For Immediate Release
May 25, 2017

Jackson, Miss.—  Trustmark has made their second donation to the Experience Zoo initiative, giving 40 Jackson Zoo family memberships to the Mississippi Army National Guard. Trustmark officials will be officially presenting the annual passes to the 185th Command at a press conference on Thursday, June 1st, at 10:30 am at the Dino exhibit of the Jackson Zoo, 2918 West Capitol Street.

Trustmark is committed to investing in the future of building stronger communities in its footprint. They were the inaugural sponsor of Experience Zoo in the summer of 2016, purchasing annual Jackson Zoo passes for employees of the City of Jackson police and fire departments.  Trustmark then issued a challenge to other local companies, and were joined in the program by Southern Farm Bureau, Nix-Tann, and Whataburger, who sponsored 172nd MS Air National Guard Families.

“The zoo’s natural scenery can give families under the daily stress of public service a neutral space to bond, reconnect, and gather with other families for support, as well as receive discounts on zoo programs and at local restaurants,” said Jackson Zoo Development Director Trey Jones. “Experience Zoo honors our public servants by allowing their families to receive all the benefits of the zoo at no cost to them, and the park receives the necessary revenue for daily operations.”

Outreach Services at the MS Army National Guard supports thousands of Military Families in the state, and knew their dependents could benefit from Experience Zoo. When Jones reached out to Trustmark on behalf of the 185th Aviation Brigade, the financial services institution didn’t hesitate to recommit to the program.

“At Trustmark, we strive to be actively engaged in community initiatives that support Military Families,” Trustmark Director of Marketing and Communications Melanie Morgan stated. “They sacrifice so much for our freedoms, it really is our honor to give our local service members an opportunity to make memories with their families in a recreational and educational environment.”

“On behalf of the MS National Guard Outreach Services team, we are honored to partner with the Jackson Zoo and Trustmark as they support our Service Members and their Families who serve our great state and nation,” said Lt. Col. Deidre Smith, Director MSNG Outreach Services.

“For nearly a century, the Jackson Zoo has been a safe space for families to spend quality time together that is both fun and educational, bringing people together in the natural environment,” said Jackson Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff. “Experience Zoo was created to help more families, and we love seeing it in action.”

Local media and visitors are invited out on June 1st to commemorate both Trustmark’s continued community involvement, and the Military Families who dedicate their lives to service. Immediately following the presentation of memberships, representatives from all three organizations will be available for comments: Art Stevens, President of Retail Banking, and Pam Hart, Vice President, Community Relations, of Trustmark;  LTC James “Brandon” Haynie, PhD., 185th Commander, MSNG, and LTC Deidre Smith, Director of Outreach Services MSNG;  and Jackson Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff.

For more information about Trustmark’s community outreach, please email Trustmark Director of Marketing and Communications Melanie Morgan at mmorgan@trustmark.com or call 601-208-2979.

To learn more about the MS National Guard Outreach Services, please contact LTC Deidre Smith, Director, by calling 601.313.6422, or sending an email to deidre.d.smith8.mil@mail.mil.

To find out how to support Experience Zoo, contact Trey Jones, Development Director for the Jackson Zoo, at 601-352-2580 ext 225, or email tjones@jacksonzoo.org.

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The Jackson Zoo is accredited by the Zoological Association of America, and certified by the Better Business Bureau. The mission of the Jackson Zoo is to provide visitors with a quality recreational and educational environment dedicated to wildlife care and conservation.  For more information, visit The Jackson Zoo online at jacksonzoo.org, or on facebook.com/JacksonZoo

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2017

Jackson, Miss.—  Between the rapidly growing Mississippi craft beer culture and the recent arrival of the three-month Dinos exhibit, this year’s 10th Annual Jackson Zoo Brew will truly be bigger than ever. Thanks to Capital City Beverages, BankPlus, Bradley Arent Boult Cummings, and Lady Luck Casino, this age 21 and up event will feature a homebrew competition and over 80 different craft beers this Friday, April 7, 2017, from 6-9 pm.

Guests will receive a Zoo Brew souvenir tasting cup, unlimited tasting of craft beer and free food from 10 local restaurants while supplies last. VIP ticket holders not only receive early entry but will also enjoy encounters from the Jackson Zoo Ambassador Animals, and help judge the Home Brew Competition with Raise Your Pints. Lucky Town Brewery will also showcase the “Get T-Rex’d” IPA created especially for the Jackson Zoo. Cathead Distillery and Fondren Public will be serving specialty cocktails, and local restaurant favorites like Fenian’s, Martin’s, Hal & Mal’s, The Iron Horse Grill, The Pig & Pint, The Manship, Sal & Phil’s, The Bulldog, Johnny T’s, and Billy’s Original Foods will be sampling signature dishes with help from US Foods and Pepsi/Brown Bottling. The Annual Tyson Wing Eating Competition and Cook-off will take place at the Gertrude C Ford Wildlife Adventures Theater, culminating in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies, as well as a decision for Best Wings.

The zoo animals will remain on exhibit until dusk, and then beer aficionados can spend the rest of the evening with the lifelike animatronic dinosaurs from Billings Productions. (Jackson Zoo Dinos 2017 is sponsored by Regions, M3A Architecture, United HealthCare Community Plan of MS, Puckett Machinery, and Martinson’s Garden Works of Ridgeland.) Ambience will be provided by Davaine Lighting, as well as live music from AJC & the Envelope Pushers, DJ Young Venom, Chris Gill and Joe Carroll. This year’s signature art was again created by the award-winning Mad Genius, with the posters and flyers courtesy of Alliance Printing. Radio sponsors Y101 and MIX 98.7 will also be on site. Guests can also help raise additional funds for the zoo by entering a raffle featuring prizes from Lady Luck Hotel & Casino, Buffalo Peak Outfitters and Capital City Beverages.

Along with Zoo Party in September, Zoo Brew is one of the Jackson Zoological Society’s two annual adults-only fundraisers. From a small beginning in 2007 of 80 attendants, to last year’s total of around 1,500, the event has grown along with the craft beer industry. At least 14 craft breweries operate in Mississippi, and according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, the craft beer industry is now worth $56 billion nationally.

“The first couple of years, it was just a few samples for a local craft beer audience, barely breaking even,” says Executive Director Beth Poff. “But Zoo Brew has become THE fundraising party for the Jackson Zoological Society, raising more than $50,000. With the support of Raise Your Pints and the expanding craft beer community, it is becoming a signature beer event for the State of Mississippi.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at jacksonzoo.org. General Admission is $40 per person, $45 day of event, VIP tickets are $70 each, and Designated Driver tickets can be purchased for $20. Parking is free, and IDs will be checked at the gate. All proceeds will apply to the General Fund of the Jackson Zoological Society.

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The Jackson Zoo is accredited by the Zoological Association of America, and certified by the Better Business Bureau. The mission of the Jackson Zoo is to provide visitors with a quality recreational and educational environment dedicated to wildlife care and conservation.  For more information, visit The Jackson Zoo online at jacksonzoo.or, or on facebook.com/JacksonZoo

 

PRESS RELEASE Zoo Brew 2017


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December 20, 2016

On December 13th, the Jackson Zoo received an official letter of accreditation from the Zoological Association of America (ZAA). The ZAA is made up of over 60 properties in the United States, including the Fort Worth Zoo, San Antonio Zoo, and Pittsburgh Zoo, among others.

Originally formed in 1987, the mission of the ZAA is “to promote responsible ownership, management, conservation, and propagation of animals in both private and public facilities through professional standards in husbandry, animal care, safety and ethics.”  ZAA accredited members are among the finest facilities in the United States, with the best safety record of any of the major zoological trade associations.

The inspection took place in November, with several members of the ZAA spending time going over the property, examining exhibits, animals and records, and meeting staff members. Properties are judged on the following criteria:

Physical Facility
Husbandry and Animal Care Practices
Record Keeping and Health Care Records
Knowledge of Animals by Personnel
Animal Diet and Nutrition
Facility Security
Veterinary Care
Licensing and Permits
Safety Plans

The letter stated that the Jackson Zoo has continued to meet all ZAA’s objectives: professional standards for husbandry and animal care practices; accurate animal and medical records; appropriate, safe, and quality existence for animals kept in a captive environment; safe environment for humans, both staff and visitors; and enhanced survival of species by the use of appropriate methods.

