Combining work and play

Sea lion trainer Hailee Tocco smiles at a sea lion pup July 26 at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park in Waddell. The pup, born July 8, is one of the zoo’s ambassadors, whose wild counterparts are assisted by the Animal Care & Conservation Awards.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park has announced this year’s recipients of its annual Animal Care & Conservation Awards. Over the past three decades, the zoo has contributed tens of thousands of dollars, as well as thousands more as in-kind support and staff expertise to dozens of local, national and international organizations working on habitat restoration and wildlife conservation all over the globe. The financial awards of $1,000 to $10,000 each were created to recognize worthy efforts in field conservation, public display and education and basic research designed to preserve our planet and inspire future generations to care about wildlife and wild places.

The recipients include:

• The Marine Mammal Center (

• Zoological Association of America Wildlife Conservation Fund (

• The International Crane Foundation (

• The Cheetah Conservation Fund (

• Gibbon Conservation Center (

• International Rhino Foundation (

• Sahara Conservation Fund (

• Turtle Survival Alliance (

• The Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Program (

• Chaco Center for Conservation and Research for Tapir Conservation (

• Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (

• The Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (

“Historically, award winners have had a significant connection to species and ecosystems that are integral to our vast collection, such as endangered primates, rhinoceros, tigers, cranes and African antelope,” Wildlife World Deputy Director Jack Ewert said.

As a USDA licensed, private institution, Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park receives no taxpayer funding.

“We are extremely grateful for over three decades of support from the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Wildlife World each year. Our guests have made our growth and these Animal Care and Conservation Awards possible,” Wildlife World Director and Founder Mickey Ollson said.