$10 Tuesdays at the Phoenix Zoo!


Looking for an adventure and a deal? Every Tuesday during the months of May and June 2013 you can visit the Zoo for just $10 per person (children 2 and under are free)!

Stay for lunch and enjoy two hamburgers* or two hot dogs (or one of each) paired with two regular Coca-Cola product fountain drinks for only $10! *Hamburgers only available at Savanna Grill.

Need a souvenir to remember your visit? The Desert Marketplace gift shop is offering a 10% discount too!

Click here for info and to purchase tickets!

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Rock the Zoo 2013

On March 22, 2013 the non-profit Phoenix Zoo welcomed more than 1,700 party goers to our annual Rock the Zoo fundraising event! Attendees were able to sample beverages from more than 30 different beverage purveyors, enjoy food from local restaurants and some of the Valley’s favorite food trucks and listen to great live music from local bands Echofuzz and Rock Lobster. All proceeds from Rock the Zoo benefit the non-profit Phoenix Zoo and help to care for the more than 1,100 animals who call the Zoo home. In addition, guest contributions enable us to continue offering interactive educational programs to inspire and promote human stewardship of the natural world and all of its creatures.

Thank you to everyone who came out to Rock the Zoo 2013 in support of the Phoenix Zoo!

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First Glimpse of Andean Bear Cub at the Phoenix Zoo!

We have an exciting update to share about our baby Andean bear! Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo are getting their first glimpses of the Andean bear cub that was born at the Zoo back in early January. In this video taken by one of the zookeepers working with the bears you see that Rio, the 17- year – old mother, and her cub both appear to be doing well.


Rio is just now emerging from her off-exhibit den into other parts of her nighthouse for short periods of time. In this video we see Rio cradling the cub in one paw as she gets some of her favored food (fish and pears) from her keeper. Animal care staff and keepers are continuing to monitor the mother and baby who are settling into a daily routine, but keepers are still leaving Rio to bond with and care for her cub without much interference. The Zoo does not have a name and does not know the sex of the cub at this point.

It could even be several more weeks before Rio and her cub decide it is time to explore their outdoor habitat. Zoo staff is taking cues from Rio as to when she feels ready and comfortable to be seen by the public.

Be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube and follow us on Facebook for future bear cub updates!

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Interview with a Keeper: Animal Care Center

Phoenix Zoo Animal Care Center Keeper

Stephanie Sanchez, Animal Care Center Keeper

The Phoenix Zoo was approached by Bear Essential News For Kids to expand on our “Interview with a Keeper” blog segment.  Through our collaboration, we gathered questions for our keepers from kids all across Arizona.

For a chance to see your “Ask the Phoenix Zoo Keeper” question in Bear Essential News For Kids or on our blog, email your question(s) to info@bearessentialnews.com!

Keeper: Stephanie Sanchez, Animal Care Center Keeper

Do zoo animals get checkups like we (humans) do? – T.L.

They get an exam when they come into the hospital and they usually get one right before they leave.

Do vets who work on dogs and cats or vets who work on zoo animals have more patients? – R.P.

I would have to say zoo veterinarians have more patients – they deal with a wider range of animals and must be attentive to each species’ needs and differences.

Phoenix Zoo Rhea procedure

Eye exam and procedure on a Rhea

How many sick animals are in the Zoo right now? Are any in danger of dying? And how are you helping to make them feel better? – Juliet

There is one animal here for a broken toe and the other animals are in what we call quarantine, which means that they are new to the Zoo and we are making sure they are healthy before we let them roam around in their exhibits. Altogether we have approximately 20 animals here. None of our animals are in danger of dying –everyone is healthy. I try to keep them as stress-free as possible and provide them with things like warm blankets, proper shelter and food.

Have you ever had to stay (taking care of an animal) overnight and why? – Lauren

Luckily, I’ve never had to stay overnight. If there was ever a case where someone would need to stay overnight, the veterinarians would usually handle it.

Phoenix Zoo ACC Interview Anteater recovering

Anteater recovering from anesthesia after an exam

Has an animal ever sneezed on you? – Aleks

Yes, but not at the Animal Care Center. I was at Harmony Farms and looking to see if there was something in the eye of the goat I was examining, and he sneezed right on me!

What is your favorite animal?

Phoenix Zoo Animal Care Center surgery room

Animal Care Center surgery room

My favorite animals are the cheetahs because in the summer, I was a temporary carnivore keeper and got to know the cheetahs’ personalities.

What is your favorite experience at the Phoenix Zoo?

When I first started volunteering here, the other volunteers said that my rite of passage was to take a camel ride. I was surprised to find that it wasn’t a bumpy ride!

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Fifth Annual Walk in the Wild

The Fifth Annual Walk in the Wild was a huge success, and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Hundreds came out to show their support for the non-profit Phoenix Zoo on Saturday, February 16, by walking or running a one mile route within the beautiful Zoo grounds. Along the way there were opportunities to learn cool animal facts, meet Zoo mascots, and of course watch many of the Phoenix Zoo’s animals as they began their day. After the walk participants enjoyed refreshments provided by our wonderful sponsors, visited with some of our programs animals, and had the chance to win some fantastic prizes in the post walk raffle! Once the event concluded all of the wild walkers were welcomed to stay and enjoy the rest of the Zoo.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the non-profit Phoenix Zoo!

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Rock ‘n’ Brew at the Phoenix Zoo!

Friday, March 22, 2013
7 – 10 p.m.
Rock the Zoo 4C Logo SRP

Rock the Zoo is an annual event held at the Phoenix Zoo where guests (ages 21 and up!) can rock out to great music and enjoy the best brews the Valley has to offer! This year, Rock the Zoo, presented by SRP, features live music from local band Rock Lobster, food trucks, beverage sampling and so much more all in the company of some of the world’s most exotic animals!

PromoPhotoThe Band: Rock the Zoo secured Rock Lobster in late January to perform for the event. They have performed at events like Diamondbacks games, the Arizona State Fair, Uncorked & Unplugged, and many more!

The Food: Food will be available from food trucks around the Zoo and also located inside the VIP lounge (which is even more of a reason to get that VIP ticket!). The food trucks booked as of February are Emerson Fry Bread and Tom’s BBQ. Food trucks are available to all ticket-holders. The VIP Lounge will feature food from the following restaurants:

The Brew: At Rock the Zoo, there will be more than 30 beverage purveyors offering samples of their products–including non-alcoholic options as well! For a full list of beverage sponsors, visit our Rock the Zoo website!

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Can’t wait for the fun? We can’t either! Purchase your tickets today!

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Interview with a Keeper: Carnivores

The Phoenix Zoo was approached by Bear Essential News For Kids to expand on our “Interview with a Keeper” blog segment.  Through our collaboration, we gathered questions for our keepers from kids all across Arizona.

For a chance to see your “Ask the Phoenix Zoo Keeper” question in Bear Essential News For Kids or on our blog, email your question(s) to info@bearessentialnews.com!

Keeper Heather Vetter 0542 JT



Keeper: Heather, Primary Cat Keeper

What do you do for your job? What is your favorite thing about working at the Phoenix Zoo? - Killian

I observe, feed and clean up after all carnivores at the Zoo, in addition to providing behavioral enrichment activities such as new scents or items to stimulate the animal’s natural behavior. I also help train the cats to encourage behaviors that make it easier to assist with daily care and medical procedures.

My favorite thing about working at the Zoo is being up close and personal with animals on a daily basis, getting to know the individual personalities of the animals and being able to develop relationships with them.


Jaguar-4-SGHow do you get into the tiger area to feed them without being eaten? Do tigers have a specific place where they go to the bathroom, like a litter box? - Gabriel

Here at the Zoo, we practice what is called ‘protective contact’; there is always a barrier between the animals and myself. The cats have been trained to go inside their night house to eat every day and when they are safely locked inside, I can then go out into the exhibit to clean and do what I need to do. Once I have finished my duties in the exhibit, I can then let them out.

Tigers don’t go to the bathroom in the same specific spot daily, but they do tend to go to the bathroom along the perimeter of the exhibit as their way of “marking their territory.”


Are you scared when you feed the lions and tigers? - Abran

I’m not scared, but when I first started working with them, it was intimidating to have a large predator just inches away from you!



How many times do you have to feed the animals? How many hours do you work each day? - Evelyn

I feed the animals twice a day in my 10-hour work day.



Why is it that the lions always seem to be sleeping? - Lexie

The lions sleep during the day to conserve energy for hunting in the nighttime.


Who or what inspired you to become a zookeeper? And how did they or it convince you that this was the right career path for you? - Tori

I have always been interested in animals since I was a kid, so I decided to go to college to get a wildlife biology degree. My professors were a huge influence on me. Before working at the Zoo, I was a volunteer. Working with other keepers convinced me that this was the right career.



How long have you worked at the Zoo? What is your favorite animal? - Brynne

I’ve worked at the Phoenix Zoo for ten years.

