Ambassador animals star in the zoo’s educational programs, helping build guests’ empathy for animals and promoting ways to take action for wildlife. Visitors have the opportunity to meet these incredible animals through engaging, up-close experiences at the zoo’s theaters and other programs across the zoo.

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Procyon lotor

Someone found Lucy as a young kit in the wild and tried to raise her as a pet. Later Lucy went to a rehab center in California but was too imprinted on humans to return to the wild, so she came to the zoo in 2016.

Lucy is curious and loves to explore her environment and learn new skills. She enjoys almost any food reward, especially banana chips, raw chicken, grapes and peanut butter.

Arctic fox
Vulpes lagopus

Hudson was born at the Great Bend Zoo and Raptor Center and was raised to be an ambassador animal. He came to Woodland Park Zoo in 2016.

Hudson is a fun and energetic, young fox. He enjoys sneaking up on his keepers and running away when they turn around. Every day, he gains more confidence while working and training with his keepers.

North American porcupine
Erethizon dorsatum

Skyáana was born in 2014 at Woodland Park Zoo and was raised to be an ambassador animal.

Skyáana is gentle and confident, determined to do exactly what she wants to do when she wants to do it. She’s a natural climber and will gladly climb for some yam, corn or piece of fruit.

Male nine-banded armadillo
Dasypus novemcinctus

Previous to coming to the zoo in 2016, Amarillo was part of a research study at the University of Ozarks.

Amarillo can move fast when he wants to, but he usually takes his time, distracted by his amazing sense of smell. Although he’s small, Amarillo is capable of jumping 2 to 3 feet in the air!

Southern three-banded armadillo
Tolypeutes matacus

Eduardo was born at Woodland Park Zoo in 2003. He was raised to be an ambassador animal, interacting with humans his whole life.

Eduardo is small but has a big personality! He loves interesting smells such as stinky shoes. We enjoy watching him scuttle across the stage, which he’ll gladly do for some tasty mealworms.

Striped skunk
Mephitis mephitis

Harry was born in 2015 as part of a Purdue University program, where researchers studied his energy use and activity levels. After the study, the researchers found homes for the animals at accredited zoos.

Harry arrived at Woodland Park Zoo in 2017 and his keepers are still getting to know him and his likes and needs. Stay tuned for more details!

Camila, Catalina, Sofia, and Valentina
Guinea pigs
Cavia porcellus

All the guinea pigs came from a local guinea pig rescue in Auburn, Washington. They were once unwanted pets, and now they are superstars with a great life at the zoo!

In the wild, guinea pigs are very social and tend to live in small, bonded groups. In our group, Sofia (dark brown, short hair) is the leader!

Annabelle and Bailey
Female pot-bellied pigs
Sus scrofa domesticus

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Bolivar and Rivera
Red footed tortoise

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Boa constrictor

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Female knobbed hornbill
Rhyticeros cassidix

Blueberry hatched at Woodland Park Zoo in 1997 and was raised by a zookeeper. There were a few unsuccessful attempts to find her a mate before she became an Ambassador Animal.

Blueberry loves interacting with her keepers and guests at the zoo! She’s good at catching fruit in mid-air and being rewarded with figs, blackberries, grapes and blueberries.

Pharaoh eagle-owl
Bubo ascalaphus

Buddy came to WPZ in 2013 when he was a year old. He was raised by a company that trains birds-of-prey to scare off smaller birds that eat crops.

Burrowing owl

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Aplomado falcon
Falco femoralis

Lola used to work on a blueberry farm, chasing away birds who ate the crops, but she wanted to hang out with the farmers instead of doing her job! Now she interacts with guests at the zoo.

Although she likes people and demonstrating her amazing flying abilities, Lolca can be quite protective of her territory, the Wildlife Theater.

Modoc “Mo”
Turkey vulture
Cathartes aura

Modoc is the oldest raptor at the zoo! After hatching in 1986, Mo was at a rehabilitation center but was too imprinted on humans to return to the wild. He came to Woodland Park Zoo in 1989.

Modoc enjoys working with veteran zookeepers and can show how adept he is at recycling (putting items in bins). However, when new keepers are getting to know Mo, he likes to test their resolve by pinching them.

Paco and Pluma
Chilean flamingoes
Phoenicopterus chilensis

When both of these flamingoes were abandoned as eggs in 2016, keepers at Woodland Park Zoo stepped in to hatch and rear them.

The flamingoes regularly follow their keepers around zoo grounds for exercise and leg strengthening. Someday they may also be in a program.

Spectacled owl
Pulsatrix perspicillata

Coba hatched at Woodland Park Zoo in 1992. He’s been “training” new staff and volunteers how to work with raptors for over two decades.

Coba is laid-back and has an easy personality, which is why he often works with new staff. He likes to eat dead mice and quail, and he loves it when his keepers give him head scratches.

Corvus corax

Edison was found as a chick near Los Angeles, California. Someone attempted to raise him but realized a raven is difficult to keep in a home, so Edison went to a rehabilitation center and then the zoo in 2015.

Like all ravens, Edison is extremely smart! He can recognize different shapes and colors and likes to retrieve objects for treats such as dog kibble, raw meat, and veggies.

Laughing kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae

Flick was at the National Aquarium, where he made it clear that he did not like living with other birds, so he became an Ambassador Animal at Woodland Park Zoo in 2015.

Flick is very independent. Sometimes during training, he purposely choses to do the direct opposite of what a keeper asks for, and then “laughs” with pride. His keepers know he is expressing his right to choose what he wants to do, and they admire him for it!

Vulturine guineafowl
Acryllium vulturinum

Granny lived at a zoo in Texas for many years before coming to Woodland Park Zoo. She used to be on exhibit, but her keeper let us know that she much preferred to be with humans rather than other birds. Now she often greets guests before the start of a program. 

As her name implies, Granny is very old for a guineafowl! She is partially deaf and has a cataract in her left eye. However, that doesn’t stop her from being sweet with the staff members she likes, and chasing the ones she doesn’t like as much!

Red-tailed hawk
Buteo jamaicensis

As a young bird in the wild, Gunnar was hit by a car. Luckily someone took him to a rehabilitation facility where he recovered except for permanent blindness in his left eye. Unable to survive in the wild, he’s made a home at Woodland Park Zoo since 2009.

Although he’s blind in one eye, he can still demonstrate natural raptor hunting behavior by flying and catching stuffed squirrels on the ground.

Peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus

Layla hatched in 1998 and was being trained to be used in falconry (hunting with a trained bird of prey). However, she didn’t seem to be interested in it and was donated to the zoo.

Barn Owl
Tyto alba

Luna hatched in 2000 and came to the zoo when he was a month old to be a part of the raptor flight team.

Harris’s hawk
Parabuteo unicinctus

Cisco hatched in 1987 and came to WPZ in 1988 as one of the first birds to join the raptor flight program.

Harris’s hawks live in family groups in the wild, so Cisco gets along with his keepers very well, but it takes a while for him to accept someone new. Sometimes he flies off course, but always returns to the Wildlife Theater, calling to his keepers to let them know he’s back.

Ferruginous hawk
Buteo regalis

Cree hatched in the wild in 1991 and was caught by a licensed falconer. She worked in falconry (hunting with a trained bird of prey) until she was donated to the zoo in 1999.

Cree loves to fly loops around the Wildlife Theater, sometimes soaring close to unsuspecting guests as they walk past. Keepers often work with her to be patient and wait—she’s full of energy and ready to go!