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Detroit Zoo’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center August 28, 2016

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Last week’s whirlwind trip to Michigan, Ohio and Indiana was lots of fun. Meeting up with good friends and seeing some new sights made for a perfect long weekend. The Detroit Zoo‘s new Polk Penguin Conservation Center is a 33,000-square-foot facility with a 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where you can watch more than 80 penguins (King, Gentoo, Rockhopper and Macaroni) explore their habitat. The cool temperatures inside the habitat made for a great visit on a hot summer’s day.POLKPENGUIN

The Queens Zoo -2016 August 14, 2016

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7/21/16

It has been way too long since I visited the Queens Zoo. The zoo has a very interesting history dating back to 1968.  This 13 acre facility has a collection that represents animals from the Americas. One of my favorite spots is the aviary which was the Buckminster Fuller-designed geodesic dome that served as the Winston Churchill Pavilion during the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Go visit – it’s fun.QZ2016

Happy 28th Anniversary to the Central Park Zoo August 7, 2016

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6389Tomorrow is the 28th anniversary of the Central Park Zoo. The long history of the zoo is fascinating – you can read all about it here. There has been some type of animal collection/menagerie at the zoo’s present site since the 1850s. The Central Park Zoo celebrated its rebirth as part of the Wildlife Conservation Society  on 8/8/88.  Some of our amazing animals (and me) have been around for most of the past 28 years. Happy Anniversary to us! Have a fun memory of your time at CPZ? Why not share it today on my whileatthezoo.com site?CPZAT28

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo July 31, 2016

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7/28/16

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo was the zoo of my childhood and whenever I visit I get a few fond flashbacks. On this visit, I remembered there was an elephant named ‘Judy’ – so I googled it. Oh dear – sometimes, the outcome of a google is not very good news. It was a long time ago, zoos were very different back then and my memory of Judy the elephant remains sweet. A shout out out Kelly for spending some of her precious time with me during my visit. Fun!PPZ7.2016

National Zookeeper Week July 24, 2016

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high fiveThe third week in July is National Zookeeper Week. I appreciate these terrific people all year long and dedicate this week’s photo montage to the 18 people who make everything great at my zoo, the Central Park Zoo.  I thank you, one and all, for all you do – the unsung heroes – each and every day.  While National Zookeeper Week just ended, there would be nothing wrong with telling a zookeeper any day of the year how much they are appreciated.Zoo Keeper Week

Meet Jack! July 17, 2016

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JackWMeet Jack!  He is the newest member of the gang at Casa Lobo. Jack came home with me last Saturday from the Best Friends Animal Society adoption event near my apartment. Was I planning to adopt a dog last Saturday? Absolutely not. I’d been thinking it was time to get another dog after losing my adored Benny last October but had not prepared at all. I walked into the adoption event at 11AM and walked out with Jack about an hour later. Jack was found on the streets of Brooklyn about a month ago. He is a senior (but so am I). He has a few health problems (but who doesn’t)? We are guessing he is about eight years old and perhaps a Jack Russell/Fox Terrier mix. He is friendly to everyone, laid back, quiet, and best of all – he seems to like my three cats. Do the cats like Jack? They get closer to him everyday and thus far there has been no fur flying at all. So this doggie tale ends well. I needed a dog and Jack needed a home. I look forward to many fun adventures with Jack. Stay tuned.MEETJACK

Bronx Zoo – Summer 2016 July 10, 2016

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7/1/16

We had a terrific visit to the Bronx Zoo last week. I hadn’t been since last August and figured we were due for a visit.  We planned a weekday jaunt before the holiday weekend and enjoyed the zoo almost to ourselves.  It is nice to watch adorable baby gorillas, a baby otter, baby Titi monkeys, baby lemurs, and two sea lion pups without the sounds of screaming children (nothing against kids – but sometimes they are very loud). Take a day (wear good walking shoes) and visit this wonderful collection of animals. Note: While the bald eagle remains the national bird, but it is no longer the United States’ only wildlife symbol. On May 9, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act, officially making the bison the national mammal. The Bronx Zoo has a beautiful herd of these symbolic animals as does the Queens Zoo.BRONX7.2016

Smithsonian’s National Zoo July 3, 2016

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6/25/16

Washington is a great place to visit and no visit is complete without dropping by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The grounds open at 8AM and getting there early is a good idea. We were able to spend quality time admiring their four giant pandas – Tian Tian (male, age 19), Mei Xiang (female, age 18), Bao Bao (female, almost 3) and little Bei Bei (male, almost one year old). We learned their orangutan is pregnant and due in the fall and we missed the birth of their first sea lion pup in 32 years by only one day (darn it). It was a fun visit and a hearty shout out to Keeper Ashton for spending a generous amount of time with us.  We will be back.NATZOO6.16

Staten Island Zoo’s 80th Anniversary June 26, 2016

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6/10/16

It was a bittersweet visit to the Staten Island Zoo as we said farewell to our dear friend, General Curator and Veterinarian, Marc Valitutto last week. Marc has done amazing things in his four and a half year tenure at the zoo. The collection has grown in both numbers and depth as has the zoo’s attendance. I have visited Marc eight times in these past years in all kinds of weather and have always had a wonderful up-close and personal visit. I have had the joy of introducing Marc and his collection to many friends who now also call him their friend. I wish him well in his new venture and will miss him and our visits terribly.

If any of you want to relive some of those fun visits you can click away on any of the following links. Fall at the Staten Island Zoo, March at the Staten Island Zoo, Part Two, Staten Island Zoo, May 2014, Staten Island Zoo in Summer, September at the Staten Island Zoo, Winter at the Staten Island Zoo, Summer 2015 at the Staten Island Zoo, Meet AJ the baby Tamandua, Part Two.SIZOOFINAL

Happy Father’s Day – 2016 June 19, 2016

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5/9/13

While most caregivers in the animal kingdom are mothers, there are some father’s who join in the role as caregiver. I salute all of those father’s out there in today’s photo montage. Not  uncoincidentally – it is also National Martini Day. FDAY2016

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