A Story Worth Sharing: The Birmingham Zoo’s Passionate Mission to Inspire Wildlife Conservation

With 700 animals and a beautiful lush landscape just minutes away from downtown, it’s easy to see why the Birmingham Zoo is one of Alabama’s most well-loved attractions. While the zoo serves as a fun experience for visitors, many may not know it doubles as a nonprofit, focusing on local, and global wildlife conservation efforts.

Terra Manasco, the Birmingham Zoo’s Conservation and Special Projects Manager says the zoo’s nonprofit status helps to further their primary mission, Inspiring Passion to Conserve the Natural World.

Manasco says this mission aligns with the goals of other conservation nongovernmental organizations as well as a variety of state and federal conservation agencies.

“Our status as a not-for-profit has a positive impact on our relationships with our local and global partners, assuring these partners that the zoo is a mission-driven organization dedicated to conservation,” Mansaco said.

One of these local partnerships is with the Alabama Department of Conservation’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. The Birmingham Zoo closely works with the AWFF to further both of the organizations’ missions in practical ways. From signage and messaging on zoo grounds to sending their staff on field research missions with AWFF staff, the zoo aims to increase the public’s awareness of Alabama’s astounding biological diversity and work to conserve the state’s rich natural heritage.

“We have many cooperative conservation projects with AWFF, including projects that benefit American Black Bears, Golden Eagles, Gopher Tortoises, Eastern Indigo Snakes and more,” Manasco stated.

Additionally, the zoo often has the opportunity to work with universities and municipalities, extending their reach into a variety of statewide initiatives focusing on animal and land conservation.

Samil Baker, the Birmingham Zoo’s Manager of Public Relations and Social Media, says the zoo is both a fun and educational experience for all who visit.

“We continue to be a place for families to gather and create lasting memories while engaging with the natural world around them,” Baker said

Manasco echoed Baker’s comments when she stated that the zoo takes their commitment to their mission and hopefully “inspires a conservation ethic in our guests as well.”

In addition to their ongoing conservation efforts, Baker says the Birmingham Zoo is in the process of updating and renewing their facilities. The zoo is entering the second phase of their Renew the Zoo Capital Campaign.

Baker says that phase two includes, “the front entrance Arrival Experience, a large gift shop, membership office, the Hugh Kaul Plaza, the Altec/Styslinger Learning Center, a sensory room, first aid station, modern restrooms, administrative offices, overlook decks and event rental spaces.”

The zoo is set to host a grand opening celebration for the New Arrival Experience and Welcome Plaza on Saturday, June 29 from 9am until 6pm.

For more details about this event or other zoo happenings visit the Birmingham Zoo’s website at birminghamzoo.com or Facebook page @BirminghamZoo.

Episode 1: SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic

Dale Jackson is joined by the SEC Network personality and WJOX-FM’s Three Man Front host Cole Cubelic.

Cole describes his path to multimedia stardom — from putting on the pads as a middle-schooler to pharmaceutical sales to calling SEC football games. Cole shares how his wife’s supported him throw the lows and how he got to his highs.
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13 hours ago

Episode 22: It’s Bo time

With Auburn announcing Bo Nix the starter at quarterback, DrunkAubie reconvenes to react and answer listeners’ questions about the freshman. DrunkAubie also discusses the top traditions and top mascots in college football and offers up some advice for the upcoming season.

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13 hours ago

State Rep. John Rogers not running for U.S. Senate, says Jones showing ‘conservatism’ but not racist

State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) on Wednesday told Yellowhammer News that he will not run in the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary against Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

Rogers began considering a potential bid towards the tail-end of the Alabama legislature’s regular session this spring. At that time, he told Yellowhammer News, “I don’t want to run a campaign just to run. I want to run to win.”

He said he needed to raise $500,000 in order to be competitive.

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However, after testing the waters for months, Rogers has concluded that he cannot raise sufficient funds, saying Jones’ war chest was too much to overcome in a primary. Rogers previously challenged Jones to a public debate, which Alabama’s junior senator ignored.

The state representative from Jefferson County on Wednesday also commented on the ongoing battle that has pitted Jones and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against the leadership of the Alabama Democratic Party and the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC).

Rogers said that he disagreed with the charges of racism against Jones made by the state party’s secretary, Val Bright, who last week penned an open letter saying that Jones and the DNC were targeting “blacks” in their effort to overhaul the party’s structure and leadership.

“Although blacks have been faithful to the Democratic Party and are largely responsible for electing Doug Jones and any white seeking office in this state, once elected on the backs of blacks, the urgency to remove black leadership begins,” Bright stated.

“In other words, as long as we’re working in the fields all is well, but when we move to positions of authority, a challenge begins,” she added. “From slavery through Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement, we are constantly being shown how little respect blacks receive for being hard working and loyal.”

Rogers advised that he does not believe Jones to be a racist.

