Party for the Planet has been canceled due to state and county public health directives in response to COVID-19, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is temporarily closing until further notice.
Come to the zoo to celebrate Earth Day! Learn about our efforts to sustain biodiversity and see how you and your family can make a difference. Chat with zoo staff at animal demonstrations featuring some of the zoo’s resident endangered species and visit “green” activity stations representing Seafood Watch, Save the Rain, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program, and many more!
Asian Elephant Extravaganza celebrates Asian culture and the zoo’s magnificent elephant herd. Join us for a day-long celebration that blends wildlife conservation education with the rich culture and heritage of the native countries of Asian elephants.
Activities include keeper talks and demonstrations at the Helga Beck Asian Elephant Preserve, education stations with elephant biofacts, information about the significance of elephants in Asian culture as well as performances of music, dance and artwork from Thailand, Bali, India and other South Asian countries. This event also features games and an elephant art raffle!
Events take place at the Helga Beck Asian Elephant Preserve unless otherwise noted
*Listen to zoo announcements for location Subject to change, weather permitting
10:15 a.m. – Siri the Asian Elephant inaugurates the new Elephant Crossing
10:30 a.m. – Performance by the Buffalo Gamelan Club — Javanese percussion ensemble
10:45 a.m. – Painting enrichment with Siri the elephant artist
11 a.m. – Bharatanatyam Dance Performance (Classical Indian Dance) Courtyard
11:30 a.m. – Sound Journey with Helena Zera Yoga practitioner Helena Zera plays a crystal lyre and Tibetan singing bowls to take elephants and people on a half-hour Sound Journey, a meditative experience guided by tones and vibrations.
Noon – Elephant watermelon smash
12:30 p.m. – Gamelan music performance
12:45 p.m. – Elephant tunnel keeper talk – See elephants use their new tunnel!
1 p.m. – Bollywood ZOOmba dancing – come join in the fun! Courtyard
1:30 p.m. – Gamelan music performance
2 p.m. – Spotlight on elephant foot care and training with Romani
2:30 p.m. – Gamelan music performance
3 p.m. – Raffle drawing winner announced; elephants receive a big ice treat!
In partnership with the Syracuse University South Asia Center.
This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.
Bring the family to participate in a volunteer cleanup of the Burnet Park side of the zoo’s perimeter. This event is designed for families of all ages to demonstrate community volunteerism. The first 200 participants who sign up and show up the day of the event will receive a free native plant. Those who post a photo showing they planted their plant by Memorial Day — tagging @syracusezoo with hashtag #SpringIntoAction – will be entered in a drawing for a special keeper chat at the zoo. Drinks and snacks will be provided at the end of the cleanup, and the first 100 people who registered will receive wristbands for free admission to the zoo the day of the event.
The events are part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Spring into Action campaign, which leverages the resources of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to offer family-friendly opportunities to improve and protect our planet.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is among 233 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), which requires its members to meet the highest standards of animal care, wildlife conservation, education and guest experience.
AZA provided grants for 50 of its institutions to hold volunteer activities for the Spring into Action Campaign. The grant allowed the Syracuse zoo to purchase 200 native plants for the first 200 participants in the May 18 cleanup.
Bring the family to participate in a volunteer cleanup of the Burnet Park side of the zoo’s perimeter. This event is designed for families of all ages to demonstrate community volunteerism. The first 200 participants who sign up and show up the day of the event will receive a free native plant. If you submit a picture showing that you planted your plant, you will be entered to win a special keeper talk at the zoo. Drinks and snacks will be provided at the end of the cleanup, and the first 100 people who registered will receive wristbands for free admission to the zoo the day of the event.
Please allow me to share with you a love story that has unfolded at your zoo over the past year — the story of Abe and Fatima.
Abe, our male siamang ape, is a longtime zoo resident who turns 40 on February 12. He was in need of a companion after his mate of 10 years passed away.
