OKC ZOO ANNOUNCES 2018 ROUND UP FOR CONSERVATION PROJECTS
January 30, 2018
Major conservation projects supported by funds from the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Round Up for Conservation program in 2018 are the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT). Since 2011, Round Up for Conservation has enabled OKC Zoo guests to become everyday conservationists by rounding up their purchases to the next dollar amount when visiting the Zoo.
“Conservation is central to the Oklahoma City Zoo’s mission and the support generated from Round Up allows us to make a substantial impact on wildlife and wild places,” said Dr. Rebecca Snyder, Zoo conservation and science curator. “This effort began just seven years ago and Zoo guests have shown an ever-increasing desire to make a difference through their dollars in hopes of preserving the planet for future generations.”
This is the second year the Zoo will be supporting PDRT with Round Up money and our support will provide the opportunity for two more staff members to travel to Zimbabwe this year to work with PDRT Director Dr. Greg Rasmussen and his students. Additionally, we will be working with Dr. Craig Packer at the University of Minnesota to sponsor a camera trap grid in PDRT’s study area in Zimbabwe. This grid will be part of a new large scale mammal census effort in Africa, called Snapshot Safari. This includes a citizen science component recruiting people from all over the world to help identify species in the photos taken by the cameras.
Round Up funds supporting the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) will be used for their Indian Rhino Vision 2020 project. The goal of Vision 2020 is to increase the population of Greater one-horned rhinos (Indian rhinos) to 3,000 spread over seven protected areas in India, using a combination of strict anti-poaching protection and translocations. The OKC Zoo is home to two Indian rhinos who will be moving to the Zoo’s new Sanctuary Asia habitat opening this summer. Sanctuary Asia will provide the Zoo a new opportunity for us to communicate about the threats to rhinos, the conservation efforts underway to save them, and how the Zoo is supporting those efforts.
Other Round Up funds were designated for Conservation Action Round-Up Engagement (CARE) grants designed to provide full-time Zoo staff members the opportunity to identify conservation projects that they believe are worthy of the Zoo’s support; an emergency intervention fund to help save wildlife and critical habitat after natural disasters and significant human-caused disturbances; conservation-related travel that enabled a variety of Zoo staff to meet with conservation partners on site and to bring guest conservationists to the Zoo for education and consultation purposes; and Zoo public awareness days that provided on-grounds activities in support of conservation celebrations, projects, or featured species or habitats.
In 2017, the Round Up for Conservation raised $97,578 to support conservation projects both large and small. Since Round Up began in 2011, more than $355,000 has been raised for conservation. Opportunities to Round Up are available throughout the Zoo. Lancer Hospitality, the Zoo’s food and beverage partner, is also involved with the Zoo’s conservation initiatives – now encouraging guests to donate 50 cents or a dollar with their purchase at the Lakeside Café, Canopy Restaurant, Safari Café or Big Rivers Café.
Visit the Oklahoma City Zoo and be inspired to care for, connect with and conserve wildlife and wild places! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.