Moves to top of AZA’s national breeding award winner list

beaCINCINNATI, OH (September 28, 2015) – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is proud to announce that its World of the Insect has been recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) with the prestigious Edward H. Bean Award for its work with giant jumping sticks.

The Bean Award, named after former Brookfield Zoo director Edward H. Bean, recognizes a truly significant zoo propagation effort that clearly enhances the conservation of the species.  “This award, which highlights the important work aquariums and zoos are doing to help save species in their own communities as well as in the wild, provides well-deserved national recognition for the leadership of Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden team in conservation science,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy.

insectThe Cincinnati Zoo was the first Zoo in North America to wild-collect, maintain, breed and display giant jumping sticks. “We have maintained this species since 2000, representing 13 generations. We have published (or contributed to the publication of) several academic papers on their biology and zoo management. Our goal has been to establish giant jumping sticks as a popular display arthropod in the AZA and to educate guests about this remarkable animal and its Amazon rainforest habitat,” said Cincinnati Zoo Curator of Invertebrates & Aquatic Animals Winton Ray. “We are honored that our peers have chosen to recognize our work and we are grateful to former curators Randy Morgan and Milan Busching and former insectarium keeper Karen Schmidt for their contributions.”

The World of the Insect received its first Bean Award in 1978 for its work with the royal goliath beetle. The 2015 award is the 13th AZA jumpingstickbreeding award for World of the Insect staff and brings the total for the entire Cincinnati Zoo collection up to 15, the most of any AZA institution. List of previous Bean Award winners.

“Our goal at the Cincinnati Zoo is to inspire every visitor with wildlife every day.  This doesn’t just happen with racing cheetahs or flying hornbills, because insects are equally interesting and important animals,” said Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “This is particularly true with a large, charismatic species like the giant jumping stick.  And once our insect interpreters share this species with our visitors they are hooked.  From there it’s possible to get them to better understand the important roles insects play in the world we share.”

World of the Insect is FREE with regular Zoo admission.