Conservation at the ParkVirginia Safari Park is dedicated to wildlife conservation through public education, captive breeding programs, habitat preservation, and providing financial aid and assistance to projects in the wild. Virginia Safari Park is one of three zoological facilities operated by the Zoofari Parks Corporation, working in conjunction with the Gulf Breeze Zoo and the Alabama Safari Park to provide aid to over 25 countries around the world. Trying to solve the world’s continually changing wildlife concerns, Virginia Safari Park collaborates with other zoos and field experts to support Rhinoceros and Elephant anti-poaching units, install artificial nest sites for wild Penguins, and translocate Giraffe across the Nile to boost sustainable genetics. Conservation is important not just for the species in foreign countries but also for many of our local animal friends. Our goal is to assist in the conservation of local and national species by giving them as much attention as we do to the larger, more well-known species. Virginia Safari Park is privately owned and receives no state or federal tax support. Funding for conservation programs are made possible through the continued support of zoo guests. Conservation is fundamental in our daily operations and visitors are encouraged to join us in making a difference on this journey.
2018 Conservation Grant RecipientsThe Zoofari Parks Conservation grants support both wildlife and habitat programs in the U.S. and abroad. Projects are focused on research, education, and local involvement.
Virginia Safari Park partnered with the Zoological Association of America for some of our 2018 Conservation Grants. We are pleased to announce this year’s grants were awarded to the International Rhino Foundation, International Elephant Foundation, and the Grevy’s Zebra Trust.
International Rhino Foundation, operates in all areas of the world where rhinos live in the wild.
- South African programs implement heightened protection, enhanced intelligence, strategic translocations, dehorning, and digital radio systems that lowered rhino poaching.
- Zimbabwe’s Rhino Conservation Awareness Program works with 145 schools in buffer zones, providing school supplies in exchange for successful local rhino conservation results.
- Javan Rhino Protection Teams maintained zero rhino losses due to poaching for 20+ years.
- Camera traps showed two new Javan Rhino calves born in 2017 at the Ujung Kulon National Park.
- The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary expansion completed new roads, gates, fences, quarantine facilities, and an upgraded laboratory for the new Rhino Research and Breeding Center.
International Elephant Foundation supports elephant management, protection and scientific research.
- Sumatran Elephant Conservation Response Units (CRUs).
- Mounted Horse Anti-Poaching Patrols, Mount Kenya.
- Big Tusker Project provides aerial surveillance for law enforcement and rangers in Tsavo, Kenya.
- Building local support for conservation, Tanzania.
- Fostering Human-Elephant Coexistence, India.
- Anti-Poaching Units in the corridor between Nepal and India.
- EEHV Genomics Research to understand this deadly virus in hopes that one day a vaccine may be produced.
Grevy's Zebra Trust conserves the endangered Grevy’s Zebra and their fragile habitat.
- Grevy’s Zebra Scouts trains locals to monitor herds and gather information.
- Holistic Rangeland Management helps manage grazing cattle and land management.
- Grevy’s Zebra Ambassadors hires local tribesman to assist with data collection and security.
- Education and Outreach Scouts go into communities and perform conservation storytelling.
Ongoing Conservation Programs
LEARN MORE: As seen in the National Zoological Association of America Journal, "No Tall Tale: The Plight of Giraffe" by Katy Massey, Conservation Coordinator.
Penguin Conservation; Dyer Island Conservation TrustFounded in 2006, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) is located on the southern tip of South Africa, to address the growing issues facing local wildlife. The Dyer Island ecosystem is home to thousands of seabirds including the iconic African Penguin, Cape Fur Seals, Great White Sharks and Southern Right Whales. Many of these species have been labeled as Endangered, (likely it will become extinct.) Populations are threatened by pollution, decline in fish abundance, coastal development, and oil spills. Virginia Safari Park has had 3 healthy chicks hatch between 2017-2018 alone. We also work with the Zoological Association of America’s African Penguin Animal Management Program and provides financial assistance to the Dyer Island Conservation Trust to help save wild Penguin populations.
LEARN MORE: As seen in the National Zoological Association of America Journal, "African Penguins: The Cold Truth" by Katy Massey, Corporate Conservation Coordinator.
Many of these minerals are mined inside the Congo, home to the several species found at the Virginia Safari Park, including the DeBrazza's Monkey and the Bongo. This recycling program allows guests to directly impact troubled wildlife and provides a positive way for individuals to create actual results. The Park is a registered drop-off site for the ECO-CELL gadget recycling program, accepting items such as: cell phones, Ipods, Ipads, tablets, adapters, chargers, MP3 players, handheld gaming systems and their accessories.
The Virginia Safari Park partners with ECO-CELL to help:
- Extend technology lifespan
- Reclaim gadget precious metals to create jobs
- Reduce environmental stress
- Deter landfill toxic waste