Roger Williams Park Zoo and San Antonio Zoo Help the Bora Indigenous People Survive in the Amazon During Pandemic

Roger Williams Park Zoo and San Antonio Zoo Help the Bora Indigenous People Survive in the Amazon During Pandemic

Friday, November 27, 2020
Conservation means compassion, and does not end at wildlife

San Antonio Zoo® is proud to conduct conservation work worldwide through its Center for Conservation and Research. Amid a global pandemic, conservation partners had additional needs of support. San Antonio Zoo works with indigenous communities, such as the Bora, in the upper Amazon Basin of Peru and has developed a program through the CCR where the goal is to help provide a continuous revenue stream to indigenous communities in the Amazon. One key component of the project is that the support does not involve timber harvest, mining, or oil extraction – activities that damage the rainforests where the Bora live. The Bora rely heavily on tourism and partnerships as their primary sources of income; no tourists during COVID-19 means reduced income. The Center for Conservation and Research at San Antonio Zoo and their partner organization – the Roger Williams Park Zoo, realized the Bora was in desperate need and began providing the Bora with emergency supplies, including food and medical support. Assistance also included educating the Bora on the Coronavirus and providing information they needed to endure the pandemic. The Bora was also given San Antonio Zoo face masks, which was something they did not have access to.

"Even during the lowest point in our 106 year history, while we were fighting for our own zoo's survival, we never wavered on our commitment to conservation and specifically the Bora" said Tim Morrow, President & CEO San Antonio Zoo "San Antonio Zoo has staff in the Amazon and staff from San Antonio Zoo visits regularly. The Bora have become our friends & family, and we will do all we can to ensure this indigenous group nor their lands disappear from earth."

 "It is an honor to help support the same indigenous group that I've had the privilege of working with since I was a kid. I will never forget my decades' long relationship with these brilliant people. No one knows these forests like the Bora." said Dr. Danté Fenolio, Vice President of Conservation & Research at San Antonio Zoo. "We need to work with indigenous groups if we want our conservation efforts to experience success."

"The Roger Williams Park Zoo is proud to be partnering with San Antonio Zoo on this very important project. If we are to conserve the rainforests, we must also take care of the indigenous people that live there and who need our help now more than ever," said Roger Williams Park Zoo Executive Director Jeremy Goodman.

"Conservation doesn't work if you ignore the people living in the forests you're trying to protect. It's an honor to support these amazing people and the biodiversity inhabiting the same forests," said Lou Perrotti, Director of Conservation Programs, Roger Williams Park Zoo.


About Roger Williams Park Zoo

Roger Williams Park Zoo is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. As leaders in conservation and animal care – we create engaging experiences that empower guests to join us in conserving wildlife and wild places.  Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.

About San Antonio Zoological Society

San Antonio Zoological Society was established in 1929 and is a non-profit organization committed to securing a future for wildlife. The society operates San Antonio Zoo, Will Smith Zoo School, Edutainment, Center for Conservation and Research at San Antonio Zoo, and Kiddie Park.

About San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo®, operated by San Antonio Zoological Society is a non-profit organization committed to securing a future for wildlife. Through its passion and expertise in animal care, conservation, and education, the zoo’s mission is to inspire its community to love, engage with, act for and protect animals and the places they live. The zoo welcomes more than a million visitors each year and is open year-round. San Antonio Zoo operates the largest nature based preschool in the country, Will Smith Zoo School, the Center for Conservation and Research, and Kiddie Park. San Antonio Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoological Association of America, and Humane Certified by American Humane.

About Center for Conservation and Research

The Center for Conservation and Research at San Antonio Zoo®, is operated by San Antonio Zoological Society, a non-profit organization committed to securing a future for wildlife through a variety of approaches, including fieldwork, scientific study and husbandry of rare, threatened and endangered species. The center is located on the grounds of San Antonio Zoo and leads or participates in conservation projects across the globe and throughout the United States, with particular emphasis on Texas. Notable projects include the Texas Horned Lizard Reintroduction Project, Mexican Blindcat Working Group, Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander Captive Breeding Project, Georgia Blind Salamander Project, Project Selva (in Peruvian Amazon), Japanese Giant Salamander Project, and research on the local Edwards Aquifer species such as the Texas Blind Salamander.