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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


April 12, 2012

Summer happenings at Woodland Park Zoo 

Warthogs and rare Visayan warty pigs to debut in May 

Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham
206.548.2550 |

Elephant and giraffe feedings (additional cost) are among the offerings of the summer experience at Woodland Park Zoo beginning May 1-Sept. 30. Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo


Get ready for warts and all, rooting, dusting, and wallowing when some mighty fine swine headline Woodland Park Zoo this summer, presented by U.S. Bank and The Seattle Times. African warthogs, the wild pigs of the savanna, and critically endangered Visayan warty pigs, the punk rockers of the pig world native to central Philippines, will make their public appearance on May 5. The debut of the two new pig species will mark the first time that wild pigs will join the zoo.

Warthogs earned their name from the large facial warts on each side of their tusks and jumped to fame when the character Pumbaa endeared itself to fans of Disney’s “The Lion King.” The exhibit will take visitors to the moist and arid savannas of East Africa and is a part of the 4.5-acre, award-winning African Savanna that offers sweeping views dotted with giraffe, hippos, patas monkeys and lions.

Visayan warty pigs’ distinctive head tufts resemble a punk hairdo gelled with hair product. The punk look is even more prominent during breeding season when males erect both tuft and mane for a larger, impressive appearance. The warty pigs will make their home in a broadleaf tropical forest landscape that evokes the endangered species’ fragile habitat in the Philippines. The exhibit is located in the award-winning Elephant Forest near the elephant pool.


Summer experience 2012 programs

Programs are effective May 1-September 30, 2012, and are free with zoo admission, except as noted. Locations of programs are posted at the zoo’s South Entrance (N. 50th St. & Fremont Ave. N.) and West Entrance (Phinney Ave. N. between N. 55th & N. 56th Sts.) and found on our website All programs are subject to cancellation due to weather or animal availability.

Visayan Warty Pigs Smart Cart: Cute, Clever, Critically Endangered – 10:00 a.m.-noon daily. Pigs are smart! See our new Visayan warty pigs, and learn how you can help save them in the wild.

African Savanna Safari – 11:00 a.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Join a Maasai interpreter for a safari around the African Savanna. Safari begins by the Savanna Aviary.

Visayan Warty Pig Keeper Talk ‒ 11:00 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays. Learn about these curious, clever and critically endangered new residents of Woodland Park Zoo from the keepers that care for them.

Elephant Keeper Talk – 11:30 a.m. daily. Learn about the zoo’s magnificent elephants. Discover how Woodland Park Zoo supports elephant conservation in the wild and what you can do to help.

Keeper Talk – 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. daily. Meet a zookeeper and learn more about animal care at Woodland Park Zoo. New programs this year include Visayan warty pigs, warthogs, fruit bats and wolves! Locations vary – see entrance display or website for today’s programs. 

African Village Storytelling – noon Wednesdays-Sundays. Share an unforgettable experience of African culture through the dramatic storytelling of real-life wildlife encounters by a Maasai interpreter.

On Thin Ice! ‒ noon-4:00 p.m. (weekends and holidays, June, July, August). How will climate change affect your favorite animals? Answer questions correctly for a turn to break the ice and save a species in this large group activity located behind Zoomazium.

Elephant Poo Papermaking – 1:00-3:00 p.m. daily. Take recycling into your own hands while you learn about elephants!  Create new, “upcycled” paper to take home using elephant poo, and learn about these remarkable animals and their habitat.

Nature Exchange Trading in Zoomazium – 1:00-4:00 p.m. daily. Investigate shells, plants, fossils, minerals and the fun of collecting!  Bring in your drawings, photos, research or cool nature items. You can earn points to trade for the natural items in our ever-changing collection.

Wonderful Waterholes – 2:00 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Discover how conserving waterholes sustains wildlife and people in the African savanna. Program begins at the hippo pool.

Keeper Talk – 3:00 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays. Meet a zookeeper and learn more about animal care at Woodland Park Zoo.  Locations vary – see entrance display for website for today’s programs.

Raptor Programs

Raptor Free Flight Program – noon, 2:00 p.m. Wednesdays-Mondays. Here’s your chance to learn more about birds of prey. Keepers will introduce you to our resident raptors while demonstrating their impressive flying and hunting skills. A must see!

Raptor Staff Talk – 1:00 p.m. Wednesdays-Mondays. How do zoo staff take care of birds?  Learn about bird body language, migration, and how you can help protect wild raptors.

Education Staff Talk ‒ noon, 2:00 p.m. Tuesdays. Even raptors get a day off! Join our Education Staff for fun-filled, audience participation programs about how we excel at animal enrichment and training here at Woodland Park Zoo.

Zoomazium Programs

Zoomazium – 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Kids 8 and under and their caregivers love Zoomazium! The indoor, nature play space offers play and learning in a fun, safe and stimulating environment all year long. Here, kids can connect with animals, habitats and more through the natural language of childhood – play! Crawl through a hidden cave. Climb a giant strangler fig tree. Enjoy daily programs for toddlers and older children. Free with zoo admission.

