Live Gecko Exhibit Highlights Wildlife Conservation at America’s First Zoo
Philadelphia, Pa. – Today, the GEICO Gecko costumed character visited the Philadelphia Zoo’s Rare Animal Conservation Center to join Philadelphia Zoo President & CEO, Vikram H. Dewan, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) President & CEO, Jim Maddy, and representatives from GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) as they cut the ribbon to officially open the traveling GEICO Gecko Exhibit at America’s first zoo who will host the GEICO Gecko Exhibit now through August 30.
"Our Gecko may be small, but he sends a very big message: wildlife conservation is important to GEICO," said GEICO Chairman Tony Nicely. "We’re proud to share this cause with AZA and proud that the GEICO Gecko can help."
"We’re very excited to welcome the GEICO Gecko Exhibit to the Zoo," said Vikram H. Dewan, President & CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo. "Not only does it offer a great opportunity to spotlight the wildlife conservation mission of zoos throughout the country, it’s a great way to connect our guests to the Philadelphia Zoo’s conservation efforts which help ensure future wildlife on one of the world’s bio-diversity hot spots – Madagascar. We not only work closely with zoos in the U.S. and Europe to protect and conserve Madagascar fauna but we, in fact, also care for animals indigenous only to Madagascar right here in Philadelphia such as the Blue-eyed lemur, Coquerel’s sifaka and the Malagasy giant jumping rat."
AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy added, “Zoos are essential to education and conservation. We’re proud to partner with GEICO and the Philadelphia Zoo to spread this important conservation message.”
Geckos For Conservation
The traveling GEICO Gecko Exhibit features a naturalistic habitat for its colony of giant day geckos, one of a unique group of lizards native to Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands. The GEICO Gecko Exhibit also features lush tropical plants, trickling water, interpretive kiosks and interactive activities for guests of all ages.
The GEICO Gecko costumed character will appear at the Philadelphia Zoo on select weekends through the end of August. For more information on GEICO Gecko Zoo appearances, as well as more information on the GEICO Gecko Exhibit and to learn how to ADOPT a gecko (which includes a giant day gecko fact sheet, a special GEICO Gecko plush, a photo, certificate of “parenthood” for this limited adopt package, invitation for two to ADOPT Day and admission to the Philadelphia Zoo), log on to philadelphiazoo.org.
Connect With Geckos at Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is a proud host for the traveling GEICO Gecko Exhibit and invites guests of all ages to discover the Zoo’s other beautiful geckos inside its Reptile and Amphibian House. Visitors can enjoy an up-close and personal look at reptiles and amphibians from all over the world and learn about how the Zoo’s Conservation Biologist, Carlos Martinez Rivera, Ph.D., is on a mission to save endangered frogs. The Philadelphia Zoo is open seven-days-a-week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for children 2 – 11 and free for children under 2.
Proud Partnership Between GEICO and AZA
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.
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. For more information, please visit www.aza.org. .
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.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States based on 2008 market share data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, March 2009. GEICO provides auto insurance coverage for 9 million policyholders and insures more than 15 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 and ranks at the top of several national customer satisfaction surveys. For more information, go to www.geico.com.
About the Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo, America's first zoo, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding. Chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1859, the Zoo is currently home to over 1,300 animals from around the world, many rare and endangered. Welcoming more than one million visitors each year from throughout the region and beyond, the Zoo serves children and families as a unique and engaging public resource for wildlife conservation and education. The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information or to purchase and print tickets online, visit www.philadelphiazoo.org.
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