The only thing chilly and rainy on Sunday at the Animal Adventure Park (AAP) in New York was the weather. Spirits were bright and shiny when AAP’s Owner, Jordan Patch presented Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Director of Finance and Operations, Beth Fellenstein, with a generous donation of $30,000. Animal Adventure Park opened in 2013, and in the span of seven years it has become known worldwide for its superstar animal ambassador, April the Giraffe. Animal Adventure Park has been able to successfully leverage the online fame of April to collect funds which they use to support giraffe conservation projects. CCF was chosen to receive the gift of funding from the zoo’s “Name The Calf” campaign.
The presentation started with an introduction of CCF’s work to park guests and local media. Jordan rhetorically asked the crowd, “Cheetahs… Giraffes… How does that make sense?”. In a press release about the donation earlier this week Jordan stated “It’s our great pleasure to help support the outstanding work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and to have the opportunity to continue to impact the future of this beautiful species in a positive and meaningful way.”
Jordan talks about the zoo’s support of CCF.
What most people don’t know about CCF’s work is what our Founder and Executive Director Dr. Laurie Marker realized in the late 1970’s. In order to save one species, the entire ecosystem upon which that species lives has to be taken into account. CCF’s holistic approach helps not only the cheetah, but other wildlife like the giraffe and also the people who share the landscape.
In Namibia, CCF monitors the populations of all the wildlife regionally, with key focus on the areas in and around the Greater Waterberg Landscape. With annual waterhole counts and camera traps, CCF has been able to log information on giraffes since 2003. Elizabeth Pius is now working at CCF and completing her honours degree at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She is currently managing the research project regarding giraffe population on CCF’s land. This study will help determine the carrying capacity, as well as help researchers and farm managers understand giraffe distribution and social structures.
Animal Adventure Park is located in Harpursville, NY and is open seven days a week seasonally. Follow Animal Adventure Park on social media: Facebook and Instagram @AnimalAdventurePark, Twitter @AnmlAdvntrPark. Also keep up with Zoo Owner Jordan, by following his show on Facebook @AnimalAdventuresWithJordan.