In early March we solicited your vote for the DWA to help our ranking in USATODAY’s contest to determine the 10Best Aquariums in the US. An initial news release by USATODAY announced that an editorial team compiled data provided by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to pick the 20 nominees for Best Aquariums, with the top 10 winners being selected by popular vote. Voting ended on March 27th and winners were announced a few days later. It was an honor to be one of the 20 nominees and with some stiff competition, we are proud to be ranked as third – thanks to a lot of voters. On Friday, April 7 we received Bragging Rights, an email from The Editors USA TODAY 10Best.
On the same day the 10Best voting ended, we received formal notification that our AZA accreditation, which was to expire 3/31/17, was extended through 3/31/22. (Accreditation is approved for a five-year period). After reviewing the written accreditation application, three Visiting Committee Members visited/inspected the DWA 11/29 through 12/1/16, with final Accreditation Commission hearing being held March 29, in Albuquerque, NM.
The 12-year project by Luis Sigler, Conservation Biologist at the DWA, and his wife Jackie, culminated in the electronic publication of their Morelet’s Crocodile Book. We have supported their efforts and look forward to the English version and the possible future availability of hard copies.
In DWA Staff Visits Amazon Rescue Center, it is good to see the working relationship with staff from both facilities, as described in the article provided by the Rescue Center.
New babies described in Grey-winged Trumpeters were a pleasant surprise. The parents were able to build a nest in an abandoned cave of another bird species, incubate the eggs and keep this all hidden until the baby trumpeters left the nest to follow the adults. These are the first trumpeters to hatch at the DWA.
Score One for the Sloths is the Book of the Month. It requires a good imagination but is certainly entertaining and points out that being an individual is important and every animal has its niche and purpose within its habitat.
Another busy and safe spring break has come and gone. For the next two months, end of school year field trips will make week days quite busy. With 70% of our school field trips being booked by returning teachers, many often use their visit to the DWA as a “reward” for performance with parents and/or grandparents chaperoning. You are welcome to call and ask about the number of groups, approximate number of students and estimated departure times for a particular weekday.
In January-March, 2012 we acquired off-premise properties to be used as a breeding center. The 1.7-acre property has 12,700 square feet state-of-the-art facilities that house an exemplary neotropical avian center. It also provides open land for horticulture, greenhouse and/or future growth as needed. It currently houses more than 60 species of birds, including toucans, hornbills, turacos, cocks-of-the rock, manakins, eagles, guans, and quetzals. The second quarter issue will give more details and images of our latest expansion.
Thank you for your continued support.