SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In celebration of World Wildlife Day and to reflect the connection between wildlife conservation and the well-being of all life, San Diego Zoo Global is changing its name to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
Officials say the name change reflects the broad, integrated approach the organization takes in protecting wildlife around the globe and emphasizes the interconnected health of animals, people, and the environment.
"While the San Diego Zoo is synonymous with some of the greatest advancements in wildlife care and conservation, our future depends on a sustained and committed focus to the health and well-being of all life on earth," said Paul Baribault, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. "We must evolve to meet the growing needs of wildlife in the 21st century and we can’t do this alone. We are placing partnerships and hope at the heart of our organization through this transformation. As the first responders to wildlife in need, our reason for existence, and our responsibility, is to share our expertise to improve outcomes. That requires global collaboration in animal care, innovative solutions to halt the loss of biodiversity, and dedication to a one health approach."
In celebration of the launch of the new moniker, the organization teamed with world-renowned artist Romero Britto to create a one-of-a-kind mural that will convey the group's mission.
"As an artist, I am in the business of hope. These wonderful creatures don't have a voice, so we must advocate for their future," says Britto. "I believe my art can inspire someone and make them stop and really think about something in a new way that sparks action, awareness and hope. With this grand focus by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance on the importance of partnerships, I look to share how I’ve been inspired by their mission, and can inspire more people to get involved and support their efforts to save wildlife."
Serving as the "front doors" to the alliance will be the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The parks, which welcome more than five million visitors a year, will continue to serve as the first experience visitors can engage with animals and the organization's message.
"If the past twelve months have shown us anything, it’s that everything is interconnected," says Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife health officer at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. "2020 was our wake-up call and 2021 provides a turning point. We have the opportunity to build back better, to restore the balance of nature, and foster a healthy, equitable world where all life thrives."