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Wildlife conservationist Dr. Gregory Rasmussen has been working to protect painted dogs (also known as African wild dogs) in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa since 1987 – at times, he has even lived among the animals. Rasmussen is the founder and executive director of the Painted Dog Research Trust and was featured in the documentary series “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”.

Dr. Rasmussen is visiting Zoo Boise on June 3 and 4. The zoo will host a private event on June 3, but we are inviting the public to join us on June 4 to hear from and meet Dr. Rasmussen. The zoo is hosting two public talks followed by a painted dog discovery station and meet and greet with Dr. Rasmussen. The two 30-minute public talks will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on June 4 and will be limited to the first 50 guests inside the zoo’s multi-purpose room. Following each talk, Dr. Rasmussen plans to host a discovery station at Zoo Boise’s African wild dog exhibit. Zoo Boise will also have various painted dog activities throughout the day, which are all included with zoo admission.

The Painted Dog Research Trust is one of Zoo Boise’s conservation partners. Zoo Boise has a long history of supporting painted dog conservation. Besides supporting the Painting Dog Research Trust and Gorongosa National Park Restoration Project, Zoo Boise also participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums painted dog Species Survival Plan and Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) programs. The zoo’s executive director, Gene Peacock, sits on the Steering Committee for the African painted dog SAFE program.

Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, has turned the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Since 2007, visits to Zoo Boise have generated more than $3 million towards the conservation of animals in the wild. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, and science.