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Potter's Blog

Old and Batty 

Meet two of the Akron Zoo’s oldest bats, and celebrate their birthdays!
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, April 17, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Bat Birthdays

We are batty about bats, both in our zoo and around the world. On April 17 each year, we celebrate International Bat Appreciation Day, which recognizes bats as friendly neighbors who help control pest populations, pollinate flowers and even spread the seeds of beautiful, fruit-bearing trees! However, the Akron Zoo has another reason to celebrate this Bat Appreciation Day, since it falls right in between the birthdays of two of the oldest bats in our zoo.

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Panda Palace Episode 14 

Sister dynamics
Thursday, April 15, 2021 11:42:00 AM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 14

On Episode 14 of Panda Palace, it is all about the sister dynamics between Coco, Lulu and Penny! Coco really wants Penny to play with her, but Penny is not so sure. And then, Lulu and Coco get into a bit of a tiff over who is the queen of the cave! 

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A Life Without Plants is Hellebore-ing 

Learn about our April Plant of the Month: Hellebore
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, April 12, 2021 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Plant of the Month: Hellebore

For the horticulture crew here at the zoo, the winters are LONG. We spend the season removing snow from the pathways so keepers can safely tend to animals throughout the park and salting icy patches so guests don’t lose their footing on their way to the snow leopards. To say we miss our plants during these frosty months is an understatement. You can probably imagine us peeking through the melting snow for the first signs of life as winter draws to a close.

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Panda Palace Episode 13 

What's in a name?
Thursday, April 8, 2021 4:21:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 13

Mother's Nature is having some fun with changing weather on Panda Palace Episode 13! Learn how Coco, Lulu and Penny got their names. 

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Akron Zoo Top Animal 2021 

Meet the winner of Akron Zoo’s March Madness Bracket: Animal Edition
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, April 6, 2021 10:01:00 AM Categories: Animal News

March Madness 2021 Bracket

Meet the Akron Zoo's Top Animal of 2021, as voted by you! Despite having only been at the Akron Zoo a short time (and the fact that our guests have not yet had the opportunity to meet her in person), this animal has been an Akron Zoo favorite since we announced her arrival late last year!

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Panda Palace Episode 12 

Trash Panda Palace
Thursday, April 1, 2021 11:48:00 AM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 12

Our red panda sisters are getting playful on Panda Palace Episode 12! Coco and Penny are having a great time play wrestling with each other, while Lulu is enjoying the free reign of the food. Also, happy April Fool's Day! 

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Earth Hour 

Make a positive decision for our shared planet tonight!
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, March 27, 2021 9:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Earth Hour

What can you do in one hour? Take a nap? Catch up on your favorite TV show? What about help to save the world? 

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Giving to Conservation is a StuPANDAous Choice 

Help us decide which red panda project needs our support!
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, March 26, 2021 6:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Red Panda Title

As a champion of the natural world, your Akron Zoo works hard each year to use zoo revenue responsibly. Not only do we care for more than 1000 animals who call our park home, but we also support several local and global conservation organizations that benefit endangered species. Help us decide how to support the Red Panda Network this year by voting on one of these important conservation projects!

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Panda Palace Episode 11 

Double boops
Thursday, March 25, 2021 4:10:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 11

Lulu, Penny and Coco are hanging out both inside and outside on Episode 11  of Panda Palace. As the show continues, we're noticing some recurring themes with our red panda sisters - Lulu loves to get up close and personal, Penny loves to go in for a double camera boop and Coco likes her space. 

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Panda Palace Episode 10 

Panda Ninja Warrior
Thursday, March 18, 2021 2:26:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 10

On Panda Palace Episode 10, Lulu is basking in the sun, Coco is filling her belly and Penny is practicing for Panda Ninja Warrior! 

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Our New Arrival is Otter This World 

Meet Stratton, the Akron Zoo’s new North American river otter
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, March 15, 2021 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News


Though this species was once threatened by hunting and habitat loss, today North American river otters thrive throughout Canada and much of the northern United States. These playful mammals are a favorite, not only in our local parks, but also at the Akron Zoo! Molly, the zoo’s female otter, has been a guest favorite for many years because of her playful and friendly personality. However, otters are also incredibly social animals, which is why we are excited to welcome a new male otter, Stratton, to our zoo!

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Panda Palace Episode 9 

Wild Asia to open May 29
Thursday, March 11, 2021 4:18:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 9

On Panda Palace Episode 9, our red pandas sisters learn when they get to meet all their fans in person for the first time. Lehner Family Foundation Wild Asia opens on May 29. Mark your calendars to come meet Coco. Lulu and Penny! 

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Women in Global Conservation 

This International Women’s Day, learn about some key women in conservation
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, March 8, 2021 2:00:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

Women in Conservation

When we talk about important women in conservation, names like Jane Goodall and Gretta Thunberg might come to mind. However, there have been many more women from around the world whose contributions to conservation escape our attention. This International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight a few lesser-known female conservationists from around the world who have made a difference for our planet.

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Panda Palace Episode 8 

Thursday, March 4, 2021 3:35:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 8

On Episode 8 of Panda Palace, Lulu, Penny and Coco are discovering their outdoor habitat! Our red pandas are climbing all about the perching and rocks, enjoying the rare winter sunshine and, of course, eating their snacks.   

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We’re Snailing It! 

Learn about the Partula snail and their battle against invasive species
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, February 26, 2021 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Partula Snails

Invasive Species Day is a day to spread the word about the perils caused by non-native organisms who are introduced to habitats where they don’t belong.  These plants, animals, insects and others can be introduced either accidentally (like small mammals sneaking aboard a cargo ship and being carried to a new environment) or intentionally, as well-intentioned biological controls to address another issue (like toads being introduced to farmland to control pests).  One of the characteristics they all share is that they tend to reproduce quickly and consume a resource at a faster rate than the ecosystem’s native inhabitants.

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Panda Palace Episode 7 

First time outside in their habitat
Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:52:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 7

Coco, Lulu and Penny are venturing out to their new outdoor habitat for the very first time on Episode 7 of Panda Palace! They loved getting to explore the space - climbing the trees and rocks, running through the snow and finding where the food is located.

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So You Want to Work at the Zoo? 

Learn how teens can become Jr Interpreters at the Akron Zoo
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, February 19, 2021 8:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Jr Interpreter

You love animals and want to dedicate your career to working with them.  How do you get started? The best way is to gain experience working at a place that has the job you want. The Akron Zoo has a Jr Interpreter Teen Volunteer program for students ages 14-18 yrs old. While volunteering at the zoo, you get an in depth look at how the zoo operates and some insight regarding potential careers.

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Panda Palace Episode 6 

Weighing In
Posted by Elena Bell Thursday, February 18, 2021 3:06:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 6

On Episode 6 of Panda Palace, our red pandas are weighing in! Lulu and Coco do some scale training with Keeper Lisa to get their current weights, while Penny decides to wait to get her weight in private. Animal weights are an important part of animal care as it is an indicator of the health and wellness for that animal. 

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Panda Palace Episode 5 

Chute introductions
Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:07:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 5

Coco, Lulu and Penny are back for Episode 5 of Panda Palace! This week, the red pandas sisters were introduced to their outside chute, which is a passageway between their indoor building and outside habitat. Introducing them to the chute is the next step for them to adjust to change. Right now they are just able to explore the chute, as their care team can ensure they are comfortable on the different textures and have no problem climbing up and down. 

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Carried on the Wind 

Enter your prayer flag submissions for Wild Asia
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, February 8, 2021 8:00:00 AM Categories: Contests

Prayer Flags

As you know, the Akron Zoo has been hard at work preparing for the Lehner Family Foundation Wild Asia to open in the spring of 2021. Not only will this area be home to several species who can be found across the continent, but it will also feature elements of Asian architecture and culture as part of its design. One such element will include Tibetan prayer flags, which will be strung from our gibbon habitat, over the main walkway, to the peak of our red panda building. Read on how you can enter submissions to be written on a prayer flag!

