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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

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Press Release

For immediate release
Contact: Gina Stiles 904.757.4463, ext. 210 CELL: 655.3632 (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Elephant Paintings Auctioned Internationally for Conservation

July 28, 2009 - Jacksonville, Fl -

Ali, Chana and Moki, resident elephants at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, have added “painting” to their list of talents.  Recently, the Zoo submitted the three animals’ footprint “paintings” to the Elephant Managers Association (EMA) auction starting August 8, 2009. Fifty percent of the money raised will go into the association’s endowment fund with the other fifty percent going toward conservation efforts in which the International Elephant Foundation is participating.  These organizations are dedicated to the welfare of the world’s elephants through husbandry, research, education and conservation efforts in the wild. 

“The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ vision is to be a leader in the conservation of wildlife,” said Delfi Messinger, director of animal programs at the Zoo.  “This is just one of the many ways that the Zoo supports this important cause.  Other notable examples of the Zoo’s conservation efforts include the establishment of a Marine Mammal Rescue Team that participates with State biologists to rescue injured or stranded manatees and release them after rehabilitation; the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network; and the study of a colony of endangered wood storks that nest on our Zoo grounds every year.”

Those interested in participating in the auction can place bids on Jacksonville Zoo’s elephant artwork at http://www.cmarket.com/auction/AuctionHome.action?auctionId=88618667.

For over 90 years, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experience in a caring environment. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has grown to house more than 1,500 rare and exotic animals and over 1,000 unique plant species. The Jacksonville Zoo is a non-profit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  It is open year-round, seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95.  For more information on the Zoo, log on to http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.