eNews letter August 1, 2008

News and Items
of Interest

Aquarium News

North Carolina Aquarium and Carolina Beach in Pier Talks

North Carolina Aquarium

Fort Fisher, NC - The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the town of Carolina Beach are discussing a partnership that would bring an educational ocean fishing pier, called "Aquarium Pier at Carolina Beach" to the boardwalk area.


Oregon Coast Aquarium Offers Wine and Jellyfish to Supporters

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Newport, OR - Tickets went on sale to the public July 1 for the Oregon Coast Aquarium?s Jellyfish Jubilee; a Celebration of Food and Wine, benefitting the Aquarium?s exhibits and education programs. The event is slated to become an annual affair, offering an evening of Northwest cuisine, wines, a silent auction and live music September 27, 2008 from 6 to 10 pm.?We will host some of the area?s top chefs, and the Aquarium will come alive with the aromas, tastes and sounds of exceptional food, wines and music,? said Dave Shafer, board member and Jellyfish Jubilee Committee chair.


Aztec Bash and Baja Splash at Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

Long Beach, CA - Aquarium of the Pacific hosts the seventh annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival the weekend of September 6 & 7, 2008. The Aquarium?s festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month and features dance & music performances, bilingual environmental programs, arts & crafts, and more Aquarium visitors receive FREE admission to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach during Baja Splash Weekend.


Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Debuts MotionVR Tours

Mandalay Bay

Las Vegas, NV - Popular Las Vegas tourist attraction enables customers to map out visit online with fully integrated website, featuring attraction map, ?walk-through? tours, and amazing photography; realistic, interactive experience brings Shark Reef to life ? online. Debuting more than 70 realistic ?walk-through? tours, MotionVR, LLC (www.motion-vr.com) today announced that Shark Reef Aquarium, located at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, will be the first tourist attraction in the U.S. to debut MotionVR Tours. Now, potential visitors to Shark Reef Aquarium can map out their visit online, with a fully integrated website that features an attraction map, walk- through tours, amazing sea life photography, and more. This realistic, interactive experience brings Shark Reef to life, on the computer screen.


Aussie Sea World Vet Sticks Arm Down the Throat of a Shark to Remove Gaff

Australia - Braving the jaws of an ocean predator may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is all in a day's work for Dr David Blyde. The Sea World vet has become an overnight international celebrity after the image of him shoving his arm down the throat of an endangered grey nurse shark to remove a fishing gaff on Wednesday made world headlines.



Are Sharks Your Favorite Species?
If sharks are your favorite species and you want to learn more from a very diverse worldwide group of individuals, you may want to consider subscribing to the Shark-L discussion group. On this list are conservationists, fishermen, shark researchers, scientists, government officials, underwater filmmakers, divers, shark dive operators, magazine editors, authors, shark bite victims, students and just about everyone else that has an interest in or experience with sharks.

However, you must be warned, this list is unlike any other. Because of the diversity of the backgrounds comes the diversity of opinions. Profanity is prohibited but differences are expressed in direct and frank terms. When a difference of opinion occurs it can quickly fill your inbox with 30 emails and it usually takes about 3 days for a disagreement to play out. As a list member you have the option of either sitting in the stands and being a spectator (lurking) or stepping into the arena. If you?re not faint of heart and have an interest in sharks, you can subscribe by going to http://raven.utc.edu/archives/shark-l.html

A Wise Word from AMMPA
Marine park and aquarium experiences warm hearts, inspire dolphin conservation
By Marilee Menard

It?s hard not to smile when you see children, and most adults, watch in awe when experiencing dolphins, whales, or sea lions up close. The scene happens thousands of times every day in aquariums and marine parks around the country, particularly during summer vacations when families have more opportunity to spend time together. While having fun, guests are learning how they, in their everyday lives, can take action to help protect marine mammals.

Dolphins, whales and sea lions significantly benefit from marine mammal parks and aquariums. Connecting people to live animals, as aquariums and marine parks do, is a powerful, proven way to promote wildlife conservation. Research shows that up-close experiences with marine mammals foster a stronger concern for marine life. In a 2005 Harris Interactive Poll, 93 percent of the public said that a visit to an aquarium, marine-life park or zoo inspires people to take conservation actions that help marine mammals and their habitats. Furthermore, 97 percent of respondents agree that these institutions play an important role in educating the public about marine mammals they might not otherwise have the chance to see.

Aquariums with marine mammals enable millions of people to see and learn about these animals and their plights in the wild. It is human nature to take action to help animals with whom we feel a personal connection. Aquariums provide visitors with that critical connection to nature that cannot be duplicated in a video, in a book, or on the Internet.

Conservation is at the core of accredited marine parks and aquariums that make significant contributions to advancing research and knowledge of marine animals. In fact, the bulk of what is known about dolphin and marine mammal health care, physiology, and reproductive biology has been learned through scientific studies in aquariums and marine life parks in the last 40 years -- facilities that are members of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. This knowledge directly benefits animals in the wild.

More than 40 million people every year are enjoying and being inspired by the experience of seeing dolphins and whales up close in Alliance facilities that are committed to their care. With the support of the children who learn about the animals at our facilities and are inspired by them, we can truly ensure the future of marine animals in the wild.

Marilee Menard is Executive Director of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums in Alexandria, Va. The Alliance is an international association of marine life parks, aquariums, zoos, research facilities, and professional organizations dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study, and wildlife presentations. The membership represents the greatest body of expertise and knowledge of marine mammal husbandry. www.ammpa.org

Zoo News

A Wildlife Biologist Pin-up for the Ladies

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation

Hardee County, FL - FWC biologist Adam Warwick said he knew the bear wouldn't survive the four-mile swim across the harbor. He went into the gulf for the rescue; the bear panicked and stood up before tipping backward into the water, where Warwick kept its head above water and towed it to shore. Warwick later appeared on CBS, CNN and Fox News to discuss the rescue. He received three marriage proposals and earned nicknames such as beastmaster, the bear whisperer and the hunky biologist.


Attend a Dung Lecture at Wildlife Animal Park

San Diego Zoo?s Wild Animal Park

Escondido, CA - Doo doo. Dookie. Lincoln logs. Prairie pancakes. From clever to crude, a litany of terms exist to describe the byproduct of human and animal digestion. But no euphemism can mask the huge problem of what to do with the fetid waste created by more than 3,500 mammals, birds and reptiles at the Wild Animal Park near Escondido.


Phoenix Zoo's Bert Castro Elected to AZA Board

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix, AZ - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums announced the election of Bert Castro to its Board of Directors. The AZA Board of Directors is responsible for setting policy for the Association, which accredits and represents 218 of the top zoos and aquariums in North America. ?Bert Castro is a recognized leader in the zoo and aquarium community,? said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. ?I congratulate Bert and look forward to working closely with him as he adds his talents to the AZA Board of Directors.?


Detroit Zoo?s Blue Bears Escape

Detroit Zoo

Detroit, MI - Chimps, frogs, polar bears, and tigers are staking out their territory on lawns across Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties to encourage support of the Detroit Zoo ballot proposal on August 5, 2008. The Committee for the Zoo's Future is distributing campaign signs bearing the faces of favorite zoo animals, ears and all. Created by the Doner advertising agency, the signs read, "Yes on Zoo, Vote August 5th".


The Wilds Wants Everyone Who has an Artistic Side to Attend Their Art Camp

The Wilds

Artists using all types of media are invited to experience a weekend at the Wilds exploring places and spaces rich in visual inspiration at this 10,000-acre conservation center. The Wilds Art Camp takes place Aug. 15 to 17, and will be facilitated by nationally renowned wildlife artist Linda Howard Bittner. "The Wilds offers the best opportunity in Ohio to experience a variety of native flora and fauna species along with an impressive array of endangered animals from around the world," said Howard Bittner. "The expansive habitats and stunning landscapes are guaranteed to inspire any artist."


Lincoln Park Zoo Has Flamingo Eggs

Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago, IL - A female Chilean flamingo tends to two eggs on July 16 while Lincoln Park Zoo staff anxiously hold their collective breath in anticipation for flamingo chicks. This is the first time in the zoo's 140-year history that their flamingo flocks have laid eggs. For a flamingo to incubate not only one egg, but two, is particularly unusual. Incubation is approximately 4 weeks, so if all goes well, chicks should be hatching in late July and early August.


Deer Fawn Leaves Jimmy Buffett's FL Keys and Relocates to Tampa

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa, FL - Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is the new home for a two-month old endangered Key deer fawn found abandoned in Big Pine Key in May. Named "Sugarloaf" or "Sugar" for short by zoo staff after Sugarloaf Key, the fawn weighed only about 4.8 pounds upon arrival at the zoo in June where she was hand-reared by the veterinary clinic. Now more than 11 pounds and growing every day, Sugar is settling into her new habitat in the Mason M. and Charles P. Lykes Florida Wildlife Center.


