Sun Bear Day and Endangered Species Day
Two events highlight awareness and action this week.
The week of May 10 brings two important animal awareness opportunities at Zoo Atlanta: one bringing attention to a threatened bear species, and the other an annual event observed nationwide on the third Friday in May.
Sun Bear Day presented by Teddy Grahams
Zoo Atlanta spotlights the smallest of the existing eight bear species at Sun Bear Day presented by Teddy Grahams on Thursday, May 16. Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a special Sun Bear Keeper Talk highlighting sun bears Xander and Sabah; a sun-bear themed Animal Tales Storybook Reading; a puzzle-solving activity; and a chance to purchase a limited-edition Sun Bear Day button benefiting Bear Trust International.
Native to southeast Asia and the islands of Indonesia and Malaysia, sun bears are among the least-recognized and least-studied of the world’s bears. Their threats include habitat loss as a result of deforestation for unsustainable palm oil production and logging.
Processed from the fruit of the African oil palm tree and harvested worldwide in warm and temperate climates, palm oil is one of the planet’s most commonplace commodities. The oil is found in over half of all household products, from candies, foods and drinks to toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics and pet food. Zoo Atlanta is a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil™ (RSPO) and is a vocal advocate for encouraging shopping habits that support the use of only sustainably produced palm oil. Learn more about palm oil here.
Sun Bear Day activities are free with general admission; free for Zoo Atlanta Members and children under 3.
Endangered Species Day
Zoo Atlanta joins a national awareness event at Endangered Species Day on Friday, May 17. More than 60 of the species in the Zoo’s care are classified as critically endangered, endangered or threatened. Special Keeper Talks and educational activities around the Zoo will focus on conservation action and the simple lifestyle habits that encourage preservation of natural resources and promote positive change for wildlife. Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, critically endangered species represented at Zoo Atlanta include but are not limited to the African slender-snouted crocodile; Bali mynah; black-and-white-ruffed lemur; blue-crowned laughingthrush; blue-throated macaw; bog turtle; Bornean orangutan; Burmese star tortoise; Jamaican iguana; Lake Titicaca frog; radiated tortoise; Sumatran orangutan; Sumatran tiger; and western lowland gorilla.
Endangered species represented at Zoo Atlanta include but are not limited to the crowned lemur; drill; giant otter; golden lion tamarin; Louisiana pine snake; mountain coqui; ringtailed lemur; and sun conure.
One species at Zoo Atlanta, the Panamanian golden frog, is believed to be extinct in the wild and now exists only in zoos and at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama. In addition to maintaining a reproducing colony of Panamanian golden frogs, Zoo Atlanta devotes staff resources and expertise to projects in the field in Panama and has supported Project Golden Frog, with an eventual goal of releasing golden frogs back into their native forests.
Endangered Species Day activities are free with general admission; free for Zoo Atlanta Members and children under 3.
Visit zooatlanta.org to learn more about both events and to plan a visit. Learn more about conservation programs and partnerships here or download a copy of the 2018 conservation report Beyond the Zoo.
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