Teen Night at Seneca Park Zoo: Saturday, April 18

Where can your teen find friends, food, music and unique close-up experiences with amazing animals? The first ever Teen Night at Seneca Park Zoo will have it all.

Drop your teen and his or her friends off at the Zoo from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday April 18 for a rare opportunity to explore the Zoo at night. Our teen club, the ZooTeen Leaders, has prepared a jam-packed event.

A Zoo-wide scavenger hunt with prizes will be open throughout the night, and Zoo keepers will talk with teens and provide animal experiences at the snow leopard and tiger enclosures.

ZooTeen Leaders will also be handling animals from our education animal collection so your teen can get an up-close and personal look.


The Eagle’s Landing Café and Zoo Shop will be open for teens interested in purchasing food or “Zoo”venirs. A drawing will be held at the end of the night with chances to take home many great prizes.

A meerkats experience will also be available for teens to purchase and create treats for these inquisitive creatures.

Staff will be positioned throughout the Zoo at exhibits and along pathways for supervision. A cell number will be provided to registrants to reach the event coordinator in case of emergency.

Discounted pre-sale tickets are available now.

– Anneke Nordmark, Youth and School Groups Program Coordinator

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ZooTeen Leaders create short films promoting conservation

How do you share an important message in five minutes or less?

Seneca Park Zoo’s ZooTeen Leaders rose to the occasion by creating eight short films to share the conservation work the Zoo does and explain how others can help protect animals in nature.

Creating these short films was a Zoo-wide effort. Zoo Society Director Pamela Reed Sanchez spoke with teens regarding the purpose of zoos and the conservation work happening at Seneca Park Zoo.

Teens also heard from guest speakers about various conservation topics and worked with area filmmakers, who provided advice for writing scripts and crafting short films.

And many zoo keepers supported the teen film-making projects by taking up-close footage of our animals.


Smiling ZooTeens at a 2014 event.


ZooTeen Leaders’ films were entered in the Fast Forward Film Festival, a local short film festival encouraging submissions that compel audiences to engage with the community and raise environmental awareness.

Join the Zoo team at the festival screening! Get tickets here.

– Anneke Nordmark, Youth and School Groups Program Coordinator

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It’s Camp Season!

Remember what summer was like? If you’re having some trouble, let this ZooCamp 2014 slideshow remind you what it’s like to be outside having fun!

It might be hard to imagine right now, but summer is coming and believe it or not, it’s time to think about Summer Camp!

ZooCamp registration is underway and this year we are excited to be offering more camps than ever before.

For the first time ever, we are offering camp weeks for preschool campers in July and August! We also have eight full weeks of options for our 5 & 6 and 7 & 8 year-old campers, with lots of new, fun themes like Wonders of Water and Feeding Frenzy.

For our 9 & 10 year-old campers, we have added exciting new conservation-based camps like Protecting Pollinators and Wildlife Heroes to get your campers actively involved in helping wildlife.

And for the oldest campers, Zoo Research and Animal Training 101 camps will give 11 & 12 year-olds a chance to try some hands-on techniques used by Zoo employees to discover if they would like to have a future career at a Zoo. There’s something for everyone!

Find more info and register here.

– Emily Coon-Frisch, Manager of Program Development

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We’re all in this together

02-27 blog 1

Our Butterfly Beltway Program plants gardens that encourage butterfly conservation.

The Seneca Park Zoo may be a place for animals, fun and family but it is also a place for conservation education.  We are active in a variety of conservation projects, like our commitment to protect butterflies through our Butterfly Beltway Project. Our work reaches around the nation, with our participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), and around the earth, as we work to protect Bornean orangutans through our partnership with Health in Harmony.  These are a small sampling of the conservation projects in which we take part. You can see more of what we do here.

Our otters are expert recyclers. Photo by Kelli O'Brien.

Our otters are expert recyclers. Photo by Kelli O’Brien.

Since we are all in this together, conserving the environment and protecting animals begins with what we do at home every day. Here are some easy things you can do at home to help animals and the environment:

  • Plant a butterfly or pollinator garden
  • Plant native trees
  • Put up a bat box or bird nesting box
  • Use a rain barrel to collect water to water your garden
  • Organize or participate in a litter cleanup
  • Recycle your electronic waste
  • Compost
  • Donate to conservation organizations like Seneca Park Zoo

We would love to hear what you are doing around your own home or in your community to help preserve this wonderful planet. Share your story here. After all, we are all in this together.

- Tim Fowler, Outreach Coordinator

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Experience the real thing at the Zoo


Photos by Kelli O’Brien

Our school program calendar is filling up for spring, so now is a great time to book your field trip. Students will meet animals from the habitats they study, delve deeper into conservation issues they read about or gather information to enhance their school projects.

Our teacher’s guide is brimming with programs. We’ve also developed new programs on frogs, biomes and wolves. If you don’t see a perfect match for your curriculum please reach out so we can collaborate to create something new. Contact me via e-mail at anordmark@senecazoo.org or call (585) 336-7394.

Anneke NordmarkYouth and School Groups Program Manager

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Winter Break Camp at the Zoo

It’s February and that means we are gearing up for Winter Break Camp taking place February 16 to 20.


Winter Break Camp


photos by Kelli O’Brien

This is one of my favorite camps of the year. We spend the week exploring the adaptations of animals living in different climates from the cold Arctic to hot deserts. Like all camp sessions, we will get up-close encounters with animals in our Education Collection in the classroom, and get out around the Zoo to see all of the animals on exhibit.

People remain surprised that the animals are out in winter, but many of our animals love this cold weather. Polar bears, sea lions, Canada lynx and Amur tigers are just a few of the species who feel right at home in the cold. We will get a chance to see these animals show off their winter survival skills, and we will try out our own as well. We always make time to play outside in the snow (if the weather allows) and sometimes we make snowmen for the animals to play with, then we warm up back inside with a nice cup of hot chocolate! This is a winter experience your child will remember for years to come. Space is limited, so make sure you register soon.

Registration is now open for our popular Summer ZooCamp. We’ve expanded our themes and added sessions to accommodate more campers. Take a few minutes to register your child. You can find more information, including our 2015 brochure and registration form, here.

See you at the Zoo!

Emily Coon-Frisch, Manager of Program Development

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Festival season is upon us. Can you believe it?

ZooMobile at Entercom Kids Fest

Swainson’s lory, Gloria, at Entercom Kids Fest (Photo by Kelli O’Brien)

Can you believe festival season is really starting? This might sound odd since it’s only January, but within the next month, the Seneca Park Zoo’s Wegmans ZooMobile, will do three festival presentations. The ZooMobile will be at the Entercom Kids Fest on February 14; at a Rochester RazorSharks game on February 16; and at the Rochester Museum and Science Center on February 18. We will be at these events with some of our Education Collection animals, talking about conservation and what you can do to help animals in their natural ranges.

So come out to see us and our animals for a whole lot of educational fun! If you can’t make it to one of the festivals, invite the ZooMobile to your next event, class or program.

Tim Fowler, Outreach Coordinator

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