Dr Greg Rasmussen returns to the Niabi Zoo to provide a field report on the endangered African Painted Dog as well as a new conservation partnership with Niabi. Photo: Painted Dog Research Trust.

COAL VALLEY, ILLINOIS (March 25, 2019) — Dr Gregory Rasmussen has been working in Zimbabwe to understand and save painted dogs for 30 years. He first shared the plight of these important animals with the Quad Cities as one of the inaugural presenters for Niabi’s Conservation & Science Speaker Series. As the first return-speaker, Dr Rasmussen will give a field-update on his work with the conservation efforts of the African painted dog and the construction of a conservation ecology center outside Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on Tuesday, April 2 at 6:30PM, at the Niabi Zoo Discovery Center.

Being of the strong belief that good conservation must be underpinned by sound science, Dr Rasmussen established Painted Dog Research Trust to focus on bold conservation-initiatives to protect painted dogs and their habitat utilizing new technology through the use of satellite-tracking, anti-snare collars, and innovative environmental education. Dr Rasmussen is a research associate at the University of Zimbabwe and is also affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University in the UK, where he completed his PhD.

Working together in a new collaborative partnership, Niabi recently hosted Mahlebezulu Zulu, the field educator for Painted Dog Research Trust, providing him with training and support for their education efforts in Zimbabwe. Niabi will continue to support Painted Dog Research Trust through the Coins for Conservation program at the Zoo. Twenty-five cents of every admission ticket goes to one of four conservation projects supported by the Zoo. The additional projects will support snow leopards with Snow Leopard Trust, whale-shark research with Ch'ooj Ajauil (Blue Realm), and pollinators with the Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation.

To RSVP and attend the presentation on Tuesday, April 2 at 6:30PM, visit www.NiabiZoo.com/Education/conservation-speakers. Zoo Members and college students can attend for free and non-members can make an $8 contribution to the Niabi Conservation Fund.  RSVP is required for all attending. For more information, contact Curator of Conservation & Education, Joel Vanderbush at 309-799-3482 ext. 222 or jvanderbush@niabizoo.com.

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About Niabi Zoo

Niabi Zoo is currently closed for the regular admission season but there are plenty of educational experiences happening at the zoo year-round. Visit www.NiabiZoo.com for more information. Niabi will be open for the 2019 regular admission season starting April 13, 2019.

Located in Coal Valley, Illlinois, Niabi Zoo offers an opportunity to explore more than 40 acres that encompass 200 animal species while enjoying the countryside of Rock Island county. This exploration guides guests through the discovery of more than 600 animals from around the world.

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