Visitors can interact with conservation scientists at Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is highlighting its global wildlife conservation initiatives on Endangered Species Day by offering Detroit Zoo visitors a chance to meet with DZS field researchers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 17.
“We are working to ensure the long-term survival of critically endangered birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates all over the world,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the DZS. “The DZS staff doing this work are not only experts in their fields, but they are also deeply committed to our mission of celebrating and saving wildlife.”
A schedule of appearances by DZS conservation scientists will take place throughout the Zoo, featuring 10- to 15-minute talks followed Q&A sessions.
The schedule is as follows:
11 a.m. (underwater gallery of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center) – Veterinary technician Erica Campbell will share how the DZS is exploring the impacts of infectious disease, pollution and tourism on populations of seabirds in the Falkland Islands.
11:45 a.m. (Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat) – DZS Field Conservation Officer Dr. Paul Buzzard will talk about the work being done to preserve populations of endangered Eurasian otters in Armenia.
12:30 p.m. (vulture habitat) – Associate Curator of Birds Bonnie Van Dam will talk about the DZS’s work nursing injured and sick vultures back to health in South Africa, preserving their wild populations one animal at a time.
1:15 p.m. (Flamingo habitat) – Van Dam will share details of how she and other DZS staff rushed to South Africa in February to aid in the emergency rescue of thousands of flamingo chicks abandoned in their nesting grounds after a drought threatened their survival.
2 p.m. (underwater gallery of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center) – zookeeper Flo Yates will talk about the six weeks she spent living and working at the U.S. Palmer Research Station in Antarctica, conducting population surveys of penguins and other seabirds.
In addition, a series of short films will be released on the DZS’s social media platforms on May 17, showcasing the organization’s conservation projects that are focused on saving birds around the world.
Guests can also explore the DZS’s long history of saving animals through Detroit Zoo Treks, a mobile map system that offers guided treks through the Zoo. This includes a specialized route that shares information about the DZS’s work with endangered Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo and amphibians all over the world, as well as how the DZS has provided sanctuary to thousands of animals in need of rescue. Guests can access the treks at dzoo.org/zootrek.
The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center. With an annual regional economic impact of more than $167 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually. Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,400 animals representing 235 species. The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit. It provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community. For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit detroitzoo.org.
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