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Detroit Zoo Premieres Three Films at Wild Adventure Zone

Rio - 4D Experince

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Detroit Zoo visitors can travel from Rio de Janeiro to Alaska to a mysterious island with three new films at the Wild Adventure Zone, located in the Ford Education Center. “Rio: The 4-D Experience” and “Grizzly Bears: 4-D Experience” at the 4-D Theater and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” at the Simulator Ride will debut on April 18, 2014, and run through the end of the year.

“Rio: The 4-D Experience” follows Blu and Jewel, the last blue macaws on Earth, as they are chased and captured by evil cockatoo Nigel. The duo takes viewers on a thrilling journey through Rio de Janeiro, working together despite Blu’s inability to fly and finding courage, friendship and maybe even love along the way.

Alternating with “Rio” is “Grizzly Bears: 4-D Experience”, a wildlife adventure that follows grizzly bears as they emerge from their winter dens in the Alaskan mountains and travel up the west coast of North America to feast on the great salmon run. This captivating film provides insight into the forces of nature, which drive a chain reaction culminating in a spectacular wildlife event.

In “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”, the star of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” is back in another Jules Verne-inspired voyage. While looking for his long-lost grandfather, Sean decodes a secret map that points him and a group of adventurers to the elusive “Mysterious Island”. After finding Sean’s grandfather and discovering that the island is sinking, they all head for the shore on the backs of giant bees.

The 126-seat 4-D Theater delivers a high-definition viewing experience in 3-D with 7.1 digital audio surround sound. The experience features a variety of sensory surprises that are built into the seats and theater environment, bringing on-screen images to life with 4-D effects such as mist, scents, back pokers, leg ticklers and seat vibrations. Some 4-D effects may be too intense for children 5 and under; parental discretion is advised.

The 30-seat Simulator Ride is an educational, action-packed thrill ride which offers a “you-are-there” experience from the comfort of a specially equipped, motion-simulated cabin. Passengers must be at least 36 inches (3 feet) tall, and it is recommended that they be at least 5 years of age or older.

Tickets for each experience are $5 with Detroit Zoo admission and are available at the main gate, the Wild Adventure Zone ticket booth or online. With ZooMORE! – a seasonal discounted ticket package for rides and attractions – visitors can experience the 4-D Theater and Simulator Ride as well as the Tauber Family Railroad (one way) and Carousel, or any combination thereof, for $12 with Zoo admission.

Click on Attractions at www.detroitzoo.org for the most up-to-date information and movie times.

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Detroit Zoo Attendance Tops 1.3 Million in 2013

Detroit Zoo Banner

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo’s annual attendance has exceeded one million for the eighth consecutive year and 1.3 million for the first time since 1997. The Zoo attracted 1,304,114 guests in 2013, up from 1,272,574 in 2012.

“We’re grateful to our community for another great year and look forward to providing more outstanding guest experiences in 2014,” said Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director/CEO.

Wild Lights – the Detroit Zoo’s holiday light display presented by Bank of America – has drawn more than 30,000 guests thus far, contributing to the year’s numbers. Wild Lights continues through Sunday, Jan. 5. For more information on Wild Lights click here.

The Detroit Zoological Society is a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. Situated on 125 acres of naturalistic habitats, the Detroit Zoo is located at 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue off I-696 in Royal Oak, Mich. The Detroit Zoo is open 362 days a year, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through Labor Day and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day after Labor Day through October. Admission is $14 for adults 15 to 61 and $10 for children 2 to 14, senior citizens 62 and older and active military with ID; children under 2 are free. The Belle Isle Nature Zoo is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit http://www.detroitzoo.org.

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Tri-county Seniors Invited to Free Day at the Zoo September 4

The Detroit Zoo | Woodward Spine 2013

The Detroit Zoo | Woodward Spine 2013

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Senior citizens living in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are invited to enjoy a day at the Detroit Zoo on Senior Day, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seniors 62 and older and a caregiver will receive free admission, parking and rides on the Tauber Family Railroad.

Senior Day will also feature live music, tractor train tours, bingo, a senior resource area and zookeeper talks highlighting some of the Zoo’s senior animal residents.

In addition, Blue Care Network and the SilverSneakers Fitness Program are pairing up to offer a free group exercise class, exercise demos and functional fitness assessments.

The fall Senior Day is one of two free days for tri-county seniors held annually at the Detroit Zoo in appreciation for voter approval in 2008 of a ballot proposal to fund the Zoo.

The Detroit Zoological Society is a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. Situated on 125 acres of naturalistic habitats, the Detroit Zoo is located at the intersection of 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, just off I-696, in Royal Oak, Mich. The Detroit Zoo is open 362 days a year, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through Labor Day (with extended hours until 8 p.m. Wednesdays during July and August), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day after Labor Day through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March. Admission is $14 for adults 15 to 61, $12 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $9 for children 2 to 14 (children under 2 are free). The Belle Isle Nature Zoo is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit www.detroitzoo.org.

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Detroit Zoo Ad Campaign Diagnoses “Vitamin Z Deficiency​”

Detroit Zoo | Vitamin Z

Detroit Zoo | Vitamin Z

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Everyone knows a visit to the Detroit Zoo provides kids with a healthy dose of Vitamin Z, but what happens when they don’t get the recommended amount? The Zoo’s new advertising campaign shows what Vitamin Z deficiency looks like so parents will know how to recognize the symptoms.

