EL PASO, Texas – On Monday morning, photographer and journalist Christina Selby began a 2-day photo shoot with the El Paso Zoo’s Mexican wolves. These photos will be an important piece of Selby’s portfolio, which she is developing to support long-term Mexican wolf conservation.

“I am creating a portfolio of images that powerfully tells the story of Mexican wolves,” explained Selby. “I hope to be able to dispel myths about wolf behavior, shed light on the challenges the wolves face, and support the important recovery work that’s happening in our region.”

During her time at the Zoo, Selby will work with zookeepers to photograph the wolves inside their habitat. She will also set up a motion-triggered camera that will allow for closer, more intimate photos.

“The work that zoos do to protect endangered species is really important,” Selby said, “especially as the wild population is struggling. Zoos will play an increasingly important conservation role going forward and I’m excited to be able to document those efforts here at the El Paso Zoo.”

Supporting Selby’s work is one of the many ways that the El Paso Zoo is investing in Mexican wolf recovery. In October, Zoo staff members assisted conservation organizations in building boundary fences to protect wild wolf populations in the Gila Wilderness. In addition, during two separate trips in November, members of the Zoo staff helped round up wolves near Truth or Consequences for physical exams, vaccines, and parasite treatments that prepared them for being released into the wild in Mexico.

“It’s all about partnering,” said Zoo Director Steve Marshall. “No one organization can do it all on their own, but by joining together, we are actively saving animals from extinction. I am very proud that the El Paso Zoo is able to consistently support such important conservation and recovery efforts.”

To learn more about Christina Selby, visit christinamselby.com.
For more information about the El Paso Zoo, visit elpasozoo.org. 

Image used on homepage is © Christina Selby, 2016

EL PASO, Texas – Christmas came early at the El Paso Zoo with the highly-anticipated arrival of Brianna, the Zoo’s first female Przewalski’s horse. Brianna arrived on Tuesday, December 6 and will soon join Vitalis, the Zoo’s male Przewalski’s horse to become the Zoo’s first breeding pair of these endangered horses.

“In the 1960s, Przewalski’s horse were extinct in the wild,” explained Zoo Director Steve Marshall. “We are proud to join the important ongoing effort to preserve these magnificent creatures and reintroduce them to their natural habitats.”

Brianna came to the El Paso Zoo from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virgina. Born at the Bronx Zoo, she is eight years old and weighs approximately 775 pounds. The transfer comes as a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose Species Survival Plan®(SSP) works to conserve species such as the Przewalski’s horse through breeding and transfer plans. These plans are designed to empower accredited zoos, such as the El Paso Zoo, to protect and breed endangered animals in order to save them from extinction.

“Now that Brianna has arrived at the Zoo, she will go through a 30-40 day quarantine period,” explained Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Misty Garcia. “We just want to make sure she is healthy and has some quiet time to adjust to her new surroundings. So far she is doing very well.”

Muscular and stocky with light brown bodies and bristly black manes, Przewalski’s horses are the only wild, undomesticated horse remaining in the world. Their name, pronounced “shuh-VAL-skee” comes from Nikolai Przewalski, the 19th-century explorer who is credited with their discovery.

Through the collaborative efforts of AZA-accredited zoos and conservation partners, hundreds of Przewalski’s horses have returned to the wild. While there are still threats to the Przewalski’s horse’s survival, including climate change and encroaching private farms, active conservation strategies and breeding initiatives such as these will help ensure a stable, genetically-diverse population that will roam the wild for years to come. 

EL PASO, Texas –On Wednesday, December 14 at 10:30 a.m., the El Paso Zoo will host the Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the highly-anticipated Wildlife Amphitheater, followed immediately by El Paso’s first Wings of the World bird show.  

This unique new venue, boasting 300-seats in a state-of-the-art amphitheater, is one of the several exciting Quality of Life Bond projects that has now been completed throughout the City of El Paso. The theater will be a place for guests to engage and learn in a whole new way through animal encounters, educational programs, concerts, and much more.

The El Paso Zoo is proud to welcome Wings of the World to the Wildlife Amphitheater stage, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Paul and Alejandra Foster and the El Paso Zoological Society. Wings of the World is a world-renowned free flight bird show and will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Zoo guests to experience the majesty of animals as they swoop, soar, and dive through the air. The show will be led by Joe Krathwohl – known as The Birdman – who has dedicated himself to the care and preservation of birds and has developed the largest free flight bird show in the world (and the only show featuring trained condors and cassowary!).

Public Wings of the World shows will begin Saturday, December 17. Shows will take place at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends and 2 p.m. on weekdays. 

This project was made possible by the 2012 Quality of Life Bond, through which the El Paso Zoo was approved for $50 million to complete a 10-year master plan that will allow the Zoo to continue to be an engaging place of discovery, a respected center for informal environmental education, a contributor to stewardship-based conservation action – and a destination for great fun!