The campaign includes a new logo and the catch phrase, “Securing a future for wildlife.”
Dr. Chris Kuhar is the zoo’s executive director. He says there is a lot for the public to know about the zoo’s world-wide conservation efforts.
“We work with gorillas in Rwanda, we work with giraffes in Uganda, cheetah and lions in Tanzania and Kenya. So we have programs with turtles in Southeast Asia. Those core programs involve our staff and involve us growing projects all over the world.”
Kuhar says most people don’t even know the zoo does this kind of work.
“But they expect it. So I think there’s a little bit of a disconnect in public opinion at least in terms of understanding what we do. So, by putting that out there and talking about conservation a little bit more and making “securing a future for wildlife” the tagline that goes along with our logo and our campaign, I think that’s a strong change.”
Kuhar says this year the zoo will spend more than $650,000, mostly from community contributions, on global conservation efforts like the one for endangered gorillas in Rwanda.
“So we not only help train the guards that protect the animals, but we also help graduate students learn scientific techniques for monitoring gorilla populations for learning about that. And that’s critically important in a country like Rwanda who experienced a genocide 20 years ago and really lacks that scientific capacity.”
Zoo visitors can help with these efforts. The Metropark’s chief of marketing, Kelly Manderfield, says one way is when they buy something at the zoo’s guest shop.
“If you make a purchase you can choose to round up and donate that change to conservation.”
Manderfield says marketing the zoo’s conservation efforts is good business for the institution itself, because research shows people are more likely to visit if they know about the work.