Prague Zoo named as one of four finalists for the 2020 WAZA Conservation Award

The Czech capital's zoo was Europe's only finalist for the prestigious award

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro Published on 20.10.2020 14:00:00 (updated on 20.11.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague Zoo has been named one of four finalists for the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Conservation Award in 2020.

The zoo was the only representative from Europe in the final four for the prestigious award, announced at the annual WAZA conference.

Prague Zoo was recognized for their work saving Převalský's horses from extinction and returning them to nature, as well as helping stop the poaching of lowland gorillas and fighting to keep their environment intact in Cameroon.

In Cameroon, the zoo is helping organize educational activities to help save the gorillas' environment, including the Wandering Bus project which has been running since 2013.

The Prague Zoo was responsible for saving Převalský's horses from extinction and is successfully returning them to nature.
The Prague Zoo was responsible for saving Převalský's horses from extinction and is successfully returning them to nature. Photo by Miroslav Bobek

In addition, Prague Zoo has helped saved the endangered scavenger vulture in collaboration with other agencies; the zoo also helps return them to nature and finances the construction of breeding and rehabilitation aviaries or feeding places.

"At this year's WAZA conference, our 'Return of the Wild Horses' resonates again, but we could aspire to such an important award only thanks to the fact that we implement or support a number of in situ projects," Miroslav Bobek, director of Prague Zoo, said in a statement. 

"The fact that today we are seen as one of the major players in this area is not only due to the staff of Prague Zoo and our partner organizations on almost five continents, but also all, thanks to which we can operate in the field of endangered species. Therefore, I now want to thank our visitors and the founder, which is the capital city of Prague. "

The endangered scavenger vulture. Photo by Václav Šilha
The endangered scavenger vulture. Photo by Václav Šilha

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The conservation projects are funded by Prague Zoo's "Five Crowns Per Entry" project.

"From each entrance fee to Prague Zoo, we transfer five crowns to projects for the protection of endangered species," the Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague, Petr Hlubuček, stated to press. 

"Originally it was one crown, but we are aware of how important the protection of biodiversity is and how important a role zoos play in it. We therefore agreed to increase it to five crowns, which during the normal operation of the Prague Zoo means seven million crowns every year to protect Převalský's horses, lowland gorillas, scavenger vultures, Indian gavials and many other endangered species. "

The WAZA Conservation Award is a prestigious award for members of WAZA, intended to recognize their extraordinary contributions to protecting biodiversity. To be nominated, the institution must have high quality, comprehensive conservation programs that produce excellent results.

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