Funds raised in Baltimore are used to assist with wildlife emergencies around the globe.
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo has announced the 2023 recipients of its Wildlife Response Fund: Ukrainian Zoo Relief (via the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).
“Zoo staff is regularly involved in wildlife conservation, and the Response Fund is another tool in the toolkit,” said Maryland Zoo President & CEO, Kirby Fowler.
The Maryland Zoo established the Wildlife Response Fund in 2018 as part of its commitment to saving wildlife and protecting wild places. The fund empowers the Zoo to provide fast-acting support when disasters or emergencies acutely threaten animals and their habitats.
“Our home is in Maryland, but it’s important that we can act quickly and provide direct assistance to conservation organizations on the ground when disaster strikes,” Fowler said.
Visitors may not realize it but every time they walk through the Zoo’s front gate a portion of their admission funds conservation efforts that include the Wildlife Response Fund. The Zoo also raises funds through grants and donations.
EAZA/Ukrainian Zoo relief
Zoos in Ukraine have been severely affected by the ongoing war in the region. In response to the need to sustain animal care and support the brave staff working under constant danger, the Zoo sent Wildlife Response Funds to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to provide relief to Ukrainian zoos for the second year in a row.
SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds)
In November of 2022, SANCCOB, a long-time partner of the Maryland Zoo, found itself in a state of quarantine due to an Avian Influenza (“bird flu”) outbreak. The quarantine notice was necessary to ensure that seabirds infected with this virus were not exposed to birds already being rehabilitated or those released into wild colonies, endangering more birds. SANCCOB could not admit or release African penguins and other seabirds to its Cape Town facility for ten weeks.
In addition to much-needed funding, the Maryland Zoo sent staff to assist SANCCOB operations for two weeks. The funds helped purchase avian influenza test kits necessary for lifting quarantine and safely releasing birds back into the wild.
More information about the Wildlife Response Fund, including past recipients, is available below.