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Creature Creations

Creature Creations

Boo at the Zoo logo with pumpkin to look like a red panda. Listing dates and times of the event.

Creature Creations (Ages 3+)

Sunday, June 9, 2024

 12:30 – 1:30 pm & 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Featured Animal: Harbor Seals

Join us for Creature Creations, an indoor painting class led by instructor Kathleen Patrick and a zoo educator. This fun program will introduce your child to a featured animal, either inside the classroom or at an animal habitat.

 

Members: $16 per ticket

Non-Members: $27 per ticket

 

One ticket includes admission for one child and one accompanying adult. Only registered children can participate in the program. Additional admission tickets are available at the door.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Unregistered children (including siblings) can not attend.

Questions? Contact the Education Department at (508) 991- 4556 ext.110 or email svanwormer@bpzoo.org.

BPZOO’s Seal Pod is Now at Three

BPZOO’s Seal Pod is Now at Three

BPZOO’s Seal Pod is Now at Three

Pictured Above: Luna

New Bedford, Massachusetts: The Buttonwood Park Zoo is thrilled to introduce two new female harbor seals to the New Bedford community – Luna, age two, and Conway, age one. These new residents arrived in early November from the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, NY, and have already bonded with long-time zoo resident, Blue.

Blue was born at BPZOO in 2003 to Yellow, a female Atlantic harbor seal who passed away earlier this year, one week shy of her 40th birthday. Wanting to ensure companionship for Blue, as well as support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan, Zoo leadership eagerly accepted the recommendation to bring Luna and Conway to BPZOO.

Both seals were introduced to Blue straight away, and they quickly acclimated to their new home.

“There were lots of nose-to-nose breath exchanges at first and then Luna immediately sat on Blue’s back – who was not bothered by it in the least,” said Kristy Kaeterle, BPZOO’s head Zookeeper. “We knew then that this was going to go well!”

Kaeterle describes Conway, who had darker coloring and more obvious white markings, as a little seal with lots of personality. “She made herself at home immediately – she follows us around quite a bit and is very interested in the enrichment we offer. Luna is a little more reserved but is coming out of her shell more and more each day.”

Luna, who was born on the night of a lunar eclipse and named after Luna Park on Coney Island, has a similar appearance to Blue – lighter grey with darker spots. Conway was named after the late Dr. William Conway, an iconic conservationist who retired as the president and general director of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the organization that manages the Brooklyn Aquarium.

BPZOO has cared for seals for over five decades and as a waterfront community, is dedicated to connecting visitors to the importance of marine mammal conservation.

“The team is excited to welcome the new harbor seals to our pod at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. We are grateful to have this opportunity to create new zoo families through partnerships with our accredited zoo neighbors and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). ” said Gary Lunsford, Zoo Director.

All three seals are currently visible in the seal habitat, located in the middle of the Zoo.

Keeper Kyler with Yellow the Harbor Seal

Pictured Above: Conway

About Atlantic Harbor Seals

Seals are part of a group of mammals called pinnipeds, which translates to “fin-footed”. There are a total of 18 species in the Phocidae family. Harbor seals are part of the true seal family. All true seals have short forelimbs, or flippers. They also lack external ear flaps and instead have a small hole (opening to the ear canal) on either side of their head. Harbor seals live in temperate coastal habitats along the northern coasts of North America, Europe, and Asia. They weigh up to 285 pounds and measure up to 6 feet in length. In North America males are slightly larger than females, and seals in Alaska and the Pacific Ocean are generally larger than those found in the Atlantic Ocean. Harbor seals, like all marine mammals, are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and are currently listed as Least Concern according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A Gift That Lasts All Year! 

BPZOO Memberships make a perfect gift for the animal lover in your life.

Creature Creations

Creature Creations

Boo at the Zoo logo with pumpkin to look like a red panda. Listing dates and times of the event.

Creature Creations (Ages 3+)

Saturday, November 11th

 12:30 – 1:30 pm & 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Featured Animal: Bald Eagle

Join us for Creature Creations, an indoor painting class led by instructor Kathleen Patrick and a zoo educator. This fun program will introduce your child to a featured animal, either inside the classroom or at an animal habitat.

 

Members: $16 per ticket

Non-Members: $27 per ticket

 

One ticket includes admission for one child and one accompanying adult. Only registered children can participate in the program. Additional admission tickets are available at the door.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Unregistered children (including siblings) can not attend.

Important Safety Guidelines For Creature Creations:

  • Programs will be limited to 20 participants with 1 Art Teacher and 1 Zoo Educator.
  • Participants will be seated 2 per table with additional chairs available nearby for guardians/parents.
  • All materials will be provided.
  • Out of consideration for all of our BPZOO guests, if a participant is experiencing any of the following symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea), please do not allow them to attend this program. You will be granted a full refund as a sign of our appreciation.

