Protecting Nature = Protecting People

Posted May 14, 2019

African elephants, Amboseli National Park, Kenya (Photo: Shasta Bray)In the wake of this month’s devastating United Nations report on extinction and the loss of biodiversity, it is worth keeping in mind the role of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in mitigating this crisis.

What the U.N. report makes clear is we do not have time to wait.

So, I know that even if you already recycle, support The Nature Conservancy, use reusable grocery bags, ride your bike to work, eat organically and plant local pollinators, it can feel like the problems we face are too vast to even begin to address individually. In fact, the U.N. report calls for “transformational change” to how humans all over the world use the Earth’s resources.

The changes needed will eventually require global cooperation and big governmental support.  But they will not come from the top down but through public outcry from the bottom up.  That’s how it worked in the 70s, and it can happen again.

And that’s where the zoo can be of help.

The Cincinnati Zoo is proud to be known as “The Greenest Zoo in America” due to our tremendous savings on water and energy over the last 13 years.  We stand as a public display of how it is possible to thrive while saving resources.

The zoo is involved in conservation programs through our Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), working to breed dozens of critically endangered species. Dr. Terri Roth and her team play a leading role in the program to save the Sumatran rhino in its native range in Indonesia.  And the zoo has long been involved around the world working to protect species like the Florida manatee, African cheetah, African lion, and lowland gorilla.

And the zoo’s greatest strength is our reach.  Through our myriad programs, we are cultivating passionate advocates willing to take action for wildlife.  It is vital we all spread the word that protecting nature equals protecting people.  It is a myth that saving wildlife or reducing pollution is bad for business.  What’s good for business is doing things smarter.  That’s how we do it at the Cincinnati Zoo, where every day we make a difference for the animals and plants we love and need.