Indianapolis Zoo will be home to first Global Center for Species Survival

The Global Center for Species Survival will open at the Indy Zoo in 2020. (Indianapolis Zoo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The Indianapolis Zoo will be home to the first Global Center for Species Survival.

The center is part of a partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Special Survival Commission (SSC). It "will solidify the Zoo’s role internationally as a hub for species conservation efforts."

“It’s no exaggeration to say that every significant conservation project in the world will be touched by the Global Center for Species Survival,” said Shumaker. “This is the next important step in our Zoo’s commitment to advancing animal conservation, and it fundamentally transforms our ability to make a genuine difference in protecting the natural world.”

The IUCN has been in existence for 70 years and is the world's largest and most important environmental conservation organization. The partnership will broaden assistance of the SSC "to support leading conservationists as they tackle critical issues the planet is facing, including loss of biodiversity, global climate change and illegal wildlife trade."

The new center will employ a team of 9 experts based at the zoo to enhance efforts of more than 9,000 SSC wildlife experts worldwide working to save threatened species.

“The Indianapolis Zoo fosters meaningful learning about conservation science by helping visitors connect their experiences with animals to conservation work that is protecting animals around the world,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development. “The Global Center for Species Survival promises to further strengthen these efforts while enhancing the Zoo’s national and global reputation.”

The GCSS will open in 2020 via a $4 million start-up grant from the Lily Endowment Inc.

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