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Stories from the Frontlines of the Conservation Movement

The cold, dark days of winter are finally coming to an end, and we can’t wait for spring! However, the winter months didn’t slow down the animal experts, conservationists, animal scientists, veterinarians and zookeepers at American Humane CertifiedTM zoological facilities as they continued to work to build a better, more humane world for animals across the globe. We are excited to share some stories of hope, love and healing from the frontlines of the conservation movement.

Two Humboldt penguins are new parents to a chick that hatched at Brookfield Zoo, an American Humane CertifiedTM facility! The chick, who was born on February 2nd, is growing by leaps and bounds according to zoo staff. The chick is only the second successful offspring for parents—14-year-old Divot and 21-year-old Rosy—making the birth extremely significant to the Humboldt penguin population. According to the IUCN Red List, Humboldt penguins are “vulnerable” in their native habitat along the western coast of South America near Peru and Chile. The penguin population continues to decline due to several factors, including climate change and severe weather, human encroachment, energy production mining, and pollutants among other threats. We are thrilled to welcome this cutie to the world!

A month-old Humboldt penguin chick at Brookfield Zoo. (Photo credit: Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

Denver Zoo, another American Humane CertifiedTM institution, has trained all five of its elephants to engage in an exercise program called “Elephant Yoga!” The bulls can stretch, bend and even roll. Elephants need regular exercise, and these yoga stretches help to keep their joints mobile, active and engaged. If you want to watch the action in-person, you can check out the twice-daily demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. in the Toyota Elephant Passage. We love seeing innovative ways staff members are prioritizing animals’ health!

At elephant at Denver Zoo demonstrates “Elephant Yoga.” (Photo credit: Denver7)

In January, crew members from SeaWorld rescued a sea lion who somehow ended up on a busy highway in San Diego. After a full month of rehabilitation, SeaWorld’s Rescue Team, in collaboration with veterinarians and NOAA, decided the sea lion was ready and approved to go back to his rightful home. The animal, estimated to be 200 pounds, graduated from rehab and was successfully returned to the wild. Thank you to SeaWorld San Diego, an American Humane CertifiedTM facility, for running to the rescue of animals in need, and providing critical care to this dare devil of a sea lion. Also, shout out to the good Samaritans who protected him from oncoming traffic!

A screenshot from a video showing motorists helping a sea lion cross Route 94 near the I-!5 east of downtown San Diego on Friday, January 7, 2022. (Photo Credit: Josefine Jandinger via The San Diego Union-Tribune)

These are just a few of the stories from our certified facilities that warmed our hearts this past winter. We can’t wait to see what spring has in store!

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