Philadelphia Zoo Hosts 4th Annual Global Conservation Gala

PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 24, 2013) – Philadelphia Zoo will host its 4th Annual Global Conservation Gala, an occasion that honors individuals, families and organizations for extraordinary contributions to wildlife and the natural world, on Thursday, November 14 at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing at 6 p.m. Since its inception in 2010, the Gala has been an important component of the Zoo’s mission to connect people with wildlife, create joyful discovery and inspire action for animals.
 
This year’s Gala will be a platform to spotlight the issues facing big cats with an emphasis on one key threat – loss of habitat due to deforestation caused by expansion of non-sustainable palm oil plantations. It will officially launch 2014 as the “Year of the Big Cat”, a Zoo-wide commitment of cross-disciplinary creativity, energy and resources designed to make significant contributions toward an overarching goal. The Zoo will also recognize and honor the following award recipients, who steward the planet through commitment and action, at the event:
  • Marcella Kelly, Ph.D., Global Conservation Leader Award, a multi-year financial commitment which recognizes and individual or group having potential to create global impact on wildlife preservation. The Zoo’s 2013 Global Conservation Prize will provide a financial commitment of $20,000 each year for five years to support Marcella’s global cat conservation projects.  Additionally, $5,000 each year will allow current and future Zoo CREW students to gain invaluable mentorship opportunities with a renowned field biologist and a vibrant research community by joining Marcella on domestic or international cat conservation projects.
  • The Buck Family, Conservation Impact Award, presented to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to conservation and species and habitat preservation, locally or globally through leadership, resulting in a lasting positive change for the natural world;
  • Diana Ramsay, CEO of Woods Services, Inc., Emerging Conservation Leader Award, presented to an individual or individuals on a path toward leadership in conservation;
“It is an honor to host an event that not only brings to light the positive, real-world global impact people can have on wild animals, but also sets a transformative course for the fate of endangered wildlife species. In years prior, we’ve taken this opportunity to raise awareness of the issues that threaten the existence of golden lion tamarins and Sumatran orangutans, educating and inspiring others to make an impact. At last year’s Gala we announced our partnership with 10 area universities to establish a scholarship fund for students graduating from the innovative Zoo Champions for Restoring Endangered Wildlife (Zoo CREW) Program, which inspires and guides teens in conservation action that directly helps endangered animal species,” says Vikram H. Dewan, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo. “As we continue on our forward-thinking trajectory and prepare to open an extension of the animal travel and exploration trail system for big cats in 2014, we are proud to be much-needed advocates for ‘deforestation-free’ palm oil and be part of the global solution for big cats.”
 
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA ZOO:
America's first zoo and one of the region's foremost conservation organizations, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. The Philadelphia region’s leading family destination, the Zoo welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors last year. The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information on the Philadelphia Zoo, as well as to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at www.philadelphiazoo.org. Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.