Extreme Makeover Occurs Without Ty at Nashville Zoo's Historic Home

Nashville Zoo

Nashville, TN - Ty Pennington?s TV show was not involved, but from March ? June of this year, Nashville Zoo?s Historic Croft Home received an extreme makeover.Besides a fresh coat of paint, the Home received a new kitchen floor, windows, chimney caps, lattice work along the bottom of the front porch, guttering, and a new roof for the adjacent smokehouse. All rotted wood was also replaced, including completely dismantling, repairing and replacing all of the spindles and railings on the upper and lower front porches. In addition, all shutters were repaired, brickwork in the kitchen and public restroom was cleaned and sealed, and the floor of the nearby cabin was refurbished.


Central Florida Zoo's Baby Porcupine Is Cute But Not Cuddly

Central Florida Zoo

Sanford, FL - Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens guests were able to see the birth of a South African crested porcupine born at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Friday July 4th. The Zoo fondly named the baby "Patriot" for the occasion.

"The birth was a bit unusual", says Zoo Curator Bonnie Breitbeil. "Typically births have occurred overnight. Our staff was alerted by guests as the porcupine was giving birth on exhibit, so many people were able to observe the birth."


Snow Arrives as Bindi Irwin Celebrates Birthday at Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia - Snow hits Australia Zoo for coolest birthday party ever!Crikey! Wildlife Warrior princess Bindi Irwin reached double digits today, and Australia Zoo transformed into a Winter Wonderland for a very cool party. Stacks of fun and games were planned as it snowed at Australia Zoo especially for Bindi?s birthday, with the huge snow field in the middle of Australia Zoo providing hours of snowman-making and tobogganing fun! How cool is that? And fresh from their Brisbane performance, the TOP FOUR dancers from the hit Australian dance show, So You Think You Can Dance, performed live at Australia Zoo.


A Boy Penguin Named Linda

Taronga Zoo

Australia - When found by life savers on Bronte Beach on March 17, he was just one more victim of the deadly rubbish abandoned along the coast by thoughtless humans. Entangled in an abandoned fishing line, his left flipper had been severed, leaving him floundering on a mangled stump. Malnourished, he was rushed to Taronga Zoo's hospital where staff had grave doubts that he would survive. Not sure if he was a male or a female, they took a punt and called him Linda.


The Animal Version of Dancing With The Stars

Australia - Last week I got a letter from Taronga Zoo asking for donations towards research on Tasmanian devils. Devil facial tumour disease is threatening the population, as well as giving the animals a really negative body image. I don't understand why the devils can't get the funding they need.

Tasmanian devils, after all, are good TV. They are stumpy-legged and cute, with a tendency to tear one another's faces off. Dip them in sequins and they are the animal equivalent of Dancing With The Stars.


Apes Get Legal Rights in Spain, to the Surprise of Bullfight Critics

SPAIN - Spain is to become the first country to extend legal rights to apes, wrongfooting animal rights activists who have long campaigned against bullfighting in the country. In what is thought to be the first time a national legislature has granted such rights to animals, the Spanish parliament?s environmental committee voted to approve resolutions committing the country to the Great Apes Project, designed by scientists and philosophers who say that humans? closest biological relatives also deserve rights.


Cane Toads Are Killing Everything and Eating the One Snake Known to Eat Them

Australia - A BIG mama cane toad has sought vengeance on the Keelback snake. The slithery reptile is a known predator of cane toads ? it can eat toadlets and young toads without being harmed ? but in this amazing photo the tables were turned.



Advertising, Branding, and Sponsorships in Zoos and Aquariums
by Rudy Socha

Do you associate Allstate with being green and supporting wildlife/conservation? What about Geico?

Many opportunities exist for advertisers in the affluent and unique zoo and aquarium market. Unfortunately most advertising agencies have limited experience showcasing their companies in this market.

To further baffle media and sponsorship buyers entering the market, most zoos and aquariums run three very different advertising campaigns simultaneously. Each campaign has a different goal, budget, and methodology for achieving desired results. Each segment presents an opportunity for companies to increase their brand name recognition and promote their services and products. In many cases different people are responsible for each campaign. Here is an overview of the zoo and aquarium market and the opportunities existing in it.

