Attention, Alaska Zoo guests, friends, and fellow animal-lovers! It is campaign season, and voting is early, often, and heavy as The Alaska Zoo works to elect a new president. Who will it be, you ask? Competition is going to be fierce. Just ask the candidates:
Life Motto: “Just Talk. And Kinda Listen. George the Magpie, the Voice of the Alaska Zoo!”
No experience in a presidential election, but confident anyway! (And confidence often wins!)
Values equality and accepts all zoo visitors as they are.
Loves talking to any visitor who will listen. (And even those who don’t.)
Is good with money and other shiny objects.
Will bring communication between zoo animals and human staff, to bridge the gap.
Candidate Profile: George is the Alaska Zoo’s amazing talking black-billed magpie. She flew onto zoo grounds back in 2007 and started talking to one of our zookeepers and she hasn’t stopped since! The zoo tried to give her to Bird Treatment and Learning Center to be reintroduced with other magpies, but it was determined that she is imprinted on people…obviously!
Life Motto: “The other candidates may capture your eye, but I will capture your heart” (Now, come on, who wouldn’t like a president with all the feels???)
Ran against current President Ahpun in 2012. However, talk around the zoo leads us to believe that Ahpun may have had her paws in a few pockets… (Uh-oh!)
Going for second run to prove his devotion to the zoo as well as it’s visitors.
Has 10 years experience as the primary (alpha) male in the zoo’s wolf family group (pack). (Sometimes it’s good to have a strongman in charge.)
Candidate Profile: Denali is a 10-year-old male gray wolf (Canis lupus) who came to live with his sibling family group (pack) at the Alaska Zoo on Memorial Day weekend of 2006. (Perhaps you’ve heard him howl?)
Life Motto: “Polar Pride! Bears Rule!” (Oh, my, that’s a very confident statement.)
Incumbent president, elected in 2012. (You can see Ahpun’s plaque above the polar bear enclosure.)
Running for a second term. (Hoping to get that new space built for Ahpun and Louie. Can you help?)
Won in 2012 with 2,129 votes (Denali had 1,822, Yertle had 605).
Candidate Profile: Ahpun is an 18-year-old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) orphaned near Point Lay, Alaska. She has lived at the Alaska Zoo since she was 3 months old. (Awwwwww.)
How does voting work? It’s easy, and benefits all the Alaska Zoo’s animals. Votes are $1 in person at the zoo, with ballots found at each of the candidate’s enclosures. Cast your ballot, get your sticker, and make a difference in the lives of your favorite zoo critter. Want to vote online? That works too, but a $10 minimum (10 votes) is required.
All funds raised go to the Alaska Zoo’s general fund. Plus, it’s such a great way to involve your whole family, class, or group in this upcoming election season (and it needs all the positive vibes it can get!)