With only 12,000 wild cheetahs left on earth, time is running out for these critically endangered animals.
On Oct. 10 and 11, three cheetah-themed conservation events at the Oregon Zoo - Run for the Cheetah, Cheetah Camp and 'Big Cat, Big Party' - will help raise awareness of the plight of the world's fastest land animal.
'Since 2000, the Oregon Zoo has helped us raise more than $180,000 to help save cheetahs in the wild,' said Cheetah Conservation Fund founder Dr. Laurie Marker, a Time magazine 'Hero for the Planet' award recipient and world-renowned cheetah expert. 'Through the zoo's strong partnership, we've raised the conservation profile of this charismatic and critically endangered cat.'
Run for the Cheetah
The fourth annual Run for the Cheetah takes place Saturday, Oct. 11. The event a kids' half-mile dash at 8 a.m., followed by an 8K run-walk at 8:30 a.m. and a 5K run-walk at 8:45 a.m. Routes begin near the zoo entrance and wind through Washington Park.
The run is sponsored by the Oregon Zoo, National Geographic Kids Magazine, Java Jacket, CLIF Bars, the Marriott Downtown Waterfront hotel, Northwest Paper Box, Can Do Kid, Comcast, Foot Traffic, NW Natural, KINK-FM and the Lake Oswego Review.
Lake Oswego's Teresa Delaney is the National Run for the Cheetah chairperson.
To register for Run for the Cheetah, visit www.runforthecheetah.org or call 503-644-6822. The Cheetah Conservation Fund is donating $5 from each 8K and 5K registration fee to support the Oregon Zoo. Kid's dash participants must be registered by Oct. 8.
Children in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to attend the zoo's Cheetah Camp, Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8:15 a.m. to noon. Campers will visit with members of CCF and their spotted friend Kgosi, an extremely rare king cheetah - one of only about 30 on earth. Campers will also create gifts for children in Namibia, where CCF has its headquarters. For further information or to register, visit http://www.oregonzoo.org/Education/families/cheetahcamp.htm.
Big Cat, Big Party
For people who like to party, CCF's seventh annual 'Big Cat, Big Party' takes place Friday, Oct. 10, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. A feast, created by the zoo's executive chef, Paul Warner, complements a discussion led by Marker, who will be accompanied by her spotted pal Kgosi.
'CCF and the Oregon Zoo have a true partnership in working together to save a species that is beloved by children around the world,' said Teresa Delaney, CCF trustee. 'Zoos and breeding facilities around the world play an important role in helping to save the cheetah for future generations.'
The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission to inspire the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Washington's pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot butterflies, western pond turtles, and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Zoo visitors are encouraged to ride MAX or take TriMet bus No. 63. Visitors who take the bus or MAX receive $1 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit www.trimet.org for fare and route information.
General admission is $9.75 (12-64), seniors $8.25 (65+), children $6.75 (3-11), and infants 2 and under are free; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo's Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $2 per car is also required. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.