Philadelphia Zoo to Host Annual Global Conservation Gala

A memorable evening celebrating individuals making extraordinary
contributions to wildlife and the natural world

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (September 18, 2017) -- On Wednesday October 11, 2017, Philadelphia Zoo will host its 8th Annual Global Conservation Gala, honoring individuals for their extraordinary contributions in conservation. This iconic event, held at the Zoo for the very first time, celebrates the work and tenacity, passion and energy, dedication and commitment of remarkable people who are making a world of difference for animals and habitats here and around the globe.

“In addition to recognizing conservation leaders for exceptional accomplishments, the Zoo’s Global Conservation Gala serves as a way to highlight the role that zoos play in saving wildlife while connecting people with animals, with nature and with each other,” says Vikram H. Dewan, Philadelphia Zoo, President & CEO. “Additionally it is a platform for the Zoo to share its vision for the future. With new initiatives and campus designs underway and a new restaurant to be unveiled in the summer of 2018, we will inform Gala guests of the remarkable journey we are embarking on that will reshape, rethink, reinvent and retransform how people experience zoos for generations to come,” says Dewan.  

This year’s recipients of The Conservation Impact Award for Outstanding Leadership, Jaimie and David Field are steadfast supporters of Philadelphia Zoo and other environmental causes around the globe. The Fields share a deep passion for a healthy and sustainable planet, vibrant ecosystems, the protection of wildlife and wilderness while fighting to address climate change. They are active, committed advocates for wildlife and wild places dedicated to creating a better world for generations to come.

Global Conservation Prize recipients, Maxon Fildor, an agronomist by training, is the leading amphibian biologist at Société Audobon Haiti, and Fausto Siavichay Pesántez, the primary biologist and amphibian keeper at the Amphibian Conservation Center in Cuenca, Ecuador are both integral in the success of Philadelphia Zoo’s International Amphibian Conservation Program. Both scientists have made significant contributions to conservation and environmental issues across the globe and together have identified issues and created solutions that are helping save Critically Endangered populations of amphibians.

Philadelphia Zoo is a leader in combating the current amphibian crisis that is threatening this species with extinction. Amphibians – frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians –are disappearing more quickly than any other group of animals on Earth. They continue to be one of the groups of animals with the most Critically Endangered and endangered species, as well as with the most "presumed extinct' species. The reasons for the amphibian crisis are similar to those causing the decline of other species around the world, which include the harmful impacts of climate change and habitat loss. However in this particular situation, they are also threatened by an amphibian skin fungus that is spreading across the globe.

With tenacious work from the Zoo’s Global Conservation Prize awardees, the Zoo has been able to rediscover several of these species of lost frogs as well as aid in the protection of these Critically Endangered animals. Additionally, for more than 30 years, Conservation Impact Award recipients, David and Jaimie Field’s incredible work has funded multiple projects and supported many of the country’s leading conservation organizations working around the planet.

Since its inception in 2010, the Zoo’s Global Conservation Gala has honored individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, and achievement in the world of conservation. It has also advanced the Zoo’s mission to connect people with wildlife, create joyful discovery and inspire action for animals. This year’s Gala, cochaired by Pamela and Ajay Raju and Ann and Jay H. Calvert Jr., Esq., will have more than 500 attendees and is the largest fundraising event for the Zoo. The Gala, noted for exquisite décor and atmosphere will be held for the first time ever at Philadelphia Zoo and will be catered by Starr Catering Group.

About Philadelphia Zoo:
Animals are on the move like never before at Philadelphia Zoo with Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of see-through trails passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, giving animals like amazing big cats, majestic primates and marvelous meerkats the opportunities to travel and explore. Visit our new baby western lowland gorilla, giraffes, hippos, polar bear, white rhino, zebras, red pandas, Amur tigers and more at America’s first Zoo. Explore a 42 acre Victorian garden and enjoy award-winning exhibits like KeyBank Big Cat Falls, PECO Primate Reserve, McNeil Avian Center and KidZooU, a wildlife academy that offers dynamic displays, rare breeds and hands-on experiences. Philadelphia Zoo is the second highest ticketed attraction in Philadelphia, one of the region's foremost conservation organizations and home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. The Zoo welcomed more than 1.25 million visitors last year. Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information on Philadelphia Zoo, as well as to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at Facebook: PhiladelphiaZoo; Instagram: @philadelphiazoo; Twitter: @phillyzoo. Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.