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Archive for September, 2010

Back from Indonesia!

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As I spoke about in an earlier posting to this blog, I had the opportunity to participate in the first Sumatran Tiger Global Species Management Plan workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia as the only North American representative. Others in attendance included participants from Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Indonesia.

During the course of the meeting, which lasted two days, we were able to create a framework that will build a solid foundation for preservation of one of the most endangered cats in the world. It was exciting to be able to represent North America in such an important undertaking. On a more personal note, this was my first time traveling to such a distant place (and on my own!), so while the 35+ hours of transit time each way was tiring, it was great to experience, however briefly, the culture of a different land. This type of opportunity reminds me of how lucky I am to do what I do – making a difference for the future on a global level!

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

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Our elephants were a little shy, but quickly warmed up to the Channel 10 camera. Photo by Kelli O'Brien.

There is much that goes into making sure the Zoo reaches a wide audience.

For example,  I, along with several staff members, were here this morning to promote programs happening for National Elephant Awareness Day and Grandparents Day here at the Zoo this Sunday. This involved getting up at 5 a.m, coming to the Zoo and trying to get the elephants to cooperate for TV. Not necessarily an easy task for any of us!

Fortunately, clearly due to efforts of their handlers, our African elephants Genny C and Lilac were able to make a good impression for the camera. I must say I am amazed at how much time and effort is spent to air a total of two minutes of live TV! However, it will all be worth it if the programs are well attended. So come on out Sunday to get a “behind-the-scenes” peek at how we care for these magnificent creatures and participate in all the activities we have planned that day!

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

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I encourage all of you to come out to the Zoo this weekend for our final days of the stage show and interpretive programming. You have probably read this in this week’s e-blast, but on Saturday, in addition to our programming, it is Vulture Awareness Day at the Seneca Park Zoo. Visiting us will be the rare Egyptian vulture, shown here on the right. Her name is Cleo and she is a juvenile. This photo was taken by Arjan Haverkamp.

On Sunday, we have nine shows or demonstrations so I absolutely guarantee you will learn something new about our beautiful animals! Have a fantastic Labor Day weekend everyone.

– Rachel Baker August, Executive Director of the Seneca Park Zoo Society

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Today we dedicated the former Midtown Plaza totem pole at the entrance to the Rocky Coasts.  It is great to be able to host a part of our community’s past and preserve it for the future. This site was chosen as a location because totem poles are only carved by indigenous people living along the rocky coasts of our Pacific Northwest. This blends well with the animal story we are telling in this area, specifically that part of the Rocky Coasts that is home to our cougar Anna, our California sea lions Puff and Flounder and in 2011 (hopefully!) harbor seals.

Come by and explore the icons carved into the pole, learn a little more about Rochester and Monroe County’s past and enjoy your visit to the Zoo from a slightly different perspective.

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director


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The ZOT Zone.

What do you think of the ZOT Zone these days? That is the area in our Zoo dedicated to play. The kids find a plush animal and perform “veterinarian” exams, hear the heartbeats representing some of our animals and learn about animal diets. We opened this space in 2004; hard to believe it’s been that long!

Do you have any ideas on what would be a good use of that space now? Should we upgrade it but keep it intended for the younger kids to play, or should be create new interactive experiences based on conservation messaging? Or should we determine if we can afford small traveling exhibits to come in for the season? I’d really like to hear thoughts from our members and visitors!

Working as a vet.

– Rachel Baker August, Executive Director of the Seneca Park Zoo Society

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