Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Cleveland Zoological Society contributed to the nationwide 96 Elephants campaign in commemoration of this year's World Elephant Day by joining the effort to send at least 96,000 messages to public officials in the U.S. in support of a ban on the sale of ivory.
More than 1,000 elephant illustrations created by kids in the Zoo's Summer Day Camp program were presented to State Rep. Mike Dovilla (House District 7) today as a message to the state legislature in Columbus to enact a statewide ban on the sale of ivory.
�The Zoo has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of guests per year with our conservation messages,� said Executive Zoo Director Chris Kuhar. �World Elephant Day gives us the chance to re-focus on one very specific message, about banning the sale of ivory, and driving that message home.�
96 Elephants is so-named because of the sobering fact that on average, 96 elephants are killed in Africa for their ivory every single day.
The Zoo and the Zoo Society are dedicated to the conservation of elephants in the wild and are involved in several field projects in Africa, including the creation of elephant corridors across political boundaries that connect national parks, and educating local populations on the benefits of ecological tourism as an economic driver and a deterrent to poaching. The Zoo uses its African Elephant Crossing exhibit to connect guests with elephants and help inspire them to care about conserving the animals' wild counterparts.
African elephants, the species exhibited by the Zoo, are classified as �Vulnerable� in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Asian elephants are classified as �Endangered.� In addition to threats from ivory poachers, elephants face pressure from habitat loss and fragmentation due to human encroachment into their environment for agriculture and other development.
Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with hours extended to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is $12.25 per person, $8.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.
For more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call (216) 661-6500.