“Because Alabama is a conservative state, and you’ve got to have some conservatives in the legislature (Congress) — I hate to say that, but it is Alabama, and if you’re going to run for a statewide office, you’ve got to be in the middle of the road,” Rogers said. “And Doug knows that. I mean — I don’t like some of the things he does to show his ‘conservatism,’ but if you want to be expecting to win against a Republican, you’ve got to show some conservatism.”

Rogers continued to say Jones is still his friend and has been “for a long time.”

“I don’t think he’s racist, I wouldn’t dare call him a racist,” Rogers concluded.

RELATED: Rogers: Jones called me, admitted I was ‘right’ on abortion remarks

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

14 hours ago

University of Alabama in Huntsville honored for discovering one of physics’ ‘Holy Grails’

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) announced this week that it has been honored by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers with a Milestone Plaque for a 1987 physics discovery.

The discovery of superconductivity at 93 Kelvin occurred on January 29, 1987, and the dedication of the award recognizes “the impact of the world’s first material to superconduct above the technologically significant temperature of liquid nitrogen.”

UAH said in a release posted to its website, “The material that is the subject of the discovery was first conceived, synthesized, and tested in a UAH physics laboratory in Wilson Hall. It has been referred to by some science writers as one of physics’ ‘Holy Grails.’ The discovery prompted an American Physical Society meeting in March of 1987 to become known as ‘The Woodstock of Physics.'”

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The site added, “By crossing the 77 Kelvin barrier and making superconductivity possible at the temperature of the much more affordable and easily used coolant liquid nitrogen, the material discovered at UAH opened up a realm of more practical superconductivity applications.”

The site also noted that superconductors have been useful in powerful electromagnets, such as those used in MRI and NMR machines, maglev trains, and fusion reactor research; low-loss electrical power cables; fast fault current limiters; fast digital circuits; sensitive detection and measurement of magnetism, subatomic particles, and light, along with radio-frequency and microwave filters.

The UAH material has been used in high field magnets (holding the current record of 45.5 Tesla), electric power cables, fault current limiters, and radio-frequency filters.

A bronze plaque, which was presented on Monday, will be mounted outside the room that once served as the superconductivity laboratory at UAH.

The plaque reads as follows:

On this site, a material consisting of yttrium, barium, copper, and oxygen was first conceived, synthesized, tested, and — on 29 January 1987 — found to exhibit stable and reproducible superconductivity at 93 Kelvin. This marked the first time the phenomenon had been unambiguously achieved above 77 Kelvin, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, thus enabling more practical and widespread use of superconductors.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

14 hours ago

‘Gun control’ may be popular, but eventually its proponents will have to explain what it means

A popular refrain in American politics today is that “Americans want stricter gun laws.”

Is that true? Sort of.

NPR released the following poll results:

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60% of Americans want “stricter gun laws.”

85% of Democrats want “stricter gun laws.”

58% of independents want “stricter gun laws.”

39% of Republicans want “stricter gun laws.”

But what does that mean?

Here is what the “March for Our Lives” proponents have started pushing for in something they called the “Peace Plan.”

It is a wishlist of ideas, some popular, some unpopular. Some of the ideas are unconstitutional and most are ineffective feel-good ideas or vindictive uses of the federal government power to punish their enemies.

Do Americans want gun registry and licensing?

The CNN report of the “Peace Plan” states, “The first prong of the plan calls for legislation that would ‘raise the national standard for gun ownership’ through several mechanisms, including a national licensing and registry system.

Yes, 70% of Americans favor “Requiring all privately-owned guns to be registered with the police.”

This is unconstitutional.

How about a handgun ban?

The CNN report explains, “The plan calls for a review of the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which overturned a ban on handguns in the nation’s capital and upheld the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun for personal use.”

No, a 2018 poll says 71% oppose that.

But the request is for a “review” of the ruling by who?

“By directing the Justice Department to review the decision and ensuring the next generation of federal judges appointed by the President have ‘a different interpretation of the Second Amendment,'” the report outlines.

So, a litmus test to all future judges in order to change the 2nd Amendment to only appoint people that will declare what is currently unconstitutional is now constitutional?

Aren’t these the same people who scream about precedent and demand that the Roe v. Wade ruling be held as an untouchable benchmark in American history?

How about a punishing of their political opponents with the force of government?

The CNN report says, “The plan also calls for the investigation of the National Rifle Association by the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.”

This is a stunning request here. There is no indication the NRA is out breaking laws, but gun-grabbers want to use government entities to take them on?

This mentality is exactly why the 2nd Amendment exists.

Tyranny, even by the majority, is still tyranny.

Shouldn’t we be wary when the same people that want to punish you for wrong-think also want to talk about gun registries and gun-confiscation?

The “no one wants your guns” charade is over.

Make no mistake, these people want your guns.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.