Photo courtesy San Diego Zoo/Kim Turner

San Diego Zoo Global used the occasion of World Wildlife Day Wednesday to rebrand itself as San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance with the intent of broadening approaches to protecting and conserving wildlife around the globe.

The new brand identity is intended to emphasize that the health of wildlife, people and the environment are interconnected and linked to the health of our planet.

The changed name and vision of a world where all life thrives more accurately reflects the organization’s focus on wildlife conservation which started in Southern California over 100 years ago, said Paul Baribault, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

“While the San Diego Zoo is synonymous with some of the greatest advancements in wildlife care and conservation, our future depends on a sustained and committed focus to the health and well-being of all life on earth,” Baribault said. “We must evolve to meet the growing needs of wildlife in the 21st century and we can’t do this alone.

“We are placing partnerships and hope at the heart of our organization through this transformation. As the first responders to wildlife in need, our reason for existence, and our responsibility, is to share our expertise to improve outcomes. That requires global collaboration in animal care, innovative solutions to halt the loss of biodiversity, and dedication to a one health approach,” he continued.

The Alliance includes the two “front doors” of the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Over five million visitors annually walk through these parks.

The Alliance is a partner and collaborator with a global network of nearly 200 conservation organizations, including Save the Elephants, Polar Bears International, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Northern Rangelands Trust.

“Saving wildlife starts with people, and community involvement is key to successful conservation efforts,” says Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife health officer at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “We share our expertise, learn from the experiences of our partners, and work together with local communities to develop the tools needed to safeguard biodiversity which is necessary for a healthy, thriving planet.”

As part of the announcement, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance partnered with world-renowned artist Romero Britto to unveil a commissioned mural to help convey the importance of the change and the urgent nature of the challenge wildlife faces.

“As an artist, I am in the business of hope. These wonderful creatures don’t have a voice, so we must advocate for their future,” Britto said. “I believe my art can inspire someone and make them stop and really think about something in a new way that sparks action, awareness and hope.”

–City News Service

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