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Panda Palace Episode 4 

Settling in
Thursday, February 4, 2021 10:05:00 AM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 4

On Panda Palace episode 4, Coco, Lulu and Penny are settling in to their new home and really exploring things. Since change can be difficult for red pandas, we're giving the sisters a few weeks to adjust to their indoor home before introducing them to their outdoor habitat. 

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Happy Me Day! 

Meet Summer the groundhog to celebrate Groundhog Day
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, February 2, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day! Groundhogs owe their annual moment in the spotlight to the simple fact that they were the animal that most closely resembled the European hedgehog to Pennsylvania’s early German settlers. Since 1887, the year of the first official Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, PA, these rodents have maintained their notoriety for their weather forecasting abilities.

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Panda Palace Episode 3 

Moving Day
Thursday, January 28, 2021 3:25:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 3

It's a big day for the red pandas - it's moving day! On Episode 3 of Panda Palace, Coco, Lulu and Penny made the move from their temporary home in our animal hospital to their new home in Lehner Family Foundation Wild Asia! Change is a big deal for red pandas, so the sisters will spend a few weeks getting adjusted to the indoor bedrooms before venturing out to the outdoor habitat. 

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Injuries Can Be Wily 

Learn about coyote Shilah’s leg break and the hardworking team helping him heal
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, January 25, 2021 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Shilah's Leg

Coyotes as a species are some of the most versatile and resilient members of the animal kingdom. These canines have been known to make their home anywhere from the hottest deserts, to the frozen mountains, and even in our own backyards! They are both clever and skilled at survival, which is why many myths and stories describe them as cunning or wily. However, being brainy doesn’t make coyotes any less playful or fun loving. In fact, coyotes have been known to run around and play well into their adulthood, unlike many other animals who outgrow most playful behaviors as they get older. Of course, sometimes playing too hard can lead to trouble; a lesson our male coyote, Shilah, learned all too well.

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Panda Palace Episode 2 

New panda treats
Posted by Elena Bell Thursday, January 21, 2021 2:31:00 PM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 2

On the next episode of Panda Palace, red pandas Coco, Lulu and Penny are introduced to a new treat - apples! Check out the episode to see if they are fans of the fruit. 

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Another One Fights the Dust 

Get the inside scoop on the behind-the-scenes workers keeping you safe at the zoo
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, January 18, 2021 8:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Jackie Hillman

My name is Jackie Hillman, and I’m a custodian at the Akron Zoo. Okay, sure, most guests don’t think it’s the most glamorous job in the park, but custodial staff are an invaluable part of making the zoo a beautiful and safe part of our community!

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Panda Palace Episode 1 

Meet our red pandas
Thursday, January 14, 2021 10:52:00 AM Categories: Panda Palace

Panda Palace Episode 1

We're launching a new weekly mini-series called Panda Palace! Panda Palace will feature red panda sisters - Coco, Lulu and Penny - as they prepare to make their big debut when Lehner Family Foundation Wild Asia opens later this spring.

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How a Shy Skunk Found Her Place in the World 

Meet Luna, one of our fabulous Animal Ambassadors
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, January 11, 2021 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Luna Title

In December of 2016, Luna, the striped skunk, arrived in quarantine to begin her new life at the Akron Zoo. Before coming to the zoo, Luna lived at a university where she was trained to walk on a treadmill. Researchers were studying her to learn more about locomotion and body morphology. However, Luna was not trained to be held and would run for cover if a human approached her home.

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Koala-Tea Trivia for National Trivia Day 

Enjoy these fun facts and learn something new about unique animals from around the world
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, January 4, 2021 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Koala-tea Trivia

Let’s be honest, every once in a while we all find ourselves in a conversation that runs a bit dry. So what do you do in the awkward silence? Well, why not turn the topic toward something a bit more interesting! This National Trivia Day we wanted to give you a few more unique animal facts that are sure to stimulate any conversation!

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Carol of the Gazelles 

Learn what our animals and keepers do over the holidays
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, December 30, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Carol of the Gazelles

You might know the song “Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays.” However, if you are an Akron Zoo animal, your home is closed each year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In fact, every year our zoo is closed to the public for four days: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. So what do our animals do with their holidays? 

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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas!  

Learn how to make sustainable choices as part of your holiday celebrations
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Green Christmas

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or even Boxing Day, December marks a time when many of us exchange gifts with friends and loved ones to show how much we care. However, there is one more entity we should be showing care and appreciation for: our planet!! 

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The Giving Tree 

Learn how you can give back to our Animal Ambassadors this holiday season
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, December 15, 2020 12:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News

Giving Tree Title

Not only is it an ongoing endeavor to create new enrichment opportunities for our ambassador animals, it can also be a challenge to have ample budget set aside to meet new enrichment goals and replenish supplies for current programs. That is where the creativity of zoo staff, combined with the generosity of zoo visitors, came together to give the Akron Zoo ambassadors a holiday season to remember. Read on to learn how you can make the holidays merry and bright for our animal ambassadors!

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The Naked Truth About Naked Mole Rats 

Why the Naked Mole Rats are the best animals at the Akron Zoo
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, December 5, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Naked Mole Rats

Since late March, Komodo Kingdom has been closed to the public. Despite these animals being out of the public eye, the keepers have still been working to make sure they receive the best possible care. In that time, some of the animals have kept quite busy, especially our naked mole rats.

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Training North American Songbirds at the Akron Zoo 

Learn how our keepers are training our aviary birds
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, November 30, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Aviary Training

The Akron Zoo’s Grizzly Ridge Aviary is home to 22 species of North American songbirds. Established in 2013, the Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge area highlights many of North America’s native species, including grizzly bears, North American river otters, red wolves, and one of the largest North American songbird aviaries within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The majority of the birds in our aviary were injured in their native habitat, and have now been rehabilitated and given a second chance at the Akron Zoo.

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Thanksgiving, Despite COVID—Horticulture Style 

Learn how plants can add value and utility to our cultural spaces
Posted by Erica Rymer Thursday, November 26, 2020 6:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Dahlia 2020

I’ve decided to rechristen 2020 as the “Year of the Dahlia.” Maybe no one outside of the Zoo’s horticulture department feels this way, but in a year with so much uncertainty and craziness, something as simple as a pretty flower brought so much continuity and pleasure. Every time I walked into the Welcome Center, their bright, radial blooms greeted me in a range of happy colors. 

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Making Leaps and Bounds in Amphibian Training 

Learn how our poison dart frogs are being taught new behaviors
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, November 23, 2020 9:13:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Leaps and Bounds

Your Akron Zoo is home to many unique animals from around the globe. However, not all of our animals can be seen during a regular visit; some of them live behind the scenes, like our animal ambassadors! Your zoo is home to many ambassador animals, including seven black and green poison dart frogs.

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Winter Weather Preparedness Week 

Learn how the Akron Zoo is preparing for the winter
Posted by Erica Rymer Sunday, November 15, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Winter Preparedness

In Ohio, we are lucky enough to experience every season. Winter, spring, summer and fall; there are people here who love them all! However, winter weather is something many of us forget to plan for. That is why November 15 - 21 is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Ohio! For many of us, this reminds us to confirm we have a shovel in the garage and a scraper in the car, to stock up on salt, and to inspect our tire treads to ensure we will be safe on snowy roads. However, there are a few residents of Ohio who get ready a little differently: the animals at your Akron Zoo!