If we were to write an online dating profile for Abe, it would read something like: Ruggedly handsome, distinguished male siamang, 39, seeks female counterpart to share Primate Park. Active, extroverted, engaging. Likes babies, rope swings, sun-bathing, painting, eating oranges, singing duets. Dislikes difficult puzzles, wet feet. Prefers outgoing, playful type for friendship, grooming, camaraderie.
In his 32 years in Syracuse, Abe fathered and raised four babies and outlived two mates. He has won thousands of hearts with his spirited personality, great love for babies – human and siamang – and boisterous vocalizations that bring zoo-goers running toward Primate Park to see him put on a show.
But in recent years, Abe found himself single – not a natural condition for siamangs. The largest of the lesser apes, siamangs are social animals that mate for life. If one of a pair dies, the survivor will seek another love interest. That’s why our animal care staff were on a mission to find a match for Abe.
As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), our zoo participates in Species Survival Plans for many endangered species – including siamangs. We asked the siamang SSP to find a female for Abe.
If we imagined his perfect match, her profile might read: Petite, attractive female siamang seeks mature male companion to share golden years. Laid-back, easygoing, great hair. Enjoys climbing, grooming, hugs, dried fruit, toys, singing duets. Dislikes puddles, wet feet. Prefers affectionate, fun-loving type for company, perhaps romance?
Fatima, 34, fit this description exactly, but she lived 2,000 miles away at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. Luckily, the SSP located her in their database and recommended pairing her with Abe.
After Fatima arrived in late 2017, our staff started introductions. At first, Abe tried to get a reaction by beating against the mesh barrier between them – but she was unfazed. By Day 2, they clearly wanted to meet. Soon they were grooming each other through the mesh. I am happy to say they have been a couple ever since. Now they are never more than a few yards apart.
I see their story as one example of many such love stories at the zoo, stories that show how invested our staff is in the health, welfare and, yes, happiness of every single animal in our care.
Your contributions enable us to treat each animal here as an individual personality, a life, a soul. If you would like to support our efforts, you can do so HERE.
In case you haven’t heard the big news, your zoo has once again been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums! This is a very important achievement, as it means that we remain one of only 232 facilities to be approved as a top-tier institution by AZA.
This seal of approval lets our guests, members and donors know that they are directly supporting a zoo that provides the highest standards of animal care and is actively engaged in wildlife conservation, both locally and globally.
As AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe put it, AZA accreditation is “the gold standard within the zoological profession.”
“By achieving accreditation, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo demonstrates a commitment to protecting animals around the world and inspiring their guests to do the same,” Dan said.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has been continuously accredited since 1987 through a rigorous process that we go through every five years. This year’s cycle began over 8 months ago, when we submitted records to AZA on everything from animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; and visitor services.
Then we underwent a three-day inspection by a team of AZA professionals who examined our facility from top to bottom. We also attended an in-person hearing at the recent AZA National Conference in Seattle, where we learned that we are once again accredited through 2023.
I’d like to thank you for your support in making this happen. Every visit you make to the zoo, every purchase from the gift shop or café, every donation you make to one of our fundraisers directly supports wildlife conservation. I’m thrilled to say “We are AZA,” and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Enrichment is an important part of animal welfare, keeping animals in human care mentally and physicall stimulated on a daily basis. Enrichment means giving animals the opportunities and the tools to stimulate their natural behaviors and keep them engaged.
In celebration of National Zoo Keeper Week, our keepers have designated Friday, July 20, 2018 as Enrichment Day, a day when we celebrate all the ways that enrichment and training positively impact our animals’ lives.
Activities will include foraging stations where guests can try to find hidden treats, enrichment stations displaying some of the objects we give to our animals and opportunities to help make enrichment items. Look for our table where you can donate an enrichment item or a monetary contribution to enrichment to be entered in a raffle for a piece of animal art.
Donate to our Enrichment Wish List and BE ENTERED TO WIN a painting by one of our animals!
Enrichment Wish List — New, unused items only, please!