Matchmaking Goes a Long Way for Animals
New York, N.Y. --
Experience the wild side of romance at the Wildlife Conservation
this Valentine’s Day. While we humans exchange heart-shaped boxes and red
roses, creatures of all kinds at the zoos will be showing their own version of animal magnetism.
An array of exotic wildlife lives at each WCS facility. Some
animals prefer to live alone; others chose to live in very large groups that can
sometimes be dominated by one high-ranking male. But many WCS animals live with
mates specifically chosen for them through a cooperative breeding program
called the Species Survival Program (SSP). Administered by the Association of
Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the program arranges the most genetically compatible
matches for rare or endangered animals to help ensure the longevity of their
species – much like a match-making service for
If you’ve already found your
match, bring that special someone to a WCS facility this February 14 to see how
the animals show affection to their loved ones. And
if you’re single this Valentine’s Day, come see the animals anyway. After
all, if WCS can inspire so many great matches for its residents, who knows what
might happen for its visitors.
Monkey Love – The snow monkey troop is a playful bunch comprised of both males and females. Flash, a snow
monkey that’s lived at the zoo for several years, is the dominant male in the
group and doesn’t like competing for love.
Spotted Singles – The Central Park
Zoo has two female snow leopards. Like
some humans, they prefer a more solitary lifestyle. Each beautiful cat lives in
her own exhibit space giving zoo-goers twice
the chance to see them in a majestic, naturalistic environment that closely resembles their native habitat in the mountains of Mongolia and surrounding Asian
WCS’s Queens Zoo:
Eagle’s Love Nest – Chivalry seems to be alive and well in the zoo’s bald eagle exhibit. Longtime
zoo resident Mel has shown he knows how to treat his gal pal, Claire. Mel makes
sure that Claire gets first dibs on all their food. She
even gets to pick where to perch, without any objections from Mel, proving he
is a real regal eagle.
Bear Hugs - Playful Andean bears Spangles and Cisco can be
very affectionate towards each other. SSP
animals, they often cuddle together or play in the winter after a light
snowfall. But like most human couples, this pair isn’t without the
occasional tiff, but the female, Spangles, knows
how to keep her male counterpart in line. Though she weighs a mere 150 pounds,
it’s still clear that she’s in command of 400-pound Cisco.
Birds of the Same Feather – The Queens
Zoo is home to both cranes and swans, two
avian species that choose their mates for life. Male cranes even pitch in when it comes to parenting. They sit
on nesting eggs to keep them warm while their mates take a break.
All in the Family – Bole, a Hamadryas baboon, has a harem of
three adult females in his family troop, so there definitely won’t be a
shortage of affection for him this Valentine’s Day.
Perfect Pandas – An SSP pair of red pandas at the Prospect Park Zoo have been living together for the last year. They are
often seen snuggling close to each other, proving that they are a most
Holding Hands – Saki monkeys Opus and Winola are a
male-female duo that seem to care about each other very much. Opus, the male,
is often seen caressing Winola’s face and staring deep into her eye, making sure she knows who matters.
WCS's Bronx Zoo:
Pool of Love - The famous Bronx Zoo California sea lions are
always visitor favorites. Of the seven sea lions, Kiani is the only male
in the pool. He spends his days in the water with his three girlfriends
Clarice, Indy, and Cloe, while keeping a close eye on his three babies.
This affectionate family loves the cold weather and enjoys putting on a
show for the crowd.
Contacts:Barbara Russo - 212-439-6527; email@example.comFran Hackett – 718-265-3428; firstname.lastname@example.orgMax Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; email@example.com
Central Park Zoo, a Wildlife
Conservation Society park, is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $5 for children 3 to 12,
and free for children under 3. Admission includes entry into the main zoo, and
the Tisch Children’s Zoo. Fall and winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
Tickets are sold until one half-hour before closing. For further information,
please call 212-439-6500 or visit www.centralparkzoo.com.
The New York Aquarium opens every day of the year at
10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $13.00 for adults, $9.00
for children ages 3-12 and $10.00 for senior citizens (65 and older); children
under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 3pm, admission is by
suggested donation. The Aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th
Street in Coney Island. For directions, information on public events and
programs, and other Aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web
site at http://www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the
perfect time to visit and show support for the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn’s
most heavily attended attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.
The Bronx Zoo, a Wildlife Conservation Society park, is open daily
from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old)
$11, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $12 for cars
and $16 for buses. WCS’s Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River
Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19,
#22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just
outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com
or call 718-367-1010.
Note to the Media: If you would like
to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in
support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation