Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet Syracuse Zoo RGZ Earth Day

Join us in celebrating Planet Earth! 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 WatchSave the Rain, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program, and many more!

Party for the Planet offers eco-friendly activities and giveaways as well as information on how you can help Planet Earth. Make your own pollinator seed ball to plant in your yard to attract butterflies! Learn about the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program and earn an endangered species trading card. Engage in nature play at Explorer’s PlaySpace and receive a magnifier for examining bugs and flowers. And you can attend lots of mini-tours and demos about animals and conservation at the zoo!

Schedule:
10:30 a.m. – Sharing Space with Snakes
Upper Lobby

11 a.m. – Ocean Pollution Plastics
USS Antiquities Cave

11:30 a.m. – Guided Green Tour*
Meet at the Gazebo

Noon – The Dirt on Decomposers
Upper Lobby

1:30 p.m. – Mythbusters: Bats!
Classroom

2 p.m. – Species at Risk Talk: Red Wolf
Lion Corridor

2:30 p.m. – Camel Talk*
Northwestern Mutual Animal Encounter

3 p.m. – Ask an Educator!
Classroom

Schedule subject to change
*Outdoor activities are weather-dependent. Announcements 5-10 minutes prior to activity will confirm occurrence.

Abe and Fatima: a Love Story

Syracuse Zoo RGZ Siamang Apes Abe and Fatima

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.

My Best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo