"Some thoughts seem to tie together better than others. When, in 2007, the staff of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums realized that 2008 was a leap year, “we decided it would be a good time to focus the public on amphibian conservation,” said a spokesman, Steve Feldman.
Thus, 100 association members are participating in what has been named the year of the frog, and Feb. 29 will begin months of educational events. “The idea is that we need to make a leap in our understanding of the fragility of the situation,” said Gail Eaton, chief marketing officer for the Palm Beach Zoo."
Article by JOANNE KAUFMAN
The fragility of the situation involves an incomplete understanding of the cause of the rapid disappearance of frogs, toads and other amphibians worldwide and habitat loss.. Hoping to improve wild amphibian's prospects, six member zoos of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums each have enlisted the assistance of unique, fund-raising toads for their respective institutions. The toads, actually interactive sculptures by electronic art pioneer Jim Pallas, respond with amusing quips and sounds if visitors drop a coin of any denomination in their mouths. The pennies add up. A forerunner of these latest creations is a toad Pallas created for the Detroit Zoo. It has raised an average of $2000 each year for the past eight years. The income from all these sculptures is pledged to fund studies and habitat inprovement for amphibians. The six zoos are due to unviel the sculptures on February 29, Leap Day. The six zoos are: the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California, St,. Louis Zoo, Nashville Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Toronto Zoo and Madison, Wisconsin's Henry Vilas Zoo.
|Fresno Chaffee Zoo's Cashi
||Toronto Zoo's Cashi
||Detroit Zoo's Cashi Stikuntongus