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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.

Cookies, Paws & Santa Claus

Cookies, Paws & Santa Claus

Cookies, Paws & Santa Claus

Saturday & Sunday: December 9th, 10th, 16th, & 17th

10:00 am – 11:30 am: Members Only  |  1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Open to Public

Celebrate the holiday season at Buttonwood Park Zoo with Cookies, Paws & Santa Claus! Join us for festive fun, where you can unleash your creativity by decorating your own sweet treats and partake in holiday magic at craft stations. Enjoy animal encounters, unlimited rides, and indulge in delicious hot cocoa—all while creating lasting memories with your family. This is a can’t-miss event, so be sure to bring your letter to Santa and share your holiday wishes as he makes a special visit to see his favorite friends! Jingle all the way to a day filled with joy and festive cheer.

Member prices:
Adults $8
Children (ages 1-17): $12

Non-Member prices:
Adults $11
Children (ages 1-17): $15

Pre-registration is not required but highly recommended.

Children’s ticket includes:

  • 4 cookies to decorate – either on-site or to-go
  • Free train and carousel rides (weather-dependent)
  • Photos with Santa
  • Animal Encounters
  • Meet and Greet with Elsa
  • Face painting
  • Crafts

Children under 1 are free.
Adult tickets do not include cookies. 
Please choose your date and time carefully as tickets are non-refundable and cannot be rescheduled.
Zoo is open for general admission.

Thank you to our sponsor!

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.

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.

International Red Panda Day

International Red Panda Day

BPZOO CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL RED PANDA DAY 

Join us for International Red Panda Day at the Zoo on Sunday, September 17th to learn about our red pandas, Jacob, Marie, and the cubs and raise awareness about this beautiful, yet endangered species.

Here is the schedule of all the fun:

🐾 11 am – 2 pm: Face Painting, Activity with a BPZOO Educator, and Raffle Tickets for Red Panda Painting

🐾 11 am: Painting with the Pandas

🐾 12 pm: Cubs’ Gender Reveal

🐾 1 pm: Cubs’ Name Reveal

🐾 2 pm: Red Panda Keeper Chat and Raffle Drawing

Let’s see how much we can raise for red pandas! Donate to the Zoo’s conservation donation fund during your visit and be entered into a raffle to win a Red Panda Painting! For every $5.00 donation, you’ll receive one raffle entry. These donations must be made in person on September 17th to be entered.

What are we doing to protect this endangered species?

BPZOO is proud to partner with the Red Panda Network, the world leader in efforts to protect red pandas and their habitat, as a Reforestation Sponsor. Our most recent donation of $5,000 will support the land purchase, reforestation, and the salary of a local land steward for one hectare of red panda habitat in the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) corridor in eastern Nepal: a critical location for red panda conservation that has been heavily fragmented and degraded by deforestation.

Red pandas are unique, important and unfortunately endangered. There may be as few as 2,500 red pandas remaining in the wild. Red pandas are a flagship species. Their conservation has landscape-level impacts, and like an umbrella, the entire ecoregion — its forests and wildlife — are protected when red pandas are conserved.

 

BPZOO is dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places.