Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to Host Celebrity Gecko

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CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO TO HOST CELEBRITY GECKO




Sept 11, 2009

Cleveland, Ohio (September 15, 2009) - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) today welcomed the traveling GEICO Gecko exhibit to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

"Our Gecko may be small, but he sends a very big message: wildlife conservation is important to GEICO," said GEICO Vice President, Rynthia Rost. "We're proud to share this cause with AZA and proud of our spokesgecko."

The traveling GEICO Gecko exhibit is at the Zoo's Exhibit Hall from Tuesday, Sept. 15 through December 31, 2009, and features giant day geckos. Day geckos are a unique group of lizards native to Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands. The GEICO Gecko costume character will appear at the Sept. 15 opening and at the Zoo on select weekends. Please www.clemetzoo.com for details.

"We're excited to have the biggest celebrity of the animal world, the GEICO Gecko, visiting Cleveland," said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Director Steve Taylor. "The real ones don't talk, but the GEICO Gecko exhibit should get a lot of people talking about wildlife conservation after they see these amazing creatures up close."

AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy added, "Zoos connect people to nature. We're proud to partner with GEICO and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to spread the conservation message - it's a natural partnership."

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 per person, $7 for children ages 2 to 11, and free for children under 2 and Zoo members.

The three-year partnership between GEICO and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) will take the traveling GEICO Gecko exhibit to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums across the United States. At each stop, GEICO will make a contribution to wildlife conservation. The GEICO Gecko is already using his star power on behalf of zoos and aquariums, making television and radio appearances to highlight his wild cousins.

About GEICO

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) - as part of Berkshire Hathaway - is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States*. GEICO provides auto insurance coverage for 9 million policyholders and insures more than 16 million vehicles.

In addition to auto insurance, GEICO offers customers insurance products for their motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, homes, apartments and mobile homes. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection and life insurance are also available.

As a member of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies, GEICO is rated A++ for financial strength by A.M. Best Company (A.M. Best 2008 market share data) and ranks at the top of several national customer satisfaction surveys. For more information, go to www.geico.com.

About Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is home to nearly 3,000 animals representing 600 species from six continents. The Zoo is Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, with more than 1.2 million visitors annually. The Zoo is conveniently located at 3900 Wildlife Way, off West 25th Street, and is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 77, 90 and 480. Parking is free. To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call 216.661.6500.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, the AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.

The GEICO Gecko exhibit was created by Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, an AZA-accredited zoo specializing in reptiles and amphibians. Visit www.reptiland.com for more information.

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