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Carving Out Some Time For Fun 

Learn how our animal care team is “spicing” up enrichment this month
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, October 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Red Ruff Lemur Enrichment

Fall is an exciting time of year. The leaves change color and the temperature begins to drop. At the zoo, this change in temperature often means that animals become more active. They no longer sleep away the heat of the day. Although, don’t get me wrong, they still find time for their mid-day naps. Fall is also the time when zoos across the country, including the Akron Zoo, decorate and prepare for Halloween events. And this isn’t just for guests; the animals get in on the fun too! Read on to learn about seasonal enrichment for our animals!

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Sharp as a Porcupine 

Learn why our educators value being part of the Akron Zoo family
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, October 24, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Forest and Education Debra

Our goal for the Akron Zoo’s education team is to learn to be fun. We want people of all ages to be as excited about science and the natural world as we are. In 2019, we had the opportunity to visit over 40,000 people at schools, senior centers, churches and community centers. We provided a fun and educational opportunity for about 650 children in summer camp. We’ve hosted almost 700 groups for field trips at the zoo. Over that last few years, we have continually increased the number of people we have been able to serve and provide engaging science education. Read on to learn more about our education team and their favorite experiences at your Akron Zoo!

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“Howl” You Doin? 

Meet our red wolves and learn about wolf conservation
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, October 19, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News Conservation Corner

Red Wolf Awareness

Throughout time and in many cultures, wolves have been a symbol of loyalty, family, teamwork and guardianship. But who is the guardian of our wolves, and “howl” are their populations doing? Though some populations of wolves are stable and in good health, other populations, such as the red wolf population, are considered critically endangered.

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World Animal Day 

Learn how your Akron Zoo values animal welfare in our park and around the world!
Posted by Erica Rymer Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

World Animal Day

Each year, Animal Welfare Day is celebrated on October 4. This holiday began in 1925 as a way to celebrate the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, who was the patron saint of animals. Today, the purpose of World Animal Day is to improve welfare standards for animals around the world. By providing opportunities for education, and dedicating our resources to providing the highest possible standard of care for our animals, your Akron Zoo is working hard to help build a world where animal welfare is a top priority.

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Zoo H2O 

Water conservation floats our boat!
Thursday, October 1, 2020 5:33:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

Jackson in his pool

Who loves visiting with Jackson swimming in his pool or playing tag with Molly in the otter habitat? Did you know that the water in both pools plays into the Akron Zoo’s water conservation plan? At the Akron Zoo we set "big hairy audacious goals." One of those goals set in 2009 was to reduce our water and sewer use by 50%. We let our staff get creative, and by 2015, we had reduced our water and sewer use by 80%!

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Better Latte Than Never! 

Learn how to make your coffee habit better for the planet
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner


For roughly 83% of Americans and many others around the world, the morning is incomplete without a warm cup of coffee in our hands. No wonder we celebrate International Coffee Day each year on September 29. Coffee provides a much needed energy boost, and has also shown to offer many health advantages such as a longer life and lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes! However, despite the fact that the average American spends $1,110 a year to fuel this caffeine habit, many of us take very little notice of where our coffee comes from and where the waste is going. Join us in exploring how you can have your coffee and save the world too!

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Won’t You Be Our Neighbor 

Learn how the Akron Zoo strives to be a good neighbor in Summit County
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, September 28, 2020 7:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life


As a permanent resident of Summit County, the Akron Zoo is dedicated to providing a first-class home for animals from around the world, as well as being a valuable community partner. Since today is National Good Neighbor Day, we wanted to share some of the ways the Akron Zoo strives to be a good neighbor, both historically and today!

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Honey, Bee Yourself 

We wouldn’t change a thing about our favorite pollinators!
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, September 22, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Honey Month

What’s the buzz? Well, since September is National Honey Month, we have been thinking a lot about our pollinators. They are the bee’s knees! Of course, not every pollinator brings us honey, but they do all have an important role to play in our environment! Read on to meet a few of the pollinators at the Akron Zoo!

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Celebrate National Peanut Day with Peanut! 

Meet the Akron Zoo’s scarlet macaw
Posted by Erica Rymer Sunday, September 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News


Hi, my name is Peanut, and I am the Akron Zoo’s one and only scarlet macaw! Since today is National Peanut Day, let me tell you a little about myself. First things first, I am an animal ambassador at the Akron Zoo. I love living here because I get so much love and attention, both from our staff and guests. Read on to learn more about me and my life at the zoo!

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match! 

This National Matchmaker Day, learn how SSPs help us pair animals in the AZA
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, August 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Matchmaker Day

When you hear the word “matchmaker,” you may think of Fiddler on the Roof, the opening of Mulan or even one of the hundreds of dating sites that guarantees to “find you your soulmate, or your money back!” However, this National Matchmaker Day, we wanted to highlight some of the unsung relationship gurus who work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) - our Species Survival Plans (SSP) coordinators!

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“Caws” For Celebration 

Learn about the Crow Tribe and meet Jinx
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, August 18, 2020 10:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Jinx the Crow

Our beautiful country is made up of diverse people from across the globe, whose various cultures and traditions can be celebrated and shared throughout the year. One such cultural celebration is the Crow Fair, which takes place each year during the third week of August. Read on to learn more about the Crow people, and to meet the Akron Zoo's crow resident, Jinx!

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It’s World Lizard Day! 

Meet some of our animal ambassadors who really tip the “scales”
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, August 14, 2020 10:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

World Lizard Day

August 14th is World Lizard Day.  Why do we need a day to celebrate a group of reptiles?  Lizards are an incredibly unique and diverse family.  The tiny leaf chameleon from Madagascar is less than 1-inch long from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail, whereas the Komodo dragon can reach lengths of nearly 10 feet! While a few species of lizards can be seen during a visit to Akron Zoo, several more lizards reside as education, or ambassador, animals at the zoo.  Read on to meet Louis and Styx!

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Little Zoo, Big Impact 

Meet the white winged wood duck
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, August 7, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

White Winged Wood Duck

Let’s face it, big conservation usually costs big money. We don’t all have the funds to lead the charge to save elephants, giant pandas or rhinos, but there are smaller species who need big help as well! Some of the most successful conservation programs in zoos are those that focus on small animal species who can live in large groups, and the white-winged wood duck is no exception. 

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Merrily We Go ‘Round! 

Celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our Conservation Carousel
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, July 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner


Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the Akron Zoo’s Conservation Carousel! For an entire decade, guests have enjoyed visiting our park to take a spin on this all-ages ride. Though the view from your steed may have changed with zoo renovations and expansions, the carousel has consistently offered entertainment and educational value for our visitors.

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Look At Me Now! 

Learn about daily animal observations with a keeper
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, July 25, 2020 12:00:00 PM Categories: A Day in the Life

Animal Behaviors

There is much more to being a keeper than one may think. As keepers, we pour our hearts and souls into providing the best possible care for all of our animals. We enrich our animals daily, form relationships and build trust through training, assist in medical procedures, administer medications, rebuild and remodel enclosures, promote conservation, rehabilitate wild animals, and promote breeding of endangered and even extinct species; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

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We’re Wild About Wildlife 

Learn about local and global conservation, and how you can help!
Posted by Erica Rymer Thursday, July 16, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Jackson and Cheyenne

Each year in July we celebrate Wild about Wildlife Month, an observance that highlights the conservation and protection of wildlife in their native habitat. The Akron Zoo is committed to protecting endangered species, both at home and around the world, by participating in 21 conservation and recovery projects, in addition to providing science-based education programs to more than 91,000 individuals each year. 

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Iguana Hear Some Jokes! 

Celebrate International Joke Day with some fun animal jokes
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, July 1, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Jokes Tai

Today, the Akron Zoo is celebrating International Joke Day with a few animal-centered jokes that are sure to make you laugh! Share them with friends and family, and help us to spread some smiles!

