PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Zoo received two prestigious at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ annual conference, Wednesday.
“These awards are the highest honors in the zoo and aquarium world,” said Kim Smith, Oregon Zoo Director.
The Oregon Zoo and its conservation partner Northwest Trek earned top honors in the category for the collaborative Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit Project. The award recognizes efforts of habitat preservation and species restoration.
The zoo spent the last 12 years saving the endangered Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit and released its last 14 breeding rabbits and their offspring into the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area in Washington. The rabbits continue to breed in the area under close supervision by the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Oregon Zoo also received the AZA’s Marketing Excellence Award for its integrated marketing communications related to Packy the elephant’s 50th birthday in 2012. The celebration resulted in a 60 percent attendance increase for its annual Elephantastic event and a huge outpouring of community support.
Photos Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.