ASHEBORO, NC ­­— Last fall, the North Carolina Zoo offered interested kindergarten to 12th-grade students statewide an opportunity to take part in a poster contest to raise awareness of endangered species.

Eighty-five students participated among four age divisions: kindergarten through second grades; third through fifth grades; sixth through eighth grades; and ninth through 12th grades.

Five finalists from each division were determined by Zoo staff members, and the winners then were chosen by select Zoo and Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau staff members and announced last month. They are:

Division        Winner                     City                            Entry Name

K-2                  Daniel Kim                Charlotte                  Blue Whale

3-5                  Zaina Taha                Chapel Hill                Javan Rhinoceros

6-8                  Brooke Riggs            Salisbury                   Galapagos Fur Seal

9-12               Jeffrey Shao             Charlotte                  Whooping Crane

“We appreciate so many children throughout North Carolina being a part of this contest,” says Zoo Director Pat Simmons. “It’s a unique way to combine art, research and a desire to help our planet by raising awareness of endangered species.”

Among the prizes the winners received were a one-year family membership on behalf of the NC Zoo Society, a piece of art from the Zoo’s resident animal ambassadors, and a gift bag.  

An image showing each of the four winning posters is attached. The annual contest is planned again for this fall. 

About the North Carolina Zoo

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit to begin your life-changing journey.


About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.


NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7