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How to Plan for Party Animals 

A day in the life of the Akron Zoo’s Events and Marketing Coordinator
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, June 29, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Caroline Lutz

There’s something about the Akron Zoo that draws you in, keeps you engaged, and leaves you planning your next trip before you’ve even left the park. Whether that “something” is seeing your favorite animals up-close, knowing you are playing an active role in conservation efforts, or attending your favorite annual event, the Akron Zoo has a special way of connecting your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action.

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On June 23, We Wear Pink 

Pink Flamingo Day can be about more than plastic lawn decorations
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, June 23, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner


When someone mentions “pink flamingos” what’s the first thing you think of? Is it the cheesy plastic lawn decoration or the majestically awkward bird? Here at the Akron Zoo, we obviously think of our Chilean flamingo flock. In fact, it’s hard not to when their Legends of the Wild habitat is near the entrance and our 23 birds can be heard honking quite loudly throughout the day. But, seeing as Pink Flamingo Day was started in 2007 to celebrate Don Featherstone’s iconic creation, we would be remiss not to think of a plastic flock as well.
In fact, it got us thinking: How exactly does a fake flamingo compare or, more appropriately, contrast to a real flamingo?

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We’ve Missed You 

Guidelines for the Akron Zoo’s reopening
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, June 15, 2020 6:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Roar with Tamarr!

Your Akron Zoo is open! After a short separation for the safety of our animals, staff and guests, we are happy to say that our doors open today and tomorrow for Akron Zoo members and Wednesday for the public. Our animals have missed you and we all look forward to seeing you again.

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Hope to Sea You Soon! 

Join us in celebrating World Oceans Day
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, June 8, 2020 8:00:00 AM

World Oceans Day

In years past the Akron Zoo has celebrated Earth Day, Endangered Species Day and World Oceans Day during Party for the Planet, a conservation-centered event hosted in late April. For the safety of our animals and guests, the Akron Zoo was unable to offer an in-person event this April, but that doesn’t mean the environment no longer needs our help! You can help us #SpringIntoAction by celebrating World Oceans Day at home!

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Oh Snap! 

Check out the winners of our Photography Contest
Posted by Erica Rymer Sunday, May 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Contests

Photo Contest

May is National Photography Month and we asked you to celebrate with us by submitting your very best nature photos in our photography contest! Thank you for sending us such lovely pictures. Check out our winners here!

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In Otter News 

Learn about otters for World Otter Day
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

World Otter Day

I know a species that’s otter this world, and that species is the otter! Unfortunately, this statement is truer than many of us realize. Otters are incredibly playful animals who we love to learn about and visit at our local zoos, but many are threatened or even endangered and, without action, we may someday (sadly) live in a world without them. That is why on May 27 we celebrate World Otter Day, a holiday created to raise awareness to the plight of our furry friends.

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Shell Yeah, I’m Turtley Relaxed 

Life lessons from the turtle
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner


Slowly and steadily, turtles have woven their way into our hearts and into our culture through stories, parables, and even a memorable television show about pizza and karate! These lovable reptiles represent independence, endurance, longevity and patience around the world, which may be encouraging to us in the current climate of uncertainty and solitude. Since today is World Turtle Day, we wanted to share some stories and advice from the turtle, as well as introduce you to some of the Akron Zoo’s turtle species.

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Have a Wheelie Happy National Bike Month! 

Learn how the Akron Zoo is encouraging sustainable transportation
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, May 15, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Bike Shelter

Since 1956, the League of American Bicyclists has designated May as National Bike Month! Now I’m no ‘cyc’ologist, but even I can tell you that there are plenty of benefits to biking, whether you are looking to be more active, save the environment, or even just save a bit of money on gas. As many as 40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles long, making biking not only fun, but a practical way to get to school, work and even the zoo!

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We Have No Egrets About Conservation! 

Learn how you can protect local bird species this World Migratory Bird Day
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, May 9, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Migratory Bird Title

What is migration? Why do animals migrate? Why should you care? Since today is World Migratory Bird Day, I thought I would share with you why bird species are so important and how you can get involved in helping them!

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Since You’ve Been Gone 

Find out what our animals have been up to while you were away!
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, May 4, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Penguin Enrichment

Greetings Akron Zoo family! My name is Greg, and I’m one of the animal care staff here at the Akron Zoo. Since the zoo has been closed, we've been receiving a lot of questions from the community about the staff and the animals: How are the animals doing? Are animal care staff still there? What changes at the zoo on days when guests are not around? Today I wanted to answer all of those questions and give you a look into the workings of the zoo, both when we're open to the public and when we are closed.

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Let’s See What Develops! 

Participate in our photography contest
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, May 1, 2020 6:00:00 AM Categories: Contests

Photographer and Cheyenne

May is National Photography Month and we want you to celebrate with us by submitting your very best nature photos in our photography contest! Photos can include your family enjoying nature, animals in their natural habitat or at the Akron Zoo, and even plant life in our gardens or yours!


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Thank You EdZoocators and Teen Volunteers! 

This Volunteer Appreciation Day we are highlighting some of our spectacular volunteers
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, April 24, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Volunteer Appreciation

It's Volunteer Appreciation Week and the Akron Zoo would like to thank all of our dedicated Edzoocators and teen volunteers who have donated their time and talents over the last year to improve your Akron Zoo experience! Volunteers donate over 13,000 hours a year; that is a value of $279,000! They help us achieve our mission of connecting your life with wildlife and inspiring lifelong conservation action by helping with special events, giving animal encounters, teaching guests about animals while roaming the zoo and even doing important prep work behind the scenes. To celebrate, we wanted you to meet a few of our hard working volunteers! 

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We’ve Got the POOwer! 

Learn about composting at your Akron Zoo
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, April 22, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner


“Everybody poops!” may be a common phrase uttered by parents all over the globe while they potty train their toddlers, but it also applies to animals! The difference is, animals don’t have toilets to flush their poop, so what do we do with it? 

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Why I’m Batty about Bats! 

Learn about bats for International Bat Appreciation Day
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, April 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News


Around the world, bats are cultural symbols for darkness and death, and in the western hemisphere they are even associated with characters like vampires. Many people have a fear of bats because they can carry certain diseases. However, bats play an important role in the environment, both as pollinators and as pest control, and most importantly: they are so stinking cute!

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Perfect PAWtraits! 

Check Out Our World Art Day Contest Winners
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, April 15, 2020 7:00:00 AM Categories: Contests

Art Contest

Happy World Art Day! To celebrate, we asked you to submit your best animal art and you delivered!

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Akron Zoo Top Animal 2020 

The votes are in from our March Madness bracket!
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, April 7, 2020 10:50:00 AM Categories: Animal News

March Madness Bracket

Back by popular demand, during the month of March the Akron Zoo asked you to vote in our March Madness bracket for your favorite zoo animals! Read more to learn about this year's winner!

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Grab Some Paint and Let's Gogh! 

Show us your spectacular animal art!
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Contests

Boo at the Zoo

World Art Day is coming and your Akron Zoo wants you to get creative! Break out your art supplies and draw, paint, sketch or sculpt your favorite animal. Send us your art for a chance to be featured on Potter’s Blog and in the park during our Rhythm of Summer event!  

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Meat Me at the Akron Zoo 

Learn about the nutrition and diets of our animal residents
Posted by Erica Rymer Thursday, March 26, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

National Nutrition Month

No matter what you like to eat, we can all agree that balanced nutrition is a key part of the human diet, and animals are no different! Since every species processes nutrients differently, it is important to provide animal-specific diets to keep all of our Akron Zoo residents healthy. That's why keepers work hard to provide both nutritional and desirable food items to every animal every day, and since March is National Nutrition Month, we wanted to give you an inside look!

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It’s National Employee Appreciation Day! 

Meet some of the staff who make the Akron Zoo extraordinary
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, March 6, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Akron Zoo Staff

This National Employee Appreciation Day we wanted to highlight several Akron Zoo employees in departments that are often overlooked. Of course we need animal keepers and vet staff to care for our animals and provide them with the best home possible, but we also require staff who maintain our park, educate guests and make your experiences memorable for years to come! Read on to learn more about some of the Akron Zoo’s star staff.

