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Visitors to Niabi Give Thousands to Snow Leopard Conservation

Snow Leopard Trust
Snow leopard

People who go to Niabi Zoo are helping entrepreneurs and snow leopards. On Sunday, the zoo in Coal Valley will host a discussion with Jennifer Snell Rullman, the Assistant Conservation Director from a group called the Snow Leopard Trust. 

Credit submitted / Niabi Zoo
Niabi Zoo

Joel Vanderbush, Niabi Zoo's Curator of Conservation & Education, says since 2012, visitors have contributed more than $40,000 to snow leopard conservation.

The money is from a portion of admissions, Coins for Conservation, and the sale of products produced by people who live near snow leopards.

In the past, ranchers routinely shot leopards that killed their livestock. Proceeds from the sale of their products goes into a fund to reimburse ranchers for livestock lost to snow leopard attacks. Over the last four years, Vanderbush says no snow leopards have been killed by ranchers in communities where the Snow Leopard Trust is working.

Credit submitted / Snow Leopard Trust
Snow Leopard Trust
Jennifer Snell Rullman, Assistant Conservation Director of the Snow Leopard Trust

Rullman will speak at 3 pm on Sunday at the zoo discovery center, as part of Niabi's Conservation and Science Speaker Series. RSVP here.

She'll talk about how teams from the Snow Leopard Trust work with communities to implement the livestock insurance.

By the way, the zoo's Wild Things Gift Shop will be open Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm for Small Business Saturday.

On Monday, Rullman will speak at Western Illinois University in Macomb (Waggoner Hall #202) at noon and at St. Ambrose University in Davenport (Rogalski Center Ballroom) at 6:30 pm.

Then on Tuesday at 12:15 pm, the conservationist will speak at Augustana College's Gerber Center (Gavle #2) in Rock Island.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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