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Alexandria Zoo receives $42,000 for COVID-19 endangered species relief

The following was communicated to us by the City of Alexandria:

ALEXANDRIA, La. — The Alexandria Zoo has received $42,316 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) through the Endangered Species COVID-19 Relief program, funded by the American Rescue Plan.

“Alexandria Zoo was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as the facility was closed for a period and then had to limit visitor numbers for over a year, which had a significant impact on income. At the same time, we still incurred the costs of care and maintenance of animals and facilities,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “Our commitment to meeting the needs of our animals and maintaining the standards set by the AZA has never wavered. We are so grateful to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the AZA for providing this much-needed funding so that we can continue to do the important work of animal care, education, and conservation at Alexandria Zoo.

Alexandria Zoo director Dr Max Lakes said the money will be used to cover the feeding and care expenses of zoo-specific endangered animals, such as black bears, cougars Jack and Diane, the Louisiana pine snake and bald eagles as well as rescued animals that cannot be released into the wild, such as a barn owl that staff care for. “This funding is extremely important,” Lakes said. “It helps offset the cost of the incredible conservation work we do at Alexandria Zoo.”

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Congress recognized the dedication of zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and other facilities across the country to help save animals and plants from extinction by allocating $30 million dollars to reimburse expenses related to the care of captive species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as rescued and confiscated wildlife species that are threatened with extinction.

“When we reviewed the funding applications, it was clear that despite the pandemic, zoos, aquariums and other facilities continued to provide extraordinary care for federally protected species and critically important service to conservation agencies. recovery of endangered species. That is why we are so grateful to partner with the Service to direct this funding to provide relief to facilities in need,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA.

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