Asheboro, NC – The North Carolina Zoo is pleased to announce it has been awarded three grants for its wildlife conservation projects in Africa.

The Zoo received two grants to aid in the recovery of African vultures led by Dr. Corinne Kendall, curator of conservation and research for the North Carolina Zoo. The Zoo was awarded a National Geographic Society grant and a grant from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Grants Fund (CGF), which will support the expansion of the Zoo’s current work in southern Tanzania to include the Selous Game Reserve, the largest game reserve in Africa.

Preliminary work in this protected area already suggests that vulture populations there are substantial, but under threat due to poisoning. The Zoo’s work, in partnership with Frankfurt Zoological Society and Tanzanian Wildlife Authority, will help to better understand the status of and threats to vultures in the area and will focus on reducing poisoning of these species through ranger training. 

The Zoo was also awarded a National Geographic Society grant for the project "Conservation of Africa's Most Endangered Apes” led by Dr. Rich Bergl, director of conservation, education, and science for the North Carolina Zoo. The proposed project will implement actions for the conservation of both the Cross River gorilla (Critically Endangered) and the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Endangered) in Nigeria’s Cross River National Park.

The goals of the project are to bolster protection of both threatened apes, strengthen wildlife monitoring and provide conservation staff on the ground with training to protect the park’s wildlife in general. The project aims to double the number of patrols in the park in order to protect one of the most important sites for these two species. Securing the park by preventing poaching and habitat loss will help to ensure the long-term survival of these two endangered apes.


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- 807-7300 or visit