JACKSON MS – April 13, 2018
 
The Jackson Zoological Society is honored to be one of several non-profits in the Metro area chosen for Comcast Cares Day 2018 on Saturday, April 21st. This the 17th year for America’s largest single-day corporate service event, with volunteers comprised of local Comcast NBCUniversal employees, families, and friends helping community organizations around the world. At 8 a.m. on the 21st, Jackson’s Comcast Cares volunteers will embark on the Comcast Cares 2018 Jackson Zoo Beautification project.
 
Comcast volunteers of all ages will be assisting with spring cleaning tasks, like washing public spaces and fixtures. A few will be specifically focused in the area of the on-site veterinary hospital, and another anticipated project will be the building of picnic benches for public use in shaded areas throughout the zoo. 
 
In addition, the Comcast Foundation is making a monetary donation on behalf of each volunteer that signs up. This provides much needed financial assistance as well as time, skills, and service to many of these family-oriented and educational non-profits.
 
“We are so pleased by Comcast’s joining our Zoo Crew and Zoo Teens for the day,” said Jackson Zoological Society Executive Director Beth Poff. “Volunteers are a necessity to an organization like the Jackson Zoo, and this particular day of service will allow our staff to move forward in other project areas sooner than anticipated. The Comcast family is enabling the Jackson Zoo family to further our mission of quality animal care, education, and conservation.”
 
Volunteer opportunities for April 21st, and the preceding week, are still available by registering online, emailing Volunteer Coordinator Stacy Crain, or calling at 601.352.2580 ext 240. 
 
Read more about Comcast Cares and the Comcast Foundation in the official Comcast NBCUniversal press release..

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March 27, 2018

Jackson, Miss. – 

Today, the Board of Directors for the Jackson Zoological Society accepted and approved a task force recommendation to find a more optimal location for the animals and their visitors within the city of Jackson. The task force, comprised of zoo board members, local business leaders, city representatives, and city residents, spent months assessing the results of several feasibility studies compiled over the past decade. The final recommendation was to investigate the adaptation of 25 acres at the LeFleur’s Bluff State Park into a new zoological and family attraction….

 

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Dec. 18, 2017
Jackson, Miss.—  Animal care staff at the Jackson Zoo are pleased to announce the arrival of a new species to the park at 2918 West Capitol Street, the Asiatic black bear. Two-year-old “Meeko” arrived in late November from the Metro Richmond Zoo in Mosely, Virginia, and has been getting to know his keepers and new home… READ MORE


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Belhaven and Jackson Zoo sign a Memorandum of Understanding on December 1

Jackson, Miss.—  Belhaven University and the Jackson Zoological Society, Inc., proudly announced the continuation and expansion of their long-term partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, December 1st. Members of both organizations came together at the Gertrude C. Ford Education Center at the Jackson Zoo to celebrate their ongoing educational relationship.

 

Per the memorandum, staff and students of the Jackson Zoo and Belhaven University “will develop and expand a framework of cooperation to develop mutually beneficial programs, projects, and activities.” Their partnership will promote, encourage, explore, and share information and resources at both organizations. The expansion will focus on all aspects of education, blending science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and conservation of wildlife and the environment in formal and informal settings.

 

“We are so pleased to be a part of such a tremendous opportunity for both our staff and students,” said Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University. “The Jackson Zoo is such an important resource. Visiting the zoo is not just about entertainment, it is an educational treasure.”

 

Belhaven University has agreed to open their campus to zoo staff and students, share research and new technologies and information, and promote the zoo’s educational and conservational messages and programs. The Jackson Zoo Education Department will allow Belhaven staff and students training and research opportunities on zoo grounds, as well as access to information and programs for staff and students to aid their educational gains.

 

Beth Poff, Executive Director of the zoo, said, “The Jackson Zoological Society is thrilled to formalize the partnership already underway with Belhaven University. Making use of our facilities for formal and informal science and technology is something that we are especially proud of.”

 

The Jackson Zoo is dedicated to wildlife care and conservation, and Belhaven University provides a Christian liberal arts education focused on life and leadership. The two also share a strong foundation in the life sciences and technological advances that can benefit both human and animal experience. In fact, Belhaven students were integral to a water-quality study over the past two years (lead by educators Dr. Reid Bishop and Dr. Elizabeth Brandon), which was an important source of information for animals and guests during an emergency water situation in 2017, providing important data that helped the zoo’s conservation efforts.

 

For more information about Belhaven University, contact David Sprayberry, Public Relations, at dsprayberry@belhaven.edu.


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Staff of the Jackson Zoological Society are sad to announce the death of “Casper,” the 14-year-old Reticulated giraffe who had been greeting visitors since his arrival at the zoo in November of 2004. He died on Sunday afternoon, October 29th, due to complications from urinary blockage.

His keepers witnessed changes in his behavior, and they immediately notified Jackson Zoo veterinarian team, technician Donna Todd, and Doctors Michael and Beckey Holifield. After close observation and testing, they suspected that he might suffer from bladder stones. Since any illness in giraffes can be serious due to their size and build, keepers and the vet team made every effort to resolve the issues and put him back on a healthy track. His condition seemed to improve, as he was seen actively engaging with younger adopted brother, “Knox.” Unfortunately, Casper’s improvement was temporary, and he died behind the scenes with his animal care staff present.

“The male giraffe, Casper, was diagnosed as having urinary stones with a blockage and despite medical management and nutritional changes he did not improve,” said Dr. Michael Holifield in a statement.  “An attempt to surgically remove the stones was unsuccessful.” 

Casper was born in Milwaukee in 2003, and joined the Jackson Zoo when he was one year old. Casper became an icon of the Jackson Zoo experience, as he was almost always the very first animal encountered when guests entered the gates.

Unfortunately, zoo staff has also been adjusting to the loss of the female Amur leopard, “Katya,” who had to be euthanized on October 15th. She had been exhibiting signs of extreme age related issues for some time, and her keepers monitored her closely. When her behavior indicated a serious quality of life decline, her caregivers made the difficult decision to let her go. Katya was born at the Pittsburg Zoo in 2000, and had joined the Asian area of the Jackson Zoo in November of 2005. She and her surviving mate, “Nicolai,” were part of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Program. They have a female offspring in Cape May Zoo, NJ.

“Life and death, occurring for all living things, is part of the day to day experience in any zoo,” said Jackson Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff.  “Every animal’s passing is felt, especially with the ones that our guests see as long time ‘celebrities.’  It will be sad to no longer greet ‘Casper’ as we enter the zoo, he will be missed.”

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