Almost 30 years of fundraising yields $8 million as animal keepers bowl for rhino conservation

The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) reached a significant milestone this week when the all-time total for its national fundraiser, Bowling for Rhinos, surpassed $8 million dollars, marking 29 years of contributions towards rhino conservation.

Since 1990, the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) has supported the rhino conservation efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya through local chapter organized bowling events called Bowling for Rhinos (BFR).

The fundraising events take place in over 75 locations across North America (the US and Canada) and in Australia.  In 1994, AAZK expanded its reach to Indonesia, working with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) to protect the Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park and later the Sumatran rhinos (1997) in Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks in Sumatra.  

The international trade in rhino horn drives the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries.  Rhino numbers have declined drastically due to poaching for their horn and habitat loss.

The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) is a nonprofit (U.S. 501c3) member organization made up of animal keepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. AAZK exists to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

“We congratulate the AAZK on reaching this amazing fundraising milestone”, said CeCe Sieffert, acting executive director of IRF. “The support of keepers has been crucial to rhino conservation efforts around the world.”

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