Bronx Zoo Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Opening the LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center and Expanded Wildlife Health Center

LaMattina Center ribbon cutting Photo
Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Both buildings are part of the C.V. Starr Science Campus at the Bronx Zoo


Bronx, NY – Oct. 4, 2012 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo has completed construction of two buildings – the LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center, an education center that will enthrall students as they learn about wildlife and wild places, and an expansion of its Wildlife Health Center. The buildings were unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

The facilities will help WCS continue its long tradition of connecting people to nature and providing the gold standard in animal care.

“The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center will play a vital role in WCS’s educational priorities; housing the animals we use in our education program and providing people the opportunity to experience animals up-close as they learn about wildlife and the threats they face around the world,” said WCS President and CEO Dr. Cristián Samper. “The expanded Wildlife Health Center will enable us to continue the tradition of providing the highest level of medical support for animals in our care. We thank our supporters for making these facilities a reality.”

Said Jim Breheny, Executive Vice President and General Director of WCS Zoos & Aquarium and Jonathan Little Cohen Director of the Bronx Zoo: “These state-of-the-art facilities will help the Bronx Zoo continue to lead in the advancement of animal husbandry, zoological veterinary medicine, conservation science, and education.”

The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center is a 10,460-square-foot building that will house animals used in the zoo’s education programs.

The Wildlife Health Center expansion is a 6,600-square-foot medical facility. Animals coming to the Bronx Zoo can be brought to this building for quarantine and health examinations before they enter the zoo’s exhibits.

Both will play an important role in the day-to-day function of the zoo by ensuring top-quality veterinary care for wildlife in and outside of the five WCS wildlife parks and furthering efforts to educate people about wildlife and conservation.

John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs thanked the city and state officials who supported the construction of the buildings and participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony: New York State Senators Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Jeff Klein and New York City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera.

Other supporters of the project in attendance were John and Mary LaMattina and Florence Davis from the Starr Foundation.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is grateful for the generous support of those who made these projects possible:

LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center

John and Mary LaMattina

The Bodman Foundation

New York State Senate

New York City Council

The Starr Foundation

Wildlife Health Center Expansion

New York State Senate

The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York

New York City Council

The Starr Foundation

The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center and expanded Wildlife Health Center are part of the C.V. Starr Science Campus, made possible through the support of The Starr Foundation and the City of New York. Construction of both buildings began in October 2010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

CONTACT:

Max Pulsinelli - 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org

Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

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