“ZAA accreditation standards meet or exceed all accepted industry standards,” said Jackson Zoo Director Beth Poff. “Our recognition by this organization shows that our animal care and safety standards have been and will continue to be our highest priority.”

The accreditation has been granted for the next five years, and allows Jackson Zoo staff additional support for care and husbandry of the over 200 species that reside on West Capitol. The Jackson Zoo is continuously regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Mississippi State Department of Fish & Wildlife (MSDFW).

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The Annual Membership Meeting held at the Jackson Zoo on Tuesday, October 18th, announced new members to the Jackson Zoo Board of Directors, and also included a ribbon cutting and special giraffe encounter.

Outgoing President Mrs. JoAnne Prichard Morris was elected for her second term, joining new board members Mr. William McElroy, Mrs. Kimberly Hardy, and Mrs. Gene Wright for 2016-2019. Board members are nominated by a committee, and are then elected to serve one or two three-year terms. Mr. Russell Turley was elected President, and Mr. Jeffrey Graves was elected Vice-president.

In addition, Mrs. Erin Shirley-Orey, Ms. Serena Wilson, and Mr. Eric Stracener concluded their second three-year terms. Each was rewarded a plaque of recognition for their service to the Jackson Zoo.

Zoo members, board members, zoo staff and their families enjoyed the park after hours, officially completing the new seating at the Gertrude C. Ford Wildlife Adventures Theater with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Maggie Bjorgum of Belinda Stewart Architects was recognized for her work, and the Gertrude C Ford Foundation, project sponsor, was honored for its continuing support of the Jackson Zoo.

Guests were also invited to a special Keeper Chat with “Casper” and “Kevin Davis Knox”, the two Reticulated giraffes that greet all park guests. Casper joined the Jackson Zoo in 2004, and will have his 13th birthday on October 31st. His now two-year-old “adopted” brother joined the zoo in June of 2015. K.D. was named in honor of Kevin Stump, CEO of Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, and Davis Frye of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, who sponsored his arrival.

For more information regarding board nominations, elections, duties and responsibilities, please contact info@jacksonzoo.org.

 

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Questions about AZA Resignation

Lots of people are asking questions about what resigning from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums means for the Jackson Zoo.

In order to better help everyone understand what this is all about, here are the most asked questions and the answers regarding the Jackson Zoo Boards recent decision.

“What is the AZA?”

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a group of zoo and animal care professionals that have agreed on a level of standards for zoos regarding animal care, facilities, business structure and financing, development, conservation, and species survival. It is well respected, and can make certain aspects of running a zoo easier.

The Jackson Zoo plans to re-apply as soon as possible, but until that time, we still work with other AZA zoos and professionals. In fact, key members of zoo staff remain a part of the AZA organization, and ALL staff remain dedicated to the practices and policies of the AZA.

“Will we lose animals on loan from other zoos?”

Not that we know of. The Jackson Zoo Deputy Director has talked to many of the zoos that we currently work with. No one has given any indication that they would request the return of their animals, and are understanding and empathetic to our course of action. It also follows that the Jackson Zoo will not request the return of any animals we have on loan to AZA zoos.

Our level of animal care is not in question.

 

“Is the Jackson Zoo failing/closing?”

No. Daily operations will not experience any change, and currently scheduled 2016 activities are a go, plus events for 2017 and beyond are in concrete planning stages.

COMING UP:

Thursday, we have PokemonGO Safari from 5-7:30. $5 for general admission, $3 for members
September 3-5 is Frozen Treat Animal Enrichment Weekend, 3 days of keepers doling out frozen treats to their animals (regular admission).
September 22 is Zoo Party Unleashed at Highland Village.
Also to come is Boo at the Zoo in October and Cookies with Santa in December.

The Jackson Zoo Board of Directors unveiled the Ten Year Plan for a “new zoo” at the end of 2015, and part of the decision to formally resign from the AZA for a brief period is to make that plan a reality. In the coming two to three years, we will be building the financial stability to step into our second century and fulfill the vision of how our currently good zoo can become great.


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