There’s no question that coral is beautiful, and that we’re all mesmerized by the stunning coral reef exhibits in The Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium, but what does it have to do with us in landlocked Nebraska?
“I have two boys, one who just finished first grade and one going into kindergarten. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is something that we do outside that is active, and I don’t risk blowing a hamstring,” says Trevor Schade, a single father who shares custody of his sons.
“We wanted to do something that was significant for Omaha, but also significant nationally and internationally,” says Dr. Lee G. Simmons (“Doc”), former director of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and current chairman of the Omaha Zoo Foundation, of the plan to put a jungle in the middle of the heartland.
The vaquita marina porpoise is the most critically endangered cetacean in the world. In November 2016, it was believed there were only 30 vaquitas left, down from 60 in 2015. Then, last month, three more vaquitas were found dead in illegal gillnets.
When people think of Hawaii, they often conjure the island state’s tropical forests, filled with profusions of brightly colored blooms against lush, green backdrops. Parts of it seem so untouched and primordial, that one might be lulled into believing it is a paradise that will always remain unchanged.
Have you ever walked around Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and marveled at the fascinating and varied plant life on our grounds? You’re not alone. Many visitors are as captivated by our flora as they are by our fauna.
Dr. Cheryl Morris, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s new Chief Conservation Officer, compares the zoo’s conservation work to a swimming duck. To the passive observer, it looks like it’s just moving along placidly, but beneath the surface, it is constantly paddling its feet.
“It’s about helping people make an emotional connection to the animals through photography,” says Dennis Pate, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s director and CEO, of photographer Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark.