Virginia Zoo Unveils Game and New Animal-Saving Efforts
NORFOLK, VA – Each year the Virginia Zoo raises money to donate to animal-saving efforts across the world. Its most recent initiative is a larger than life game, Quarters for Conservation, that will collect quarters through interactive tests of your motor skills, while ultimately educating visitors about the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.
“What better way to strengthen our mission to save animals from extinction than with a little fun and games?” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “We have joined forces with several creatives in the area to make this project a reality, and now we’re ready for our visitors help us make an even bigger difference for the animals and environment around us,” Bockheim added.
Last year the Zoo’s Conservation Fund supported animal-saving efforts around the world, which included conservation actions such as tiger anti-poaching patrols, reintroductions to the wild of rescued and rehabilitated orangutans, hornbill nest site protection, field research, and support for education and conservation projects within local communities and economies in Uganda. For instance, last year’s red panda naming contest raised $7,500, which was then donated to the Red Panda Network to help reforest and restore the animal’s habitat in Nepal, by planting trees for food and shelter. Proceeds raised from Quarters for Conservation will be donated yearly to eight of the Zoo’s conservation efforts which include big cats, frogs, hornbills, primates, red pandas, rhinos, turtles and tortoises and Virginia waterways. Zoo visitors can choose which conservation effort to support, simply by making change for wildlife.
The game was made possible by a collaboration with the City of Norfolk and Hampton Roads Transit who donated two bus shelters. The shelters were then rehabbed, reframed and enclosed with Lexan glass by Walker Laberge, and then outfitted by Eco-Dog with eight custom games that light up, make sounds and provide an engaging way to save animals.
“Our goal for this project was to design and create a fun, educational space for children of all ages to learn about the need for wildlife conservation,” said Nicole Harp, co-founder of Eco-Dog who created and built the games. “We spent countless hours developing, testing, innovating and playing until we had a product that appealed to all ages. We hope our hard and thoughtful work inspires and engages future generations of animal stewards,” Harp added.
As part of the larger conservation actions, “Act for Wildlife,” the Zoo’s text to give campaign has also recently launched. Zoo visitors are prompted to give through various on-grounds signs, or donations be made from the comfort of your own couch. Text GIRAFFE to 345-62 to make a difference for the future of animals. The Zoo also collects donations at its Animal Appreciation and EdZoocation Days and giving the option for guests to round up their purchases.
Learn more about the Zoo’s conservation efforts at virginiazoo.org/make-change-for-wildlife/.
About the Virginia Zoo
The Virginia Zoo, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is home to more than 700 exceptional animals representing over 100 fascinating species. Founded in 1901 and residing on 53 beautifully landscaped acres, the Virginia Zoo has demonstrated a commitment to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world. The Virginia Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is recognized as a global leader in education, recreation, science, wildlife conservation, and animal care and welfare. For more than a century, the Zoo has connected adults, families and school children with the natural world and its wildlife. To learn more, visit www.virginiazoo.org.