Archive for November, 2012

Peterson Field Guide Series

I went on a road trip this past weekend to see the exhibits at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown New York. Without sounding like the Travel Guy, it was only about a 2 ½-hour drive down the Thruway, past Buffalo! Books on tape carried us through.

This beautiful building houses collections of works, along with an extensive library, of America’s preeminent naturalist of the twentieth century, Roger Tory Peterson. Mr. Peterson is best known for his preeminent work as a bird illustrator, creating the Peterson Field Guide Series. Wow, he certainly was talented!

Snowy Owl, 1976

Peterson also completed some works with less technical details that are beautiful, like this “Snowy Owl” piece that he painted in 1976.

Singer Collection, Pelicans

Peregrine Falcons in the Mist, 1978

We actually went to see a collection by an illustrator who was one of  Peterson’s friendly competitors in the illustration trade, Arthur Singer. Two of our favorites from the Singer Collection were “Peregrine Falcons in the Mist, 1978” as well as a great painting of pelicans.

Arcimnboldo’s Reef, 2000

Also to our surprise, we encountered some very interesting work by Stanley Meltzoff. Here is “Secrets of Arcimboldo’s Reef, 2000” which glows from the wall. If you have time during this holiday season, I suggest you take a trip!

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


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Horizontal piece by African elephant, Genny C! Photos by Rachel Baker August

Cataloging art for the event.

Come out Saturday night (Nov. 10), if you are 21 and older, to see all this amazing animal art! The keepers have done an excellent job cultivating the inner artists in many of our Zoo animals – their personalities seem to come alive! The colors and sizes are very unique to fit any kind of decor, so I’m 100 percent sure you will find something you like by one of our beloved animals. Assistant Animal Curator Kara Masaschi and Zoologist Robin English are cataloging all the paintings as you read this!

All proceeds will go to the Seneca Park Zoo Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, which generously donates to many conservation initiatives, both locally and globally.

Check out this piece done by our African lions!

Cost: In advance: $4 for members and $6 for non-members in the Zoo’s Front Office. Please note: Advance tickets will be sold until 4:30 p.m. today (Nov. 9) and only cash and check are accepted.

At the door: $5 for members and $7 for non-members. Credit card, cash and check accepted.

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

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Photos by Robin English

There are inherent challenges we have when trying to diagnose medical issues with the animals in our care. First, we cannot discuss their condition with them as a doctor would a human patient. We can overcome this to a large extent by relying on the excellent keeper staff who take care of the animals on a daily basis. Their empathy with the animals is amazing. A second challenge is accessing some of the diagnostic equipment typically available only to human patients. Fortunately, because of our relationship with the University of Rochester, we can access high-quality imaging equipment such as CT scanning and MRI machines.

Recently, one of our olive baboons, six-year-old Jefferson, has been heard breathing audibly through his nose. At the Zoo, our veterinary staff was able to use an endoscope to look up his nose while he was under anesthesia, but could not fully determine a cause. Therefore, they elected to bring him to the University of Rochester for a CT scan. A benign thickening of his nasal passage was seen, which restricts his breathing in one nostril.

While this is an abnormality, Jefferson is accommodating well and no surgery is planned at this time. The risk of complications is far greater than the potential benefit of invasive surgery. Zoo staff will continue monitoring and possibly be repeating a CT scan as Jefferson matures to see if he possibly grows out of this condition. Jefferson, who is often out in the exhibit during the winter, is as interactive and playful with exhibit mates and staff as ever. Be sure to visit Jefferson, our young male baboon famous for his buck-toothed grin!

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

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