By John McDevitt


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Zoo does conservation work all over the world, including in the Amazon jungle. The fires burning there are posing a threat to wildlife and conservation efforts.

The Philadelphia Zoo extends much farther than the 42 acres in West Philly. There has been conservation work done by the zoo all over the world, and in many cases, leading the way and saving an entire species from extinction like the golden lion tamarin, which is native to the Amazon.

Credit: CBS3

“Its a little tiny primate from the southern part of Brazil in the Atlantic forest. There were less than 200 of them back in the 1980s, and now there’s 2,400,” Philadelphia Zoo Director of Strategic Initiatives Kristen Waldron said. “Now that number may not sound large but it essentially has saved that species from extinction.”

Carlos Martinez specializes in amphibians at the zoo. He and his team are credited with increasing the number of critically-endangered frogs and toads in the Amazon.

His research is not in the direct path of the flames, but the smoke he says is a major concern.

“Animal species are dying and being affected by it, and of course, if you’re burning something, you are releasing all of that smoke into the atmosphere and the smoke is mainly carbon dioxide,” Martinez said.

The zoo has done extensive work with species that are found in the thick of the fire in the Amazon, like jaguars and pumas.

Starting this weekend, you can round up your ticket admission with the money going to the zoo’s conservation work throughout the world.

Conservationists say the fires in the Amazon are being set to make way for industry and we can all help save the environment by being mindful of the products we purchase.

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