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September 12th 2014……The Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter was represented at the 2014 annual Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)/ International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) joint conference held in Orlando, Florida from September 14th-18th.
Curator of Terrestrial Exhibits & Education Programmes Geddes Hislop attended the conference, which was the first joint conference that AZA held in conjunction with IMATA resulting in close to 2000 attendees.
The majority of participants (presenters and spectators) were managerial/ supervisory level personnel from institutions all across North America. There were also representatives from Latin America, Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
The Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter is not a member of the AZA, but was represented as an observer.
The Opening General Session of the conference focused on the Impacts of Zoos & Aquariums. Worldwide there are 7 billion people on the planet, approximately 50% of which live in major developed areas such as cities. Zoos and aquariums often provide the only means by which these people can directly connect with nature.
AZA institutions currently operate 2978 conservation projects in 127 countries with a budget of about US$160 million annually. This makes AZA the largest investor in field conservation in the world. AZA institutions collectively host almost 180 million visitors annually, a higher attendance than all the sporting franchises in North America combined.
From his attendance at the conference, Mr. Hislop brought back several ideas on new programmes to be implemented at the Cayman Turtle Centre.
For more information and admission rates, call the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter on 949-3894, email email@example.com or visit www.turtle.ky (ENDS)