Snow Leopard Presentation at Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo snow leopardOn Tuesday, February 10, 2015, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Oakland Zoo welcomes guest speaker Dr. Rodney Jackson, Director and Founder of Snow Leopard Conservancy. The public is invited to attend this engaging evening and learn how poaching and illegal trading of the snow leopard’s exquisite fur and highly valued body parts are putting the animal in significant danger.

Not only are these beautiful animals being poached, snow leopards are also seen as a threat to farmers. The big cats are known to hunt domestic livestock, which is fueling a feud of farmer versus snow leopard. “Animals all over the world are challenged by sharing their habitat with people,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “The term ‘Human-Wildlife Conflict’ has become more well-known for a reason. Organizations like Snow Leopard Conservancy give us hope that these conflicts can find resolutions. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Jackson, who is renowned for conserving snow leopards. I know that this presentation will inspire our guests to believe that solutions to even the most complicated conflicts are possible, and that a peaceable kingdom for people and animals is in our future.” According to research by Snow Leopard Conservancy, it is estimated that there are only 4,500 – 7,500 wild snow leopards left in the world.

Dr. Rodney Jackson is the leading expert on wild snow leopards and their high-mountain habitat. Upon receiving a 1981 Rolex Award for Enterprise, Rodney launched a pioneering radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the remote mountains of the Nepalese Himalaya. The four-year study led to the cover story in the June 1986 National Geographic. In addition, the June, 2008 issue of National Geographic featured Rodney’s work with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India. “We at the Conservancy believe every snow leopard deserves a better and more secure future,” said Dr. Rodney Jackson. “When I first began studying snow leopards thirty-five years ago, it was nearly impossible to see one in the wild. Now, people who visit Ladakh, India are able to see wild snow leopards several times over just a few days. While this is only in one country, it shows that by working with local communities there is hope for this magnificent cat throughout its range. We are proud to support these communities and the in-country conservationists who work with them to help promote positive outcomes for both snow leopards and humans alike.” Snow Leopard Conservancy has grown out of Rodney’s experience gained in working closely with rural herders and farmers whose lives are directly impacted when snow leopards prey upon their livestock.

The Conservation Speaker Series will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located in the lower entrance of the Zoo. Parking is free and the admission price for the evening’s speaker presentations is $12.00 – $20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Snow Leopard Conservency. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director, atamy@oaklandzoo.org.

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