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Red Pandamonium September 19, 2021

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Yesterday was International Red Panda Day. The Red Panda Network launched International Red Panda Day in 2010. At that time, 16 schools and a few zoos participated in red panda activities. Currently, more than 60 zoos around the world participate, with over 100,000 visitors on Red Panda Day. On our many zoocations we have come across lots of red pandas with Tennessee seeming to have the most. The very bottom of today’s red panda montage features photos of the Central Park Zoo’s pandas, Jen and Goodwin with their offspring, Scarlet and Rose. I took these photos back in 2004. Other than being absolutely adorable it is almost impossible to take a bad photo of a red panda. Speaking of photos, I am happy to announce the the Central Park Zoo will once again be holding adult photo sessions. The first one is Sunday, October 31st from 8:30 to 10:00am. Click here to sign up. We will obviously be featuring my favorite enrichment – pumpkins! Hope to see you there.

Six Feet Under September 5, 2021

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 In my quest to try to have a weekly adventure we took a short trip to Brooklyn in early August to visit beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery. I hadn’t been there in about 15 years and thought it deserved a new look. It was founded in 1838 as one of America’s first rural cemeteries. Still an active cemetery, the Green-Wood of today is also a cultural institution and an outdoor museum that tells the history and cultures of the borough, city and the nation. Today, Green-Wood’s 478 acres serve as the final resting place for over 570,000 permanent residents. Among the permanent residents are such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Margaret Pine (who was the last enslaved African-American in New York), numerous Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors. I discovered after our visit that Pete Hamill is buried near Boss Tweed’s grave. Next time I go I will have to pay my respects to one of my favorite writers. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and was made a National Historic Landmark in 2006. A magnet for history buffs and bird watchers, Green-Wood is a Revolutionary War historic site (the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776 across what is now its grounds), a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail, and a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. It is free and open every day of the year.

Happy 33rd Anniversary – Central Park Zoo August 8, 2021

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 Today is the 33rd anniversary of the Central Park Zoo. I am happy to say I have been associated with the zoo for the past 31of those 33 years (that is probably how I know most of you). The zoo began in the 1860s as a menagerie. The zoo or menagerie (as it was called) started inside and around the Arsenal (built in 1848 – which now houses our WCS administrative offices and the NYC Parks Dept). 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, replacing the old-fashioned cages with naturalistic environments. There are many great old photos of the menagerie and zoo found with a simple google search. Come visit us soon and a very Happy Anniversary!

Red, White and Zoo – 2021 July 4, 2021

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Summer is a time for reruns. Accordingly I share last year’s post since July Fourth actually falls on a Sunday this year. This was a fun montage to create. I didn’t realize how many animals could be included in this red, white and blue themed photo montage. Wishing you a safe, happy holiday and keep those pets inside as most are afraid of the noisy fireworks.

Happy Father’s Day 2021 June 20, 2021

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 While most caregivers in the animal kingdom are mothers, there are some fathers who join in the role as caregiver. I salute some of those fathers out there in today’s photo montage. Coincidentally – tomorrow is also National Martini Day. Why not celebrate that special day today? The photo above today’s montage is of my father, sister and me (circa – the beginning of time).

Southwick’s Zoo June 13, 2021

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Last month’s fun trip to New England included the always terrific Southwick’s Zoo. It is a 300-acre, privately owned and operated, zoological park located in Mendon, Massachusetts. It was opened in 1963, and remains family-operated to date. We usually visit around Halloween time but due to last year’s COVID restrictions we missed our annual visit. It was good to be back and also good to see even more improvements to this ever changing facility.

Franklin Park Zoo – May 2021 May 23, 2021

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 After almost 18 months sticking close to home due to Covid19 I finally packed a suitcase, boarded an Amtrak train and headed off to Boston to visit good friends. We had a grand reunion, visited some of our favorite places, ate, laughed and generally felt normal once again. First up…the Franklin Park Zoo. I hope that your lives are also slowly returning to normal and those smiles are broad.

Mamma Mia May 9, 2021

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My mother was born in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic. I wonder what she would have to say about what we all are living thru today because of COVID19. I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all to all of the mothers, caregivers, nurturers, pamperers, surrogates and loving coddlers out there regardless of how you celebrate the day during these unusual times. Our mother, Lillian Wolfe, is long gone, but her advice, warnings and general ‘Lili-isms’ live on in our daily lives.  She taught us to laugh at life, to think, to question authority, to march, to protest – to fight the good fight. She also gave  us our moral compass – one glance from Lillian told us instantly whether our behavior was acceptable or not – and I got a lot of glances.  My sister Terry and I remember many childhood events differently but we both agree that our mother was a  pistol. Here’s to Lillian Wolfe – she formed and informed what we are today.

A Return to Turtleback Zoo May 2, 2021

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 Last Saturday had a few firsts for me. It was the first time I left NYC in 14 months. It was the first time I was in a car in 14 months. It was the first time I ate inside a restaurant in 14 months. That may not sound exciting to you but for me…it was a grand treat. We ventured to West Orange NJ to visit the Turtleback Zoo. We had not been to the zoo since 2014 and it has changed quite a bit. In 2016 they added a three acre African Safari and recently added a bald eagle exhibit. We had a great day out and I look forward to more adventures in the future.

World Penguin Day April 25, 2021

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Today is World Penguin Day. I set aside what I was going to post this week to celebrate these charming animals. They surely deserve more than one day of celebration. I was lucky to take the trip of a lifetime in 2005 to Antarctica, the Falklands and South Georgia. It was fun to look at our trip through my old photos. I selected some to share with you today. I hope they bring a smile to your face.