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Binder Park Zoo Welcomes the 7 Millionth Guest!

October 17, 2010

On Sunday, October 17 Binder Park Zoo officially welcomed its 7 millionth guest! Since opening in 1977, Binder Park Zoo has grown from a small petting zoo to a leading cultural attraction and one of “America’s Best Zoos.” The lucky family from Otsego, MI received a free admission to The Great Zoo Boo, a $50 gift card, a family membership, and a large plush giraffe.

“Reaching 7 million guests is a huge milestone for us,” commented Greg Geise the Zoo’s President and CEO. “We continue to be amazed and humbled by the support of the Battle Creek community, our members and donors, and everyone that comes through the gate and makes a connection with nature.”

A lot has changed at Binder Park Zoo since the gates opened 34 years ago. In the late 1960’s local Battle Creek organizations and the newly formed Battle Creek Children’s Zoo Steering Committee came together to create a Battle Creek Children’s Zoo. In August, 1975 the name of this organization was changed to the Binder Park Zoological Society, Inc and the Society was incorporated as a private, nonprofit organization. From the beginning, the Zoo has operated on land leased from the city of Battle Creek in an area originally called Charles Binder Park. Only about 180 of the available 433 acres are utilized for animal exhibits, picnic areas, parking, offices, and buildings. The remaining acreage includes natural Michigan woodlands, plains, and wetlands that are home to hundreds of species of native wildlife.

In 1999, the new Wild Africa exhibit was opened to the public and doubled the size of the Zoo. This one of kind experience showcases a 50-acre exhibit designed to simulate the feeling of being in the middle of Africa. There are a vast number of animals exhibited here including giraffe, zebra, bontebok, addra gazelle, waterbuck and many more African animals that roam an 18-acre Savanna exhibit. In addition, guests can walk through an African farm village and get up close with watusi and zebu cattle. This award winning, interactive exhibit could not have been completed without the generous support of the community.


The Mobile Learning Adventure comes to the Great ZooBoo

October 23, 2010

Binder Park Zoo’s the Great ZooBoo 2010 is in full swing and the party is just getting started. If you haven’t visited the Great ZooBoo yet this season, this weekend is the perfect time. Come on out on Saturday, October 23rd and join PNC as they host the Mobile Learning Adventure (MLA) from 1:00 to 6:00pm.

MLA is a traveling exhibit that provides an opportunity for parents and caregivers to learn about the importance of early childhood education while they engage in fun activities with their children. A part of PNC Grow Up Great, a 10-year, $100 million investment in early childhood education, the MLA includes the “When I Grow Up” station, where kids dress up as different professionals and have their picture superimposed on an appropriate background. In addition, parents can take home activity books and learning kits that demonstrate how to take everyday moments and turn them in to learning opportunities.

Along with the “When I Grow Up” station, there are two touch screen kiosks for children and adults alike. The kiosk for children provides fun, interactive and educational activities for kids to do with their parents. Once the activities are completed, each child receives a special certificate commemorating the achievement. Adults also get to take part in the Mobile Learning Adventure by taking a quiz to test their knowledge about early education. At the end of the adventure parents and caregivers will then receive brochures that contain 101 Great Tips and 25 Little Things To Help Kids Grow Up Great. In addition, the entire program is targeted toward children 2 to 5 years of age.

MLA is not the only fun activity occurring this upcoming weekend at the Great ZooBoo. On Friday, October 22nd, The Amazing Clark will be putting on a mystical magic show at 6:00pm and 7:00pm; Saturday, October 23rd, a puppet show will be held at 3:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00pm; and Sunday, October 24th, “ACAPPAZOO” will put on an acapella singing performance at 3:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00pm.

This is one weekend of the Great ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo that you do not want to miss! For more information about ZooBoo please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


Arrrr Matey! The Great ZooBoo has returned to Binder Park Zoo!

October 18, 2010

The Great ZooBoo is open! Children of all ages can experience Trick-or-Treating like they never have before. This merry-not-scary event is one of the largest Halloween attractions in the area, offering families a fun and safe alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. The 2010 Great Zoo Boo is opened Wednesdays through Sundays now through October 31 and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays each week.

Guests will walk through the gates and be immediately immersed into a swashbucklin’ setting complete with fun-loving pirate characters and festive Halloween decorations. Tons of jack-o-lanterns will line the trails along with hundreds of scarecrows and harvest themed decorations. Many animals will also be on exhibit including the Smith Snow Leopard Encounter, Mexican wolves, red pandas, and more. The Miller Children’s Zoo will be transformed from a petting zoo into the exciting BooVille Carnival where youngsters can enjoy the carnival atmosphere and play a variety of games to win fun prizes. The Binda Conservation Discovery Center will also be open, offering a place where children can view several small animal exhibits, participate in interactive activities, and take in the nightly entertainment venues including magicians, clowns, and more. As always, there will be hayrides, train rides, and a festive fall atmosphere. Don’t forget to bring your own Trick – or – Treat bag!

