Changing the World.
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The sun is just rising on the broad African savannah and the elephants are on the move. Their group is small, but mighty — known as “super tuskers”, they sport tusks that can weigh up to 100 pounds each and sweep the ground. They are the giants of the elephant world and this makes them very desirable to ivory poachers. Less than 25 remain in the Tsavo region of Kenya and it is a day-to-day battle to keep them alive.
A rustling in nearby bushes causes the elephants to pause; it is likely a warthog grazing, or a lioness on the prowl. But the possibility that it could be a human wielding a high-powered rifle is too dangerous to ignore. Suddenly, the hum of an airplane engine overhead drowns out the rustling and causes whatever is in the bushes to flee. The danger has passed, and these elephants will live to see another day. Thanks to the Tsavo Trust and its combination of aerial surveillance and on-the-ground tracking, Africa’s super tuskers — as well as its endangered black rhinoceros and other illegally hunted animals in the Tsavo conservation area –have a better chance of surviving and passing their important genes down to a new generation.
The Tsavo Trust is one of six long-term conservation projects supported by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and its members. We believe the Trust is doing important work to save wild elephants and rhinoceros, which are two species very dear to our hearts. The Zoo’s black rhinoceros, Jumbe, and six African elephants are important ambassadors for their species, inspiring our guests on a daily basis to become part of the global effort to protect them in their native lands.
“We selected this project to support because it is accomplishing meaningful work,” says Dr. Liza Dadone, VP of Mission and Programs, adding that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only United States zoo supporting the last pool of super tuskers in Africa. “The Tsavo Trust provides an exciting connection between the Zoo and the actual aerial recon and patrolling. We get monthly reports with very detailed information about what is currently going on in the park. We also have Skype meetings with Tsavo if we have questions or need additional information. What is really encouraging is that we have seen a decrease in poaching through these efforts.”
The link between our Zoo animals and the work being done in the field for wildlife conservation is an important one. We want each of our guests to know they are empowered to make a difference in the health and sustainability of wildlife, whether it is in their backyard or in another country. When guests meets Dillinger, the black-footed ferret in our Loft Exploration Center, they make a connection to the black-footed ferret recovery program in which we are involved through the breeding and reintroduction of the species to native territories, including here in Colorado. Visitors who marvel over our Bornean orangutan Hadiah and her baby, Ember, quickly understand why we work so hard to promote the use of sustainable palm oil to save habitats for wild orangutans and other native species half a world away. Through our guest-driven Quarters for Conservation program, every Zoo visitor gets to choose which project they would like to support. All our supported projects represent species that need our help to hold on to their tenuous position on this planet.
Our role is to connect people to wild animals and wild places, and we do this with great respect and highly specialized care for our ambassador animals. Every time you come to the Zoo, we strive to make your visit impactful and rewarding because we hope you will experience a defining moment: that moment that clarifies not only how you feel about an animal, but what you will do to ensure it continuity in our world.
This is the work we do. This is why we do it.
As one of less than ten accredited Zoos in the country that operates without local, regional or federal tax support, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo relies on admissions, memberships, donations, and grants to do this important work. A year-end gift to the Zoo goes directly to support the Zoo’s mission of conservation, education, and animal care, all the while helping us continue to create experiences that impact people for a lifetime. We hope you will be inspired to help.
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For more information
Please contact Tracey Gazibara, VP of Philanthropy and Marketing, at 719-424-7853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.