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Tulsa Zoo, Tulsa, Oklahoma October 14, 2018

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Zoo #6 on our Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas zoocation was the delightfully beautiful Tulsa Zoo . A big shout out to Evan Newpher who gave us a wonderful welcome and extensive tour of the zoo and it’s history. They have a terrific animal collection with exhibit areas divided into distinct temperature and climate zones. The rain forest features lush plantings and free roaming animals. It is an immersive experience that we enjoyed immensely. If you find yourself in that neck of the woods I encourage a visit.

Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, Kansas October 7, 2018

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Zoo #5 on our Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas zoocation was the terrific and beautiful Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. It is definitely now in my top 10 zoos. It has pretty much everything a zoo lover could ask for. It is a lovely locale to meander, the sight lines were amazing and the collection is diverse and ample. A big shout out to Ecotherm Curator, Nate Nelson who treated us to a 90 minute introduction, via golf cart, to this expansive zoo. He was generous with his time, informative and added to the sweet memory of our visit. Our time there was enhanced by a baby orangutan, swimming tiger and most surprising of all, swimming, bathing elephants. Oh yes, and tickling a hippo under the chin was pretty special too. If you find yourself anywhere near Wichita, you really should stop by.

David Traylor Zoo, Emporia Kansas September 30, 2018

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Zoo #4 on our Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas zoocation, the David Traylor Zoo was not on our original itinerary but what’s wrong with a three hour diversion to hit another zoo in Kansas? We went for it and were pleasantly surprised by what we found. The David Traylor Zoo is the smallest AZA accredited zoo in the nation and it is free. The zoo has nearly 400 specimens of birds, mammals and reptiles representing more than 80 species all exhibited in beautiful, natural habitats. The zoo also features exceptional botanical displays. Was it worth the three hour detour? You bet.

Also, I want to give you a heads up that there are now three new photo sessions listed on the WCS website. The first photo session (think pumpkins) is one month from today. All three can be found here.

Rolling Hills Zoo, Salina, Kansas September 23, 2018

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Zoo #3 on our Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas zoocation was the scenic and walker friendly, Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina, Kansas. What started out as a 64,000 square foot indoor natural history museum eventually also expanded into a zoo. Executive director, Bob Jenkins was our host and guide. He deftly explained the history of the museum and zoo and generously shared of his time. If you find yourself traveling through these lush, green parts of Kansas I encourage a visit. Thanks again to Bob Jenkins. My first of three photography opportunities at the Central Park Zoo is in five weeks. To see all three photo op workshops, click here

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!