South Florida National Parks Trust

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009
Contact: Don Finefrock,
Executive Director
305.665.4769
South Florida Trust and Naples Zoo Celebrate Endangered
Species Day By Raising Money for Wildlife Programs in
Big Cypress National Preserve

The South Florida National Parks Trust and the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens will celebrate Endangered Species Day on Friday May 15 by raising money for threatened and endangered wildlife in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Visitors to the Naples Zoo who make a contribution of $25 or more to the South Florida National Parks Trust will receive one free adult admission to the zoo (valued at $19.95). All donations to the Trust on Endangered Species Day will support wildlife programs in the Big Cypress Preserve.

Big Cypress rangers and wildlife managers will be on hand inside the zoo that day to talk about some of Florida’s endangered and threatened species and the preserve’s efforts to protect them.

The Big Cypress National Preserve provides critical habitat for many of Florida’s threatened or endangered plants and animals, including the official state animal, the Florida Panther. Wildlife scientists at the preserve study and track panthers in the wild to help ensure their survival.

Other threatened and endangered species found in the preserve include the Big Cypress fox squirrel and the Florida black bear, the West Indian manatee, American crocodile, Eastern indigo snake and four species of birds – the red-cockaded woodpecker, the wood stork, Everglades snail kite and Cape Sable seaside sparrow.

Zoo visitors can support the preserve’s wildlife programs and help protect some of Florida’s rarest animals by making a donation on the day of the event at a booth outside the zoo entrance.

The Big Cypress National Preserve was established by Congress in 1974 to protect a portion of the Big Cypress Swamp. The preserve today covers approximately 729,000 acres.

The Naples Zoo, located at 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road across from the Coastland Center Mall, participates in conservation programs for endangered species in and outside the wild. For more information about the zoo and its programs, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.napleszoo.org" www.napleszoo.org

The South Florida National Parks Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports South Florida national parks through fund-raising and community outreach. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For more information about the Trust, visit www.southfloridaparks.org.