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19th ANNUAL OASIS ZOORUN PARTICIPANTS JOIN YOUR TORONTO ZOO IN THE FIGHT AGAINT EXTINCTION RAISING OVER $32,000 FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

October 15, 2021




From left to right: Marion Zimmer, Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy Director of Fund Development, Heather Matters, Canada Running Series Director of Operations, Beth Gilhespy, Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy Executive Director, Dolf DeJong, CEO of Your Toronto Zoo. Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy

TORONTO, ON, Friday, October 15, 2021:  In its 19th year, the Oasis ZooRun was hosted virtually for the second time, allowing participants the opportunity to complete their 15K, 10K, 5K or CubRun at their own speed from Wednesday, September 1st to Thursday, September 30th, 2021. This family-friendly fundraising event celebrates wildlife and wild spaces and the incredible work being done by your Toronto Zoo to protect and save them.

“As a leader in conservation and species survival, your Toronto Zoo is actively engaged in the fight against extinction”, says Dolf DeJong, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Zoo. “Our vision is a world where wildlife and wild spaces thrive and participation in this event brings us one step closer to our vision becoming a reality.”

Participants connected with each other, the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and Canada Running Series (CRS) online by sharing photos of their race times and routes, race medals and race tee shirts; designed this year by local artist and puzzle creator, Soon Cho.

“We were thrilled by the interest and participation in this year’s Oasis ZooRun and are so grateful to those who fundraised or donated towards an individual or team fundraising goal”, says Beth Gilhespy, Executive Director of the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy. “We love seeing people come together –whether it be virtually or in person - for a common goal, all while having fun and doing their part for wildlife conservation”.

Over the years, the Oasis ZooRun has raised over $573,000 to support the crucial wildlife conservation work being done by your Toronto Zoo in preserving endangered species, breeding and reintroducing endangered animals into the wild, and creating opportunities to reconnect people with nature. This year, 1500 participants - including Toronto Zoo Staff and Volunteers, continued to support your Zoo’s conservation breeding and reintroduction programs by raising $32,415. Funds raised will support a number of programs, including but not limited to, the African cheetah Species Survival Plan® (SSP), Black-footed Ferret Conservation Recovery Program and the Native Bat Conservation Program.

“We are so proud of all the runners and walkers of the Oasis ZooRun Virtual Race for raising over $32,000 in support of the Toronto Wildlife Conservancy. Even though we couldn't be physically together at the Zoo this year, our participants' dedication to this event and to the cause of wildlife conservation did not waver”, says Charlotte Brookes, National Events Director of Canada Running Series. “We look forward to next year with hope that we can return to the Toronto Zoo and run with the animals again.”

The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and Canada Running Series look forward to hosting Oasis ZooRun participants at the Toronto Zoo once again!

The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy is a dedicated partner with the Toronto Zoo in the fight against extinction; established in 2019 to secure increased financial resources and support for the wildlife conservation work being done by the Toronto Zoo. Extinction is forever, and the Zoo’s work in fighting extinction – through research, public engagement and education, breeding and reintroduction programs – is vital to wildlife, to us, and to our world. You can donate to the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy anytime at wildlifeconservancy.ca or over the phone at 416-392-9114.

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Toronto Zoo Media Contact:

Beth Gilhespy
Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy Executive Director
(416) 392-5913
bgilhespy@torontozoo.ca

Media Contact Information:
Katie Gray
Manager of Strategic Communications
kgray@torontozoo.ca



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For general information visit torontozoo.com

The Toronto Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction and our vision is a world where wildlife and wild spaces thrive.

An iconic tourist attraction and Conservation organization, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.2 million guests each year.

Toronto Zoo is accredited by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo has also achieved the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Certificate of Good Animal Practice® and is inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

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