Not only is Zoo Boo a fun, family friendly event that has been part of the Battle Creek community for 24 years, it is also the Zoo’s largest fundraiser. The funds raised through this event go to support the care and feeding of the over 600 animals that call Binder Park Zoo home. The animals stay at the Zoo all winter, even though it is closed to the public. With rising costs in animal feed and electricity, fund raisers like Zoo Boo are an essential piece to the puzzle of running a self-sustaining non-profit.

In order to make Binder Park Zoo’s the Great ZooBoo a success, a vast number of great community sponsors have come together in support of this family friendly event. These businesses and organizations that lend a helping hand include the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Kellogg Company, Post Cereals, Best Buy, Meijer, Adam’s Outdoor Advertising, Kiwanis, Bank of America, Battle Creek Knights, Battle Creek Revolution, Battle Creek Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association, Child Development Center, Craft Photography, Fazoli’s, Fun Services and Miller College.

The Great ZooBoo begins now and runs through October 31st and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours are Wednesday-Friday 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $7/person Wednesday – Friday and $8/person Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit, www.binderparkzoo.org/ or call 269-979-1351.


It’s Ooey, It’s Gooey, It’s FREE! The Great Pumpkin Carve at Binder Park Zoo!

October 13, 2010

Your favorite family fall tradition is back! The Community Pumpkin has returned to Binder Park Zoo! Bring out the entire family to Binder Park Zoo on October 13th for the annual Community Pumpkin Carve. Carving will occur between 4:00pm – 7:00pm. The pumpkins, carving utensils and leftover gooey pumpkin seeds will all be taken care of by the Binder Park Zoo staff. You know what that means parents, the kids can make as big of a mess as they want. Hot chocolate, apple cider and donut holes will also be provided.

This event is completely free and open to the entire public. The only necessities are having fun and getting in touch with the creative side in all of us. Be sure to arrive early as pumpkins will be handed out to carvers while supplies last. In addition, if participants return to the Great ZooBoo October 15 through October 31st, the pumpkin that was carved at this event will be displayed along the Trick – or – Treat Trail.


Binder Park Zoo Presents Hawk Migration with Josh Haas

October 13, 2010

Binder Park Zoo and Brigham Audubon are welcoming special guest speaker Josh Haas, the official relief counter for the Detroit River Hawkwatch on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 7:00pm. This special presentation will include a discussion on the importance of Hawk migration in Michigan as well as the rest of North America and Josh’s involvement with other aspects of Hawk conservation.

For the past six years, Josh Haas has been involved with Raptors in the Michigan region in many different capacities. It all began at the Kalamazoo Nature Center where Josh was a part of the Bird of Prey Program. With the help of staff at the center, Josh was able to re-energize the program and today it now reaches several thousand people each year. His work involving the raptors includes training, health physicals, and programming and continues today at both the Nature Center and the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. Each fall, however, his passion is re-directed to counting Hawks that fly at a great distance along Lake Erie.

Today, Josh is currently an official relief counter for the Detroit River Hawkwatch where he can be seen counting Southward Hawks on their way to wintering grounds. In addition, he is a Nature Photographer where his work can be seen by visiting glancesatnature.com. While his love for everything “birds” is evident, his passion for Raptors will always be the most prevalent.

A short Brigham Audubon business meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm, with the presentation beginning immediately afterwards at 7:15 pm. The meeting will take place in the Cross Administration Building (Zoo Office). The event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Binder Park Zoo: 269-979-1351.


Binder Park Zoo’s Two Red Panda Cubs It’s time to celebrate!

September 22, 2010

Binder Park Zoo is ready to celebrate the introduction of their newest arrivals, two red panda cubs! Flynn and Sorrel are two of the cutest little fur balls that guests might ever see. On June 12th, 2010, Binder Park Zoo’s female red panda, Delilah, gave birth to two cubs. The Zoo’s animal care staff was concerned at first as red pandas often reject their babies in captivity, but Delilah has proven to be an excellent mother. She has become the first female red panda to raise her own cubs at Binder Park Zoo. The red panda cubs now have access to the exhibit and can be seen throughout the day. However, since it is up to the cubs whether they would like to venture out or not, they may not be on exhibit on a constant basis.

In celebration of such an exciting event, Binder Park Zoo is offering a special red panda cub ADOPT. This one-of-kind adopt includes both cubs for only $30. The adopt package will include an ADOPT certificate, an informational fact sheet about red pandas and an adorable picture of the two little youngsters, and the name of recipient displayed on the Zoo’s ADOPT Honor Roll board for one year. This offer a limited time offer, so don’t miss out on the opportunity of helping out these new arrivals by becoming an official ADOPT parent. Adoption is a special way to help Binder Park Zoo ensure the health and well-being of its animals. ADOPTions are just one of the many ways you can become involved with Binder Park Zoo!

