Sun, sand, sea … and trash, and baby sea turtles, and a firsthand view of how to make a difference.
A team of 50 Dallas Zoo staff, volunteers, members and community supporters traveled to South Padre Island recently – not for vacation, but for conservation. The mission: Kemp’s ridley sea turtle habitat restoration.
Sea turtle conservation is close to the Dallas Zoo’s heart. Our affiliated Children’s Aquarium has a famous blue-eyed sea turtle named MJ that was rescued by Sea Turtle Inc.
The trip was part of the Dallas Zoo’s Wild Earth Action Team. Typically, the Zoo is called upon to support conservation organizations through funding or donations, but the Wild Earth Action Team takes it a step further with sweat equity.
“Action seems to be the most direct and powerful way to reinforce conservation identity,” said Ben Jones, dean of the Zoo’s Wild Earth Academy and organizer of the Wild Earth Action Team.
Everything comes back to habitat restoration, and that’s the bulk of the Wild Earth Action Team’s work. Locally they’ve cleaned rivers, planted trees and more. In August, the team will create a monarch butterfly habitat at the Dallas Zoo.
“The Zoo wants to activate our network to help animals, to change the world for wildlife, and this is a way to do it,” Jones said.
(Video and photos by staffer Chelsea Stover)