West Palm Beach, FL – Lion Country Safari is joining WildAid, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), and AZA’s program, the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA), in a campaign featuring DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda’s Master Po Ping to educate children and families about the illegal wildlife trade. Lion Country Safari is one of more than fifteen AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums across the United States that will post a series of video messages and posters at its facility as well as on social media..
Po, the protagonist of DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda franchise, proclaims, “poaching steals from us all,” as he helps defend elephants who are killed for their ivory, rhinos for their horns, lions and tigers for their bones and skins, and pangolins for their scales and meat. He helps remind us that the “big guys” still need our help.
Wildlife crime is a multi-billion dollar global industry primarily driven by consumer demand for products made from animal parts. The United States is home to one of the largest illegal wildlife markets in the world. In 2016, a WildAid public opinion survey found that 80 percent of Americans polled consider themselves wildlife lovers or conservationists. Yet, four out of five knew little or nothing about wildlife trafficking.
“AZA-accredited facilities are leaders in conservation, with a vision of a world where all people respect, value and conserve wildlife and wild places,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “By partnering with WildAid on this campaign, we are calling attention to the serious problem of illegal wildlife trade affecting vulnerable species.”
“Lion Country Safari is incredibly excited to partner in the effort to bring attention to this really critical issue in wildlife conservation efforts. Illegal poaching is a pervasive threat across the world, and across many species that call Lion Country Safari home. We’re proud to counter wildlife trafficking through guest engagement and education, as well as through the support of in-situ conservation organizations,” said Dr. Tina Cloutier Barbour, Curator of Conservation, Research, and Chimpanzees at Lion Country Safari.
Lion Country Safari is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is the only drive-through safari in South Florida. Guests can see over 1,000 animals on 320 acres. For more information, please call the main office at (561) 793-1084 or visit us online at www.lioncountrysafari.com.
Lucy-Claire Saunders, WildAid 213-332-4000 / email@example.com
Rob Vernon, AZA 301-244-3352 / firstname.lastname@example.org
About Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
About Wildlife Trafficking Alliance
The Wildlife Trafficking Alliance is a coalition of more than sixty nonprofit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests working together to combat wildlife trafficking by raising public awareness, reducing consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products, and mobilizing companies to adopt best practices stop wildlife trafficking. AZA acquired the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance in 2018 as a strategic union to combat wildlife trafficking worldwide. To learn more, visit www.wildlifetraffickingalliance.org
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.