In addition, Binder Park Zoo is hosting its very first photo contest. The rules are simple. Come on out to Binder Park Zoo, snap an adorable shot of one or both of the cubs, submit the photo to Binder Park Zoo via bpzphotocontest@gmail.com and wait to see if your photo won. The winning photo will become the profile picture for Binder Park Zoo on Facebook for an entire month! For more information and a complete list of rules please visit Binder Park Zoo’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/binderparkzoo.


Binder Park Zoo Welcomes Two Red Panda Cubs!

September 15, 2010

Binder Park Zoo is hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet again! On June 12th, 2010, Binder Park Zoo’s female red panda, Delilah, gave birth to two cubs. The Zoo’s animal care staff was concerned at first as red pandas often reject their babies in captivity, but Delilah has proven to be an excellent mother. She has become the first female red panda to raise her own cubs at Binder Park Zoo.

The cubs received their first physical exam and vaccinations at 8 weeks old and they are doing very well. The biggest cub is a male, his name is Flynn and his little sister is Sorrel. The cubs will have another exam and set of vaccinations at 12 weeks of age and the hope is to have them on exhibit in September with their mother.

This is a big step forward for red panda conservation. Red pandas are listed as an endangered species and with this in mind, Binder Park Zoo works with the red panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure the captive population remains genetically strong. Delilah is 4 years old and is on loan to Binder Park Zoo from the Bronx Zoo as she was genetically matched to breed with Binder’s 8 year old male, Fagen. Fagen can be seen on exhibit everyday until the process begins of introducing Delilah and her cubs to the exhibit, which will start taking place this weekend and continuing until the end of the season. The introduction is dependent on the weather and the Red Panda cubs may not be on exhibit on a constant basis. During this time Fagen will be moved to an off-exhibit breeding area as the males take no part in helping to rear the young.

Make sure to come on out to Binder Park Zoo before the end of the season to get a sneak peek at Flynn and Sorrel as they get used to their new surroundings.

Red Pandas are found in the mountainous regions of China, Nepal, India, Bhutan, and into Tibet. The main threats to their survival are habitat loss due to deforestation for agriculture and livestock and poaching as the red panda’s fur is still highly prized, especially for warm winter hats. They eat a diet of bamboo leaves supplemented by fruit, but they will occasionally eat eggs and insects as well. They are also known to invade rice farms which puts them at risk for retaliation from the farmers.


Get Ready For the Great ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo

October 15-31, 2010

Shiver me timbers! It’s that time of year again! The Great Zoo Boo is coming to transform Binder Park Zoo into a festive, yo-ho-ho, Halloween celebration! This merry-not-scary event is one of the largest Halloween attractions in the area, offering families a fun and safe alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. The 2010 Great Zoo Boo will be held October 15th - October 31 Wednesdays – Sundays only and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays each week.

Guests will walk through the gates and be immediately immersed into a swashbucklin’ setting complete with fun-loving pirate characters and festive Halloween decorations. Tons of jack-o-lanterns will line the trails along with hundreds of scarecrows and harvest themed decorations. Many animals will also be on exhibit including the Smith Snow Leopard Encounter, Mexican wolves, red pandas, and more. The Miller Children’s Zoo will be transformed from a petting zoo into the exciting BooVille Carnival where youngsters can enjoy the carnival atmosphere and play a variety of games to win fun prizes. The Binda Conservation Discovery Center will also be open, offering a place where children can view several small animal exhibits, participate in interactive activities, and take in the nightly entertainment venues including magicians, clowns, and more. As always, there will be hayrides, train rides, and a festive fall atmosphere.

Not only is Zoo Boo a fun, family friendly event that has been part of the Battle Creek community for 24 years, it is also the Zoo’s largest fundraiser. The funds raised through this event go to support the care and feeding of the over 600 animals that call Binder Park Zoo home. The animals stay at the Zoo all winter, even though it is closed to the public. With rising costs in animal feed and electricity, fund raisers like Zoo Boo are an essential piece to the puzzle of running a self-sustaining non-profit.

The Great ZooBoo begins October 15th and runs through the 31st and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours are Wednesday-Friday 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $7/person Wednesday – Friday and $8/person Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.binderparkzoo.org/boo and buy advanced tickets online at a reduced cost! For more information, visit the website or call 269-979-1351.

Don’t miss our annual Community Pumpkin Carve on October 13th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm. The community is invited to help carve pumpkins, enjoy hot cider and donuts all for free! The zoo provides the pumpkins, tools and takes care of all the cleaning. Be sure to arrive early as pumpkins will be handed out to carvers while supplies last. Don’t forget to come back to the Great ZooBoo to find your pumpkin along the Trick – or – Treat Trail.


