BABY BOOM Two More Babies Make Their Debut As “Animal Tales Extravaganza” Continues at WCS’s Bronx Zoo

Brown collared lemur and silver leaf langur are the latest zoo-babies to thrill zoo-goers


Fifteen year old pop sensation Jasmine Sagginario – winner of Radio Disney’s “N.B.T.”(Next Big Thing) – headlines the biggest “Animal Tales Extravaganza” weekend yet

Bronx, N.Y. – April 26, 2010 – As the 13- weekend long Animal Tales Extravaganza continues, the entertainment keeps getting better, and the spring baby-boom at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo continues to “wow” the crowds.

This weekend, 15-year-old pop-rock superstar Jasmine Sagginario will own New York Life’s Main Stage on the zoo’s historic Astor Court. This young talent is the winner of Radio Disney’s “N.B.T.”(Next Big Thing) and is sure to get the kids on their feet.
 
In addition to the spectacular line-up of live entertainment, there are two more special guests that will be on hand to greet zoo-goers – a new baby brown collared lemur in the zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit and a baby silver leaf langur in JungleWorld. Both recently born at WCS’s Bronx Zoo, and both are special species as there are less than 50 of each in captivity world wide.
 
The brown collared lemur is a female that has yet to be named and is the second born to her parents, Jean Luc and Vera.  Brown collared lemurs remain active year round in both day and night and are native to the tropical forests of southeastern Madagascar where their range is being destroyed by charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture.  This devastating loss of habitat is the primary reason the species is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
 
The silver leaf langur baby has a striking orange color in comparison to its parents’ silver coats and will continue to stand out until its fur changes color somewhere between three to five months of age. Its mother, Ruby, has kept her very close and has been caring for the new youngster in the trees of JungleWorld at WCS’s Bronx Zoo making it difficult for keepers to determine the baby’s sex.  Native to Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia, nearly 80 percent of the langur’s diet consists of leaves. Silver leaf langurs are listed as “near threatened” by IUCN and are part of the Species Survival Program (SSP). WCS’s Bronx Zoo has the largest captive breeding population of silver leaf langurs in North America.
 
The Wildlife Conservation Society works in more than 60 countries around the world to save wildlife and wild places – including many primate species primates in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
 
Once visitors emerge from JungleWorld they can stick around Asia Plaza where the weekend’s activities will also include the chance to meet author Mathew J. Baek as he reads from his latest tale, Panda & Polar Bear on Saturday at the Bronx Zoo’s Asia Plaza.  Sunday will feature the new book Roly Poly Pangolin read by author Anna Dewdney.
 
Over the course of the 13-weekend extravaganza, renowned children’s authors from notable publishers including HarperCollins, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA), Random House Children’s Books, and Simon & Schuster will be hosting special story-time readings of their books at the Asia Plaza Theater. Families will be able to meet their favorite children’s book authors and listen to them read their new and classic works then head over to New York Life’s Main Stage on Astor Court for live entertainment by some of the top-rated children’s entertainers.
 
Kids can walk through larger-than-life pages of real books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle at the Butterfly Garden and Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet at the Reptile House.  At the Bear Overlook, walk through the new children’s book, Moon Bear, by Brenda Z. Guiberson and award-winning illustrator, Ed Young and enjoy a wild ride with Wild About Books by Judy Sierra at Astor Court. These interactive, walk-through book experiences have been underwritten by the publishers of the books featured; Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster, The Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Random House Children’s Books.
 
The experience also includes an opportunity for children to make their own “animal tale” book and “animal tail” bookmark based on Big Babies, Little Babies, which is published by DK Publishing, one of the event sponsors.  
 
This weekend’s line-up for the Animal Tales Extravaganza includes the following:

**Saturday, May 1
11am, 1pm - New York Life’s Main Stage
Musical performance by Jasmine Sagginario,
Radio Disney’s  “N.B.T.” (Next Big Thing) Winner
Fifteen-year-old pop singer Jasmine Sagginario is a fun twenty-first century girl is no doubt hip to the times—yeah, she’s on Facebook—but she can also think and act beyond the times as indicated by the title track on her irresistibly danceable debut release, Next Me.

11am, 1pm, 3pm - Wild Asia Plaza
Author appearance and reading of Panda & Polar Bear (Penguin Group, USA)
Read by author Matthew J. Baek
A little polar bear wonders what’s beyond his wintry world—and when he falls over the edge of an ice cliff, he finds out. He is soon befriended by a panda who mistakes the mud-covered polar bear for one of his own.  The two become quick pals. But what happens when the polar bear’s muddy splotches wash off? Will the two bears stay friends?
 
 
**Sunday, May 2
11:30am, 2pm - New York Life’s Main Stage
Musical performance by Aaron Nigel Smith
A fun, inspired, and lively show guaranteed to get the audience off their feet.  His songs have been described by PBS as “some of the best targeted music for kids today.” Aaron’s performance was so well received during his live tour that he was asked to join the award-winning TV show Between the Lions.
 
11am, 1pm - Wild Asia Plaza
Author appearance and reading of Roly Poly Pangolin (Penguin Group, USA)
Read by author Anna Dewdney
Roly Poly is a little pangolin who'd rather stick close to his mama instead of facing anything unfamiliar.  Whether it's a line of ants, a friendly monkey, or a loud noise, Roly Poly runs the other way.  Then he hears something that really scares him so he does what all pangolins do when they're frightened – he rolls up into a tiny ball.  Roly Poly is surprised when he finally peeks out; because another ball is peeking back – a small pangolin just like him.

New York Life is the featured sponsor of the Animal Tales Extravaganza and is hosting a Child ID event every weekend during the festivities. The Child ID program provides peace of mind to parents who are concerned about the safety of their children and want to take action to protect them. A complimentary Identification Card, complete with the child’s photograph and fingerprints will be given to the parents.
 
MEDIA NOTE(S): Scheduled times and performers subject to change without notice.

Contact:
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org


The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old) $11, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The 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.


The Wildlife Conservation Society
saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.


New York Life Insurance Company
, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world.  New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four of the major credit rating agencies.  Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance.  New York Life Investments** provides institutional asset management and retirement plan services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds.  Please visit New York Life’s Web site at www.newyorklife.com for more information.

*New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company based on the Fortune 500, ranked within industries, Insurance:  Life, Health (Mutual), Fortune magazine, May 4, 2009.

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