ASHEBORO, NC - The North Carolina Zoo continues its April weekends celebration, ZooFLING 2011, with "Party for the Planet" Saturday, April 16, with some activities on Sunday, April 17, when it celebrates Earth Day. Visitors can learn about the zoo's conservation efforts and green practices and can take part in educational family fun and entertainment throughout the park.

Saturday's fun gets underway at 9 a.m., when Music Explorium--with drum circles and crafts--performs at the Africa Plaza.Other activities throughout the park Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., include Smokey the Bear, a can & bottle exchange, Designs in Nature and Polar Bear International (PBI).

Also on Saturday, non-zoo, guest environmental exhibitors will be located throughout the park from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and will include: N.C. Big Sweep; N.C. Division of Forest Resources; The Windstar Foundation; AAZK Bowling for Rhinos; Piedmont Triad Council of Governments, Storm Water Smart Program; Asheboro High School Zoo School; Piedmont-Triad Regional Water Authority; Randolph Telephone; Asheboro Recycling Center; and PART-Piedmont SMART Commute. Additionally, there will be a tree-seedling giveaway Sunday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The zoo's Horticulture Division will have three informational booths in the park on both Saturday and Sunday. At the Streamside exhibit, zoo horticulturist Nell Allen will discuss endangered plant protection and recent zoo land acquisitions. Zoo horticulturist Ron Ferguson will highlight medicinal plants with "Nature's Pharmacy" outside the Aviary exhibit entrance. Also at the Aviary, the zoo's Curator of Horticulture Gin Wall will discuss rare plants and the ongoing work to build support for the Tooro Botanical Gardens in Uganda, Africa.

On both Saturday and Sunday, zoo keepers will be at the polar bear overlook with information about PBI and talk about the zoo's responsibilities as an Arctic Ambassador Center. Additionally, students and staff from the Zoo School will demonstrate a variety of projects in the North America Entrance plaza.

On both days, visitors are encouraged to bring a can or bottle for recycling to either of the zoo's two entrance plazas and swap it for a reusable cup, courtesy of Sodexo Catering Service.

ZooFLING-2011 fun continues Saturday, April 23, with "Eggstravaganza,"a day when zoo animals hunt for treats in their exhibits. In keeping with the Easter celebration, the treats will be hidden inside decorative paper-mache` eggs made by zoo volunteers.

The month-long festivities wrap up Saturday, April 30, with a celebration of African art, music, dance and mystery. Don't miss this opportunity to be part of the exciting performances of The Healing Force and Sugarfoote Productions, play in drum circles with Music Explorium and hear the story-telling of Fred Motley.

All the weekend fun takes place during regular zoo hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is included in the regular zoo admission of $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62+) and $6 for children (ages 2-12).

Coca-Cola is the signature sponsor for ZooFLING and all zoo special events this year.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.