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Zoo News Blog

Meet Wildlife Heroes Aaron and Chris at the SCF SOS Event Tomorrow!

On Saturday, January 5th we invite you to join us for a very special Spotlight on Species event featuring members of our Houston Zoo team that are going above and beyond to save animals in the wild! At the event you will have the opportunity to meet a number of staff members that have started their own projects or spent time contributing to already existing projects dedicated to protecting animals and the places they call home.

Each staff member you’ll meet at the event was able to complete their project thanks to a program called the Staff Conservation Fund. Each year, zoo employees can donate a portion of their hard-earned wages to the fund. This fund is then used to provide support to staff members who successfully apply for funding to bring their project to life. To date, this fund has made it possible for 63 staff members to carry out 43 projects in 14 countries around the world! Read on to learn more about a couple of projects that were carried out in different countries and don’t forget to join us on Saturday so you can meet these conservation heroes in person!


Helping Asian Elephants in Laos

Who: Aaron Halling – Keeper, Elephants

What: Three SCF projects have been completed at the Elephant Conservation Center in Laos. Aaron’s project focused on creating enrichment for a handicapped bull elephant and providing educational materials for visitors to the center.

Species Protected: Asian elephants

Project Success: Aaron successfully created elephant enrichment and educational graphics to improve welfare and raise awareness for elephants at the Elephant Conservation Center in Laos.

“This project gives us the opportunity to apply our knowledge of elephant care to make a difference in helping elephants in the wild, allowing us to truly see them, save them.” – Aaron


Researching Reptiles and Amphibians in India

Who: Chris Bednarski – Senior Keeper, Herpetology

What: This project aims to conserve land in the northern Western Ghats region of India through conducting surveys that help to determine what species are present.

Species Protected: King cobras, Malabar climbing toads and many more!

Project Success: Through Chris’ ongoing work in the region, 1,500 acres of land have been secured protecting many reptile and amphibian species in India!

“This project allowed me to follow through with my life’s passion, saving wild animals in wild places with the hope that they will continue to be there for many years to come! See them. Save them.”  – Chris