2021 Naples Zoo Gala: Out of Africa, supports work with endangered species

Writer: Derrick Shaw
FILE: African lion cubs born in May; photo from December (Naples Zoo)

The 2021 Naples Zoo Gala is set for this week and this year’s theme is “Out of Africa.”

The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens and is already sold out with a waiting list.

The gala will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvre, plated dinner, entrées, and desserts.

The chairwomen of the event; Sheliah Wall, Jennifer McCurry, and Anita Lovse said in a statement:

“For over 100 years, this 43-acre zoo and garden in the heart of Naples has been a dynamic and evolving resource for the Southwest Florida community and visitors to the area. The Zoo is constantly changing and adapting, seeking innovative ways to connect people with animals and nature and to inspire them to help conserve and protect.

“Education is the heart of Naples Zoo’s mission, and the Zoo provides an informative, educational and engaging family-oriented experience that inspires guests to respect and protect wildlife and nature. The Zoo’s mission matters now more than ever. As we enter into a new era of global awareness and environmental stewardship, Naples Zoo is uniquely positioned to reach an increasing number of children and adults, helping to inspire them to value, respect and conserve the biodiversity of the planet.

“Today, the Zoo attracts over 370,000 guests annually and is a unique educational resource to 36,957 children each year: Collier County Schools Distance Learning ZooCon (20,711), Field Trips (12,337), Field Trip Experiences (849), ZooMobile Outreach (2,291), Preschool Programs (374), and Zoo Camp WILD (395). Naples Zoo has formal partnerships with Collier County Public Schools, Lee County Public Schools and Lee County Public Library System. The Zoo’s commitment to education is further demonstrated by its collaboration with the Florida Department of Education to develop programs that meet Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Grade-specific programming has been designed for students from pre-K through middle schoolers, offering a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in biology, animal behavior, ecology, and species and habitat conservation.

“Naples Zoo is committed to strengthening the future of wildlife worldwide. Naples Zoo supports conservation projects for endangered species locally and all around the world. Naples Zoo is also an active member in the Species Survival Plan ® (SSP). At this time, 44% of the species at Naples Zoo are part of the SSP Program. We are very proud to have contributed off-spring for the SSP this year for 4 different species, mountain bongo, clouded leopards, red-ruffed lemurs and African lions.

“Your support helps us continue our work with endangered species and our efforts to inspire young hearts to love animals and nature.”

For more information visit napleszoogala.org.


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