Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact:Kelly Lessard
Public Relations
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.431.9217 direct
952.431.9300 fax
[email protected]

New Video to Help Build Public Support

Apple Valley, MINN – November 19, 2013 – TheAssociation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced today that the AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Conservation Campaign has doubled the number of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums supporting wild tiger conservation, and has raised more than $150,000 to help protect this endangered species. The Tiger Conservation Campaign is hosted by the Minnesota Zoo and coordinated by Zoo staff.

Since the campaign first launched in January 2012, more than 30 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and related organizations have made contributions to the Tiger Conservation Campaign, and some have contributed significant funds directly to campaign-supported projects as well as to other tiger conservation efforts.

“Exhibited at half of all AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, this majestic cat is one of the most popular and beloved animals in the world, and we have the opportunity, ability, and responsibility to play a large role in saving it from extinction,” said Dr. Tara Harris, AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP) coordinator and director of conservation at the Minnesota Zoo.  “I am excited about what our zoo and aquarium community has been able to accomplish thus far with this campaign, and it is our goal to continue to grow these contributions.”

To encourage public support, a new video developed by the Tiger Conservation Campaign and the Minnesota Zoo, to highlight the plight of tigers in their natural ranges, has debuted on the Tiger Conservation Campaign website. The video will also be shared by a number of AZA-accredited zoos joining in these conservation efforts.

In the past century, four of nine tiger subspecies have gone extinct in their natural habitats. The Amur, Malayan, and Sumatran tiger subspecies managed through the SSP are believed to number fewer than 500 in the wild as the result of poaching and habitat loss.

One hundred percent of the Tiger Conservation Campaign’s collected funds directly support critical tiger conservation efforts in Russia, Malaysia, and Sumatra. Conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, these projects include anti-poaching efforts, tiger-human conflict mitigation, disease research and veterinary training, education and outreach, and efforts to combat tiger-related wildlife crime and illegal habitat loss.

Learn more about the campaign and view supporting facilities:www.mnzoo.org/tigercampaign
Follow us: www.facebook.com/tigercampaign
Additional information about the SSP can also be found at: www.mnzoo.org/tigerssp.

About AZA
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, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation 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 saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

About the Minnesota Zoo
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call the Zoo’s information line at 952.431.9200 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).