San Diego Zoo animals moved as part of modern-day ark project - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Zoo animals moved as part of modern-day ark project

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans on Thursday welcomed the first group of animals from San Diego Zoo as part of a partnership between the two animal conservation leaders to bolster populations of threatened and endangered species.

The collaboration - the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife - is designed as a modern-day ark to preserve species that are vulnerable in the wild and sustain populations in human care.

The first arrivals include reticulated giraffe, sable, bongo, okapi, common eland, and yellow-backed duiker.

The Alliance focuses on animals that live in large herds or flocks, and these species by their very nature need space for large populations, to be viable, sustainable breeding groups.

The project echoes the original purpose of the Species Survival Center, which opened in 1993 as an off-site breeding and research facility.

"The Alliance is a one-of-a-kind resource for zoos and aquariums to rebuild animal collections that are in danger of disappearing," said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO.

This collaborative effort, comes in part, from the ongoing efforts of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to create and manage species through the collaborative efforts of accredited zoos.

The animals will have room to roam in large open areas designed to showcase the natural setting.

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