Press Room

  • January 12, 2021 8:50 AM | Anonymous


    The Ex Situ Conservation Award recognizes excellence in captive care, welfare and propagation of animal species in captivity, as a hedge against extinction. The Zoological Association of America is proud to present the 2020 Ex Situ Conservation Award to the San Antonio Zoo for their work with five species of endangered, critically endangered, and extinct in the wild Mexican freshwater fish. The five species are the Minckley’s Cichlid (Endangered), Tequila Splitfin (Endangered), San Marcos Redtail Splitfin (Critically Endangered), La Palma Pupfish (Extinct in the Wild), and Charco Palma Pupfish (Extinct in the wild).
         Director of Ectotherms San Antonio Zoo, Craig Pelke, said the award was received for the aquarium department’s work and success with the reproduction of fish species all of which range from a designation of endangered to extinct in the wild.
         “The goal of the program was to reproduce the species to maintain assurance populations,” said Pelke. “Two species are currently extinct in the wild, but there are potential plans to reestablish their numbers. The other three species have extremely limited ranges in single water bodies that are in peril.”
         President & CEO San Antonio Zoo, Tim Morrow praised the team’s diligence and dedication to the program through one of the most tumultuous years in recent history. While the coronavirus pandemic challenged zoo operations, the aquarium team stood fast and held to the zoo’s core mission, to secure a future for wildlife in Texas and abroad.
         “I am honored to have them representing our entire zoo crew,” said Morrow. “We live by the tenets to love, engage with, act for, and protect all forms of wildlife, and what our aquarium department accomplished this year is nothing less than spectacular. Through unprecedented hardship, they carried the torch of conservation high for all to see, lighting the way for others to follow.”
         Pelke echoed those sentiments and stated how proud he is of the team’s accomplishments. The zoo’s aquarium crew worked diligently to contribute to these conservation programs. While their success was apparent in the reproduction of the fish in this program, Pelke feels the award validates their hard work.
         “I am very proud of my staff and their accomplishments,” said Pelke. “I pass along my vision and direction for the department, and they carry out the mission and see it through. They are a very focused and solution-minded team, and success is obvious in their results.”

    Award presentation: https://youtu.be/NbyY-h6BSq4

  • January 11, 2021 8:52 AM | Anonymous



    This award recognizes institutions that have reached significant propagation goals and have dedicated outstanding commitment to a single species.   ZAA is thrilled to present the Long Term Commitment and Significant Propagation of a Single Species Award to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center for their work with addax. Fossil Rim has housed addax since 1970. With a main herd that currently consists of 50+ animals living on 400+ acres, Fossil Rim has recorded over 700 births!

    Some of the many accomplishments during the past 50 years include: Assisted in DNA analysis and herd management for multiple male groups, worked on artificial insemination projects, body conditioning studies, modeled numerous population scenarios, and focused for a paper on blood parameters.  Fossil Rim also participated in the release of a pilot group of 15 Addax in Chad.

    Award presentation:  https://youtu.be/-EUVxOYoXPw

  • January 09, 2021 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    Register for the ZAA Professional Development Webinars

    January 18 - A Discussion about Poop Soup: The Case for Transfaunation
    February 15 -
    When You Want to Get Furious, Get Curious: The Cliffnotes for Crucial Conversations

    The webinars are free for ZAA members.  Not a member? Join today!

    Watch the calendar for future webinars.
  • January 09, 2021 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    Due to the uncertainty of travel and availability of committee members to attend, ZAA has canceled the in-person meeting and instead will be having virtual Committee Meetings in March 2021.  The committee meeting schedule will be posted soon.

  • November 05, 2020 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    The ZAA Journal, Fall 2020 is available online.

    Articles inside this issue:

    • The COVID-19 Impact on Conservation
    • Anoa, Banteng and Babirusa: Working Together to Conserve Charismatic Indonesian Species from Extinction
    • ZAA Accredited Facilities Assist with Addax Reintroduction
    • The America Red Wolf: Politics, Ethics, and Advocacy
  • November 03, 2020 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    Register for the ZAA Professional Development Webinars

    November 16 - An Alphabetic Guide for Building a Successful Animal Welfare Program
    December 2 - Lobbying: It Only Hurts If You Don't Do It
    December 14 - So You Want to Work at the Zoo: Skills to Make Your Resume and Interview Stand Out
    January 6 - Tabletop Drills: Practicing Your Emergency Preparedness Exercises Within a Single Room

    The webinars are free for ZAA members.  Not a member? Join today!

    Watch the calendar for future webinars.

  • October 13, 2020 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    The ZAA 2021 award applications are available.  Submission deadline is July 31, 2021.  Applications open to ZAA members.

    Award categories:
    Excellence in Breeding
    In Situ Conservation
    Ex Situ Conservation
    Educational Award of Excellence
    Animal Exhibit Award of Excellence
    Comprehensive Immersion Exhibits
    Long-Term Commitment and Significant Propagation of a Single Species

  • August 20, 2020 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    ZAA Disaster Relief Fund awards grants
    The ZAA Disaster Relief Fund assists members in times of crisis.

    ZAA presented the second set of grants from the ZAA Disaster Relief Fund: COVID-19 Relief Food Fund to the following facilities towards the purchase of animal food:

    Animal Edutainment
    Forest Park Zoo
    Frank Buck Zoo
    Monterey Zoo
    Niabi Zoo

    Southwick's Zoo
    Washington Park Zoo

    Thank you to Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition and Spalding Labs for their generous support of the ZAA Disaster Relief Fund.

    Please consider supporting the ZAA Disaster Relief Fund with a donation.

  • August 19, 2020 1:28 PM | Anonymous

    The ZAA Journal, Summer 2020 is available online.

    Articles inside this issue:

    • How the Covid Crisis May Effect Wildlife Conservation
    • European Zoo Potpourri
    • You Otter Know: Assessing Guest Learning and Perception of North American River Otter Experiences
  • August 17, 2020 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    These are very difficult times during this full blown COVID -19 pandemic sweeping our nation. After being shuttered for 60 days beginning March with no gates and now operating at below 50% capacity, all of us are feeling the effects of the economic challenges as we try to keep our businesses alive and operational.

    The pandemic created worse challenges including social distancing, mandatory face covering and travel restrictions, resulting in a reluctance to travel and gather for conferences and social events.

    As a result, ZAA regrettably and reluctantly cancels its 2020 ZAA Annual Conference hosted by Fort Worth Zoo.

    We thank you for your support and cooperation and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

    Hopefully, this will all be over in due course and life will be back to normal as we know it.

    We look forward to meeting you and sharing ideas when we figure out the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting and 2021 Annual Conference.

    John Seyjagat
    Executive Director
    Zoological Association of America

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