Creature Feature –10:30 a.m. daily Children can get up close with live, furred, feathered or scaly animals. Meet the star from a puppet story. Practice observation skills to discover who’s in the Mystery Box. Design a play space for a curious creature and watch as it explores. 

Shake, Rattle & Roar! 11:30 a.m. daily. Toddlers and caregivers are invited to sing, dance, and play instruments to animal and nature-themed music.

Puppet Show – 4:00 p.m. daily. Animal puppets tell stories and sing songs. Children are invited up to dance and meet the puppets after the show.


Animal Feeding Experiences and Contact Opportunities

Animal Contact Experience – 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily. Touch domestic farm animals and learn more about them in supervised areas at the Family Farm. 

Giraffe Feeding Experience – 10:00-11:00 a.m., 2:30-3:30 p.m. daily. Get close to giraffes as you feed them on a raised platform in the African Savanna, and learn how you are saving wild giraffes. Due to appetites, giraffes might not feed. Cost: $5 per person, cash only.

Elephant Feeding Experience – 1:30-2:30 p.m. daily.  Meet a keeper – and an elephant!  Offer some fresh bamboo, and learn how you are helping to save elephants in the wild.  Due to appetites, elephants might not feed. Cost: $5 per person, cash only.

Willawong Station – The Bird Feeding Experience* – 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. daily. This popular walk-through bird feeding experience transports you to the world of the Australian parrot – and the Australian grasslands habitat. Willawong Station is a fun opportunity for the whole family to get up close and feed birds in a controlled, safe environment while learning about responsible care for birds both in the wild and at home. The aviary includes approximately 100 free-flying birds, primarily small colorful Australian parrots. Free with zoo admission. Bird sticks: id="mce_marker" each, cash only.


Animal Encounters

Want a close encounter with the animal kind? Here’s your chance to meet a lizard, snake or other small zoo animal up-close and personal. Look for the Animal Encounters cart!


More fun…


Historic Carousel – 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. daily

Enjoy rides on the classic, hand-carved wooden carousel horses. Cost: $2 a ride, in addition to zoo admission. 


The call of discovery beckons! While visiting Woodland Park Zoo this summer, join docents in an exploration of nature’s balance and tools of survival. In these hands-on programs featuring exhibits, biofacts, and fun-filled games, you’ll have an opportunity to pursue questions and passions. Plus, discover how you can help save wildlife by taking some simple steps. Swing by a discovery station and indulge your scientific side!

Bug Club (fee based)

Do you jump for joy when you see a spider, tingle with excitement as you roll over a log covered with sow bugs? Then join Bug Club! Bug Club is for children 5-11 years old who love bugs! Bug Club meets one Sunday per month. For information or an application, call 206.548.2424 or see the website at .

Parents’ Night Out (fee based)

Dinner reservation? Check. Verified movie times? Check. Babysitter? Uh oh. Don’t fret - let Woodland Park Zoo handle childcare for you.  Kids ages 4-11 will enjoy a fun-filled evening with zoo staff inside Zoomazium while you enjoy a night out on the town. Supervised activities for kids include games, an educational film, and a live animal encounter, plus a tasty pizza dinner!  For information or to register, go to or call 206.548.2424. All children must be fully potty trained.

Zoo Overnight and Evening Adventures (fee based).

Wildlife Survival Night Time style…The gates are locked, the visitors are gone and the animals are settling down for the night…but you can still prowl the grounds and discover the wonders of the zoo after hours.  Bring your class, troop, group or your family and join us for an "Organized Group" or an “Individuals and Small Groups” Zoo Adventure. Stay all night or

just for an evening adventure. For more information and how to register, visit our website at  or call 206-548-2424.


Rainy Day Discount

For a Rainy Day Discount coupon, go to and check if it has been posted for the day. Discount coupons, when offered, are good for 50% off on regular admission to the zoo, limit four admissions per coupon. Coupons, if posted online, will appear no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the coupon is valid. Discounts cannot be combined with other discounts or offers, and are good only for the day indicated on the coupon. If there isn’t a coupon, be sure to check back on another day. 


General information

Spring/summer hours:            May 1-September 30: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. through September 30. The zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. Zoomazium closes at 5:30 p.m.

Spring/summer zoo admission: May 1-September 30: Adult (13-64) id="mce_marker"7.75; Child (3-12) id="mce_marker"1.50 Free for children 2 and under year round. Active and retired U.S. military and their families, seniors and people with disabilities receive a discount and zoo members receive free zoo admission year round.

Quarters for Conservation: Part of zoo admission and membership has always gone to fund conservation programs in the wild. Cast your vote for your favorite conservation project at the Quarters for Conservation kiosks located at each entrance and be sure to hear a Quarters for Conservation keeper talk during your visit.

Parking: $5.25. Parking is limited. Consider taking the bus, biking, walking or carpooling. Conserving resources is one more way to help animals. For bus service to the zoo, visit

Gifts/Food: Visit the ZooStores for extraordinary gifts and zoo souvenirs. Stop by the Rain Forest Food Pavilion or other concessionaire locations to quench your thirst or appetite. Open daily during regular zoo hours.

Info: For more information or to become a zoo member, visit Or call 206.548.2500 or 548.2599 (TTY).


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 the Pacific Northwest and 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

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, the AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit


Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.