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Introducing Quarters For Conservation

ATLANTA – May 25, 2016 – Zoo Atlanta announces Quarters for Conservation, a new effort to #changetheworld by contributing 25 cents of every general admission ticket to field conservation programs for wildlife, empowering guests to make a direct impact on animal species and their habitats with each Zoo visit. The program will increase the Zoo’s current level of conservation support by nearly $100,000 a year.

Zoo Atlanta is already active in conservation work around the globe. Ongoing efforts include but are not limited to programs for wild giant pandas in China; gorillas and their habitats in Africa; and beaded lizards and alligator lizards in Guatemala, and the Zoo’s Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund has supported such species as flamingos in Chile; sun bears and tigers in Sumatra; and rhinos and zebras in Africa. Programs for native wildlife include collaborations focusing on eastern indigo snakes, diamondback terrapins and hellbenders.

“Each animal in our care represents a wild species, habitat or ecosystem that it is our responsibility to protect,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “Our visitors have always had the ability to support conservation efforts, but they now have an actionable opportunity to not only help the Zoo do more for wildlife and wild places, but also to make an individual decision about which project they support. In this way, the Zoo’s success and attendance will be directly proportionate to the number of conservation dollars we’re able to send to the wild.”

The Quarters for Conservation program is the first of its kind to offer this opportunity via digital format, with the potential to continue to engage and inform new conservation advocates even after the Zoo visit. Visitors can visit the interactive Quarters for Conservation kiosk to vote to contribute their quarters to one of three field conservation projects; guests may also vote via mobile phone by texting the numbers listed at the kiosk. Touch-screen monitors offer opportunities to learn more about the projects, each championed by a Zoo Atlanta animal care professional, and the species they support. The projects supported in the program’s launch year are Elephants for Africa, Project Golden Frog and the Golden Lion Tamarin Association.

2016 Quarters for Conservation projects

Elephants for Africa: Elephants for Africa works to protect Earth’s largest land mammals from habitat loss, ivory poaching and the growing conflict between elephants and farmers. Fewer than 500,000 African elephants remain in the wild, and 60 percent of the wild population currently resides on unprotected land. Project

Golden Frog: Project Golden Frog works in the wild and in zoos to ensure the survival of Panama’s national treasure, the Panamanian golden frog, which is now believed to be extinct in the wild as a result of the amphibian chytrid fungus, habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. The project’s ultimate goal is to restore the species, which currently exists only in zoos and in assurance colonies, to the wild. Zoo Atlanta staff has been active in Project Golden Frog for more than 10 years.

Golden Lion Tamarin Association: When the Golden Lion Tamarin Association started protecting this species, habitat loss and the illegal pet trade had reduced wild golden lion tamarin populations to only around 200 individuals. It is estimated that around 3,200 golden lion tamarins now live in Brazil’s Atlantic Coastal Forest, but with only 2 percent of their habitat remaining, the population is fragmented and still at risk. Zoo Atlanta’s partnership with the Golden Lion Tamarin Association dates to 1992, and two groups of tamarins from Zoo Atlanta were reintroduced into the wild in Brazil in the late 1990s.

Visit zooatlanta.org/quartersforconservation to learn more. Voters are encouraged to spread the word using hashtag #changetheworld.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Rachel Davis Director of Communications

404.624.2812 – office

404.309.2238 – cell

rdavis@zooatlanta.org

Gavin Johnson Public Relations and Communications Specialist

404.624.5980 – office

gjohnson@zooatlanta.org

About Zoo Atlanta

Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring 60 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, opens in spring 2015. Zoo collection highlights include Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; North America’s largest zoological collections of gorillas and orangutans; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, Aldabra giant tortoises, Sumatran tigers and warthogs. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org or call 404.624.WILD.

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl