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Blog - Phoenix Zoo Conservation

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Lions and Tigers and Poker Chips, Oh My!

Gila River Gives Back to the Phoenix Zoo

When you play at Gila River Hotels & Casinos, you play for good. Did you know that under the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming compacts, 12% of the tribe’s contribution to the state has been invested back into Arizona to improve education, healthcare, conservation and public safety throughout the state? To show you how these tribal gaming revenues directly impact organizations, we are celebrating our partnership with the Phoenix Zoo this month.

The Phoenix Zoo is a leader in conservation efforts in Arizona and around the world. As one of the largest nonprofit zoos in the country, they rely solely on funding from earned income and philanthropic support. It has been a staple of our state for almost 60 years and one that we are proud to support.

The Phoenix Zoo facilitated a series of capital projects thanks to contributions from Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Gila River Indian Community, including the expansion of the elephant habitat on the Tropics Trail, new habitats coming on the Africa Trail, the construction of a 500-seat amphitheater, as well as the expansion and upgrade of the species conservation research facilities and programs.

Elephant Habitats

Indu and Sheena, the Zoo’s two magnificent Asian elephants, are getting a little more comfortable! The expansion of the elephant habitat on the Tropics Trail provided additional space for the animals as well as areas for husbandry care and behavioral enrichment. New opportunities to see the high level of care required to maintain these magnificent animals provides guests a better understanding of elephants, from their sensitive feet to their very active brains.

Africa Trail

The expansion of the Africa Trail will be the Zoo’s largest capital project to date, spanning six acres and featuring new, up-close animal viewing. The expanded Africa Trail will feature several new habitats for meerkats, warthogs and a new, one-acre home to African lions and hyenas. The Africa Trail showcases many of the most popular animals in the world, including the hamadryas baboon, mandrill, ostrich, gazelle, Southern white rhino, lions, cheetahs and giraffes... just to name a few!

Amphitheater

The Phoenix Zoo takes pride in their educational efforts and the new 500-seat amphitheater provides a flexible space for the Zoo to facilitate artistic performances, school group gatherings and organizational functions. It also provides housing and care for the Zoo’s educational birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods.

Conservation Center

Lastly, the grant provided the ability to upgrade the Zoo’s native species conservation center. An additional facility was built to increase the Zoo’s conservation science capacity and provide more space for critical work on behalf of endangered Arizona species.

Thanks to funds generated at Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Gila River Indian Community, the Phoenix Zoo will continue to lead Arizona, and the world, in conservation efforts for years to come.

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