Conserving endangered species at the Johannesburg Zoo.

The Johannesburg Zoo houses over 300 species of animals from around the globe including at least 10 endangered species, 5 critically endangered species and the Scimitar Horned Oryx which is considered extinct in the wild. During January the Johannesburg Zoo is raising awareness about endangered species and the role of zoos’ in conservation of species. The campaign will highlight threats to these species such as habitat loss, hunting, poaching and pollution but also how people can help save these species in their personal capacity.

Johannesburg Zoo like many other zoos around the world play a vital role in conserving species in captive populations and also breeding threatened species for reintroduction into wild populations. The zoo participates in international captive breeding programmes including species such as the vulnerable Red Panda, endangered Pygmy Hippo and Scimitar Horned Oryx which is extinct in the wild. Other conservation projects focusing on Southern African endangered species include partnerships with VULPRO or Vulture Conservation, Mabula Ground Hornbill Conservation and the Wattled Crane Recovery Programme which aims at captive breeding and release of the critically endangered species such as the Cape Vulture, Southern Ground Hornbill and Wattled Crane.

During January we will be highlighting species which are considered Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered and Extinct in the Wild (in terms of the IUCN’s Red Data list). The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has devised a system of classifying species according to their risk of extinction. There will be educational posters at enclosures and a special inserts of the zoo’s endangered species in our map leaflet. We are offering endangered species tours for visitors to learn about our endangered animals such as the gorilla, wild dog, black rhino and Bactrian camel. The tour will highlight why these animals are at risk of extinction and how the zoo is trying to conserve them.

To book an endangered species tour contact Candice on 011 646 2000 or email 


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