• New animal babies greet zoo-goers;
  • Baby Coquerel’s sifaka debuts at WCS’s Bronx Zoo Madagascar! exhibit
  • This weekend’s entertainment includes children’s book author Matthew Van Fleet, Radio Disney Road Crew, Joanie Leeds, and MORE

Bronx, N.Y. – April 5, 2010 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo today announced the arrival of Ares, a bouncy baby boy Coquerel’s sifaka. Ares is the son of father Emma and mother Kate and likes to ride on his mom’s back as she leaps from tree to tree.

This is a special birth for WCS’s Bronx Zoo as there are only 51 sifaka in captivity worldwide. This is the second baby of this species born at the zoo since the Madagascar! exhibit opened in 2008.
Agile climbers and surprisingly strong jumpers, these unique animals are a species of lemur and, like all lemurs, are found only in Madagascar. Coquerel’s sifakas have thick white and maroon coats and can easily be identified by their yellow/orange eyes that stand out against their dark faces.
Sifakas use a spectacular mode of locomotion as compared to other lemurs. They maintain a distinctly vertical posture and leap through the trees using just the strength of their back legs. Their long, powerful legs can easily propel them distances of over 20 feet from tree to tree.  On the ground, they use an elegant sideways gait.
Spring is always a special time for children at WCS’s Bronx Zoo as families introduce their children to the newest zoo babies. This is the second week in a row that a new baby animal has made its public debut at the zoo – and there are sure to be more to follow.
Animal Tales Extravaganza at WCS’s Bronx Zoo enters its second week with a line-up packed with live, family-friendly performances. 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 and 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; The Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Penguin Group (USA), Random House Children’s Books, and Simon & Schuster.
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, April 10
11am, 1pm, 3pm - Wild Asia Plaza
Author appearance and reading of Alphabet (Simon & Schuster)
Read by author Matthew Van Fleet
In this incredible new multi-conceptual book, Alphabet, over 100 creatures and plants from A to Z hilariously demonstrate action words, synonyms, opposites, and more. Young explorers are challenged to spot four plants or animals that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Twenty-three textures plus foils, flaps, pull tabs, and even a scratch-and-sniff scent add to the interactive surprises on every page.
Van Fleet’s books include the #1 New York Times bestsellers Tails and Dog as well as the New York Times bestsellers Cat and Alphabet. His first interactive touch and feel book Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings sold more than 1.3 million copies.
11:00am, 1pm - New York Life’s Main Stage
Performance by Radio Disney Road Crew
AM 1560, New York’s #1, 24-hour radio station devoted to kids, tweens and families will host a live station appearance at the Bronx Zoo with the Radio Disney Road Crew featuring contests, your favorite music, and plenty of great prizes!  During the appearance, our DJ will keep the energy level high as we engage kids and families alike in interactive games and activities like dance parties, trivia contests and more, including custom created games tailored around the zoo like Monkey Chatter, Animal Roar, and more.

**Sunday, April 11
11am, 1pm, 3pm - Wild Asia Plaza
Author/illustrator appearance and reading of Click Clack Moo (Simon & Schuster)
Read by author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin
Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. But Farmer Brown's problems really begin when his cows start leaving him notes....
Doreen Cronin's understated text and Betsy Lewin's expressive illustrations make the most of this hilarious situation. Come join the fun as a bunch of literate cows turn Farmer Brown's farm upside down.

11:30am, 2pm - New York Life’s Main Stage
Musical performance by Joanie Leeds
Joanie Leeds joins her band, The Nightlights, for an interactive, high energy performance. Songs from her brand new CD, I'm A Rock Star are already hitting the radio waves.  Her presentation is notable for its child-appropriate clarity, yet vocally Joanie soars easily through a remarkable array of styles with such an enviable power and dexterity that adult listeners forget that her intended audience is under age 10.  www.citykidmusic.com <http://www.citykidmusic.com/> .

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.
** Scheduled times and performers subject to change without notice.

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 $12 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.

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