Because of the diversity in the manner that zoos and aquariums are structured and the difference in size and attendance, this overview is not exactly mirrored at each facility. The following is a look at the three key advertising, branding, and sponsorship areas that are vital to a zoo?s or aquarium?s success.

Fundraising: This is the genesis for all zoo and aquarium operations. Without financing the facility can not exist. Zoos and aquariums fall under some variation of one of these three operating structures, including corporations (Disney Animal Kingdom, Busch Gardens), public (Cleveland Zoo, Detroit Zoo), or private ownership (St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Acadiana Zoo).

Because of the different structures, the fundraising takes place in many forms from conducting animal name auctions and politicking the politicians, to placing levies on the ballots.

The zoo and aquarium visitor is most familiar with fundraising dinners and other fundraising special events. These usually involve finding sponsors to underwrite the event, selling tickets, a silent auction, and either an awards ceremony or prizes to be given away.

In most cases these events are managed by an outside group of volunteers with input from the Zoo's or Aquarium's Director and Communications Manager. It is usually done under the umbrella of a zoological or aquarium Society.

The individuals buying tickets for these events are the donors, corporate CEO's, and the city's high net worth families. This is a small, but highly desirable demographic for advertisers.

Generally the advertisers most interested in reaching this group are adult beverage companies, art stores, banks, classy local restaurants, credit card companies, financial service companies, high-end jewelry stores, insurance companies, spas, and travel related companies.

"Come Visit Us" Campaign: This is the campaign to get everyone to visit their facility. This campaign?s goal is two fold; generating brand recognition and increasing visitors. Each zoo and aquarium facility is competing against other entertainment venues in their geographic area for attendance and disposable dollars.

This campaign is often run by an outside advertising agency with oversight by the Communication Director with final approval by the facility Director.

The campaign usually involves purchasing television advertising, and personal appearances by the Communication Director with live animals on local TV shows. It also includes designing and purchasing travel brochures, radio and print ads, and special events that are open to the general public without an extra charge.

This is where a large part of a zoo's or aquarium?s budget is spent. Each state and major city also has a travel and visitor?s bureau. The amount of advertising support zoos and aquariums receive from these bureaus varies greatly.

While the "Come Visit Us" advertising purchase usually does not by itself contribute revenue to the zoo or aquarium, it does present co-branding opportunities. Most co-branding partnerships exist with local hotels, travel companies, and in some cases such as the Georgia Aquarium with other entertainment venues in town.

In-facility Branding and Sponsorships: This is where advertisers reach the greatest number of people. Most zoo and aquarium visitors are families with children who stay for 2 to 6 hours.

In-facility Branding and Sponsorships are usually managed by the Communications Director with input from the Zoo Director and zoo or aquarium society.

Branding opportunities exist with signage, gardens, exhibits, educational presentations, facility maps and brochures, walkways and avenues, and buildings.

Sponsorship activities include special events and special days. If an event does not currently exist, it can be created by a company to promote their product (i.e. ice cream eating contest) or company brand (i.e. branded item give-away upon admission or exit).

Although almost every consumer company is a fit for this segment of branding and sponsorships, the most applicable are amusement parks in the area, apparel stores and manufacturers, appliance manufacturers and retailers, auto dealerships and manufacturers, banks, camera stores and manufacturers, catalog and cell phone companies, children?s beverage companies, computer manufacturers and retailers, fast food chains, food manufacturers (especially cereal companies), financial services, hotel chains, GPS manufacturers, insurance companies, lawn and garden care manufacturers, pet food manufacturers, restaurants, toy manufacturers, travel related companies, utilities, and wildlife non-profits.

About the Advertisers: On a local level almost every major consumer or service company has or should have an advertising, branding, or sponsorship relationship with a local zoo or aquarium. The advertisers do this with three goals in mind; generating goodwill within the community, enhancing their green/environmental image, and brand name recognition.

Zoo and Aquarium Visitor Suggestions:

Several visitors have emailed me to inquire about exercising on zoo grounds due to increased crime rates in their local public parks. Several zoos already have walking clubs for their members and others are working to implement programs. In conjunction with several zoos and an aquarium, we put together some tips to help make you an active participant.

Visiting your zoo to improve your health, lose weight, and get fit.

Walking through a zoo can improve your health by increasing your circulation, reducing your chances of type II diabetes, heart attack, and in women, breast cancer. The improved circulation and sensory stimulation will also increase your mental alertness.

Actively walking burns calories. The secondary effect is consumption of fewer calories while you are engaged in the activity. Any time your calorie burn rate exceeds your calorie consumption rate you will lose weight.

