November 18, 2020
7:00 p.m.

Wildlife Heroes


Thank You!

Thank you for 15 years of supporting conservation through Thrive! In light of our changing times, Woodland Park Zoo will not be hosting a Thrive event in 2021 or beyond. We look forward to providing special recognition for our wildlife heroes and inspiring conservation action in new ways, without hosting a large in-person event. If you have any questions, please reach out to

If you’re interested in other Woodland Park Zoo events, please check out Jungle Party or All For Animals Giving Day and Walk. Thank you!


Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program

Conservation Update

Hear from Modi Pontio, Associate Director of Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in Papua New Guinea, about the work being done in Papua New Guinea and how it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The effects of COVID-19 have been felt all across the world in 2020, including in Papua New Guinea. While COVID-19 hit the capital city in Papua New Guinea, it has not spread to many of the more remote areas. This means that the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program’s work has been able to continue in the YUS villages and in the field, albeit with some new health and safety precautions.


A Life Among The Clouds

Get an inside look at the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program

Tree kangaroos are very elusive and spend much of their time high in the forest canopy, so the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program uses special camera tracking collars to better understand the animal’s ecology, behavior and conservation status. Microsoft engineer Doug Bonham helped upgrade the collars to make them better suited for the challenging conditions of the YUS cloud forest.

The TKCP team has also worked with graduate student Jonathan Byers (University of Montana) to deploy drones in the Papua New Guinea cloud forests. These drones collect data to produce 3-D maps of the landscape and forest canopy. By combining these data and data from the tracking collars, Byers developed machine learning algorithms and utilized Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform (through an in-kind grant from Microsoft’s AI for Earth program) to provide unprecedented insights into Matschie’s tree kangaroo habitat and behavior.

Protecting the biodiversity and habitat of YUS forests requires coordinated commitment and action across the entire landscape. Indigenous landowners and community members work in partnership with TKCP to protect the YUS Conservation Area for future generations of people and wildlife.


Meet Keweng (kay-wing)!

Woodland Park Zoo’s new tree kangaroo joey

This sweet female Matschie’s tree kangaroo is named after a village in the YUS Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea. Little Keweng has been growing every day, and is just starting to venture out and explore her surroundings a bit before returning to the safety of her mother’s pouch.

Woodland Park Zoo follows the recommendations of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans (SSP), which place a focus on animals that are in danger of going extinct in the wild, using conservation breeding programs as one approach to help save species. Woodland Park Zoo and other AZA TK-SSP institutions are leading the way in breeding Matschie’s tree kangaroos to increase the number and genetic diversity of tree kangaroos in zoos.



Be a Wildlife Hero From Home

Tree Kangaroo Conservation Coffee

Your coffee can save species in Papua New Guinea

For the month of November, Caffe Vita will donate $3 per bag of PNG YUS coffee sold to Woodland Park Zoo to further the work of our conservation scientists who save species and habitats in Papua New Guinea, in the Pacific Northwest and around the world! You can purchase this coffee here. PNG YUS coffee is also available in the ZooStore. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy this delicious coffee directly from Papua New Guinea at home, try out this coffee cocktail recipe, courtesy of Lisa Dupar Catering!

Caffe Vita Cocktail

  • 2.5 cups freshly brewed Caffe Vita
  • .5 cup heavy cream
  • .5 cup Kahlúa Coco Blonde
  • .25 cup vodka, or to taste
  • Whipped heavy cream for garnish if desired


In a saucepan stir together the hot Caffe Vita Drip, the 1/2 cup cream, the Kahlúa Coco Blonde and the vodka. Heat the mixture over moderate heat until it is hot. Divide the mixture among heated mugs and garnish each drink with some of the whipped cream.


Turtles Return to Pacific Northwest Waters

Support local wildlife conservation efforts

You can meet Woodland Park Zoo’s western pond turtles and learn about the zoo’s other local conservation projects at the refreshed Living Northwest Trail exhibit in 2021.

In the meantime, you can support local wildlife research from home! Report your carnivore sightings in the greater Seattle Area (or see which species you share your neighborhood with!) at Your contribution helps Woodland Park Zoo conservation scientists advance our scientific knowledge about urban carnivores, as well as build the skills and knowledge necessary to address real-world ecological problems.


Palm Oil Solutions

Learn how you can make your pantry more wildlife friendly

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil consumed all over the world, appearing in nearly 50% of household products in the United States. Orangutans, tigers, gorillas, and other wildlife and their forests are threatened by non-sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa and South America. You can use your shopping habits to send a message that consumers support sustainable palm oil.

Download the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping Guide app on the App Store or on Google Play. Scan barcodes on items in your kitchen pantry, bathroom cabinets and elsewhere around your home to see which products are wildlife-friendly.



Featured Honorees

Elisabeth Leung

2020 Emerging Conservationist Award Recipient

Elisabeth's passion for conservation has inspired her to save species both locally and abroad! Prior to joining Woodland Park Zoo's Living Northwest Program as a summer intern, she spent three weeks in South Africa as a research assistant working with locally based non-profits to support wildlife conservation projects.

Maggie Walker

2020 Philanthropic Leadership Award Recipient

Maggie Walker’s generosity and leadership are evident not only at Woodland Park Zoo, but across the Pacific Northwest. Maggie has served in leadership roles at MOHAI, Seattle Art Museum, ARCS Foundation, Washington Women’s Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Seattle Parks Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Bullitt Foundation… just to name several!

Currently, Maggie is chair of the National Audubon Society, Co-Chair of the Prosperity Partnership’s Cultural Task Force, Co-Chair of the Central Waterfront Committee, Chair of the Board of Global Partnerships, Chair of Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and chair of the Advisory Board of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington Foundation.

Sound Community Bank

2020 Guy C. Phinney Corporate Leadership Award Recipient

Sound Community Bank supports Woodland Park Zoo and many other Pacific Northwest organizations through their time, expertise and philanthropic gifts.

Sound Community Bank employees log hundreds of hours of community service to different organizations such as Woodland Park Zoo, Girls Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Make-a-Wish, Relay for Life, Arthritis Foundation, American Heart Association, Sequim Irrigation Festival, North Olympic Land Trust, Pink Up Port Angeles, Mountlake Terrace Night Out, Bailey Boushay House and many, many more!

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

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