Phoenix Zoo increasing focus on education, conservation

Nov 12, 2014, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:00 am

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Zoo is working to get the word out about its conservation efforts, and it’s doing so with a new brand.

The zoo will continue to be called the Phoenix Zoo, but the name of the governing organization has been changed from the Arizona Zoological Society to the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation.

Zoo president and CEO Bert Castro said the Phoenix Zoo is far more than just a place to see animals.

“People, although they love the zoo and know the zoo is a great, fun, family-oriented recreational place to go to, they didn’t know a whole lot about the conservation work that we’re involved in,” he said.

“So the idea of this new brand is to really put conservation up front and center.”

Beside the name change, the new branding also comes with new advertising and logos.

Castro said zoos are community assets and it’s important for people to know the impact they have on protecting and preserving wildlife.

“When you look at zoos and aquariums around the country, I think they do as much or more conservation than any other organization out there,” he said.

“Last year alone, about $170 million went to conservation and research projects around the world.”

Ruth Allard, who is in charge of conservation and education for the Phoenix Zoo, said it is involved in national and international conservation projects and has had several programs that have been successful in conserving native Arizona wildlife, such as the black-footed ferret.

“We’re one of only six facilities in the world that breeds black-footed ferrets,” she said.

For decades, the black-footed ferret was thought to be extinct in the wild, but a discovery of a few wild ferrets in 1987 led to conservation efforts to help grow the population and release them back into the wild, according to Allard.

The Phoenix Zoo has had a large hand in that process, and Allard said the wild population has grown significantly.

“There are around 1,000 black-footed ferrets in the wild today,” she said.

Allard said it’s important that people are aware of the conservation efforts by zoos such as the Phoenix Zoo so they can further appreciate wildlife.

“We’re always going to need to have our conservation education role front and center, where we’re sharing with people our passion and inspiring them to care,” she said.

Allard said it’s also important for people to understand the impact they can have on nature in both positive and negative ways.

“We’re all in this together, (so) what can we do to make sure that the world is the way we want it to be moving forward,” she said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Peixoto Coffee)...

Chandler-based Peixoto Coffee expands to new mixed-use development in Gilbert

Family-owned Peixoto Coffee opened Tuesday morning in Gilbert’s Epicenter at Agritopia near Ray and Higley roads.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Rio Verde Fire District)...
Jim Cross

Prop 310 would create tax to help fund rural Arizona fire districts

Here are the pros and cons of Arizona's Prop 310, which would create a 0.1% statewide sales tax to help fund rural fire districts.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo)...

2 Arizona defense companies awarded contract worth nearly $1 billion

Two Arizona defense companies were awarded a nearly $1 billion cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for hypersonic missiles last week.
7 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kevin Stone

New Arizona law doubles duration of protective orders to 2 years

A new Arizona law that went into effect Saturday doubles the duration of protective orders from one year to two.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Scottsdale Waterfront)...

Taste of Italy and Music festival coming to Scottsdale waterfront Oct. 15-16

For wine, panini and pizza fanatics in the Valley, a festival highlighting Italian culture is set to come next month. 
7 hours ago
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Phoenix Zoo increasing focus on education, conservation