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Zoo Visitors Encouraged to Help Endangered Species' Native Habitats

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is hoping visitors get in the spirit of their centennial celebration by supporting some of the animals’ native habitats.  Friends of the Zoo has launched a fundraising effort called “100 cents for 100 years” to conserve endangered species.  In exchange for a donation of a dollar or more, guests will receive a unique zoo wrist band.  Friends of the Zoo President Janet Agostini says they want to do greater good beyond our borders.

  “We’ve selected four endangered species, animals that we exhibit here at the zoo. While we provide wonderful care and we respect them because they’re ambassadors of their kind, we really need to keep our thoughts focused on what’s going on in the wild.”

Agostini says the money raised will support conservation efforts for Amur tigers, snow leopards, Humboldt penguins, and Asian elephants.

  “When you think of the fact that there are fewer Asian elephants in the wild than there are seats in the Carrier Dome it just moves us to action. For Amur tigers found in Russia, their population is only between five and seven thousand when they used to number in the hundreds of thousands. Through habitat loss and poaching we feel very much a responsibility to make sure that we don’t forget about what’s happening and where these species of animals resides.” 

Zoo visitors can get a wristband for donating to conservation causes.

Agostini says the funds will help track and gather data on snow leopards to determine their health and viability; and, support the veterinarians conducting field testing and research on feline leukemia found in Amur tigers.  Donations will be accepted in exchange for the bracelets at the zoo’s membership desk and on-site during zoo events through the end of the year. 

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at