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Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo improves with age

By Leslee Jaquette

Abby hugs the big cat! Photo by Jackie Fleishon Jaquette
Abby hugs the big cat! Photos by Jackie Fleishon Jaquette

If you haven’t been to the Woodland Park Zoo lately, pack a picnic, grab a grandkid or any kid-at-heart and spend a wonderful day of discovery at Seattle’s world-class zoo. I promise you will be impressed by how critters, ranging from gorillas and brown bears to komodo dragons and penguins, are housed in humane and interesting habitats.
Recently, I had the immense pleasure of spending the day at the zoo with my toddler granddaughter Abby and her parents, Jackie and Roger. Since it has been at least a decade since I visited the zoo, I was amazed at its family-friendly evolution. Several new-to-me exhibits included the Tropical Rain Forest with its jaguar and lemurs as well as the Northern Trail, which features enormous brown bears, white wolves, mountain goats and river otters.
Roger & Abby enjoy the viewing site at the Northern Trail.
Roger & Abby enjoy the viewing site at the Northern Trail.

In fact, I am so awed at the many improvements – great signage, excellent viewing opportunities and large, appropriate habitats for the animals – that I feel like bragging. I think Woodland Park ranks right up there with famous animal encounters like the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which our foursome toured last holiday vacation.
This summer is a great time to visit the zoo. Checkout the daily programs such as the Giraffe Feeding and Raptors in Flight. Also, consider combining a visit with a Summer Event such as the BECU Zootunes Concert Series through August, the Jungle Party July 15 or Wild Asia: Asian Wildlife Conservation Day on August 13. You can even throw a party at the zoo for groups of 20 to 250!
The komodo dragon statue is a lot friendliere than the real thing.
The komodo dragon statue is a lot friendlier than the real thing.

For more information about parties, call 206-548-2590; or email groupsales@zoo.org
The otters put on quite a show!
The otters put on quite a show!

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