In one 30-second television commercial, a mother finds her young son mimicking an anteater by sucking up hors d’oeuvres through a vacuum hose. Another shows a girl attempting to feed leaves to a very tall man, while a third has a boy cutting his sister’s hair into the shape of a lion’s mane. In each case, Vitamin Z deficiency is remedied by a visit to the Detroit Zoo’s anteater, giraffe or lion habitat.

“Kids who visit the Detroit Zoo have been getting their Vitamin Z in record amounts, but there are some who are deficient,” said Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan. “It’s not dangerous or serious – and fortunately it can be cured with frequent visits to the Detroit Zoo.”

The new Vitamin Z commercials are currently airing on local TV stations. To view them, visit www.facebook.com/detroitzoo and click on Videos.

Created by Detroit-based Doner, the Vitamin Z campaign captures the emotions children experience on a visit to the Detroit Zoo. Themed around the iconic nutrition label, the integrated marketing campaign includes TV, radio, outdoor, print, digital, social and mobile elements. All branded elements include the tagline “Vitamin Z. Part of a complete childhood.”

“The new campaign uses the natural curiosity and imagination of children to urge parents to recognize the signs of Vitamin Z deficiency,” said Rob Strasberg, co-CEO, chief creative officer, Doner. “Vitamin Z fills kids of all ages with wonder and awe and allows them to be closer to the animal kingdom – it’s important for them to get enough of it.”

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A conversation with Detroit Zoo’s Ron Kagan

Woodward Spine © 2012

By Jeffrey Buck

The Detroit Zoo recently introduced the metro Detroit area to its three new grizzly bear cubs rescued from Alaska. While attending the media preview I had a chance to talk with Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Ron Kagan. He’s very excited about the new cubs and happy that they are adapting well to their new home.

Woodward Spine: Will they stay this active for a while?

Ron Kagan: They will stay active for quite a bit. Again at times animals will just rest but they are doing a lot of exploration right now and of course part of the issue is they have just come out of hibernation. So they are ready to get active again, explore and play. They play with each other, they are wonderfully social.

WS: With the increase in guests watching them will they be more playful?

RK: I don’t think so. Bears are very curious and they explore a lot. For instance if somebody walks by and has food with them that is very aromatic they will pick up the scent if the wind is blowing the right way and that will catch their attention. There will be things that people will do that might grab their attention but for the most part the bears will pay attention to each other, which is what should happen. I’m not expecting to see a lot of that kind of action.

WS: Will they be swimming a lot?

RG: Yes, they have already, in the brief time we brought them outside for the first time, jumped in quite a bit. They will probably swim a lot more if we put some trout in there, which we might very well do periodically.

WS: How big will they get and will they stay in this area for their entire life?

RK: It’s tough to know that far out but they will get to be about four times the size they are now. So they’re all about 200 pounds, a little over, right now. They’ve double actually since they got here. They could get to be about 800 pounds, so they will be big. We used to have polar bears here, grizzly bears so this is a well known habitat for large bears. It should be great.

Now would it be better if they were living in Alaska, absolutely. One of the challenges with things like this is early on their mother was bringing them into areas with people and so unfortunately what happens is they get sort of fearless and that’s the same reason the other two grizzly bears are here. They were categorized as “nuisance bears” by the Fish & Wildlife Service. They can be very dangerous around people.

WS: Will this be their final home? They won’t be released back into the wild?

RG: No, they are too comfortable around people. We didn’t do that. That happened in Alaska.

WS: Did Alaska contact you (Detroit Zoo)?

RG: Yes, we have a reputation for doing a lot of rescue work with circus bears and others from so many other situations. We did a big rescue a few years back in Texas with 27,000 small animals, nothing the size of these guys.


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Grizzly Cubs Make Detroit Zoo Debut

By Jeffrey Buck

Today at the Detroit Zoo is your first chance to see Mike, Thor and Boo. The three orphaned grizzly bears rescued late last year from Alaska are making their public debut today. After spending the winter months hibernating in a private off-exhibit area since their arrival the trio are playful and ready to swim! We got a sneak peek this morning but be sure to go see these brothers in person, you won’t regret it.

The Detroit Zoo will be open until 4 p.m. today and then reopen tomorrow at 10 a.m. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more information about the grizzly bears from Ron Kagan, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Zoo.

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Orphaned Alaskan grizzly cubs face challenges

By Mike Fossano

Three orphaned grizzly bear cubs that recently arrived at the Detroit Zoo via the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), have displayed aberrant behavior that could have detrimental long-term effects on the animals.

“While physically in good condition, two of the cubs engage in a muzzle-to-muzzle stereotypic sucking behavior commonly seen in animals that have been prematurely weaned. Though they appear to be ‘kissing’, they are actually ‘suckling’ each other’s tongue, and this abnormal behavior could cause problems and injury if it persists,” said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society Chief Life Sciences Officer.

The 11-month old brothers – named Mike, Thor and Boo by zookeepers at the Alaska Zoo where they were temporarily housed – touched down at Detroit Metro Airport last month aboard a Federal Express aircraft out of Anchorage.

The Detroit Zoo’s animal care staff is determining the frequency of this stereotypic behavior and trying to eliminate it. The Zoo is providing a calm and quiet quarantine environment for the cubs with lots of enrichment toys and other objects, including branches, straw, various foods and a shallow play pool. The goal is to ensure a stimulating and safe environment. Continue reading

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