Photos and Updates
March 2009 - Artifacts
Later this spring, areas within Denver Zoo will be transformed by unique artifacts direct from Thailand. Just a few weeks ago, zoo staff unloaded an entire shipping container of cultural and historical items that will find a future home in Toyota Elephant Passage.
The purchases were part of a multi-faceted trip last June by Public Programs Director Brad Parks, Curator Dale Leeds, Zoo Volunteer Joanna Scott Picher, and Seth Frankel, a partner with ECOS Communications, a Boulder design firm creating educational graphics for Toyota Elephant Passage.
The trip allowed our team to develop a greater understanding of Asian culture and local efforts and challenges in conserving endangered animals. With this research, we’re now investigating potential new conservation partnerships, and how we can play a greater role in helping some of the world’s most threatened wildlife.
According to Curator Dale Leeds: “My personal opinion at this point in time is that Thai elephants in human care might have a secure future. With quality management and recent increases in successful breeding, it is possible that their population could be stabilized. The wild population, however, is in a much more dire situation. We were exceptionally lucky to see wild elephants on this trip. With ever increasing human population, increasing human/elephant conflict, and continual loss of habitat, wild elephants are in real trouble. This is why Denver Zoo’s contributions to elephant conservation are so important. We are just scratching the surface of the work that will continue to grow over time. We will continue our good work with our elephants here; we will continue our work to resolve human/elephant conflicts in their native lands; and we are all looking forward to even greater possibilities to protect a future for elephants and other Asian wildlife to come with the new Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit.”
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