What can the Puget Sound’s cultural organizations inspire together?



Celebrating Our Cultural Partners

Arts, science and heritage are the heart of Seattle. Woodland Park Zoo is part of a vibrant and rich community of cultural partners - from artists to actors to animal lovers, museums to musicians, and singers to scientists. We are all Wild at Heart, and we celebrate our unique and collective contributions that bring life to this city.

Each month in 2021, Woodland Park Zoo will join a different cultural partner from the Seattle area for a photo to capture our shared spirit and see what we can inspire together.


This Month’s Spotlight

December 2021

Together We Lift Spirits

Featured Partner: Space Needle

Animals always lift our spirits. In return, we gave them a lift…to the very top of the Space Needle as we close out our year-long Wild at Heart celebration. Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl got a birds-eye-view of the city, while Eduardo the Southern three-banded armadillo took in the sights, and Skyáana the North American porcupine reached new heights for a natural climber.



Previous Spotlights

November 2021

Together We Light Up With Gratitude

Featured Partner: Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

To kick off the holidays, ambassador animals Coba the spectacled owl and Blossom the opossum got a private tour of Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). Coba and his caring Animal Keeper Susie Semler honed in on the heritage of Seattle in the True Northwest exhibit overlooking the museum’s grand atrium. Blossom admired MOHAI’s architecture, which was once the naval reserve building, built in 1941-1942.


October 2021

Together, We Do Anything for Animals

Featured Partner: Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo

Today is World Habitat Day, and the Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo have teamed up to celebrate our commitment to the species and spaces of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Cisco the 34-year-old Harris’s hawk ventured from Woodland Park Zoo with Animal Keeper Kam Thiele for a private adventure at the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters habitat. While raptors normally have a bird’s-eye view of salmon down below, this encounter was a once-in-lifetime experience for both the fish and their feathery visitor, as they were eye-to-eye for the very first time. Cisco watched like a hawk (pun intended) as the salmon and rockfish received a morning feeding from Brianne (Bri) Ankenman, Aquarist.


September 2021

Together we believe curiosity knows no bounds

Featured Partner: Pacific Science Center (PacSci)

As kids have been returning to school this month, ambassador animals Buddy and Skyáana got in on the learning fun with a private visit to the Pacific Science Center. Skyáana the North American porcupine is confident, gentle and loves snacking on unsalted nuts and corn on the cob. The 7-year-old quilled cutie got a glimpse of the cosmos in the planetarium with PacSci educator Fatima. Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl, accompanied by Lead Animal Keeper Krystle Cruz, checked out the iconic arches in the courtyard, part of the 7-acre pavilion designed by renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki for the 1962 World’s Fair.


August 2021

Together We Sing Like Birds of a Feather

Featured Partner: Seattle Choruses (Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus)

Three members of the ensemble, The Supertonics, warmed up their vocal cords to the chirps and whistles of 45 birds in the zoo’s African Aviary. Chelsea Quinn, David Nilsson and Nick Wishaar harmonized together for the first time since the pandemic shuttered the Seattle Choruses early last year. These friends and fellow singers delighted in the sounds of the surrounding birds as they made their own melody.

Soloist Jeff Hu also warbled in the African Aviary. He sang Israel (IZ) Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” among flying blue birds and yellow feathered friends, like lemon drops way up high. Hu’s wonderful private performance wasn’t just for the birds – it brought happiness and smiles to everyone passing by.


July 2021

Together We Are Ready for Our Next Act!

Featured Partner: The 5th Avenue Theatre

Two spectacular ambassador animals stole the spotlight at The 5th Avenue Theatre during a special, private visit to the iconic Seattle space. Bolivar the 16-year-old red-footed tortoise took to the stage for an actor’s eye-view of the theater. For his theatrical debut, Bolivar showed off the striking red spots on his legs – it’s where the species gets its name! – and really came out of his shell (…not literally, of course). Henry the 7-year-old blue-tongued skink took a role behind the scenes in the spot booth. His striking blue tongue is a show-stopper and would make him a star on stage, but his calm demeanor made him very agreeable to his backstage duties.


June 2021

Together We Celebrate Local!

Featured Partner: Pike Place Market

Today and then every Tuesday for the rest of the month, we’ll share photos celebrating the beautiful animals from Woodland Park Zoo and the seven central aspects of Pike Place Market: Community, Crafters, Entertainment, Farmers, Grocery, Dining and Retail! All of these make up the truly unique atmosphere of Pike Place Market.

Talented musicians Carly Ann Calbero and Jeannie Rak visited the Family Farm at Woodland Park Zoo to play a few tunes.

The kids from Pike Place Market Child Care and Preschool had a visit from Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl and Animal Keeper Lindsay Simpson in Pike Place Market’s Secret Garden.

Artist Wais Ali reached new heights in a special portrait session with Dave the reticulated giraffe.

Anahi the red tailed boa constrictor visited Pike Place Market for a frolic (slither?) in the flowers!

Fishmonger Craig Glaser from Pike Place Fish Market visited 27-year-old Keema the grizzly bear to share a tasty salmon snack.

Guinea pigs Pumpkin, Cider and Camilla took in the view and pigged out on a light lettuce snack at Pike Place Bar & Grill.

Skyáana the porcupine paid a visit to Eighth Generation to poke around the shop and check out the stunning wool blankets.

The blankets pictured are from artists Sarah Agaton Howes, Jamie Okuma, Michelle Lowden, NDN Collective/Votan Henriquez, David Robert Boxley, Jared Yazzie and Bethany Yellowtail.


May 2021

Together We Are DINO-mite!

Featured Partner: Burke Museum

Did you know that birds are living dinosaurs?! Woodland Park Zoo’s Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl visited the Burke Museum to check out the fossils of his long-extinct dinosaur relatives. Like modern birds, extinct dinosaurs hatched from eggs and some even had feathers and a wishbone. Blossom the opossum also got in on the fun, visiting ancient mammals like the giant ground sloth, saber-toothed cats, and Columbian mammoth that lived in the Pacific Northwest during the last Ice Age.

After the Burke Museum visit, the partners checked out the new Dinosaur Discovery at Woodland Park Zoo. Coba the spectacled owl, a species native to South America, got a look at a Paraphysornis, a giant flightless terror bird from Brazil. Coba was cared for by Animal Keeper Susie Semler, and the terror bird was managed by Burke Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Dr. Christian Sidor. Sidor stuck around to size up one of the Burke’s 5-foot Tyrannosaurus rex femur fossils against the giant T. rex!

April 2021

Together We Protect What We Love!

Featured Partner: Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and Woodland Park Zoo have joined together to protect what we love! s Skyáana the porcupine and Harry the skunk made a special visit to the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle. Skyáana spent time in the Brotman Forum enjoying Middle Fork by artist JohnGrade. She also appreciated the Mark Mumford text work on a nearby wall titled, We Are All In This Together. While food and beverages are not allowed in the Seattle Art Museum galleries, Skyáana found a “Claws Clause” loophole and received a special snack exemption to munch on her favorite biscuits during her visit.

Art credits: Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast, 1870, Albert Bierstadt, oil oncanvas, Seattle Art Museum, Gift of the Friends of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum, with additional funds from the General Acquisition Fund, 2000.70. Installation views of Middle Fork, 2014–17, John Grade, Seattle Art Museum commission; and We Are All in This Together, 2002, Mark Mumford, Gift of Carlos Garcia and James Harris in honor of Kimberly Richter Shirley, 2003.60. Photo credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo

March 2021

Together We Let Our Imaginations Take Flight!

Featured Partner: Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library and Woodland Park Zoo have joined together to let our imaginations take flight! Whooooo doesn’t love a good book? For our March photo celebration, Woodland Park Zoo’s Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl made a special visit to the Central Library in downtown Seattle to visit with the Chief Librarian. Buddy the owl spent some time in the stacks before having a hoot with Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner. Then Buddy’s fellow ambassador animal, Clyde the opossum, made a surprise appearance to take in a story in the Library’s Level 10 reading room.

February 2021

Together We Let Our Hearts Soar!

Featured Partner: The Museum of Flight

This Valentine’s Day, The Museum of Flight and Woodland Park Zoo proclaim, “Together we let our hearts soar!” For our February photo celebration, Woodland Park Zoo’s Harry and Cisco paid a special visit to The Museum of Flight. Cisco, who flies in zoo educational programs, explored the aircraft while Harry the skunk checked out the Lockheed M-21 Blackbird, developed by the company’s legendary and aptly-named Skunk Works engineering team.

January 2021

Together We Jump for Joy!

Featured Partner: Pacific Northwest Ballet

The Pacific Northwest Ballet and Woodland Park Zoo proclaim, “Together we jump for joy!” For our January photo celebration, Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore visited the animals at Woodland Park Zoo for a delightful day of dance. Be it on pointe with penguins or leaping with lions, we can’t contain our excitement to be starting the year together.


Inspire Washington

Woodland Park Zoo and many of the partners above are members of Inspire WA, a statewide coalition that champions advocacy and resource development for Washington’s cultural sector, and works to strengthen communities by increasing access to science, heritage and arts.

Learn more about Inspire Washington



Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

Humane Certification
Seattle Parks & Recreation
Association of Zoos & Aquariums

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