatives, and learn how to get involved at

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in Washington state and in 50 countries around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit