Virginia Zoo Implements Zoo Keeper Training Workshops in the Philippines

During the last week of February 2016, a technical team from Virginia Zoo will be implementing a series of training workshops in the Philippines. The team will help build the capacity of animal care professionals in the region who care for some of the most endangered wildlife species in the world. An International Training Grant awarded from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) will help fund the work. The grant was awarded to the Virginia Zoo’s Assistant Director, Roger Sweeney, who will implement the workshops over five days, together with the Zoo’s Veterinarian, Dr. Amanda Guthrie and Zoo Keeper, Chelsea Hohlweg. The Virginia Zoo’s work in the region is crucial, as it builds on our conservation-based mission.

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Exhibits at the Biodiversity Conservation Center in Negros that will be the host venue for the workshops.

The workshops will take place in Negros Occidental, hosted by local partners including the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Negros Forestry and Ecological Foundation and the Provincial Veterinary Office. The western Visayan region of the Philippines has some of the world’s most unique and endangered wildlife. Workshop participants will include animal care staff from several regional zoos, wildlife care and rehab centers and regional veterinary officers. A number of very important wildlife species are kept in this facilities, some of the most important include:

Visayan warty pig, Critically Endangered (pictured left)

Negros bleeding heart dove, Critically Endangered

Rufous-headed hornbill, Critically Endangered 

Philippine spotted deer, Endangered

Visayan hornbill, Endangered

Panay cloud rat, Endangered

Philippine hawk eagle, Endangered

Philippine eagle owl, Vulnerable

Visayan leopard cat, Vulnerable

Check back for more reports from our team as the workshops take place in the last week of February.

Read about the WAZA International Training Grant here.

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Rufous-headed hornbill, critically endangered and only occurs in the west Visayan Islands.
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Negros bleeding heart dove, critically endangered and unique to the Visayan Islands.