Binder Park Zoo Presents BontebOktoberfest!

October 8, 2010

Come tip a few back with the wolves, snow leopards, and red pandas at BontebOktoberfest, Binder Park Zoo’s first beer tasting event on October 8th, 2010 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. This 21 and up event will feature breweries from all over Michigan, live music by Shortbus, animal presentations, a Carousel Derby, and many other exciting activities. BontebOktoberfest is a brand new fundraising event that will support the Zoo’s conservation efforts here in Michigan and across the globe.

Pre-sale tickets cost $40 /person and can be purchased at www.binderparkzoo.org/beer, in the Zoo office or by calling the Zoo at 269-979-1351. Designated driver tickets are available for $25. Remaining tickets will be available on the day of the event for $45 at the gate.

Attendees will sample beer from several Michigan based breweries including but not limited to Arcadia Ales, Dark Horse, Bell’s Brewery, Arbor Brewing Company, Jolly Pumpkin and Olde Peninsula. Wine and a non-alcoholic juice will also be offered from St. Julian Winery. In addition guests will receive a special BontebOktoberfest commemorative tasting glass, listen to live music, and have the first opportunity to taste a special Binder Park Zoo brew from Arcadia Ales Brewing Company. Keep an eye out for this one of a kind brew on shelves around Battle Creek following the event.

As part of the event, the Zoo will also host the first ever Binda Conservation Carousel Derby! Stop by the Binda Conservation Carousel and sign up to compete against fellow event goers. Choose your favorite animal on the carousel and jockey your way to victory! Each heat winner will receive a prize and have a chance to compete in the final against other winners. Tickets cost $10 each.

Proceeds from this event will go to support the many conservation efforts that the Zoo is involved in including 17 different American Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans, piping plover conservation, Karner blue butterfly conservation, and partnerships with the International Snow Leopard Trust and the Cheetah Conservation Fund. What better way to help support conservation than by tipping back a few with friends and enjoying a truly unique atmosphere.

Bonteboks are a species of antelope from the grasslands of South Africa. They are rich chestnut brown to almost black with a bright white patch on their forehead, nose, and rump. They form herds of 40 to 70 animals for protection from predators and have a very keen sense of sight and smell. You can see some of these gorgeous animals on Savannah in Wild Africa!

For information about Binder Park Zoo and BontekbOktoberfest call 269-979-1351 or visit www.binderparkzoo.org.


HLN and Binder Park Zoo Offer Digital Fingerprinting for Kids

September 3, 2010

HLN, Binder Park Zoo and Comcast are providing a free service designed to help prevent crimes against children by offering parents and guardians practical tools that include digital fingerprints and safety tips through the Digital Fingerprinting for Kids event. Traveling to several cities in April through October, this valuable event is coming to Battle Creek, MI on September 3, 2010 at Binder Park Zoo from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

HLN’s NANCY GRACE is also partnering with the 2010 campaign. Tour stops will be announced on air and on the show’s website, www.cnn.com/nancygrace. Grace is a strong advocate for children and, on her nightly HLN show, stresses the importance of protecting them from the known and unknown dangers that may exist in their communities.

“Every tool at our disposal must be used to help keep our children safe,” said Grace. “I am so proud to be a partner with Digital Fingerprinting for Kids on this critical initiative. It’s a cause very close to my heart as a mother of twins, a former prosecutor, and as a crime victim. I hope every parent will take advantage of this opportunity to protect their most precious treasures: their children!”

“We all understand the importance of child safety and by making this technology available, we’re helping Binder Park Zoo deliver a valuable service to the families of Battle Creek,” said Gary Brockman, vice president of 360 network marketing and brand operations, TNS.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have this program visit Binder Park Zoo,” said Stacey Lawson, the Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer. “Child safety is a critical aspect of our overall operations and by bringing Digital Fingerprinting for Kids here to the Zoo, a valuable service is being provided for the community.”

Thousands of children have been fingerprinted since Digital Fingerprinting for Kids’ initiation in 2002. Each child receives an 8 x 10 printout with photo, fingerprints, and personal information such as height, weight, and hair color at the event. The reverse side of the printout has branded safety tips. Information and fingerprints are strictly for the privacy of the families, and no information is kept on file. Also, the first 300 kids to attend the event will receive a free DNA kit, safety whistle and co-branded drawstring bag.

HLN, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, updates viewers constantly, 24 hours each day, with complete and concise national newscasts throughout the day and a compelling slate of legal, entertainment and talk programs at night. The network delivers fast-paced, lively and engaging news, using the best resources of CNN Worldwide. HLN is designed especially for viewers who want relevant and comprehensive news in a way that suits the urgency of their schedules.


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