WCS's Bronx Zoo Holds Groundbreaking for The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center and the Special Care Unit of the Global Center for Wildlife Health

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

Bronx, NY – Oct. 6, 2010 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo today celebrated the groundbreaking of the LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center and a Special Care Unit of the Global Center for Wildlife Health – two facilities that will help WCS continue its long tradition of connecting people to nature and ensuring exemplary care for animals.

The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center will be home to the Bronx Zoo’s tractable animals which are featured in classroom programs offered through its Education Department. The Special Care Unit will be an addition to the existing Global Center for Wildlife Health and will be where newly acquired animals receive initial medical care upon arrival at the zoo.

“The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center will provide the opportunity for people to experience wildlife up close, creating lasting impressions,” said Steve Sanderson, WCS President and CEO. “The Special Care Unit of the Global Center for Wildlife Health will enable us to continue the tradition of setting the gold standard for animal care. We thank our supporters for helping WCS continue our great traditions well into the future.”

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

Special Care Unit of the Global Center for Wildlife Health
New York State Senate
The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York
New York City Council
The Starr Foundation

Sanderson also thanked the city and state officials who participated in the ground breaking for their support of the projects: New York State Senators Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Jeff Klein; New York City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera; and New York City Councilwoman Annabel Palma.

Construction of both facilities is expected to last approximately 18 months.

The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center will be a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art building that will house the zoo’s tractable animal collection.  These “animal ambassadors” participate in fundraising activities promoting the zoo and WCS conservation activities around the globe.  Specifically designed for the wide variety of animals that will be housed there, the center will accommodate special behind-the-scenes tours allowing special guests to experience wildlife in an intimate, private setting.

The Special Care Unit of the Global Center for Wildlife Health will be a technologically advanced animal holding facility designed to meet environmental needs of the animals. It will be used to initially house and care for animal acquisitions and other animals in the collection in need of specialized care.  From baboons to birds – all new animals will be brought to this facility for their initial health examinations. The Special Care Unit is designed to exceed existing regulatory requirements with air purification systems and disinfecting capabilities, furthering WCS’s ability to deliver the highest standard of care to the animals in all five of its Living Institutions – Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo.

The LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center and the Special Care Unit of the Global Center for Wildlife Health are part of the C.V. Starr Science Campus, made possible through the support of The Starr Foundation and the City of New York.

Contact:    
Max Pulsinelli - 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

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.

If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation.

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