Riverbanks Zoo spreads word about saving endangered species

Riverbanks Zoo spreads word about saving endangered species

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - Friday is the 10th anniversary of National Endangered Species Day.

To help raise awareness about endangered species, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is participating in the launch of a new national campaign that will help keep the world's most vulnerable animals from disappearing.

Throughout the day, Riverbanks is hosting numerous activities that educate people on what they can do to help save species in danger of disappearing.

The campaign is called SAFE, Saving Animals from Extinction. Riverbanks is one of more than 200 facilities participating in the initiative.

"One of the easiest conservation actions a person can take is visiting an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium," said Elizabeth Clemens, Director of Education at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "Doing so directly supports the ongoing efforts of hundreds of researchers, field conservationists and scientists worldwide who are working together to save species."

In its inaugural year, SAFE will focus on ten animals considered to be at the greatest risk for extinction: African penguins, Asian elephants, black rhinoceros, cheetahs, gorillas, sea turtles, vaquitas, sharks and rays, western pond turtles and whooping cranes. Of these species, Riverbanks currently cares for five western lowland gorillas, one green sea turtle, 19 sharks and two rays.

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