L.A. Zoo Observes 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day May 15

CONTACT: L.A. Zoo Press

May 13, 2015


L.A. Zoo Observes 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day May 15
Guests Invited to a 2-Day Event That Highlights Efforts to Save Four Unique Species
In honor of the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day on May 15, The Los Angeles Zoo will be hosting a two-day event educating Zoo guests on the importance of preventing the loss of endangered species and preserving the ecosystems these species depend upon. The Zoo will focus on four species it is actively fighting to keep from going extinct in the wild: Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog, Peninsular Pronghorn, California Condor, and Western Lowland Gorilla.

Kids and parents alike are invited to take a deeper look at these special animals and the challenging issues they face in the wild through a plethora of interactive activities held on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. Guests can also take away information on how they can roll up their sleeves and help the threatened animals in their own neighborhood.

Scheduled Activities:

10:30 a.m. – Gorilla Breakfast – Come observe the Zoo’s family of western lowland gorillas as they munch on a nutritious breakfast while a docent leads a discussion on the complex diet of a gorilla and how it forages for its food in the wild. The wild gorilla population is currently facing extinction due to habitat loss. The mining of coltan, a dull metallic ore used in cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices, is devastating the area in which gorillas live in Central Africa. Guests are encouraged to do their part to help the gorilla by bringing in old cell phones to be recycled, in an onsite recycling bin, in an effort to reduce the need for additional coltan mining.

11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. – California Condor Chat– Guests can swing by the World of Birds Theatre to learn more about California condors and the work the L.A. Zoo does in the form of captive breeding programs, treating sick, wild birds, and educating the public on how they can play a part in keeping this species alive. California condors, one of North Americas most magnificent birds with a wing span of up to nine feet, are facing extinction due to exposure to lead ammunition found in the animal carcasses they consume and  microtrash they collect in their environment. Flight demonstrations, animal keeper chats featuring unique facts about the California condor, and a microtrash activity station are just a few things that will help educate guests on this unique, endangered species.

12:30 p.m. – Peninsular Pronghorn Station- The peninsular pronghorn may be the fastest animal in North America, but they are quickly facing extinction in the wild due to habitat fragmentation. With less than 100 left in the wild, this critically endangered species needs our help. The L.A. Zoo has one of the most successful pronghorn breeding programs in the country and continues to work with ENDESU (Espacios Naturales y Desarrollo Sustenable) to maintain genetically diverse wild and captive populations. Guests can visit the peninsular pronghorn habitat to listen to an informative talk and participate in hands-on activities.

1:30 p.m. – Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Presentation – With fewer than 500 adults remaining in the wild, this species is listed as critically endangered at both the state and federal levels due to destructive forces such as habitat loss, wildfires, pesticides, introduced species, and chytrid fungus. Animal care staff will give a presentation about their participation in the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Recovery Act as well as explaining what parents and kids can do to help this animal thrive, such as not using certain pesticides, refraining from littering, and disposing of hazardous materials like car oils and batteries appropriately.

Photo credits: Jamie Pham and Tad Motoyama

About the Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $19 for adults and $14 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at www.lazoo.org.