The “vanishing” animals are part of a national effort to highlight the growing extinction crisis-


Colorado Springs, CO – May 15, 2015 – Today is the 10th anniversary of Endangered Species Day, and to highlight the growing importance of working on saving endangered species from extinction, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will have African penguins, an endangered animal, “vanish” from their exhibit.

“Can you image a world without penguins? What if you could only see them on TV?” Roxanna Breitigan, Animal Care Manager, asked. “I can’t and don’t want to even think about penguins going extinct. Today, we are raising awareness about extinction to ensure African penguins live in our world tomorrow and beyond, and not just in file footage on TV.”

The vanishing animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are part of a larger, national effort organized by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Specifically, the 229-accredited members of the AZA are coming together in a variety of ways to help the public consider what it would be like to not be able to see, learn from or connect with these incredible animals again. This is to raise awareness of the efforts to save animals from extinction and to help launch AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (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, including the American bison, the California condor and a variety of aquatic species.

“AZA aquarium and zoo conservationists have identified more than 100 species facing the greatest threats and where accredited zoos and aquariums have unique conservation and science knowledge to contribute,” Jim Maddy, AZA President and CEO, said.  “Today, we’re demonstrating just how profound the loss would be if we don’t take action now to protect wildlife. More importantly, we are also explaining to the public just what AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are doing to save animals from extinction.”

Public Asked to Help Save Animals from Extinction


One of the easiest conservation actions the public can take is to visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Doing so directly supports the Zoo’s field conservation projects including breeding and release programs for black-footed ferrets and Wyoming toads, saving wild orangutans by raising awareness of the palm oil crisis, and global conservation efforts to save African penguins, African elephants, black rhinos, giraffes and Panama amphibians. For more information, visit www.cmzoo.org and follow the online conversation today via #savingspecies.

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