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Zoo awards $133,500 in grants for conservation

June 18, 2024, 11:09 a.m.
Topic: Conservation and species recovery
A herd of female and young Borneo elephants graze in an oil palm plantation.

Funding will support sea otter, polar bear, elephant and rhino field projects

From polar bears in the Arctic to elephants in Borneo, wildlife around the world received a significant boost this month as the Oregon Zoo Foundation and Oregon Zoo announced $133,500 in support for their global conservation partners.

“The Oregon Zoo is well known for its work in the Pacific Northwest, restoring California condors, butterflies and other native wildlife,” said Melanie Sorensen, the zoo’s education and conservation director. “But we also have a global impact that extends across three continents.”

Through longstanding conservation partnerships — some more than 20 years old — the zoo is helping some of the most celebrated and endangered species around the world, Sorensen said.

Grants were awarded to the following projects and organizations through endowments set up by the Oregon Zoo Foundation and zoo admission surcharges:

  • HUTAN to monitor biodiversity and support reforestation in Borneo’s Kinabatangan region — home to orangutans, clouded leopards, elephants, pangolins and thousands of other species.
  • Polar Bears International to increase safety and reduce negative contact between people and polar bears in a warming Arctic.
  • The Elakha Alliance to advance the effort to restore Oregon’s marine environment through the reintroduction of sea otters.
  • The International Rhino Foundation to protect black rhinos through anti-poaching activities, monitoring programs and working with local communities.
  • Seratu Aatai to advance human-elephant coexistence in Sabah, Malaysia.
  • The Sabah Wildlife Department to fund wildlife ranger positions and support care of rescued elephants.
  • Chimpanzee SAFE to support anti-poaching, research and community programs in Uganda, Sierra Leone and the Republic of Congo
  • Asian Elephant SAFE to advance Asian elephant conservation across all 13 range countries
  • IUCN to build global capacity for species conservation planning
  • Tiger Conservation Fund to improve anti-poaching efforts, conflict mitigation and address habitat loss for Sumatran, Amur and Malayan tigers.

“By combining the dedication of our community with the leadership of our global wildlife partners, we have the power to make a real difference in saving species,” said Jennifer Rider, executive director of the Oregon Zoo Foundation. “Generous gifts from our supporters help the zoo create a better world for wildlife, people and the habitats we all depend on.”