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Everyone has a place at the Akron Zoo, no matter their abilities
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, March 2, 2020 7:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Inclusion Day

This Monday we celebrate something that many of us take for granted: Inclusion. March is National Disabilities Month! To celebrate, the Akron Zoo is partnering with the Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Summit DD) to provide free admission for guests wearing orange on March 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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It Behooves Us to Care for Our Hoofstock 

Learn how the Akron Zoo cares for goats, tahrs, gazelles and more!
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Hoof Care

Are there horses at the Akron Zoo? Neigh! However, we do have several other hooved animals, or hoofstock, in our care, and since February is International Hoof Care Month, I thought I might tell you a bit more about them! 

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Shades of Green 

Invasions in your backyard
Posted by Erica Rymer Friday, February 28, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Invasive Plants

Some invasions are hard to ignore, like invasion of privacy, invasion of personal space, or invasions from outer space! However, invasion by non-native plants and animals can often be overlooked, and these “alien” species can have dire consequences for our environment.

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Out of the Way Lovebirds, It’s Singles Awareness Day! 

Meet a few of our animals who enjoy the bachelor/bachelorette life
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, February 15, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Singles Awareness Day

After all the mushy sentiment of the lovebirds on Valentine’s Day, it is nice to know we still have Singles Awareness Day to celebrate flying solo! Each year on February 15th, we declare to the world that there is nothing wrong with being single.

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Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month 

Meet Aslan, a rescue rabbit at the Akron Zoo
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, February 8, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Aslan Reading

You may be asking yourself, “who is this handsome rabbit with a mane and super cool side bangs?”  Meet Aslan! Voted the handsomest rabbit in Akron by… himself.  He is a five-year-old lionhead mix breed and just one of the Animal Ambassadors here at the Akron Zoo. 

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Do You Have the Necessary Koalafications? 

Find out if a job at the Akron Zoo is right for you!
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Job Fair 2020

We know it is still early in 2020, but the Akron Zoo is already beginning to look for seasonal staff to fill many positions across the park! Positions include seasonal custodial, groundskeeping and guest services staff, which includes openings in admissions, birthdays, guest experiences, food service, and gift shop!

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New Settlers in our Colony 

Meet the Akron Zoo’s five new Humboldt penguins!
Monday, January 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

5 Penguin Title

This Penguin Awareness Day, we wanted to make sure you are aware of the five new arrivals to your Akron Zoo! These fine feathered friends just flew in (on a plane) from SeaWorld San Diego and have been getting settled in Akron since mid-November! Learn more about each one of our new Humboldt penguins here!

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Red, Might and Blue! 

Get to know our mighty bald eagles and how they came to live at the Akron Zoo
Saturday, January 18, 2020 8:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Eagle title

In 1782, the bald eagle was chosen as the U.S.A.’s national emblem because of the species’ strength, longevity and majesty. To this day, bald eagles can be found across the continent, both throughout their native range and in the wallets of many Americans (on the backs of large coins). Read more to learn about the protection of bald eagles across the continent and at your Akron Zoo!

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Blue-Eyed Black Lemurs Arrive at the Akron Zoo 

Meet Murphy and McKinnon, the sweetest new siblings at the Akron Zoo
Friday, January 10, 2020 12:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News

Blue-eyed Black Lemur Title

Since 1953, the Akron Zoo has connected your life with wildlife by introducing you to animal species from around the world. Because of this, we are always overjoyed when a new species joins the Akron Zoo family, especially when that species is of high priority to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). At the end of 2019, the Akron Zoo became home to two blue-eyed black lemurs, Murphy and McKinnon. Learn more about these two siblings and why they are a priority species!

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Happy National Trivia Day! 

Learn wild and wacky facts about animals in our zoo and around the world
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, January 4, 2020 4:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News

National Trivia Day

Ah, National Trivia Day! The holiday that celebrates those trivial facts that get stuck in your memory. In honor of this holiday, we wanted to share a few bits of animal trivia you can use to impress your friends (and expand your knowledge)!

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Endangered Species Act Anniversary 

Learn how this little act makes a big impact on our environment
Saturday, December 28, 2019 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner


The presents have all been opened, the carols have all been sung and the Christmas season has come to a close, but we still have a reason to celebrate this week! Today marks the 46th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), signed into law in 1973 by President Richard Nixon.

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Some Like It Cold 

Akron Zoo animals who love winter weather
Saturday, December 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Some Like It Cold

Since the animals at your Akron Zoo come to us from all around the world, some of our residents (like many Ohioans) choose to spend the winter indoors where it is warm. Some species, however, are perfectly suited for the snow and they love to spending this season outside! We wanted to take this opportunity to spotlight our animal residents who like it cold!

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The Christmas Bird Count 

A citizen scientist project we can all flock behind
Friday, December 13, 2019 2:06:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

Christmas Bird Count

In the late 1800’s the Christmas “Side Hunt” was a pretty common tradition. Unfortunately, as the years passed, the piles of game collected during each hunt grew smaller and conservationists grew concerned with shrinking bird populations. In 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman suggested a new tradition: a bird census rather than a hunt. This began our annual tradition, the Christmas Bird Count!

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Your generosity makes a difference in the lives of our animals!
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

GT title

Today we hope you would consider giving to your Akron Zoo. Through your gift, you support exceptional animal care and quality habitat construction and maintenance for every animal who calls the Akron Zoo home, especially our newborns! Baya, your Akron Zoo’s sensational snow leopard cub, is especially grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and guests.

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Thankful for Home 

Learn about Winchester, the Akron Zoo’s rescue turkey
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, November 27, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Turkey title

While many families celebrate Thanksgiving with a cooked bird, there are others who would prefer to save turkeys from their fate. That is why in 1986, Farm Sanctuary designated November as Adopt a Turkey Month! The event encouraged individuals to sponsor and care for rescue turkeys in their facility. Though your Akron Zoo has not participated directly with this event, we did adopt a rescue turkey of our own in 2014, and we wanted to answer some guest questions about him!

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Respecting Critically Endangered Species 

Why Orangutan Caring Week does more than help great apes
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, November 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Orangutan Title

Every November the world celebrates Orangutan Caring Week, calling people to take action against the destruction of the rainforest. Though the event was started by Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) as Orangutan Awareness Week, awareness is simply not enough to make the desired change and many organizations, including your Akron Zoo, have joined in taking action and encouraging others to do the same.

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Stay Frosty, Akron 

Its Polar Bear Week!
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, November 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Polar Bear Title

Polar Bear Week, which this year is celebrated November 3-9, is an awareness event which coincides with the fall polar bear migration.  During the summer, as rising temperatures melt the northern sea ice, these bears bide their time on land, relying on fat reserves for survival. In the fall they migrate back to the Hudson Bay and wait for the sea ice to reform so they can return to hunting seals. One of the greatest threats to polar bear populations is the rapid loss of sea ice due to climate change. This week’s events focus on the importance of sea ice, both to polar bears and the planet, and how we can take action on climate change to protect this majestic species.

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Are You Ready For This Jelly? 

Unique and interesting facts about jellyfish
Sunday, November 3, 2019 10:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News


Since 2008, the Akron Zoo’s temporary exhibit space has been home to several deep sea dwellers, fascinating fish and curious creatures. Every 4-5 years we remodel to bring you a new and exciting animal experience. However, despite these changes, there has always been one constant presence: our jellyfish. 

It is no secret that people find jellyfish intriguing. On November 3, we celebrate World Jellyfish Day, an observance that honors these unique animals and gives us the opportunity to learn more about them! As part of the festivities, we thought we would bring you some fun and mysterious facts about our squishy friends!

