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Oklahoma City Zoo contributions aid conservation

The Oklahoma City Zoo's conservation efforts have raised $270,000 during the last fiscal year, the zoo reported Wednesday.

 The zoo has earmarked those funds to support both local and global conservation efforts. The money was raised through the Round Up for Conservation program which allows guests to round up to the next dollar amount when making purchases at the zoo.

 “This effort began just five years ago and the citizens of Oklahoma have shown an ever-increasing desire to make a difference through their dollars in hopes of better stewarding and preserving the planet for future generations,” said Dr. Rebecca Snyder, Zoo conservation and science curator.

The zoo is working with two organizations in Asia, including Rainforest Trust. The zoo's contributions will help that organization purchase 13,000 acres of rain forest in central Sumatra to provide protected habitat for animals there.

Round Up funds also enabled the Zoo to form a partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Myanmar to support an Asian elephant conservation project in the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Range of southwestern Myanmar.

In Myanmar, legal and quasi-legal capture to supply work elephants for the timber industry has decimated wild populations in the last few decades, resulting in up to 6,000 captive elephants and leaving only between 1,500 and 2,000 individuals in the wild. Zoo funding will pay the salaries of Elephant Protection Units, and purchase equipment, rations and education materials used to raise awareness in villages around the protected area.



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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›