It’s really hard to pick a favorite because they are all so cool! However, if I had to choose, the cat species are my favorite – but I can’t even narrow it from there!


How do you brush an animal’s teeth? - Martha

I don’t brush the lions’ or tigers’ teeth. The big cats clean their teeth themselves by gnawing on bones. When they are sleeping during an annual exam, the veterinarian can scrape off any tartar if necessary.


What is your favorite memory of working at the Phoenix Zoo?

One day, I was watching the female lioness sleeping on her back next the pond that is in her exhibit. I could tell she was dreaming, and then she became so startled that she rolled right into the pond! Lions don’t typically like the water, so it was quite a surprise for her. She hasn’t slept that close to the pond since!

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Walk in the Wild

Walk in the Wild 4C Logo 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013
Walk begins at 7:30 a.m.

DSC_0576Was your New Year’s resolution about getting healthy and staying fit? Then the Phoenix Zoo has an event for you!
On February 16, you can participate in the Zoo’s Fifth Annual Walk in the Wild, featuring a one-mile run or walk through Zoo grounds!

ClifKid_Logo_Clean_3cBring the whole family! Along the way, you will learn fun facts about cheetahs, tortoises and collect tickets for possible prizes! Don’t forget to pick up your Clif Kid bars generously donated by Clif Kid!

Whether you’re a part of a team, or just looking for a way to spend your Saturday morning, Walk in the Wild is for you! Sign up today!

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December 1
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Find one-of-a-kind unique holiday hand-crafted gifts by local artisans– dolls, stuffed animals, jewelry, glass art, needle crafts, children’s gifts and more! There will also be a Vendors Silent Auction, ZOOtique Raffle and the new 2013 Phoenix Zoo animal calendars for sale.

Stop by the annual holiday ZOOtique at the Phoenix Zoo and purchase your memorabilia today! The proceeds of this event benefits Zoo volunteers, and it doesn’t cost a dime to get in and see the amazing items ZOOtique has to offer.


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Palm Oil and YOU

Our resident trouble-maker, Kasih, when she was a baby in 2005.

Did you know that you use palm oil every day? Do you like cookies, shampoo, frozen dinners or even lotion? Yep, palm oil is in it. Palm oil is in almost everything, and recently, market demand for the edible oil has risen so much that producers in Borneo and Sumatra are cutting down habitats in order to plant more palm.

What does this have to do with the Zoo, you ask? The loss of habitat affects orangutans, pushing the already endangered species to extinction. Our orangutans are Bornean orangutans, and area affected by the “palm crisis.”

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, a memeber of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in which the Phoenix Zoo belongs, has been a supporter of sustainable palm oil and has a whole section of their webpage dedicated to more information on the oil.

During the holidays, the Phoenix Zoo would like to propose the use of sustainable palm oil in all your cooking needs. How do you know if an item was made with sustainable palm oil or not? All oil that is made from a sustainable source is approved by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and you can find a list of these approved brands here.

Look out for these words on the nutrition facts on the back label!

  1. arachamide mea
  2. capric triglyceride
  3. caprylic triglyceride
  4. caprylyl glycol
  5. cetyl alcohol
  6. cocoa butter equivalent (CBE)
  7. cocoa butter substitute (CBE)
  8. elaeis guineensis
  9. emulsifier (some can be palm oil derived)
  10. epoxidized palm oil (UV cured coatings)
  11. ethylene glycol monostearate
  12. ethylhexyl palmitate
  13. fatty alcohol sulphates
  14. glyceryl stearate
  15. isopropyl
  16. isopropyl palmitate
  17. mono-glycerides of fatty acids
  18. myristoyl
  19. octyl palmitate
  20. oleyl betaine
  21. palm kernel oil
  22. palm oil
  23. palm olein
  24. palm stearine
    1. palmitate
    2. palmitoyl oxostearamide
    3. palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3
    4. peg-100 stearate
    5. peptide complex
    6. saponified elaeis guineensis
    7. sls
    8. sodium lauryl
    9. sodium lauryl sulphate
    10. sodium lauryl sulfate
    11. sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
    12. sodium palm kernelate
    13. sodium palmate
    14. sodium stearate
    15. sodium laureth sulfate
    16. sodium laureth sulphate
    17. sodium lauroyl lactylate
    18. stearamidopropyl dimethylamine
    19. steareth-2
    20. steareth-20
    21. steareth-21
    22. stearic acid
    23. vegetable oil
    24. vitamin A palmitate
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