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Sunset Zoo, Manhattan, Kansas September 16, 2018

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Zoo #2 on our Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas zoocation was the delightful and lovely Sunset Zoo in Manhattan Kansas. It is a meandering, pretty facility built on a steep hill. They have an African, Asian and South American trail along with a Kansas Plains and Australian walkabout. Lots to see and a fun visit. For those that like to take photos of wildlife I am holding three photo opportunities at the Central Park Zoo this fall, winter and spring. All three can be found here.

Topeka Zoo September 9, 2018

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Just returned from a terrific eight zoos in seven days zoocation.  After 10 years of ‘zoo-ing’ my friend Mary Schwalm and I have nailed the many twists and turns of this endeavor. We traveled a bit over a thousand miles through Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. We met some wonderful, warm people and have many great memories and encounters to reflect upon in the years to come. First up was the Topeka Zoo. We were greeted and toured by Director Brendan Wiley and got to hear stories about the history and ongoing work being done in Topeka. Luckily their new exhibit area, called Camp Cowabunga was opening that night so we were able to see this new facility. It is a user friendly zoo with an extensive collection. Thanks again to Brendan for a wonderful visit.

Saying Goodbye to Summer August 26, 2018

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Yes, I know it is still summer, but the days are getting shorter and fall will soon be upon us. We are off on Zoocation in a few days. It is the un-official 10th anniversary of Zoocation. It all started in 2008 in Omaha when we went to a wonderful wedding and decided we should hit as many zoos as possible in the area. We have criss-crossed North America in search of new zoos to explore. It has been a fun, exhilarating adventure. We’ve traveled thru New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Utah, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Washington, Nevada, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, Rhode Island, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida and Canada.  I have most likely left out a few states and my Zoocation pal, Mary Schwalm will let me know which ones I missed – but you get the idea. We have met some incredible people, had unforgettable animal encounters  and look forward to this next adventure. Thank you all for coming along on our journey. See you zoon.

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer August 19, 2018

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The lazy hazy crazy days of summer are upon us. It is always fun to photograph animals mid-yawning.  Enjoy today’s photo montage and try to keep yourself from yawning. Come spend some time with me at the Central Park Zoo this fall, winter or spring when I lead three new photo sessions. All three sessions are listed on the WCS website. I can assure you we will have fun and you will get to meet some of our animals up close all before the zoo opens to the public. Check them out here. And that adorable dog up top is of course, One-eyed Jack (when he had two eyes).

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo August 12, 2018

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Our final stop on our mini-zoocation was the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. We hadn’t been there since 2010 and there were many positive changes to this large zoo. Thanks to our hosts, Amy and Jenny for showing us around town and sharing their home with us. Among the many zoo surprises were three snow leopard kittens, a baby rhino, an adorable young orangutan and a baby Persian onager (horse). 

Happy 30th Anniversary to the Central Park Zoo August 5, 2018

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This Wednesday (8.8.18) will be the 30th anniversary of the Central Park Zoo. I am happy to say I have been associated with the zoo for the past 28 of those 30 years (that is probably how I know most of you). The zoo began in the 1860s as a menagerie. The zoo was modified in 1934 as part of the WPA with the addition of many new buildings arranged in a quadrangle around the sea lion pool. In a contract with NYC, the zoo was completely renovated in the mid-1980s and with much fanfare, reopened on August 8th, 1988. The photo above shows then Mayor Ed Koch throwing a fish to Finn, one of our sea lions, during the opening ceremony. Some of you old timers might recognize some of the faces in this photo. Happy Anniversary!

A Return to the Potawatomi Zoo July 29, 2018

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We continued our recent mini-zoocation to South Bend, Indiana, to visit good friend Josh Sisk who has returned to the  Potawatomi Zoo, as Director of Animal Programs and Education. What a fun visit and reunion.  This 23 acre facility is beautiful – with a varied and interesting collection. The sightlines are wonderful and the habitats are large and user friendly to the visitor. They have eight species of primates, four species of big cats, Sichuan Takins, camels, okapis and much more. There is something new and fascinating around every corner. Thank you Josh for your generosity and time. We loved our visit and will be back for sure.

Toledo Zoo & Aquarium July 22, 2018

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We headed west last week to visit good friends in Toledo, South Bend and Cleveland. It was a whirlwind planned four days (and with one flight cancellation became five days). A shout out to Karen, Olive and Chuck for being generous and great hosts. Zoo fun for all.

National Zoo Keeper Week July 14, 2018

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The 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 Zookeepers who make everything hum at my home base, the Central Park Zoo.  I thank you, one and all, for all you do – the unsung heroes – each and every day. We are open 365 days a year, thru rain, snow, summer heat and all holidays. National Zookeeper Week starts tomorrow. How about if you go to a zoo this week tell a zookeeper how much they are appreciated? 

Happy Jack-iversary July 8, 2018

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Year two with Jack was just as good as year one except for some worrisome health challenges. When you adopt a senior dog you have to expect some glitches along the way but you are never really prepared. This year Jack lost an eye (hence his new name, One-eyed Jack). I also learned the word ‘enucleation.’ It was scary but he pulled through like a champ and seems to be unaware of any changes. The good news is that he always seems to be winking at me. He also suffered from pancreatitis and had to spend three nights at the vet’s office. But once again he came through better than ever. Other than his waking up time (which is 4:41AM) he is a perfect dog. He is sweet, friendly and gets along with other dogs, kids, neighbors and strangers. My two cats, Audrey and Roberta adore him. They snuggle up to him and watch him as he sleeps (and snores). I am looking forward to year three with One-eyed Jack. I lucked out when I rescued him and hope he feels the same way too. I encourage you to adopt, not shop for a pet and if you are so inclined, a senior pet is a true gift.