This year, the people of Milwaukee are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the city zoo. Zoo employees are making big moves to welcome this landmark. The Milwaukee County Zoo is having an endless celebration up to the exact date of the anniversary, which is in July. The zoo is having “rollback weekends” where various kiosks sell goods for the price they would have been in 1892. This gives visitors a sense of how life was over a century ago. “I love to see the reaction of children and parents when they notice the prices. Children are shocked to see how “cheap” candy used to be.” says Rolanda Smith, Guest and Service representative.
Along with great experiences within the zoo, the zoo is making monumental changes outside of the zoo as well. This year the Milwaukee County Zoo introduced their new project Stump Out Ivory Trade. It is a movement they began to omit the sale, purchase, and trade of ivory in the state of Wisconsin. The enourage all Wisconsinites help step up to make ivory trade illegal.
Originally, ivory represented elite status amongst African tribes and was worn amongst kings and nobles, but after colonization, the decline of the elephant and rhino population had rapidly dropped. Elephants and rhinos around the world are hunted and killed by poachers only for their tusks. As of 2014, it has been recorded to be only 29,000 rhinos existing today. Their population continues to diminish explaining why they are on the endangered species list. Elephants on the other hand are expected to be extinct within 25 years. “In the news I saw how this man broke into a zoo in Paris and killed a rhino for his tusks.”, says Anne, Wild Life Volunteer.
The sale, purchase, and trade of ivory is illegal in five states, Wisconsin is hoping to be next. Help the Milwaukee County Zoo support this movement by logging on to their online petition!