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Monday, June 14, 2010

Bowling for Rhinos


Unfamiliar with the concept? Picturing rhinos ramming bowling balls with their horns? Not quite. It's a fundraiser for rhino conservation, and a damn impressive one.

Rhino poaching is at a 15 year high--it takes armed guards on patrol to keep wild rhinos alive. For real.

You've heard of a pod of killer whales and a pride of lions. The group noun for zoo keepers is "a poverty". Nonetheless, the American Association of Zoo Keepers has managed to raise $3,466,911 for direct, on-the-ground rhino conservation over 20 years. That helps support rhino habitat in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia, and two parks in Sumatra (Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas). The money for the Indonesian parks is managed by the International Rhino Foundation. I know the zoo keepers raising these funds as well as the Executive Director of IRF. Friends have visited Lewa and seen their work. Bowling for Rhinos is the real deal.

The money has paid for an airplane, a truck for relocating animals, solar-powered electric fencing, boats, and training and uniforms for rangers.

The Portland Chapter of AAZK has held this event for 20 years. Show up for the bowling on Saturday, June 19 at Sunset Lanes and make your contribution in person (tell 'em I sent you). Or send a check to

AAZK Portland Chapter
c/o Oregon Zoo
4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Portland, OR 97221

Write "Bowling for Rhinos" on the check.
Rhinos need you.

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