Scottsdale Rotarians get up-close view of Phoenix Zoo

Zoo Ambassadors Josh and Kim allowed Rotarians to get a closer look at one of the zoo’s reptiles.

Members of The Rotary Club of Scottsdale were given an up-close glimpse of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation and the Phoenix Zoo during the club’s Jan. 16 meeting.

Rotarian Christopher West introduced Bert Castro, president/CEO  of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo to Rotary Club of Scottsdale members and guests at the meeting held at Scottsdale’s McCormick’s Lakeside Ballroom.

From left, Christopher West, program chair; Bert Castro, Phoenix Zoo president/CEO; and Club Vice President Kent Hammond greet members and guests at recent Rotary Club of Scottsdale meeting.

The 125-acre zoo with staff of 250 employees and 1,700 volunteers is located within City of Phoenix’s Papago Park. Over 1,500 specimens representing 370 species were viewed by over 1.5 million visitors this past year.

Mr. Castro talked about the zoo’s popular events, such as, Zoolights, Earth Day, Endangered Species Day and Winter in July. Over 160,000 children join the fun and learning in the zoo’s engaging youth programs, which include Zoo Lab and Zoo Teens.  In 2016, Phoenix Zoo volunteers logged over 65,000 hours of service.

The zoo participates in both local and global conservation. At the local level, the zoo is working to maintain healthy and self-sustaining managed setting populations of multiple endangered species natively found throughout Arizona. The zoo’s mission is to provide experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.
The zoo supports a number of global programs through conservation and science grants each year.

As one of the largest nonprofit zoos in the country, the Phoenix Zoo relies solely on the support of its guests, donors and sponsors. To learn more, visit

Upcoming Rotary Club of Scottsdale speakers include:

* Amram Knishinsky will talk about the Southwest’s largest aquarium, Scottsdale’s new OdySea, on Jan. 23.

* On Feb. 6, the luncheon program will include Dr. Denise Birdwell, superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District.


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