Kansas City is the place to be this week if you’re part of the zoo community. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is hosting its annual conference, bringing together wildlife professionals throughout North America to learn from one another about the best ways to share, conserve and care for wildlife.
A number of Lincoln Park Zoo experts are speaking in Kansas City, sharing insights on everything from saving money with group purchasing to celebrating zoo milestones. I’m proud of their work, and I’m excited to hear what they’ve learned from colleagues to make Chicago’s free zoo even better.
Most of all, though, I’m excited to announce that Lincoln Park Zoo was awarded Top Honors for International Conservation for our work leading the Serengeti Health Initiative. This long-running project has vaccinated more than 1 million domestic dogs in the area surrounding Serengeti National Park, protecting the region’s people, pets and predators from disease.
Lincoln Park Zoo was awarded Top Honors for International Conservation for our work leading the Serengeti Health Initiative at the 2013 AZA Conference. Photo by Sharon Dewar.
Since the vaccination effort began 10 years ago, there hasn’t been a single case of rabies associated with dogs in the vaccination zone. Hundreds of human lives have been saved as a result, even as African lions and African wild dogs have avoided the scourge of rabies and distemper outbreaks. You can see the campaign’s impact in this short video featuring Serengeti Research Coordinator Anna Czupryna.
It’s obviously gratifying to receive this recognition from our peers. I think it highlights the world-class conservation and science taking place at Lincoln Park Zoo, with projects extending from the zoo’s labs to the wilds of the Goaulougo Triangle. Congratulations to Anna, Davee Center Director Rachel Santymire, Ph.D., Vice President of Conservation & Science Lisa Faust, Ph.D., and everyone else associated with the project.
I also have good news closer to home. Next Tuesday, September 17, our baby rhino will be making his public debut at the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit. The event is dependent on the weather—and baby and mom wanting to make their way outside, of course. It’s up to them, and you can’t always predict what wild animals will do.
The baby rhino is slated to make its public debut Tuesday, September 17. Photo by Laszlo Szilagyi.
But zoo members are scheduled to get a sneak peek at 1 p.m., with everyone else meeting the new arrival at 2 p.m. We’ll have more information as the date gets closer. Check the zoo’s calendar or Facebook page the morning of the event for the final details.
Serengeti Vaccination Day
Graduate researcher Anna Czupryna takes us to vaccination day near Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. By vaccinating domestic dogs against rabies and canine distemper, Lincoln Park Zoo prevents these diseases from impacting local people and wildlife..
Graduate researcher Anna Czupryna shares some of the cool critters she saw during her trip to the Serengeti. Some of these animals, such as the lions, are being protected by Lincoln Park Zoo¹s domestic-dog vaccination program.