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Wingin' It Episode 7 

Saturday, November 2, 2019 3:32:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Wingin' It episode 7

On this episode of Wingin' It with Frances F. Feathers, Frances has found a kindred spirit in lead avian keeper, Joe. Bird nerds unite!

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Know Your Snows 

An update on where Shanti's cubs are today
Posted by Erica Rymer Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:15:00 PM Categories: Animal News

Snow Cubs Title

International Snow Leopard Day raises awareness for these beautiful, endangered animals each year on October 23. This International Snow Leopard Day we wanted to give you an update on where each of Shanti’s cubs are now! Snow leopards in AZA accredited zoos are moved based on breeding recommendations from the Species Survival Plan (SSP). This is done to maintain genetic diversity among these endangered big cats. Today, Baya's siblings can be found in accredited zoos all across the country!

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Akron Zoo RVTs: Ewe are the G.O.A.T! 

Meet our Registered Veterinary Technicians and learn about their job at the Akron Zoo
Friday, October 18, 2019 10:30:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Vet Tech Appreciation

It’s National Veterinary Technicians Week! Celebrated October 13-19, this week provides an opportunity to appreciate local vet techs by highlighting the important work they do and recognizing their contributions to animal welfare. The Akron Zoo has two extraordinary Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs): Samantha Aemmer and Kayla White. Learn about their amazing jobs (and personalities), and how they make the zoo a better place for our animals!

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Guineafowl: The Underdogs of Pride of Africa 

Learn about eastern crested guineafowl in Africa and at the zoo
Posted by Erica Rymer Sunday, October 13, 2019 12:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News


If you have stopped by your Akron Zoo lately, you have probably seen the Landon and Cynthia Knight Pride of Africa, filled with recognizable animals from the African savanna such as storks, gazelles, and African lions. However, there is one animal in Pride of Africa that may be new to many of us: the eastern crested guineafowl.

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Say "CHEESE!" 

October 4 is World Smile Day AND World Animal Day
Friday, October 4, 2019 3:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News

World Smile Day

It isn’t news that the world is full of wacky and unusual holidays. This year on October 4, people around the world are celebrating both World Smile Day and World Animal Day! World Smile Day encourages individuals to do an act of kindness to make someone else smile, and World Animal Day encourages us to improve the future for animals! We thought we would celebrate both holidays at once by sharing smiling photos of a few of our charismatic Akron Zoo residents. We hope they put a smile on your face too!

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Seeing Double 

Learn how the Akron Zoo is caring for two prides of lions
Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:00:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

Seeing Double

Did you know your Akron Zoo is now home to two lion prides? Many of you have met our beautiful African lions Tamarr and Mandisa, but we have some new faces coming to the Landon and Cynthia Knight Pride of Africa lion habitat! We have a brand new pride centered around Donovan, a four-year-old male who came here from the Columbus Zoo. Alongside him are two females, Msinga and Kataba, who are five-year-old sisters from the Philadelphia Zoo.

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Let’s Talk Iguanas 

Celebrate Iguana Awareness Day by learning something new!
Sunday, September 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News


Each year on September 8 we celebrate Iguana Awareness Day. These magnificent reptiles are native to Central and South America but are also common in the Florida Keys, thanks to U.S. cargo vessels carrying them across the gulf. There are 35 species of iguana, many of whom have unique characteristics that make them stand out from most other reptiles. Learn some unique iguana facts and meet the Akron Zoo's iguana, Taino!

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Learn about the Akron Zoo's oldest jaguar and how our care team is supporting her
Posted by Elena Bell Thursday, September 5, 2019 11:25:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Jaguar Naom

Naom, one of our female jaguars, is a smart and sassy 18 ½ year old cat. The average median life expectancy for a jaguar is 18 years, so you may say Naom is a “wise elder” of her species. Sadly for many animals, including humans, age often brings with it health complications and Naom is no exception. Our animal care team recently diagnosed Naom with malignant breast cancer. We are doing everything medically possible for her. 

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Amazon In Danger! 

Learn about the problems facing the Amazon Rainforest and what you can do to help
Thursday, August 29, 2019 4:30:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner


The Amazon Rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem on Earth. Its 1.4 billion acres of forest produces 20% of the planet’s oxygen and is home to 10% of all known plant and animal species. Sadly, the forest’s genetic diversity and natural beauty are in jeopardy because of a great number of unsustainable practices.

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We're Quite Fawn-d of Siberian Musk Deer 

Learn more about the elusive musk deer in their natural habitat
Posted by Erica Rymer Sunday, August 25, 2019 12:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News Conservation Corner

Musk Deer Blog

The taiga biome is the largest terrestrial biome in the world. This environment is often swampy and cold since it is located in high latitudes like the Himalayan mountains. Most of us would imagine this chilly habitat to be filled with large mammals with thick fur, such as reindeer, lynxes, wolves, moose and bears. While this assumption is not incorrect, there are also a few surprisingly small residents of the taiga. One example is the Siberian musk deer.

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A Day in the Life of an Animal Interpreter 

Learn about being an interpreter from Olivia DeMeio
Posted by Erica Rymer Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:09:00 PM Categories: A Day in the Life

Boo at the Zoo

Every animal has a story to tell, and as an Education Interpreter at the Akron Zoo, my job is to tell that story. My name is Olivia, and I started at the zoo in 2007 as a volunteer in the Junior Interpreter program at the age of 15. At 18, I was hired as a seasonal interpreter. I have been at the zoo every summer since, making this my twelfth summer at the zoo. Every day as an interpreter is a little different, and I would love to tell you about it!

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Wingin' It Episode 6 

Posted by Elena Bell Monday, August 19, 2019 8:58:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

Wingin' It

Wingin' It with Frances F. Feathers has returned! Frances has been on summer vacation, but she made her grand return to the Akron Zoo - only to discovered that we opened a new area while she was gone. She also discovered that Pride of Africa's big focus is on the lions, and not the birds.

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Clue: Breaking News 

Lion Tamarr suspected in recent zoo theft
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM Categories: Contests


Tamarr claims he is innocent, but all evidence is pointing his way. Did he steal all of the Akron Zoo's kitty litter containers? Get the scoop here with breaking news from Akron Zoo representative, Potter the Otter! Plus, read an exclusive interview of Frances F. Feathers!

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Meet the Pride! 

Learn more about our lions and their personalities.
Posted by Erica Rymer Saturday, August 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Lion Day

If you have visited your Akron Zoo recently, you have probably seen the new Landon and Cynthia Knight Pride of Africa area. But have you had the chance to get to know our new residents? Today is World Lion Day, so to celebrate, we are giving you an insider look into our five lion residents, their personalities, and their role in one of our two prides!

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The Name Game: Let's do Baya! 

Shanti helps her cub pick a name
Posted by Erica Rymer Monday, August 5, 2019 1:22:00 PM Categories: Animal News

Baya Name

You can agree with me or you can be wrong, but snow leopard cubs are some of the most adorable creatures on the planet! For the last three months, your Akron Zoo has been loving and caring for one of these sweet little balls of fluff (and claws) as we anticipated her official debut to our guests. She was given milk, meat, ice cubes, enrichment, medical care and even plenty of attention from her mom, but there was one thing she was missing: a name.

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Saving Wildlife 

Celebrate World Ranger Day 2019
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 9:19:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Boo at the Zoo

Today is the thirteenth annual celebration of World Ranger Day! July 31 is the anniversary of the International Ranger Federation (IRF), established in 1992, so it is only fitting to celebrate rangers on this date. The IRF raises ranger awareness and partners with organizations to ensure that the world’s wildlife parks are free from destruction, poaching and theft. The job does not come without costs and it is estimated that roughly 1,000 rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty in the past 10 years. Today is a day to thank rangers throughout the world and remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

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Keeper Lauren Starkey Awarded for Excellence in Journalism 

Read her award winning article on Cans for Corridors
Friday, July 26, 2019 3:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News

Boo at the Zoo

The Akron Zoo is constantly being reminded of how talented the members of our staff are. Not only are they recognized by our guests, but many have also received local and national recognition for their research, work and even writing. Lauren Starkey, one or our senior keepers,  recently received an American Association of Zoo Keepers’ (AAZK) Excellence in Journalism Award for her article about Cans for Corridors, which was published in the Animal Keepers’ Forum (AKF) in September of 2018. 

