Earth Day Weekend Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2013
IT'S A PARTY FOR THE PLANET!
Celebrate Earth Day with the Saint Louis Zoo
Families are invited to special activities at the Saint Louis Zoo on Earth Day weekend April 20-21, 2013.
One Health Fair on April 20
On Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Zoo's Institute for Conservation Medicine and Saint Louis University (SLU) Medical School are sponsoring a "One Health" fair. The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaboration and communication in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment—all in the interest of advancing the health of each, with an emphasis on prevention.
At the Zoo, SLU medical students, veterinary students, doctors, technicians and Zoo animal care staff from keepers, curators to interpreters will be discussing the links between wildlife conservation and human health. Presenters will offer information on a variety of animals and such conservation challenges as White Nose Syndrome in bats and that syndrome's potential cost to human health when bats die and no longer can control pests or pollinate plants.
At the fair, the following topics with be discussed near the habitats of each animal:
- Lemurs: ecosystem health issues in an impoverished nation
- Orangutans: palm oil production that destroys animal habitat
- Bees: the death of bumblebees and the impact on pollination—and plant production
- Bats: White Nose Syndrome (a devastating disease killing off bats) and the impact of their decline on pest control and pollination
- Vultures: their decline in India and a resulting increase in feral dogs and incidence of rabies
- Ozark hellbenders: their role in indicating problems with water quality in Missouri rivers
Family-Friendly Activities on April 21
On Sunday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., kids can make crafts, join in activities and find out how they can be more "green." See web page.
Pick up a map of events—the 2013 Earth Day Event Passport—at either Zoo entrance, and head for Earth Day stations around the Zoo. Participants will visit the event stations, complete an activity or craft and receive a stamp to solve a mystery word. Visitors with at least three stamps and the solution for the mystery word can bring their passports to either entrance and redeem a prize.
- Discover the importance of bugs, particularly the importance of bees and other pollinators in Missouri, and decorate a butterfly finger puppet.
- Add your wish to a special mural by writing your hopes for our planet, living creatures, the Zoo or your community.
- Learn about birds or hellbenders and how a healthy environment is critical to their survival.
- Compete in a race to see who can successfully recycle the assorted items in the correct bins the fastest.
- Find out about how your shopping choices affect the environment and how you can help by packing a trash-free lunch, choosing sustainable seafood and avoiding products with palm oil.
Hear live entertainment by Bob Case in Schnuck Family Plaza. Don't miss special keeper chats, training demonstrations and feedings at various animal exhibits throughout the day. Visit the Zoo's website for a complete schedule.
Admission to the Saint Louis Zoo and Earth Day activities is free. Admission to Emerson Children's Zoo is $4/person. Children under 2 are free. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (314) 781-0900 or visit www.stlzoo.org. For information on St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park, visit www.stlouisearthday.org.