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Saving Wildlife Expo

The Houston Zoo is partnering with the Wildlife Conservation Network to host an all-day conservation event here at the Zoo. Conservation leaders will speak about how they are working to save lions, tapirs, native Texas animals, zebras and sharks and rays at this full-day event.

Saving Wildlife Expo

Saturday, March 25
9:00am – 4:00pm
Doors open at 8:30am
Members/Students $34 
Non-members $39


Help us save wildlife by ensuring that we have the least waste possible at this event. Please bring your own reusable water bottle. Beverages will be available for you to refill throughout the day!

Five conservation leaders from across the globe will join us for this one day, sharing stories and successes while highlighting threats everyone can help reduce through simple actions. We will also have a host of representatives from conservation organizations exhibiting, for guests to hear about their efforts locally and abroad.

Wildlife Expo Schedule

8:30am – Doors open
9:15am – Welcome
9:30am – Pati Medici, Saving Tapirs in Brazil
with Gabriel Massocato, Brazilian giant armadillo and giant anteater researcher
10:00am – Break
10:30am – Colleen Begg, Saving lions of Africa
11:15am – Speaker chats on Zoo grounds at exhibits
12:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Rachel Graham, Saving sharks and other marine wildlife
with Hilmar Salazar, Belize Conservationist/Fisherman protecting sharks, rays and sea turtles
1:30pm – Break
2:00pm – Cullen Geiselman, Saving bats in Texas
2:30pm – Break
3:00pm – Belinda Mackey, Saving zebras in Kenya
with Sheila Funnell, Grevy’s zebra Research Manager
3:30pm – Closing Thank You

Featured Speakers

Dr. Colleen Begg
Niassa Lion Project, Mozambique, Africa

Niassa Lion Project Founder, Dr. Colleen along with her husband Keith Begg and a team of local Mozambicans are working to conserve lions and other large carnivores in an immense wilderness called Niassa Reserve in northern Mozambique. Niassa National Reserve is home to one of only five healthy lion populations left on the continent. Niassa Lion Project’s strategy for helping lions in the wild is to promote coexistence between lions and other large carnivores and people in Niassa Reserve, Mozambique. They work with locals through community outreach and education on how to safely live with lions.
Click to donate to Niassa Lion Project

Dr. Cullen Geiselman
Bat Conservationist and Board of Directors, Houston Zoo

Dr. Cullen Geiselman is a bat researcher and conservationist. Her research focuses on seed dispersal and pollination by bats. She has coauthored a book with botanists from the New York Botanical Garden entitled Seed Dispersal by Bats in the Neotropics. A former Bat Conservation International staff member, she currently serves as the Chair of the Bat Conservation International Board of Directors. In addition to BCI, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Zoo, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Houston Parks Board, Houston Advanced Research Center, and the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.

Dr. Rachel Graham
MarAlliance, Belize, Central America

Fascinated with the sea from the early days of growing up in Tunisia, MarAlliance founder and Executive Director, Dr. Rachel Graham has worked for nearly two decades with fishers and partners in several countries to identify threats and research needs and conservation opportunities for threatened marine wildlife and their habitats. MarAlliance is a community-based conservation organization that works with communities to protect ocean wildlife such as sharks, rays and sea turtles. Based in Central America, they employ local fishers to engage in wildlife monitoring and protection efforts and work closely with the government and other conservation organizations.
Click to donate to MarAlliance

Hilmar Salazar
MarAlliance, Belize, Central America

Hilmar is a Belizean conservationist and fisherman. He is responsible for organizing and leading training initiatives for community leaders, students and fishers. He trains fisherman on standardized monitoring methods for large marine wildlife both within and outside the MarAlliance team, throughout the countries of the MesoAmerican Reef. Hilmar is very passionate about his work with sharks and hopes to ensure a promising future for his son.

Belinda Mackey
Grevy’s Zebra Trust, Kenya, Africa

Belinda Low Mackey runs the Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT) in Kenya. GZT is a conservation organization that seeks to protect the endangered Grevy’s zebra by finding solutions for local people to live peacefully with wildlife. GZT empowers local communities to save these animals from extinction by working with women, elders, warriors, youth and children. Together, they monitor trends in Grevy’s zebra populations; promote local conservation stewardship through training workshops; provide protection for Grevy’s zebra and other wildlife threatened by poaching; restore and improve Grevy’s zebra habitat; and help Grevy’s zebra survive during times of environmental stress. Many of these actions also protect other important wildlife species in Northern Kenya.
Click to donate to Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Sheila Funnell
Grevy’s Zebra Trust, Kenya, Africa

Sheila is a Kenyan and works as Research Manager for the Grevy’s Zebra Trust. In addition to analyzing and reporting on Grevy’s zebra monitoring data, she works closely with communities on the ground to enhance community ownership for wildlife and raise awareness on the benefits of conserving wildlife and its habitat for the communities’ livelihoods. Sheila’s goal is to see a future where wildlife and communities thrive and future development in Kenya is undertaken with sincere consideration given to the natural world.

Dr. Patricia Medici
Tapir Specialist Group, Brazil, South America

As Chair of the Tapir Specialist Group, Dr. Patricia Medici launched the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative in Brazil aimed at establishing tapir conservation programs in all areas where tapirs live, specifically the Pantanal. The goal is to help researchers determine the effects that large animals, such as tapirs, have on their habitats and the other animals living around them. This will help to design plans to prevent the disappearance of these animals.
Click to donate to the Tapir Specialist Group

Gabriel Massocato
Giant Armadillo Project, Brazil, South America

Gabriel was born in Brazil and started working for the Giant Armadillo project in Brazil in 2011. Gabriel’s progress as a field biologist has been outstanding. He has excellent field skills, loves to share his knowledge with trainees, is a great project spokesman and is easily able to convey his passion for the project’s work to local people.

Thank You to Our Partner: The WCN

This event is in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN). Their mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive. Learn more about their unique approach to saving wildlife on their website:


Event Sponsored By

The Tapeats Fund


Can’t attend, but want to support these efforts?

Click below to donate to the organization of your choice:

Questions about the Saving Wildlife Expo?

Participating Wildlife Organizations

In addition to our special guest speakers, the Wildlife Expo welcomes representatives from groups saving wildlife locally and globally. You are invited to meet with them and hear about their exciting work. These groups will have booths in the Brown Education Center throughout the day.

African Wildlife Foundation
Bat Conservation International
Big Thicket
Cheetah Conservation Fund
Coastal Prairie Partnership
Conservation Centers for Species Survival
Galveston Bay Foundation
Giant Armadillo Project
Global Handicrafts
Grevy’s Zebra Trust
Houston Parks & Recreation Department
Katy Prairie Conservancy
Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge, Ocelot Conservation
Native Plant Society of Texas
Niassa Lion Project
Paso Pacifico
SSA Associates
Tapir Specialist Group
Texas Black Bear Alliance
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Wildlife Conservation Network