CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – The Adventure Aquarium in Camden raised thousands of dollars to save hippos in Africa.
During the fourth annual Hippo Awareness conservation festival held over Presidents’ Day weekend, the aquarium guests raised $13,556 for the nonprofit Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe. The organization supports wild hippos in Africa.
The weekend’s three-day conservation event gave guests various ways to contribute. Guests could purchase “hippo kiss” paintings from Button and Genny, custom-designed hippo kiss long sleeve t-shirts, coasters and magnets. The aquarium offered hippo-related interactive games and incorporated the Adventure Aquarium hippo residents in the fun.
“Thanks to the generous contributions of our guests and the hard work of our staff, we were able to continue to support this worthy cause,” said Michele Pagel, curator for birds and mammals at Adventure Aquarium. “It is truly inspiring for so many individuals to come together to raise conservation awareness and make such an incredible impact.”
The donation will be put towards the purchase of food, survival ration, game cubes molasses, and the transportation of the supplies.
“When an aquarium in the USA, which has two beautiful hippos, cares enough to have a hippo conservation festival to donate to the wild hippos here at the Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe, well it is once again so amazing, wonderful and heart-warming,” said Karen Paolillo, founder of the Turgwe Hippo Trust. “Genny and Button in the States are helping 23 wild Turgwe hippos, which includes five calves born since July, 2017 – it is just so great.”
The aquarium will be holding other conservation festivals in the future, including Shark Awareness Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28), African Penguin Awareness Weekend (Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3), and Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend (Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 6-8).
For more information on upcoming events, visit AdventureAquarium.com.