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On Your Mark … Get Set … Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo

Run Wild Detroit Zoo - Logo

Register by August 14 and save $5

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Thousands of runners and walkers will lace up their running shoes and head over to the Detroit Zoo on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, for the 19th annual Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo. Proceeds from the event benefit the Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex and veterinary care for the Zoo’s animals.

The event includes a 5K run, 10K run, Too Wild! 5K + 10K combo and noncompetitive 1.5-mile fun walk. Runners in the 5K and 10K events will start at the Zoo’s 10 Mile Road entrance and wind through the scenic streets of Huntington Woods surrounding the Zoo. Walkers will follow a course past award-winning animal habitats as they stroll through Zoo grounds.

Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo begins with the 5K run at 8 a.m., followed by the 10K run at 9 a.m. and the untimed fun walk at 9:15 a.m. Online registration is available at www.detroitzoo.org/runwild until 6 a.m. Sept. 11, and registration will also be available at the Zoo on Sept. 11, 12 and 13. Participants who register by Aug. 14 receive $5 off their registration fee.

New this year, family and friends can sponsor Run Wild participants by making a donation at http://www.crowdrise.com/RunWildfortheDetroitZoo.

Medals will be presented to the top two male and female finishers in each age category. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt as well as free admission to the Zoo on race day. Regular Zoo admission applies for non-race participants.

A post-race party sponsored by Kroger will follow the Run Wild event with live music, family entertainment, and complimentary food and beverages.

Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo has been recognized as a quality physical activity event by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. The Governor’s Council endorses local, regional and state events to acknowledge an organization’s ability to plan and carry out a quality event that significantly contributes to the health and well-being of Michigan residents.

Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo is supported by Ford Motor Company, Genisys Credit Union, Kroger, Moosejaw, Pepsi and Tim Hortons.

The Zoo is looking for volunteers to assist as course marshals during the event. For information on volunteer opportunities, contact Linda Denomme at (248) 541-5717 x.3806 or ldenomme@dzs.org.

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New Year Ushers in New “Era” at Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Shortly after the ball dropped at midnight on January 1, 2015, the Detroit Zoo had something special to celebrate ¬– an endangered male Grevy’s zebra born at 2:45 a.m. at the zebra habitat.

The foal – named Enzi, a Swahili word meaning “era” or “reign” – has been kept indoors during the frigid months since his birth, but will be seen outdoors on days when the thermometer reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

This is the second foal for 23-year-old mom Elvira and 14-year-old father Z.Z. The new arrival brings the Detroit Zoo’s zebra herd to five, including the pair’s 3-year-old male offspring Jimmy and 12-year-old female Zoe.

“Enzi is doing very well and is full of energy,” said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society chief life sciences officer. “Typical of zebra foals his age, he’s never far from his mom. Elvira is an experienced mother and is doing a great job raising her little one.” Continue reading

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year Makes U.S. Debut at Detroit Zoo

DetroitZooROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition – a collection of images from the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition – made its U.S. debut at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center on November 22, 2014. The show runs through March 23, 2015, and is free with Zoo admission.

The exhibition of winners from the 2013 competition features 100 images dramatically displayed as illuminated large-format color transparencies. The images were chosen from more than 42,000 entries by photographers from 96 countries. Continue reading

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Detroit Zoo Makes an Impact on Wyoming Toad Comeback

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoological Society’s breeding program for the Wyoming toad has produced a record 3,945 tadpoles for release into the wild in its efforts to preserve the federally endangered amphibian.

“This is the largest number of tadpoles we have ever sent back to Wyoming,” said Marcy Sieggreen, Curator of Amphibians at the Detroit Zoo. The majority of the tadpoles were released into the Laramie Basin, a protected Wyoming wetland, while 16 were reserved for future breeding at other facilities.

“The tadpoles are returned to Wyoming before the middle of July so they have plenty of time to grow and metamorphose in the wetlands where they’ll live. It takes them approximately four to five weeks to change into toadlets,” said Sieggreen.

The Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri) is a dark brown, gray or greenish amphibian with small, dark blotches. The average length is 2.2 inches, with the females slightly larger than the males.

Once abundant in the wetlands and irrigated meadows of Wyoming’s southeastern plains, the Wyoming toad was listed as extinct in the wild in 1994, meaning populations are no longer producing offspring that survive to adulthood in the wild.

The cause of the declines are not well understood, but it is likely that more than one factor contributed to the situation in the past, with habitat loss and infectious diseases suspected as major drivers.

In 2007, the Detroit Zoological Society’s collaborative breeding program for the Wyoming toad was No. 1 on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums list of the Top 10 wildlife conservation success stories. The breeding partnership has successfully released more than 6,000 tadpoles, toadlets and toads in Wyoming since the program’s inception in 1995.

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Tri-county Seniors Invited to Free Day at the Zoo September 3

DetroitZoo

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. 3, 2014, 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, tram tours, bingo, a senior resource area and zookeeper talks highlighting some of the Zoo’s senior animal residents.

In addition, Blue Care Network of Michigan 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.

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Constructi​on Begins on Wolf Sanctuary at Detroit Zoo

 

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ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Construction has begun on the new Cotton Family wolf habitat at the Detroit Zoo. Located at the southwest corner of the park, the 2-acre sanctuary will feature grassy meadows, trees, a flowing stream and pond, dens and elevated rock outcroppings from which the wolves can survey their surroundings and Zoo visitors.

“Like many others in Michigan, our family is so excited to help save wolves – cousins of man’s best friend – in a protected sanctuary at the Detroit Zoo,” said David Cotton, whose family donated $500,000 toward the development of the wolf habitat. Continue reading

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A Personalit​y Study That is Turtly Amazing

UM-Flint Biologists Track the Blanding's Turtle.

UM-Flint Biologists Track the Blanding’s Turtle.

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Maybe they just need to come out of their shells a bit.

Blanding’s turtles, native to the Midwest, can live to be 50-60 years old. Their hatchlings, however, are often preyed upon, primarily by raccoons.

As a continuation of an already three-year conservation effort focused on Blanding’s turtles, researchers at the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS)’s Center for Zoo Animal Welfare (CZAW) have embarked on a new plan to study the hatchlings’ personalities to determine how the various traits relate to survivability.

“While reintroduction programs are typically concerned with helping to preserve an entire species, sometimes this comes at the expense of individual animals that may not survive,” said Jeff Jundt, DZS Curator of Reptiles. “It is for this reason that researchers have begun to delve further into the factors that may predict success in reintroduction programs. It is believed that some behavioral factors such as locomotion, ability to acquire food, and personality may impact individual survival.” Continue reading

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