Posts Tagged With: AAZK

A hugely successful year with AAZK

Russell Pharr, elephant keeper and president of the American Association of Zookeepers Dallas chapter, guest blogs on ZooHoo!

IMG_6203 SFRTwenty-sixteen was a very successful year for the Dallas American Association of Zookeepers Chapter!  We hosted a huge range of great events and, while having an amazing time, helped make the world a better place for animals.

Join us as we take a look back at 2016:

Bowling and Sailing for Rhinos

IMG_6113 SFRThis was our 25th year participating in the 26-year-old Bowling for Rhinos program, and our fifth year partnering with Alley Cats in Arlington.  In addition to bowling, arcade games, miniature golf, and laser tag, we debuted a BFR photo booth, had a bowling pin decorating contest for the second consecutive year, and hosted our first-ever takeover on Dallas Zoo’s Facebook to help promote the event!

Most importantly, Bowling for Rhinos in Dallas raised $18,000 – 100% of which goes directly to save rhinos, cheetahs, and other animals in Kenya and Indonesia. Nationally, AAZK chapters in the U.S. and Canada raised over $600,000 – an all-time record!

Our one-of-a-kind Sailing for Rhinos event raised $6,000 to help AAZK causes. We continued our partnership with Corinthian Sailing Club and had great weather once again for one of our favorite events.

Labor Day Book Sale

Our annual book sale broke records this year, raising more than $2,000 over three days of selling used books, DVDs, and other items donated by the Dallas Zoo community. Profits were split between the Okapi Conservation Project (the okapi was our 2016 “featured animal,” decided by a staff vote in our second annual AAZK March Madness contest) and the Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford, Texas. Our book sale continued a partnership between Dallas AAZK and the Zoo’s Enrichment Committee as we sold animal-painted magnets and bookmarks, and allowed us the perfect platform to introduce tote bags with our chapter logo printed on them!

Painting with a TwistOther Conservation Events

Our first-ever painting event, the Painting With a Twist for World Giraffe Day in June, not only raised $1,300 for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, but also provided a fun way to honor the memory of Dallas Zoo’s own, late Kipenzi.

Our first-ever Salamander Saturday event in May helped raise funds and awareness for some of nature’s less-appreciated creatures. Our contributed funds also helped the Foundation for Conservation of Salamanders to offer a Texas-specific grant for researchers working on salamanders (and we have some amazing endemic species here)! Read more »

Categories: Conservation, Events, Zookeepers | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Bowling for Rhinos: They don’t bowl, but we do!

Last year's Bowling for Rhinos event at Alley Cats Family Entertainment Center was a hit!

Last year’s Bowling for Rhinos event at Alley Cats Family Entertainment Center was a huge hit for animal conservation!

Russell, elephant keeper and president of the American Association of Zookeepers Dallas chapter, guest blogs on ZooHoo!

At first glance, bowling and animal conservation might seem like an odd pair. Two fine things in their own right, but not exactly an automatic match. But for 25 years, zookeepers have made the two go hand-in-hand with Bowling for Rhinos.

Every summer, local chapters of the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) from around the U.S. and Canada host Bowling for Rhinos events. The proceeds – every last cent – goes to wildlife conservation efforts that help rhinos as well as countless other species, from elephants to amphibians, that share rhino habitat in East Africa and Indonesia. Last year, over

Where else can you buy an animal painting? The silent auction is always a hit.

Where else can you buy a Dallas Zoo animal painting? The silent auction is always a hit.

$500,000 was raised through the Bowling for Rhinos program, and since its inception over $5 million has been raised.

As the president of the Dallas AAZK Chapter, I’m proud to be in charge of one of the longest-running and most successful Bowling for Rhinos programs in the nation. While the profits from all BFR events are ultimately pooled together before being sent out (you can read more about where the money goes here), AAZK chapters engage in a little friendly competition to see who can raise the most money.

Over the entire run of the Bowling for Rhinos program, Dallas AAZK is the #3 all-time fundraising chapter, with over $200,000 raised! Not bad for zookeepers working in their spare time to help save animals.

For fun, engaging, family-friendly way to help save animals, we invite you to come out to Bowling for Rhinos 2015! This year’s event will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 6-10 p.m. at Alley Cats Family Entertainment Center in Arlington. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and include bowling, arcade games, laser tag, and mini-golf.  On any other night, that would cost more than $40 – so BFR is a great bargain as well as a great cause! We’ll also have a raffle, silent auction, and special appearances by Dallas Zoo animals. Tickets can be purchased through the Dallas AAZK website. Please contact with questions. All of us at Dallas AAZK hope to see you there!

WATCH this video of the Dallas AAZK chapter’s annual Bowling for Rhinos event.

Categories: Africa, Conservation, Zookeepers | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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