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Photos by Vasiliy Baziuk

Many of our 800 guests were troopers through the torrential downpour on Saturday night!

We had to shut down the power, including generators, to avoid electrical shortages and we had waterfalls coming off the sides of tents. All in all, people were cheerfully going with the flow.

On the success side, our Live Auction brought in $41,000, one of our best in recent history! Zoo supporters are a hearty bunch, thanks for all the support!

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

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Photos by Larry Sorel

IMG_0360 Recently, we acquired several hellbenders as part of a partnership with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Buffalo Zoo.

They are in the aquarium just as you enter the south entrance to the Main Zoo Building, however, they have been hard to see since they like to hide. I finally was able to get a picture of one, so now I know they are REALLY there!

Most of them will be released, hopefully this year, as part of a program to increase their numbers in the wild.

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

One of the things I enjoy most about the Zoo is the diversity of audiences that visit us. On any given day, as I walk through, I can see the variety of population that is Rochester/Monroe County reflected in our guests. The racial, ethnic, gender, family composition, etc. that is the strength of our area can be seen enjoying a fun and educational day together at any time of the year.

However, we are not satisfied just passively letting this happen. One of the areas we will be actively working at improving upon this year is our attractiveness to populations with physical or mental challenges. By working at being “actively inclusive” we hope to be able to better serve all of our current and future guests in a way that is welcoming and supportive to those with challenges and those without.

So watch for both subtle, and maybe not so subtle, changes to your experience visiting the Zoo as we (Monroe County and the Seneca Park Zoo Society) explore a range of opportunities to further improve a visit to the Zoo. Because after all, we are The Natural Place for Families.

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

The weather may not be ideal outside, but you and your family need some fresh air! We have a great line up of Spring Break activities for you to enjoy this weekend and upcoming week. Our two female sea lions, Lily and Marina (who have only been here for 14 months), will be fed on the beach of their exhibit and the very popular Elephant Bath will again take place on several days during the week. And the lions continue to be warm and lazy while lounging on the heated rocks in the middle of their exhibit.

Click here to view the full schedule of activities we have planned from Friday March 29 through Sunday, April 7.

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

Photos by Kelli O'Brien

Photos by Kelli O’Brien

To the right are Rochester Institute of Technology Student Government and College Activities Board members giving a donation to the Zoo Society for animal enrichment last Saturday. Enrichment can be in the form of toys, different food choices or new smells through perfumes and spice. It was a cold, snowy day but students seemed to enjoy themselves and we were grateful for the contribution!

093The photo to the left is our tiger, Katya being fed a fish after she took down the snowman made by RIT students in her exhibit. It certainly makes sense for RIT to be supporting our Amur tigers, don’t you think?

We hope that the students appreciate their experiences at the Zoo and we are so pleased to partner with RIT by assisting in research, offering advice and teaching about animals in the wild and those who reside here at Seneca Park Zoo.

Go Tigers!

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

Photo by Larry Sorel

Photo by Larry Sorel

As I was walking through the Zoo on Monday, I was once again reminded how different, yet beautiful, the Zoo is during the winter.

I saw the eagles perching in their habitat against the stark black-and-white background of snow and leafless trees. I couldn’t resist capturing an image. Most of the animals in our care have some degree of outside access in the winter, including some you may not expect, such as our lions, elephants, hyena and even on occasion, orangutans. Also, winter is the time when others in our care look their best: tigers, snow leopards and polar bears, for example.

I encourage you to visit in winter when there are fewer people. The beauty of nature still abounds!

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director

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Photo by Larry Sorel

In an effort to allow the animals in our care as much control over their environment as possible, we have installed these flaps (shown to the right) this winter to allow our primates the option of going outside if they choose. This has resulted in seeing orangutans in the snow!

Photo by Linda Velasquez

Photo by Linda Velasquez

However, with the temperatures approaching nearly 60 degrees on Saturday, don’t be surprised to see our primates outside enjoying this mid-winter break!

– Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director