Flannel Up and Join the Little Rock Zoo as they celebrate Zaara’s 1st Birthday

Image result for zaara the bear

You only turn one once, so don’t miss your chance to wish the Little Rock Zoo’s sloth bear cub, Zaara, a happy first birthday!

All are invited to come to the Zoo on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 11 a.m. to wish her another great year.  This flannel and bear lodge-themed party, held in indoors in Café Africa, will be great winter fun!  Beginning at 11:30 a.m., guests are invited to enjoy cake and refreshments while supplies last.

This special celebration will include story time by the fireplace, bear keeper chats, craft-making, hot chocolate, and s’mores.  Guests will enjoy a slide show presentation on Zaara’s first year.  Guests will also have a chance to meet the Zoo staff who hand-raised Zaara. Each of these birthday activities are included in admission prices.

Café Africa will feature a specially-priced hearty meal that will include a choice of soup and/or salad and/or a sandwich for $7.

Zaara’s birthday is so important because The Little Rock Zoo was one of only two zoos in North America to have a sloth bear cub birth. Of the 40 sloth bears housed in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited Zoos in the United States, the Little Rock Zoo has four of them; that’s 10 percent!

Zaara’s birth came as a recommendation of the American Species Survival Plan ® Program, known as SSP.  The SSP Program, developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), helps to ensure the survival of select species in zoos and aquariums, which are either threatened or endangered in the wild. Native to the Indian subcontinent, sloth bears are listed as a vulnerable species, meaning one that is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.

Learn more about Zaara and other endangered animals at their birthday celebrations throughout 2020.

Baby Gibbon Born at Little Rock Zoo

Photo by Karen Caster

The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce that a healthy female gibbon infant was born October 31, 2019.  The proud parents are mother, Paddy, and father, Jeepers.  The pair have had three offspring together and have been together since 2004.

The baby can be seen at the gibbon habitat with her family in the mornings, weather permitting. Mother Paddy carries the baby with her while she’s outside but does often shield the baby from public view by turning her back.

The birth comes at the recommendation of the Gibbon Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program that oversees breeding, transfers, and animal management for gibbons in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited and partner institutions in North America.  Developed to protect gibbons, this SSP Program coordinates species conservation, research, husbandry, management and educational initiatives.

Native to South East Asia, Hylobates lar gibbons are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), meaning there is a very high risk of their extinction in the wild.  Their vulnerability is primarily due to degradation or loss of their forest habitat. Though the number of Hylobates lar gibbons left in the wild is unknown, the Little Rock Zoo works diligently to continue to protect this special animal through expert conservation practices and participation in the Gibbon Species Survival Plan.

Santa to visit Little Rock Zoo Friday for Hometown Holidays

Santa Claus is coming to town and will be stopping by Hometown Holidays at the Little Rock Zoo on Friday, December 6. This ticketed, special event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. in Café Africa. For guests who purchase tickets, this will be a special dinner of delicious offerings of holiday favorites and kid-friendly options.

Along with dinner, the ticket includes live holiday music, holiday crafts, animal meet and greets, and train rides. There will even been gingerbread house-making. Later in the evening, all guests will have their souvenir pictures taken with Santa at the Arkansas Heritage Farm!

Limited to 100 guests, prices for Zoo members are $35 for adults and $30 for children. Ticket prices for non-members are $40 for adults and $35 for children. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are required for all children, regardless of age, as seating is limited. High chairs and booster seats are available but limited in quantity. Guests are requested to arrive on time and enter through the Safari Trader Gift Shop. Shuttles will be standing by to transport to Café Africa.

To learn more or to purchase tickets click here.

No BOO at the Zoo tonight due to rain

The Little Rock Zoo announces that due to the tonight’s forecast for rain, the October 30, 2019, Boo at the Zoo is cancelled.

The public is reminded that tonight’s ticket can be used for the last two nights of Boo, October 31 and November 1, 2019.

Don’t forget in this 28th year of Boo at the Zoo, we will have the traditional activities like trick-or-treating, s’mores stations, the haunted train ride and the haunted house, plus lots of new treats!  New attractions include two nightly magic shows, a fortune teller, a haunted hay ride, themed nights, and a craft beer garden! Each night may include characters from superheroes to princesses, and nightly contests will reward the evening’s most creative costumes!

Please find more information at  www.littlerockzoo.com.  The Little Rock Zoo is excited to invite the public to Little Rock’s most loved, family-friendly Halloween event held each night from 6-9 p.m.

Artober – Arts After Dark

October is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month.  Next up is “Arts after Dark”

This theme, like many of them, could go in many different directions.  I’ve chosen to highlight some cultural institutions lit up at night.

Ballet Arkansas and the Annex of Arkansas Rep on Main Street

Jane DeDecker and Alyson Kinkade’s IN THE WINGS in front of Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Darrell Davis’ Lions Pride in War Memorial Park


Lastly, while this photo took place indoors, it is a recreation of what the entrance to the Arkansas Arts Center will look like in 2022 when Henry Moore’s STANDING FIGURE KNIFE’S EDGE is located in front of the 1937 entrance to the AAC, which will once again be the main entrance. This was created for the AAC’s Farewell Party in August 2019.

Once and Future Arkansas Arts Center 9th Street entrance