Wildlife Safari and the Ladies Auxiliary of Wildlife Safari are preparing to celebrate the grand opening of the Tiger Oasis, a major expansion to the park’s Sumatran tigers habitat. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered and the goal of the newly expanded habitat is to launch a Sumatran tiger breeding center on Safari grounds in cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.
“Wildlife Safari is well known for our species conservation efforts, especially in big cats,” explains Dan Brands, the Safari’s general curator who is responsible for the entire animal collection at the park. “We have incredibly successful breeding programs for animals not known for being easy to breed, especially the cheetah, where we excel to the number two cheetah breeding center on Earth.”
The park boasts 214 cheetah births, and is second only to the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in South Africa. Wildlife Safari hopes that it can help combat the critically endangered status of the Sumatran tiger by extending their success in big cat breeding and conservation into the tiger subspecies.
“The carnivore programs at Wildlife Safari have been an incredibly important part of the park’s history,” according to Jacob Schlueter, the marketing director for the 600 acre animal park, “so much so that this season’s special conservation project was the Tiger Conservation Campaign, spearheaded by the Minnesota Zoo. Wildlife Safari is proud to commit over $20,000 annually to local and international conservation efforts, including taking the fight for tiger conservation to the wilds of Asia.”
Wildlife Safari also supports other international conservation organizations, including Cheetah Conservation Botswana, which they recently held a cell phone recycling program and fundraising campaign for. Through this effort, the park was able to raise a gift of almost $3,000 and more than 50 cell phones for rural farmers in Botswana, to aid in protecting wild cheetahs.
The Ladies Auxiliary of Wildlife Safari held their annual benefit dinner and auction in support of the Tiger Oasis on September 8th, 2016 and raised over $135,000 to complete the project in a single evening. In the many years that the Ladies Auxiliary (LAWS) has been throwing benefits for the park, they’ve raised over $2.2 million and completed projects such as the Elephant Waterhole, one of the park’s top attractions, and the Animal Health Center, a full-service animal hospital which also hosts an international veterinary education program.
Animals from Wildlife Safari’s captive breeding programs are represented in zoos across the country and help to highlight & share in the goal of conservation of wildlife all around the world.
Learn more about the Tiger Conservation Campaign at The Minnesota Zoo.
Symbolically adopt a tiger to help support Wildlife Safari’s mission of conservation and education