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Columbus Zoo Funds Flight to Save Endangered Turtles

Media Alert: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2010 
 
CONTACT:                                                
Patty Peters                                                         
Vice President Community Relations
Powell, OH – A grant from the Columbus Zoo Emergency Conservation Fund will give 85 endangered yellow-headed temple turtles a second chance at life. With this grant money the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) will fly the turtles to permanent homes in the U.S. and Europe.
 
In early 2010 an illegal shipment of endangered yellow-headed temple turtles was confiscated by the Hong Kong police. The survivors were part of an illegal shipment of more than 1300 turtles seized by authorities as they were headed to food markets in China. 
 
Following their ordeal, the temple turtles were placed at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden for triage, treatment and rehabilitation.  Unable to permanently keep the survivors, the Kandoorie facility in Hong Kong appealed to the U.S.-based TSA. The turtles will become part of TSA’s assurance colonies – captive groups of turtles that are maintained as a hedge against extinction.
 
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) is an action-oriented global partnership that is committed to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st century. The TSA arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis. Recognizing that some species of turtles and tortoises were unlikely to survive without well-managed populations, the TSA was charged with developing breeding programs for the most critically endangered of the world's chelonian species. The Columbus Zoo is a long-term supporter of the TSA.  For more information visit: www.turtlesurvival.org.
 
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a long-term supporter of the TSA.  In 2009, the Zoo’s Conservation Grants Program and Partners in Conservation awarded more than $1 million in program support for 70 conservation projects in 35 countries.  Over the past five years, the Zoo has distributed $4 million in support.  This money is raised from restricted donations, conservation fundraisers, and coins donated by Zoo visitors.
 
 
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open 363 days of the year.  General admission is $12.99 for adults, $7.99 for children ages 2 to 9 and seniors 60+.  Children under 2 and Columbus Zoo members are free.  The Zoo was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.)  For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org
 
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