Photo credit: Charlene M. Burns/The Seas
Animal Rescue Efforts Rely on Zoo and Aquarium Resources and ExpertiseMay 24, 2010
Silver Spring, MD- America’s leading zoos and aquariums are
mobilizing to help save wildlife impacted by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Zoos
and aquariums have been identified by key Federal agencies, including the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Fish and
Wildlife Service, as important partners in animal rescue and rehabilitation for
the Gulf’s wildlife.
“Accredited zoos and aquariums have a unique expertise with animals that can
support the clean-up effort,” said Jim Maddy, President and CEO of the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “Many zoos and aquariums already have animal
rescue and rehabilitation programs in place, and their trained personnel and
existing infrastructure are being made available to help with the oil spill
Currently, it appears that the greatest need is for skilled professional
volunteers to assist with transporting and handling wildlife. Aquariums and zoos
across the country are ready to send their professional staff to assist with the
rescue, rehabilitation and release of animals back into the wild.
Thirteen AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are located along the Gulf Coast,
but many more AZA-accredited institutions around the county have stepped up to
help. Institutions as far away as Newport, KY and Boston, MA are already
organizing and lending expertise to aid rescue efforts in the Gulf.
“The Audubon Nature Institute would like to thank zoos and aquariums across
the country for their help with the oil spill,” said Ron Forman, President and
CEO of Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans. “Many zoos and aquariums helped
us in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and continue to lend their support
during this current disaster.”
A list of current rescue efforts by accredited zoos and aquariums and more
information can be found at www.aza.org/oilspill/.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums is a nonprofit 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 a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a
great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is
a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in
their native habitats.
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