L.A. Zoo Spotlights “Earth Day” and “Endangered Species Day” in Month-long Celebration

CONTACT: LA Zoo

April 4, 2016

WILD FOR THE PLANET AT THE LOS ANGELES ZOO, FROM “EARTH DAY” SATURDAY THROUGH “ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY” SUNDAY, FEATURES FIVE WEEKENDS OF ACTIVITIES, ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATION THAT SPOTLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING THE PLANET AND ITS ANIMALS

Saturdays and Sundays from April 23 through May 22, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Cassowary (Photo by Jamie Pham)

Cassowary (Photo by Jamie Pham)

The Los Angeles Zoo’s new WILD FOR THE PLANET debuts on Saturday, April 23 in celebration of “Earth Day” and runs on five weekends, concluding Sunday, May 22, 2016, following “Endangered Species Day,” with activities, fun and information that all spotlight the importance of protecting the environment and its creatures. Adults and youngsters can enjoy a day at the Zoo, home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, with special opportunities, entertainment, information and tips about everyday ways to sustain and preserve. Wild for the Planet takes place on April 23/24, April 30/May 1, May 7/8, May 14/15 and May 21/22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All activities are included with paid Zoo admission.

Special animal feedings and zoo keeper talks underscoring conservation take place every weekend at 1 and 2 p.m., with each weekend day featuring two animals, among them Tasmanian devils, giraffes, tigers, mountain tapir, chimps, elephants, jaguars, okapi, orangutans, pronghorn sheep, lions, gorillas, snow leopards, cassowary, zebras, Komodo dragons, tomistomas and flamingos. Youngsters and families will also learn how to make a positive impact on the environment during an interactive puppet show, held at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., starring a brave raccoon leading a quest to save an endangered species, assisted nobly by the Green Rangers—a.k.a the audience—along with a magnificent condor puppet inspired by the Zoo’s vital work with the California Condor Recovery Program. Visitors can post their conservation action pledge to reduce their impact on the planet’s natural resources on a Pledge Wall, then encourage friends and family to do the same by sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #WildForThePlanet for a chance to win a compost bin or tickets to the new “Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo” exhibit. (Official sweepstakes rules available at www.lazoo.org/wildfortheplanet.)

Also featured is a colorful, wildlife-themed sculpture comprised of paintings of local threatened species, including the monarch butterfly, mountain lion, peregrine falcon and steelhead trout, made with help from 200 underserved Northeast Los Angeles youth in the Wild Art program of RuckusRoots, a sustainable non-profit arts organization. Combining ecology, wildlife and art training the students created the sculpture in order to bring awareness of the diverse range of species that call Los Angeles home and to encourage viewers to consider ways in which humans, plants and animals can coexist harmoniously in our great city. This sculpture was made possible in part by the Highland Park Neighborhood Council and will find its permanent home in the students’ community of Highland Park after its exhibition at the L.A. Zoo.

Other Earth-friendly actions that guests are encouraged to take include participation in the L.A. Zoo’s electronic device recycling program. Each contribution of a retired cell phone, smartphone, iPod, iPad, tablet or MP3 player directly benefits animal conservation programs and reduces the demand for mineral mining that threatens the natural habitats of endangered animals such as the western lowland gorilla.

Additional activities are featured on the first and last weekends, April 23 and 24 and May 21 and 22, including photo ops with “Rascal the Raccoon” from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; fun at an Upcycling Inspiration Lab illustrating creative crafts people can make with recyclable materials; Worm Composting Demos from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ Smart Gardening Program on Saturday, April 23 and Saturday, May 21; and education stations focusing on “Earth Day” (April 23/24) and endangered species (May 21/22). The Environment expo emphasizes local conservation efforts for the planet and animals with booths from organizations such as Channel Islands National Park Service, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Dept. of Public Works – Storm Water Program, Los Angeles Conservation Corp, Theodore Payne Foundation, The Climate Registry, Wild Birds Unlimited, National Park Service – Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Friends of the L.A. River and Bowling for Rhinos on April 23/24, and Theodore Payne Foundation, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Long Beach Aquarium and Los Angeles Sanitation-Solid Resources Citywide Recycling Division on May 21/22.

The Wild for the Planet schedule is available online at www.LAZoo.org and is subject to change.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.75 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo is $20 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $17 for seniors (ages 62+), and $15 for children (ages 2 to 12). Admission for children under 2 and Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways in Griffith Park. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Free parking is available. For tickets and additional information, contact (323) 644-6001 or visit lazoo.org

# # #

4/4/16