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Celebrating World Snake Day 

Sssspectacular factsss about snakes around the world
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:16:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Boo at the Zoo

You either love them or hate them, but the fact of the matter is that we should be grateful that snakes are a part of our lives. There are about 3,000 species of snakes around the world and they are quite often misjudged. Here in Ohio, there are 25 species native to the state, and only three are venomous. Join us to learn more about snakes around the world!

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Sink Your Teeth Into Shark Awareness Day 

Common shark myths debunked
Sunday, July 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Boo at the Zoo

While sharks may have a bad reputation for being mean, they are actually wonderful creatures in need of our protection to survive. Today is Shark Awareness Day and we’d like to dive into what makes these animals so incredible and how we plan to protect them!

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Don't Worry, Be Capy! 

Learn about our Capybara Species Survival Plan
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 11:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

Boo at the Zoo

 It may be unclear to you why occasionally zoos send their beloved animals to other accredited facilities, or stranger yet, why they suddenly house new animal residents of a species they already have. Many of these changes are made based on Species Survival Plan recommendations from the Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) Taxon Advisory Groups (TAG). There are almost 250 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums who monitor nearly 500 Species Survival Plans (SSPs) for species currently in human care. Learn about one SSP your Akron Zoo is involved in: the Capybara SSP!

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Meet and Bleat 

An inside look at animal introductions
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News


Have you ever been introduced to someone new? If you are not introduced well, it can be awkward, uncomfortable and even frightening to meet new people. However, if you are given a thorough introduction, it is much easier to find common ground and begin building a relationship. The same is true for the animals here at our zoo. Taking two animals who have never met and moving them to a shared space can be frightening, and sometimes dangerous depending on the species. This is why many of our animals meet each other slowly through a process called animal introductions.

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Be Our Guest 

See what's new at the zoo!
Friday, June 28, 2019 11:00:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

Be Our Guest

Imagining your next vacation may bring to mind thoughts of relaxation and family fun, but the reality does not always measure up to this ideal. Long lines, crowded restaurants, and amenities that are too few and far between can turn the perfect trip into a perfect nightmare. At the Akron Zoo, we recognize that your time with us should be spent connecting with nature and wildlife, not worrying about the little things. This is why our dedicated guest services team has been working to make significant changes to improve our guests’ experience. 

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Speke’s Gazelle 

A Little Gazelle with a Honking Big Nose
Friday, June 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Speke's Gazelle

It’s going to be an exciting summer here at your Akron Zoo! The Landon and Cynthia Knight Pride of Africa, our newest area, will open on June 29. Pride of Africa will include a new habitat for our African lions, white storks and goats and will feature an expanded train ride and a misting, water play area. The area will also introduce guests to a brand-new species, Speke’s gazelles.

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It's (Foster) Father's Day 

Featuring Proud Pop, Pez!
Sunday, June 16, 2019 9:00:00 AM Categories: Animal News

Fathers Day

Whether your father is a workaholic or laid back; tall or short; funny or grumpy; biological, step- or adoptive, today is a day to celebrate him! Dads are some of the most amazing people (and animals) in the world. To celebrate Father's Day, we would like to share the story of one of our proud pops at the Akron Zoo!

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Wingin' It Episode 5 

June 13, 2019
Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:43:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

Frances F. Feathers meets our Director of Education, Autumn, to learn more about our education programs. Plus she gets to see our animal show and see some birds!

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Show Your Stripes: Make Mail Conservation Conscious 

June 12, 2019
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 1:33:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

Tiger Stamp

In 2011, a stamp was unveiled by the United States Postal Service (USPS) making tigers the new face of snail mail. Since then, 49 million have been sold, contributing $5.4 million to international conservation efforts in 35 countries! Unfortunately, by the end of 2018 the USPS elected to discontinue selling the stamps. Learn what we are doing about it and how you can help!

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Make a Splash: How you can celebrate World Oceans Day 

June 8, 2019
Saturday, June 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

World Oceans Day 2019

On June 8 each year, we celebrate World Oceans Day! This observance reminds us that one great body of water connects everyone around the world. This season, as you enjoy the beach, bear in mind that the ocean is also an ecosystem, and you play a key role in it’s protection!

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The Zoo’s Summer “Diet” 

Eat Like An Animal!
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 12:00:00 PM Categories: Animal News

It’s summer, and for some of us that means closely monitoring what we eat to support our “beach bodies.” However, diets should be more focused on balance, rather than elimination. Check out some diet lessons from our animal residents!

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Hello from the Otter Slide 

May 29, 2019
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 1:17:00 PM Categories: Animal News Conservation Corner

It’s World Otter Day! Designated by the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF), this holiday is meant to raise awareness for the protection and conservation of otters, both in their native habitat and in human care.

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A BEARy Important Story 

May 25, 2019
Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:29:00 PM Categories: Animal News Conservation Corner

Sometimes we BEARly notice what is happening in our hometown habitats, but this week it’s time to be a bear - I mean - aWARE of bears! Bear Awareness Week, which is celebrated the third week of May each year, is a time to think about the important roles bears play in local and global ecosystems, and how we play a role in their protection!

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A Blast from the Past: Evolving Through 20 years at the Akron Zoo  

May 22, 2019
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 1:23:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Boo at the Zoo

The Akron Zoo is full of history as well as people, animals, and change. Although the zoo has undergone many changes since 1953, we decided to reflect on the past 20 years and how they have significantly affected the zoo we know and love today. Through all these changes, there has been one constant: we provide up-close, nose-to-nose experiences with wildlife. The opportunity for these intimate encounters inspires us all. Let’s take a look back through time to see what’s changed. 

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Endangered Species Need You! 

May 17, 2019
Friday, May 17, 2019 11:02:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner Zoo Tales

Today is endangered species day, and it is important to keep in mind the important role healthy animal populations play in our environment, and the role we play in protecting and restoring them. There are more than 16,000 endangered species in the world today, and more than 1,000 of them call North America home. Loss of habitat, loss of genetic variation and poaching and trafficking are just a few of the many factors that are endangering species and bringing us closer to the sixth mass extinction event.

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The Life of Brian at Your Akron Zoo 

May 15, 2019
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 9:38:00 AM Categories: A Day in the Life

Your Akron Zoo is visited by an average of 400,000 guests every year. During their visit, a majority of our guests see a facility focused on caring for wildlife and teaching people about the importance of conservation. However, many guests miss just how much work goes into making these experiences not only possible, but pleasurable and worry free! Our guest services department is proud to take up that mantle! 

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Wingin' It Episode 4 

May 2, 2019
Thursday, May 2, 2019 2:55:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

On the next episode of Wingin' It with Frances F. Feathers, Frances is introduced to a newer resident at the Akron Zoo: Big Hanna. Big Hanna likes to eat trash and helps out the birds.

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A Conservation Conversation 

April 30, 2019
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 4:29:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

Your Akron Zoo is excited to collaborate with Wildlife SOS for our annual event Hope for the Wild. Established in 1995, Wildlife SOS was founded by a small group of individuals that all shared the same goal: to protect and preserve India’s wildlife and forests.

