Saint Louis Zoo Events to Focus on Saving Endangered Species from Extinction
The Saint Louis Zoo is marking the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day with a range of activities designed to raise awareness of the growing importance of saving species from extinction.
Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Zoo animal staff, educators and teen volunteers will focus on the Zoo’s work saving animals through its 12 WildCare Institute conservation centers and the Institute for Conservation Medicine. Both institutes are dedicated to creating a sustainable future for wildlife and people at eight overseas and four Missouri sites.
Saturday’s event is part of a larger, national effort organized by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums called AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). Endangered Species Day is nationally recognized each year on May 15. The AZA’s 229-accredited members are coming together in a variety of ways to help the visitors consider the possibility that many animals may be extinct in the future and to raise awareness of the efforts to save animals from extinction.
Educational kids’ activities at the Zoo on Saturday will range from doing heath assessments on toy plush lemurs and building Humboldt penguin nesting areas to reading the notches on replica turtles and using snake hooks.
The following endangered animals are featured at multiple information stations throughout the day: the Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium—Ozark hellbenders and Armenian vipers; Penguin & Puffin Coast—Humboldt penguins; the Primate House—lemurs of Madagascar; Monsanto Insectarium—Forest Park native species, American burying beetles and pollinators; River’s Edge—cheetah and Missouri box turtles; Red Rocks—Grevy’s zebra and addax; and the Bird House – horned guans and Galápagos bird species.
At each station, visitors can sign a Conservation Pledge and complete scavenger hunt cards they can take to Lakeside Cafe to get free sipper cups. Inside each cup is a bookmark listing WildCare Institute-specific conservation behaviors visitors can do at home.
However, just visiting the Zoo qualifies as a conservation action that supports the collaborative efforts of hundreds of researchers, field conservationists and scientists.
Admission to the Saint Louis Zoo is free. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ AZA SAFE: For decades, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have been leaders in species survival, and are already working to restore more than 30 species to healthy wild populations. Through SAFE, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums will convene scientists and stakeholders globally to identify the factors threatening species, develop Conservation Action Plans, collect new resources and engage the public. In 2015, SAFE will develop conservation action plans to save 10 species and then add an additional 10 species each year for the next 10 years. The inaugural 10 species include: cheetah, whooping crane, Asian elephant, gorilla, African penguin, black rhino, sharks, western pond turtle, sea turtle, and vaquita. Join the conversation on May 15 via #savingspecies.
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