Snow Leopards in Central Park Zoo

The snow leopard exhibit at the Central Park Zoo just opened, and it promises to be an interesting and exciting exhibit. With only 8000 of these big cats left on earth, the NY Times reports that exhibits such as this one are intended to “enrich” the animals by providing a safe environment that even includes heated rocks and scents (cf. Estee Lauder) that they enjoy.

snow leopard What a change from the older zoos of circular cages and pacing, sad animals.

Central Park and the Zoo

Chess and Checkers HouseOver the weekend I spent some time in New York City’s Central Park, walking around to clear my mind and relieve stress. I snapped a few photos of my time while walking by the Chess and Checkers House, going inside the Dairy, and spanding some time in the Central Park Zoo and Children’s Zoo. I uploaded the pictures I took there to Flickr.

Tree in Central ParkSea Lion in the Central Park Zoo

I Fostered an Elephant, Max

I recently read a story that got me teary-eyed; one about abused and mistreated elephants in Thailand that have been rescued by a young woman who goes by the name Lek. She founded Elephant Nature Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves the needs of suffering elephants in Thailand. I first read about her in Wildlife Conservation magazine, the publication of the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, NY Aquarium, et al.).

I spent a few hours looking around their website, and was shocked to learn how brutal people are to elephants in Thailand. I have always had a fascination with elephants, but never knew how vulnerable they really are in the wild and even after being pressed into service.

Max, the elephant I fosteredI decided I had to get involved and do something, so rather than just send a donation, I took advantage of their novel program to foster an elephant. Much more interesting than sending a check, and while they encourage visits to the park, I cannot get to Thailand in the near future. Thus, I fostered Max, an 11-foot tall elephants who was rescued by the park a few years ago. I am looking forward to getting updates about him over the next year, and feel that I am helping, even in a small way, something much greater than me.

If you have not donated anything during the holiday season yet, consider supporting the wonderful work at Elephant Nature Foundation; they even have a U.S. tax ID.

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