Archive for August, 2011

I’ve been so fortunate to see your children laughing and learning all summer long as they explore the Zoo, meet new friends and gain a greater appreciation for animals.

For me, the highlight of my day last Friday (Aug. 26) was the wonderful presentation by the ZooCamp students. These 11- and 12-year-olds in the “Photo Safari” camp learned different techniques of photography with days dedicated to topics such as still life, portrait and macro photography. It was heartwarming to see how much they learned and how proud they were to show their work to parents, visitors and staff. Each student chose their favorite photo from the week to be displayed as a 5×7 at the Photo Show. We are lucky enough to highlight them here so take a look and enjoy!

Also, book your child for camp early next year or during the winter and spring break, since space is limited. For all our camps, students and parents alike have been extremely pleased with the unique experiences and quality programs we offer here at ZooCamp.

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


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What a great evening! Thanks to those of you who came out for ESL presents Night at the Zoo! So many of you are just as excited as I am to have lions back to our Zoo after their 25-year absence.

Photos by Rachel Baker August

For those of you who visited me out on the Ngorongoro Overlook last night, thanks for your great questions and enthusiasm. The exhibit is slowly coming together and by next spring, you will be amazed by the changes!

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

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Amur tiger. Photo by Crystal Bratcher.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) annual master planning meeting in East Lansing, MI. The Tiger SSP, as all AZA SSPs, is composed of experts from across North America who come together to manage populations of animals in conservation breeding programs across the United State and sometimes the world.

I am part of the Steering Committee for the Tiger SSP, those who actually make decisions on pairing and moving tigers. We have several other staff members who are part of steering committees for other species. The steering committees use genetic relationship data and some very sophisticated computer programs to determine which animal is best suited to be paired with another for the long-term sustainability of the population. This information is combined with spaces available, age and a few other factors to make a plan for the coming year with regard to movements and births.

This gathering is also a time to share the newest information on the status of the species in the wild, efforts that are being made to protect the wild populations and how zoos can support those efforts. At the Tiger SSP we have formulated plans that will include additional education efforts and potentially the opportunity for our visits to contribute directly to wild tiger preservation.

This is just one small example of how your Seneca Park Zoo is more than just a place to see animals; it is a place that is actively involved on many fronts with conserving wild animal and wild places across the globe.

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

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