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A Wilder Launch

To celebrate the global launch of the Wilder Institute, we collaborated with famed National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore and the Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark to share a larger-than-life endangered species projection onto the Calgary Tower. People from across Canada tuned in virtually, drove down and walked up to see the once-in-a-lifetime show. In addition, buildings in downtown Calgary, including the Calgary Tower, Arts Commons, and Olympic Plaza, turned green to mark the momentous occasion.

The National Geographic Photo Ark, led by photographer Joel Sartore, is a multiyear effort to document every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. This was the first time that stunning images from the Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark had been projected outdoors in this way. 16 spectacular species were featured, 11 of which the Wilder Institute has directly supported and will continue to work to save. Missed the excitement? You can watch the global launch party here.

“In 2016 we began a journey to transform from a zoo that did conservation work into a conservation organization that operates a zoo, said Dr. Clément Lanthier, President & CEO of Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “As part of our ambitious strategic plan, we are deepening our conservation efforts globally and aiming to significantly grow our community of supporters to enable this critical work. We are taking this opportunity to launch an action-focused brand, alongside the iconic Calgary Zoo brand, that highlights our deepest hopes – that the wild becomes WILDER!”

The Wilder Institute is our newly launched wildlife conservation charity which oversees the Calgary Zoo’s conservation portfolio including community conservation and conservation translocation/reintroduction programs saving species such as: hippos, lemurs, mountain bongo, sitatunga, Vancouver Island marmot, burrowing owl, whooping crane, fisher, half-moon hairstreak butterfly, northern leopard frog, greater sage-grouse, swift fox, black-tailed prairie dog and black-footed ferret, sihek (Guam kingfisher) and Carolinian forest species.

“As one of Canada’s leading conservation charities, we have a tremendous opportunity to inspire and educate our community on how each of us can make a difference for wildlife here in Canada and around the world,” said Dr. Clément Lanthier, President & CEO of Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “We don’t believe in inevitability. We believe in taking action. The Wilder Institute is the next step in our journey to restore balance and secure a future for all living things.”

As part of an ambitious 10-year plan, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo will be deepening our global conservation efforts by:

  • Promoting our conservation work and engaging communities, ramping up conservation efforts nationally and internationally – this means more projects and more species we will actively be involved in not only saving but returning species to the wild;
  • Growing our community of generous supporters by engaging more Canadians to take action to save wildlife; and
  • Deepening relationships with current conservation partners and looking for further partners to do meaningful conservation work around the world to restore balance to wildlife and human life, together.

Ready to be wilder? Join our global movement of action-takers inspired to restore balance between wildlife and human life, together.

Photo credit: Neil Zeller (top & bottom left) and Walt DeBoni (top & bottom right)

Photo credit: Neil Zeller

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Incredible successes can be achieved when people are inspired to support wildlife conservation.

Much has been accomplished already, but the need to do more increases every day. Together we can make the world a wilder place.

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