I am proud that AZA members rose to the occasion to help our international partners recover
Silver Spring, MD (Vocus) June 27, 2008
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), in cooperation with The Giant Panda Conservation Foundation (GPCF), today joined the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong, in announcing a $165,000 donation to the China Wildlife Conservation Association to support post-earthquake panda conservation.
"Accredited zoos are essential to the conservation of the giant panda," said Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong. "We are grateful for this assistance and for the strong conservation partnership with zoos in the United States."
The joint fundraising effort of AZA and GPCF will assist reconstruction efforts at panda conservation facilities in Wolong and Chenghdu after the devastating effects of the earthquakes in Sichuan Province where they are located. These facilities experienced significant damage and the staff has met with significant hardship, requiring urgent assistance to support their ability to care for the highly endangered giant panda population.
"I am proud that AZA members rose to the occasion to help our international partners recover," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "We will continue to support China in this important mission."
AZA-accredited institutions making significant contributions include: Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, Virginia Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Zoo Atlanta, Memphis Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens, Zoo New England, and Audubon Zoo.
Through research, education, and conservation efforts, AZA-accredited zoos have played a major role in the Giant Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is a program that develops population management and conservation plans for imperiled species in the care of accredited zoos and aquariums.
"The Smithsonian's National Zoo is dedicated to the recovery of the giant panda," said National Zoo Director John Berry. "We support our dedicated colleagues in China, and invite the public to make an online donation at http://www.nationalzoo.si.edu ."
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 http://www.aza.org.
Jackie Marks, AZA, 301 562 0777 ext. 236
Madame Xin Wei, Chinese Embassy, 202 328 2577
Pamela Baker-Masson, National Zoo, 202 633 3084