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The Los Angeles Zoo’s annual “Wild For the Planet” celebration kicks off on Earth Day weekend, Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and runs through Endangered Species Day on Friday, May 18.
On weekends, the event features animal feedings, keeper talks and demonstrations; a conservation-themed aerialist show; puppet shows and other fun activities; and information focusing on the importance of protecting the environment and animals. In observance of international Year of the Bird, this year’s “Wild for the Planet” spotlights native plants and other plant species that support local birds, and highlights the zoo’s bird conservation achievements with five bird gardens throughout the grounds.
Families can enjoy a day at the zoo, home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.
Among daily activities during “Wild for the Planet” are the zoo’s close-up “Animals & You” encounters, as well as special feedings, talks and guided experiences. Visitors receive an activity guide that includes a map to the bird gardens, bird-themed activities and other conservation information.
Guests can also participate in the zoo’s electronic device recycling program by donating unwanted cell phones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, tablets and MP3 players at the green ECO-CELL bin in the zoo’s entry plaza. Each contribution directly benefits animal conservation programs and reduces the demand for mineral mining that threatens the natural habitats of endangered animals such as the western lowland gorilla.
All activities are free with paid zoo admission. To view the complete “Wild for the Planet” schedule visit lazoo.org/wildfortheplanet.
On Saturday, May 12, when the Audubon network in the greater Los Angeles area hosts “Bird L.A. Day” celebrating the biodiversity of the city’s birds, “Wild for the Planet” presents an education station introducing guests to birding as an important form of citizen science. The activity emphasizes the zoo’s mission to encourage people to care about the natural world by connecting with animals in a personal and direct way.
Additionally, a Conservation Expo with vendors will be held on the weekends of April 21-22, April 28-29, May 5-6 and May 12-1, emphasizing local conservation efforts. Participating organizations include the city of Los Angeles Stormwater Program, the L.A. County Smart Gardening Program, Earthwatch, L.A. Conservation Corps, Catalina Island Conservancy, California Condor Recovery Program, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles County Public Works, Farm Fresh To You, Friends of the L.A. River and Friends of Griffith Park.
“Wild for the Planet” is among many events and activities embodying the zoo’s commitment to conservation and sustainability. This spring’s “Sustainable Wine+Dinner” series features four unforgettable evenings at which the zoo partners with local, environmentally friendly wineries that will serve wines at four-course, farm-to-table dinners set in different locations in the zoo. Additionally, the zoo’s annual “Beastly Ball” will be held on May 19 showcasing the enormous impact the zoo has on animal conservation.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive. For information, call (323)644-4200, or visit lazoo.org/wildfortheplanet.
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