SEATTLE – Chai (rhymes with eye), a 32-year-old female Asian elephant at Woodland Park Zoo, may have given a glimmer of hope today to Wazzu when she prognosticated the Cougars as the winner of the Apple Cup.
Chai trundled toward the stack of papier mache apples and football-shaped ice treats representing crimson and gray and wrapped her trunk around the elephant-sized apples and made her pick. The apples were stuffed with leaf-eater biscuits and apples. For video, go to:
This is the second year that Chai has made a prediction for the rivalry football game. Last year she accurately predicted the UW Huskies to take the game. “We’re rooting for Chai’s accuracy but it’s a letdown for any Huskies fans,” joked Pattie Beaven, the elephant keeper who created the Apple Cup treats for Chai. “We’ll know after the game on Saturday if she ends up with a 2-0 record.”
Today’s pachyderm prediction is a part of the zoo’s admission discount in celebration of the game. Now through Nov. 27, Husky and Cougar fans receive half off zoo admission by sporting any garb from University of Washington or Washington State University, such as a jersey, sweatshirt, hat or gloves, or showing a valid student ID from either university. The admission discount applies only to the child or adult wearing the university sportswear and is not to be combined with other discounts or promotions.
The zoo’s herd of elephants is all female. In addition to Chai, the other members are Asian elephant Bamboo, 44 years old, and African elephant Watoto (wah-TOE-toe), 42 years old. Learn more about elephant care and preserving elephants in the wild by visiting: http://elephants.zoo.org/.
Woodland Park Zoo fall/winter hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily. Admission: Adult (13-64) $11.50; Child (3-12) $8.50; Toddler (0-2) Free. Active and retired U.S. military and their families, seniors and people with physical disabilities receive an admission discount. Zoo members receive free zoo admission year-round. Parking: $5.25.
A number of indoor exhibits and covered areas help visitors escape the wet weather with a Rainy Day Tour map available at the gates or by visiting www.zoo.org. Dry, warm shelter and sustenance also are in the Rain Forest Food Pavilion, and extraordinary gifts and zoo souvenirs in the ZooStores, located at the South and West Entrances.
For more information or to become a zoo member, visit www.zoo.org or call 206.548.2500 or 548.2599 (TTY),
Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.