Walking is a great way to firm up flab, increase your energy and endurance, reduce depression and stress, and improve your outlook on life. Outdoor activity stimulates the senses in many ways that a gym work out can not. You will see flowers bloom, young animals grow, and experience the change in seasons. Best of all, walking outdoors can burn more calories than walking indoors on a track.


We have a very diverse base of readers that not only includes zoo visitors, but zookeepers, trustees, and zoo administrators from around the world. This provides an opportunity for the best suggestions to be read and discussed to see if it makes sense for each individual facility.

Do you have a suggestion? If so, send it to: rudy@zandavisitor.com.

Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News

A lot has happened at Zoo and Aquarium Visitor over the past couple of weeks. The most significant piece of news is our approval by Google as a news site.


On July 3, Zoo and Aquarium Visitor's web site was qualified by Google as an independent news site. All of the news, stories and photos posted on this site will be indexed and classified as news items.

This is a different rating and classification than regular sites receive.

Google requires a separate process of indexing and rating for news entities. Google's purpose for doing this is to sort the news items from press releases submitted and posted on web sites by companies promoting their products, trade associations promoting their members and themselves, and facilities promoting themselves, etc.

Web site

We had a number of zoo and aquarium visitors who took the time to let us know they found the alphabetical listing of facilities on our web site to be inconvenient. We discovered they wanted to know which facilities were located closest to them.

Now when you click on zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, etc. you will find them listed by location. The ability to view alphabetically still exists by clicking on the link in the top right hand corner of the landing page.




This is always a family favorite that generates memories for years to come.

Materials required:
The type of materials purchased depends on the age of the children.
Bird house ? one per child. For younger children, buy unfinished, completed birdhouses.
For older children, buy the kits requiring assembly.
Paint ? For young children, allow them to use either non-toxic finger paint or watercolors. For older children, you can use your own judgment to determine what would be best and safest for them to use.

Directions: Encourage them to do a small picture on each side. Ask them to paint their names and the year somewhere on the birdhouse. Allow the children to use their creative skills to paint the birdhouses.

After the children are done, allow the paint to dry. You can then either coat the birdhouse with a clear spray of polyurethane or you can let it weather naturally. The water based paints will show an aged look after the first heavy rain.

Purchasing a Turkey

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family.

She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"

The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

Man Acquired His Longevity from Animals

God created the donkey and told him: you will work tirelessly from sun up to sun down, carrying heavy bags on your back, you'll eat grass, you will not have intelligence and you will live 50 years. You will be a DONKEY!

The donkey answered: I'll be a donkey, but living 50 years is too much, give me only 20 years. And God gave him 20 years.

God created the dog and told him: You will look after the man's house, you will be his best friend, you will eat whatever they give you, and you will live 25 years. You will be a DOG!

The dog answered: God, living 25 years is too much, give me only 10 years. So God gave him 10 years.

God created the monkey and told him: You will jump from branch to branch, you will do silly things, you will be amusing and you will live 20 years.

The monkey answered: God, living 20 years is too much, give me only 10 years. And God agreed.

Finally, God created man, and told him: You will be Man, the only rational being on this earth, you will use your intelligence to control other animals, you will dominate the world and you will live for 20 years.

The man answered: God, I'll be man, but living 20 years is not enough, why don't you give me the 30 years that the donkey refused, the 20 years that the dog did not want and the 10 years that the monkey refused.

That was what God did, and since then, Men live 20 years like a man, then he enters adulthood and spends 30 years like a donkey, working and carrying the load on his back. When his children leave home, he spends 15 years like a dog, looking after the house and eating whatever is given to him; then gets into retirement, and spends 10 years like a monkey, jumping from house to house or from children to children, doing silly things to amuse the grandchildren.

The Penguin and the Postmaster

A penguin walks into a post office and says, "Have you any fish"?

"NO", replies the postmaster, "This is a post office, we only sell stamps and envelopes."

The next day the penguin returns and asks the same question again.

"No," the postmaster says getting angry, "I told you yesterday we don't sell fish"!!!!

The next day the penguin returns and cheekily asks, "Have you any fish"?


A day passes and there's no sign of the penguin, so the postmaster thinks he must have gotten the message. Then, just before closing the penguin returns.

"Have you got any nails?" he asks, smiling.

"No," replies the postmaster, exhausted after a long day.

"In that case," asks the penguin, "Have you any fish"?

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