Questions? Contact the Education Department at (508) 991- 4556 ext.110 or email svanwormer@bpzoo.org.

 BPZOO Provides Home to Orphaned Black Bear Cubs 

 BPZOO Provides Home to Orphaned Black Bear Cubs 

BPZOO Provides Home to Orphaned Black Bear Cubs

New Bedford, Massachusetts: The Buttonwood Park Zoo has a deep, rich history of caring for black bears and is once again providing a home for an adorable pair of cubs recently orphaned in the wild.

BPZOO has been without black bears since last September, with the passing of 23-year-old Toby. He, along with two females Amy and Ursula, had lived at BPZOO since 2000.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game contacted BPZOO in late June, inquiring if there was space for two cubs who had been orphaned because of bear/human conflicts in Homer and Eagle River in Alaska.

“Providing a home to orphaned, non-releasable wildlife is paramount to our mission,” said Zoo Director Gary Lunsford. “Given that BPZOO has been caring for black bears since our inception in 1894, we jumped at the opportunity to work with officials in Alaska to provide a forever home to these cubs in need.”

The two cubs, an approximately eight-month-old male, and a seven-month-old female, arrived at BPZOO the last week in August and are currently quarantining under the watchful eyes of BPZOO vet staff.

“We are already getting a clear picture of their individual personalities,” said BPZOO Veterinarian

Emmy Budas. “He is the sweet and gentle type – gently taking treats from us, while she is showing us her sassy side. Both cubs are eating well and appear to be in excellent health.”

After spending time getting to know their personalities, zookeepers and veterinarian staff carefully considered names for the cubs. With a nod to their Alaskan homeland, the male cub has been named Moose, the official state land mammal, and the female Oona, named after an inland lake, not far from Juneau.

Moose and Oona will remain in quarantine for approximately 30 days to ensure they are in good health and to give them time to adjust to their new environment.

Black bears have been making local headlines this summer, spotted lumbering through towns on the South Coast and South Shore. As their natural habitats here, and in Alaska, continue to shrink, bear/human conflict increases with detrimental implications for the animals. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, or MassWildlife, offers a variety of resources on their website to prevent conflicts with black bears, including limiting food sources, protecting pets, crops, bees, and livestock with electric fences, or removing bird feeders.

“We look forward to introducing the new bears to the community,” Lunsford said. “We expect this will happen sometime towards the end of September. In the meantime, please do your part to keep bears wild. You should never feed or otherwise approach a wild bear. Be respectful of nature so that we can protect it together.”

About Black Bears

American black bears are one of eight species of bears found around the world. Common across North America, they are currently present in 40 U.S. states, 12 provinces and territories of Canada, and 6 states of northern Mexico. Loss of habitat and unregulated hunting resulted in the extirpation of black bears across large portions of their range by the early 1900s. While the loss of forest cover has eliminated black bears from many areas, their numbers are increasing. Climate change seems to have enabled black bears to range farther north. American black bears are the smallest of the three bear species in North America, ranging from 200 – 600 pounds, with males being significantly larger. The average life expectancy for American black bears is 20 years.

A Gift That Lasts All Year! 

BPZOO Memberships make a perfect gift for the animal lover in your life.

Elephant Appreciation Day

Elephant Appreciation Day

JOIN US FOR A BIG CELEBRATION

Elephant Appreciation Day at BPZOO is happening on Sunday, October 1st, 2023, and we welcome you to join us in honoring and celebrating Ruth and Emily!

Can you believe that Ruth is turning 65 and Emily is turning 59!? Stop by the Asian elephant habitat for educational activities from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, with a Happy Birthday sing-a-long & special enrichment happening at 1:00 pm.

Did you know – Ruth and Emily are among the oldest Asian elephants in North America? It is an honor and a privilege to provide a home for these beautiful elephants and we welcome the community to join us in honoring them!

If you would like to bring Emily and Ruth a special treat, donations of unopened packages of unsalted shelled peanuts, yogurt-covered raisins, and dried fruit will be accepted on their behalf.

The Asian elephants you know and love living in zoos and human care serve as ambassadors to inspire people to care about their preservation.

Asian elephant numbers are 10 times lower than those of African elephants. Worldwide, the estimate is that only 40,000 – 50,000 remain. Lack of habitat, competition for resources, and development have left about a third of all Asian elephants reliant on some form of managed care. We need to find ways for humans and elephants to peacefully coexist to save the species. AZA facilities and affiliated conservation organizations are doing just this, in order to ensure this magnificent species will remain for generations to come!

You can make a donation in their honor that goes directly towards Asian elephant conservation.

 

BPZOO is dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places.