Those who wear grey to Dickerson Park Zoo on Friday, August 12 will receive $2 off general admission. The zoo is encouraging visitors go grey in appreciation of World Elephant Day, an international initiative created to draw attention to the critical threats elephants face.
“Dickerson Park Zoo is known for elephant research,” said Joey Powell, Public Relations Director for the zoo. “So, we’re just bringing attention to World Elephant Day and the ivory trade, which endangers them.”
According to the zoo, nearly 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa and there are less than 40,000 Asian elephants remaining worldwide.
In a press release, Elephant Manger Melissa Dickson said, “Dickerson Park Zoo currently cares for three Asian Elephants. We contribute to the conservation efforts in the wild through education with the public, monetarily through Zoo Doo and with our research that aids elephants worldwide.”
Zoo Doo is a mixture of composted manure from strictly herbivorous animals at the zoo. The compost is then sold for $15 per skid scoop loader and the money is used as a fundraising opportunity to benefit programs and animals at Dickerson Park Zoo. Money also supports field conservation primarily for rhinos in Africa.
“A lot of people don’t know that their ticket price is not just to get you into the zoo, but also supports conservation efforts of a variety of different threatened or endangered animals,” Powell said.
Zookeepers will also present Trunk Talks Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. where visitors of all ages can safely view an elephant and learn about conservation efforts for the animals.
“They talk about the behavior of the elephants, how smart elephants are and do enrichment exercises for the elephants,” Powell said.
She continued by saying visitors may even see a trick or two from the elephant before the pachyderms are rewarded with apples and sweet potatoes.
There will also be a special elephant-themed photo frame available for guests to take “elphies” which is an elephant-based selfie. Those who decide to post the photos on social media are encouraged to tag the photos with #gogrey, #beherd, #jointhestampede and #worldelephantday to show their support.