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Dr. Brittany Rizzo - Zoo Vet Extraordinaire 

April 27, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019 2:32:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Whether you love to visit the zoo, have an animal companion at home or simply value the welfare of animals in human care, we can all agree that veterinarians are essential to the survival and well-being of our furry, scaly, and feathered friends. That is why today we are excited to celebrate World Veterinary Day by recognizing Brittany Rizzo, DVM, the director of animal health at your Akron Zoo!

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Waddle Your Way to World Penguin Day!  

April 25, 2019
Thursday, April 25, 2019 2:56:00 PM Categories: Animal News

In 1998, the Akron Zoo started our Humboldt penguin colony with just five penguins. Since then we have celebrated 16 births, mourned several deaths, and anticipated the arrival of new penguins. Despite these changes, the one thing that has remained consistent is our love for each one of these unique birds! 

Our current penguin colony consists of 13 members, each with a unique personality. To celebrate this World Penguin Day, we want you to have the same insider look into the lives of our flightless friends as our staff get!

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Kristen Scaglione Appointed to AAZK Board of Directors 

April 24, 2019
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 1:22:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Boo at the Zoo

Akron Zoo Wild Animal Keeper Kristen Scaglione has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK)!

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A Tiny Addition to your Akron Zoo 

April 13, 2019
Saturday, April 13, 2019 1:03:00 PM Categories: Animal News

We’re expecting a tiny bundle of fur! Our pygmy slow loris, Sovanni, is pregnant and expecting a baby in May. This is her second pregnancy, but her first here. We are excited to welcome the new baby to your Akron Zoo.

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Happy National Siblings Day 

April 10, 2019
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:06:00 PM Categories: Animal News


Happy National Siblings Day! I bet you didn’t know that there are several sets of siblings right here at your Akron Zoo.

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You Might be Zoo Lover If... 

April 8, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019 8:00:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

It is National Zoo Lovers Day and we are certainly feeling the love! Not sure how much you love the zoo? Have no fear! We have come up with a few guidelines to determine whether or not you are in fact a zoo lover!

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Thank You to our Volunteers! 

April 7, 2019
Posted by Elena Bell Sunday, April 7, 2019 8:00:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

In honor of National Volunteer Month, the Akron Zoo would like to send a huge THANK YOU to our dedicated, who donate over 13,300 hours each year. That is a value of $285,000! More than 62 million people in the U.S. volunteer every year, and the Akron Zoo is lucky to have 143 adult volunteers and 20 teens in training. The zoo would not be able to run smoothly without these individuals. They play an important role in helping the Akron Zoo continue to achieve its mission. 

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FrogWatch is Ribbiting! 

April 1, 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019 8:00:00 AM Categories: Conservation Corner

“Hoppy” National Frog Month! Frogs and toads are an essential part of many wetland ecosystems, serving as both predator and prey for a variety of species. These unique creatures can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Unfortunately, many frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines in the United States and around the world in the last several years. 

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Wingin' It Episode 3 

March 30, 2019
Saturday, March 30, 2019 11:20:00 AM Categories: Zoo Tales

On this episode of Wingin' It with Frances F. Feathers, Frances tries her hand at goat yoga! 

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Akron Zoo Top Animal 2019 

March 26, 2019
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 3:44:00 PM Categories: Animal News Contests


The polls are in! We asked you to vote on your favorite Akron Zoo animals in our “March Madness” bracket, and you had a lot to say! Unfortunately, though we had many wonderful contestants, there could be only one winner, and you chose Shanti!

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Folktales and Fables Finalists 

March 22, 2019
Friday, March 22, 2019 10:51:00 AM Categories: Contests

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our fable contest! We had many wonderful entries, but unfortunately we had to narrow it down to just a few winners. Note that the number of winners is relative to the number of entries in each category. 

So sit, back, relax, and celebrate World Folktales and Fables Week with us by enjoying these creative and thoughtful tales!

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Legends, Folktales and Fables from the Wild 

March 21, 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019 12:23:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Do you recall the stories and legends you heard in your childhood? Some were probably scary. Some were funny. Some may have been true (at least to some degree). But the best legends were the ones that let your imagination fly! This year, World Folk Tales and Fables Week is from March 17 to March 23. At your Akron Zoo, we bring these tales to life in our Legends of the Wild habitat. When you visit, you will notice that our animals are not all from the same geographic area. What ties them together are the legends associated with them, which are used to help ancient cultures understand the animals that we know and love today. 

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National Wildlife Week: Conservation starts at home 

March 15, 2019
Friday, March 15, 2019 3:42:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

National Wildlife Week has a rich history of conservation and education dating back to 1938, making it the longest-running National Wildlife Federation (NWF) education program in history. This year the event is being celebrated from March 12-16.  All across the country, people are encouraged to spend this week learning more about incredible animals native to North America, their habitats, and how we can help them thrive. 

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Create your own folktale 

Saturday, March 9, 2019 3:24:00 PM Categories: Contests

March 20-26 is National Folktales and Fables Week! We want to celebrate the week with a story competition! Write your own short story, or folktale, and share with us. Every story must include at least one animal to be considered. Your story can be about the Akron Zoo, but it is not required. 

Deadline for story submission is March 18 at 5 p.m. We will then review every story and pick our favorite in each age range. The winning stories will be featured on the Akron Zoo's new blog - Potter's Blog. 

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“Owl” Eyes on Our Animal Ambassadors! 

March 2, 2019
Saturday, March 2, 2019 1:57:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

The International Festival of Owls is an annual event that began in 2003 with the hatching day of Alice, a great horned owl from Antigo, Wisconsin. The first event was meant to encourage people to get out of the house at the end of winter, and learn a little something about owls. Now each year on the anniversary of her hatching, people travel from all over the world to join in celebrations and learn about our nocturnal feathered friends. 

Your Akron Zoo has its own parliament of education owls who are more than happy to meet people from across Northeast Ohio and teach them about owls. In fact, we have three owl ambassadors: Albus, Lorain and Hoot. Each of our owls has a unique story and a lot to share!

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Save a Songbird: It’s National Bird Feeding Month 

Feb. 27, 2019
Posted by Elena Bell Wednesday, February 27, 2019 4:34:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

When you think about February, many things come to mind: Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day and Black History Month, just to name a few. But did you know it is also National Bird Feeding Month?

As it turns out, February is one of the most brutal months of the year when it comes to our feathered friends. In 1994, Congressman John Porter noted that February was one of the toughest months for birds to survive. His goal in creating this observance was to encourage people to provide food, water and shelter to birds, especially in areas that experience harsh winters and where natural resources are scarce.

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Wingin' It Episode 2 

Feb. 21, 2019
Thursday, February 21, 2019 1:46:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Things are getting smelly around the Akron Zoo! In the next episode of Wingin' It, Frances meets Forest the porcupine and learns why he doesn't smell the best. 

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A Wild Valentine's Day 

Feb. 14, 2019
Thursday, February 14, 2019 1:17:00 PM Categories: Animal News Zoo Tales

Animals have weird ways of showing each other how they feel about one another, from giving gifts to eating food. No matter what you do though, you have to admit, there are a few animals who do things… well, stranger than the rest. And several of them can be found at your Akron Zoo!

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Maintaining the Monarchs 

Feb. 5, 2019
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 5:00:00 PM Categories: Conservation Corner

Monarch butterflies are truly the “kings” of the butterfly kingdom. With a wingspan of almost 5 inches, and wings of brilliant orange, red, yellow and black, monarchs are some of the largest and most visually striking butterflies in North America. 

Unfortunately, their beauty does not make them immune to our changing world, and both the eastern and western populations of this magnificent creature are in decline due to habitat destruction and pesticide use, mainly due to crop production. 

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Wingin' It Episode One 

Jan. 29, 2019
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 1:31:00 PM Categories: Zoo Tales

Meet Frances F. Feathers - a bird enthusiast who is launching her new show at the Akron Zoo. Join Frances as she explores the zoo and learns more about animals! 

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