WCS's Prospect Park Zoo Is Filled with Love This Valentine’s Day

Brooklyn, NY – February 10, 2011 – Many animals show love and affection to their mates in the same way humans do, and there is no better place to see animal couples in love than Valentine’s Day at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo.

Animal species from North American river otters to Pallas’s cats and Saki monkeys demonstrate behaviors that are easily recognizable as displays of affection. The most affectionate couple is perhaps the white-faced Saki monkeys, Winola and Opus.  They often gaze into each other’s eyes, a common bonding behavior.  Saki monkeys mate for life and Winola and Opus have been together nine years.
 
Nicholas and Alexandra, Pallas’s cats, are the zoo’s oldest couple.  Both 13 years old, they are in their golden years and spend much of their time lounging on the rocks in their exhibit.
 
“We have a variety of couples at the zoo, all with very different relationships,” said Denise McClean, Director of WCS’s Prospect Park Zoo. “Winola and Opus are definitely the most romantic couple while the Pallas cats are past that point in their lives and really keep to themselves.”
 
Ogie and Dixie, the zoo’s North American river otters, are a typical May-December romance. At two years old, she is eight years his junior. Although it was not love at first sight, they have grown to enjoy each others company and can be seen swimming and playing together.
 
The most unconventional romances at the zoo are the two troops of Hamadryas baboons. Each group consists of an adult male and his harem of three to five females and their young. This is not uncommon in the wild where hierarchical troops can number in the hundreds.
 
The largest family at the zoo is the Geoffroy’s tamarins.  Parents Cannoli and Napoleon spend much of their day tending to their four active infants. This species is different in that the father raises the young.
 
The zoo is hosting a workshop for those who want to learn more about their favorite resident animal couples.  “Animal Dating and Mating at the Prospect Park Zoo” will be held Sunday, February 13, 2:30-4 p.m. for adults only. Refreshments will be served and those who attend will learn about courtship rituals, love lives, and evolutionary biology of animal couples.  $20 for non-members, $15 for members. To register email ppzeducation@wcs.org or call (718) 399-7327, or pay at the door.

Contact:
Sophie Bass: (o) 212-439-6527; sbass@wcs.org
Max Pulsinelli: (o) 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild: (o) 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

Video Credit: Luke Groskin


The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo - Open every day of the year.  Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, $5 for children 3 to 12, and free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. Tickets are sold until one half-hour before closing. The zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue. For more information call 718-399-7339 or go to www.prospectparkzoo.com


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.


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