CHERIE DIEZ | Times
Lowry Park Zoo elephants, Matjeka, 23 yrs., and her one-year-old daughter, Mavi, apply a liberal coating of "sunscreen" to themselves in a clay mud wallow at the park Tuesday, 8/12/14 on the park's first observation of World Elephant Day to raise awareness of the wild African elephant crisis. "Elephants are prone to being sunburned," said Lowry Park Zoo associate curator Chris Massaro."What they need is lot of mud or clay to roll around in and cover up their skin so it will protect it from the sun." Ninety-six Elephants are Lost Every Day in Africa Due to Poaching Tampaâs Lowry Park Zoo, in partnership with the 96 Elephants campaign and dozens of zoos worldwide commemorated World Elephant Day on Tuesday, August 12. Zoo guests learned about their herd of six African elephants -- including three airlifted from Africa more than a decade ago, met members of the animal care team and heard animal keeper talks. Tampaâs Lowry Park Zoo is part of a global movement known as 96 Elephants, a coalition of wildlife partners focused on three primary goals: securing a U.S. moratorium on illegal ivory, bolstering protection of African elephants, and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. Increasing demand for ivory is driving African forest elephants to extinction.In addition to World Elephant Day, Tampaâs Lowry Park Zoo has gathered 960 messages from children which will be sent to Florida Governor Rick Scott as part of the âKids Save Elephantsâ initiative to encourage a state ban on the sale of ivory. The Zoo has also supported a social media #GoGrey campaign to encourage people around the world to unite and help protect and celebrate this vulnerable species. Tampaâs Zoo is among a group of 41 wildlife institutions accredited by Association of Zoos and Aqu
CHERIE DIEZ | Times
Matjeka, 23, and her 1-year-old daughter, Mavi, apply a liberal coating of "sunscreen," or clay mud, Tuesday at Lowry Park Zoo. "Elephants are prone to being sunburned," said associate curator Chris Massaro. For the first time, the zoo observed World Elephant Day, an effort to protect African and Asian elephants. Matjeka and Mavi are African elephants, a threatened species with fewer than 400,000 remaining worldwide. The Asian elephant is endangered, with under 40,000 left worldwide. For a video report, go to tampabay.com/video.