Almost 30 years of fundraising yields $8 million as animal keepers bowl for rhino conservation

TUCSON, Ariz. - Dec. 24, 2019 - The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) reached a significant milestone this week when the all-time total for its national fundraiser, Bowling for Rhinos, surpassed $8 million dollars, marking 29 years of contributions towards rhino conservation.

Since 1990, the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) has supported the rhino conservation efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy ( in Kenya through local chapter organized bowling events called Bowling for Rhinos (BFR).

The fundraising events take place in over 75 locations across North America (the US and Canada) and in Australia. In 1994, AAZK expanded its reach to Indonesia, working with the International Rhino Foundation ( to protect the Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park and later the Sumatran rhinos (1997) in Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks in Sumatra. BFR also supports Action for Cheetahs in Kenya. Cheetahs share much of the same African habitat as rhinos and by working to conserve cheetahs we are also saving rhinos and the countless other species that call that habitat home.

In Kenya, AAZK helps to protect more than 1.5 million acres of white and black rhino habitat under the Lewa Conservancy's conservation charter. In Indonesia, we help to protect nearly the same acreage of crucial lowland rainforest habitat for the survival of the Javan and Sumatran rhinos, and other species living in their ecosystems including Sumatran tigers, elephants, tapirs, Javan gibbons and sunbears.

The international trade in rhino horn drives the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries. Rhino numbers have declined drastically due to poaching for their horn and habitat loss.

The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) is a nonprofit (U.S. 501c3) member organization made up of animal keepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. AAZK exists to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

During this holiday season donate today by visiting AAZK ( so that AAZK may continue our success in 2019 and moving forward. Donations are tax deductible and 100% of all donations are forwarded to our AAZK partners in rhino and cheetah conservation.

Ed Hansen, CEO/CFO
American Association of Zoo Keepers

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