UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
WACO --The Cameron Park Zoo isn't just about showcasing exotic animals it's about conservation and inspiring it's visitor's.
Jim Fleshman, zoo director, wants his visitor's to learn about wildlife and how to protect it.
"We want them to take action and it doesn't really matter what that action is. It can be, as, as big as making a donations to the zoo or donations to the conservation efforts. It can also be, just taking home the idea that wildlife is worth protecting," said Fleshman.
In keeping a healthy atmosphere the park puts forth a big effort to maintain their wildlife and keep their animals cool in the dog days of summer.
"Every animal has water and access to water. Things like rhino's they typically get mudbaths. We do, a lot of times, rotate animals in and out because their night houses are air-conditioned and so that gives them some breaks," said Fleshman.
And they make a strong effort to go green wherever they can encouraging their staff to do the same.
"Everything from recycling to making sure that staff isn't running a hose somewhere, and so our, our people are really conscious about how we can be mission centric on everything and conservation is a huge part of our mission," said Fleshman.
And of course we're in Texas so conserving water is at the forefront.
"We reduce the amount that we water. We also do a lot of water reclamation. We have a 60 inch main that runs underneath. It's a storm drain that runs underneath the lake here. We have actually, water that goes into that, we reclaim that and pump that back into the lake itself," said Fleshman.
Cameron Park even takes their conservation efforts beyond the park gates.
"We do research in Trinidad and Tobago on a species of water snake. We've supported, Sumatra tiger conservation and we actually sent staff to Sumatra in order to work with tigers that were in captivity there," said Fleshman.