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A federally endangered, African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) at the Houston Zoo.

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Patagonian Cavy or ‘Mara’ (Dolichotis patagonum) at the Houston Zoo. This species is the fourth largest rodent in the world.

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New Guinea snapping turtle (Elseya novaeguineae) at the Fort Worth Zoo.

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Gray-banded kingsnake (Lampropeltis alterna) at the Fort Worth Zoo.

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Wagler’s temple viper (Trimeresurus wagleri) at the Fort Worth Zoo.

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Gray-banded kingsnake (Lampropeltis alterna) at the Fort Worth Zoo.

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Silkie showgirl chickens at the Fort Worth Zoo. These are domestic animals, used for education here.

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Silkie showgirl chickens at the Fort Worth Zoo. These are domestic animals, used for education here.

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Silkie showgirl chickens at the Fort Worth Zoo. These are domestic animals, used for education here.

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Like all gibbons, the gray gibbon has unusually long arms which are used to move through trees and to forage. This endangered species is being ‘phased out’ at zoos because there are too few in captivity to keep bloodlines vital and the species isn’t showy.

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A vulnerable big-headed Amazon river turtle (Peltocephalus dumerilianus) at the National Aquarium, Baltimore.

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A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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An endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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An endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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Vulnerable swan goose (Anser cygnoides) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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A vulnerable black-billed whistling duck (Dendrocygna arborea) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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The endangered grey gibbon (Hylobates muelleri muelleri) may not be seen in captivity much longer. There are now too few in captivity to keep their population sustained and too few in the wild to bring more in. With limited space and funding, zoos must make hard choices every year in deciding which species to breed and which to let go, or ‘phase out’.

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A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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Vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered Palawan peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) at the Houston Zoo.

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An endangered golden parakeet (Guaruba guarouba) at the Houston Zoo.

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A red bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra) at the Houston Zoo. Listed as near threatened on IUCN.

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A red bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra) at the Houston Zoo. Listed as near threatened on IUCN.

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A vulnerable blue-throated piping guan (Pipile cumanensis) at the Miller Park Zoo.

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A critically endangered blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) at the Houston Zoo.

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A critically endangered blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) at the Houston Zoo.

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A vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa nebulosa) at the Houston Zoo.

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Video-taping a critically endangered Madagascar big-headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at the Houston Zoo.

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A vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa nebulosa) at the Houston Zoo.

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A critically endangered Madagascar big-headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at the Houston Zoo.

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A Malayan crestless fireback (Lophura erythrophthalma) at the Houston Zoo.

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An endangered Mariana fruit dove (Ptilinopus roseicapilla) at the Houston Zoo.

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An endangered Mariana fruit dove (Ptilinopus roseicapilla) at the Houston Zoo.

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A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) at the Houston Zoo. This bird persists outside of captivity only because captive bred individuals have continued to be released into the wild.

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A Northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita) at the Houston Zoo. This is a critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered bird from the Middle East.

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Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Edward’s pheasants (Lophura edwardsi) at the Sunset Zoo. The male has the color, while the hen is brown. This bird is so rare it’s now nearly gone in the wild. Zoos play a critical role as modern day arks, preserving species that would otherwise be lost to extinction.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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