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Archive for December, 2011

Happy Holidays to you!

Photo by Tina Fess

Thank you Zoo Keeper Tina Fess for capturing these wonderful new photos of our always entertaining olive baboons. As you may know, the animal handlers bring in various items of clothing and toys to use as “enrichment.”  This activity ensures the animals continuously have a variety of new experiences within their environment. Sometimes it’s scents like All Spice, or even Old Spice for the tigers. Or it can be a pair of old sneakers that captivates them. This time the keepers thought Santa hats might be a fun item and as you can see the baboons thought so, too. How do they know to put it on their head?

Photo by Tina Fess

Since we are still in the construction mode you can’t view the baboons onsite until May, but you can view them on the 13WHAM Zoo Cam! This is a fun activity for families to do together because for a minute or so, you can manipulate the video cam yourself. Zoom in to get a closer look, or scan the whole exhibit and even catch a glimpse of the elephants next door!

Have a great holiday, everyone.

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

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The results of the New York State Consolidated Funding Application projects were announced this week and we are the recipient of a $399,000 grant!

The request we submitted to the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation based on the need for new housing for our Education Department and Education Animal Collection here at the Zoo. Just ask the staff or docents, the Education trailer (which they lovingly call the “Penthouse Suite”) is on its last legs. Unfortunately, mold had started to creep under the floor boards, the windows were drafty, etc. We did know that it was important to have our staff work space separated from the education animal housing, so that is what this grant will allow us to do!

Front-and-back views of the current Education trailer. Photos by Kelli O’Brien

For more information on all the grants approved by the CFA, click here. Our information is on Page No. 27.

Compiling all in the information in such a short time was a real team effort. Our grant writer, Michelle Picardo, was the lead, but support was provided by other folks in the Development & Finance Department, and naturally the Education Department had to provide key documentation on just how bad it was. The County team of Larry Sorel and David Hamilton certainly helped with clarity on the housing needs for the animals in the Education Collection. Also, a supportive word from Danny Wegman to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, via Bill Strassburg, one of our long-time Board members was crucial!

Since government funds take time, we realize this isn’t a quick turnaround but we are very pleased to see much-improved space for all our animals (including humans) in the near future!

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

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