It has been about a week since I last posted and I have been busy! Everyone at the zoo has been very helpful and I continue to learn everyday. There are over 200 species of animals at the El Paso Zoo and every individual has their own personality. They all serve as ambassadors for their animal counter parts in the wild and when a visitor catches a glimpse into the personality of one of the animals, it makes a huge impact. The Education Specialists in collaboration with the animals and zookeepers, give creative and informative programs every day and encourage people to take their message home and take action in any way they can.
Savannah and Juno, two Asian elephants, explore their habitat looking for enrichment items hidden by their keepers.
There are so many opportunities to make a difference in your everyday life but one of the initiatives the El Paso Zoo takes part in is the palm oil crisis. In short, palm oil is used in so many products from food, candy, soap and is found in about half the items in the grocery store. Palm forests are cut down destroying animal’s habitats but also vast areas of tropical rainforests are cut down in order to grow palm oil. In Kalimantan it is estimated that an area the size of three football pitches is cleared every minute. Ok but I won’t go on and on about it, if you would like to read more or see some pictures of the devastation click here or here or here. Or watch this two minute video on the crisis here. To make a difference all you have to do is read the back of labels and make sure the products you purchase DO NOT have palm oil in them. Simple right? If you watch Juno and Savannah (two female Asian Elephants on exhibit at the El Paso Zoo) conduct their enrichment training for zoo visitors, it is almost as if they know the people watching can help their friends in the wild.