7th Annual WCS Run for the Wild races to save gorillas

Participants at last year’s WCS Run for the Wild make tracks in support of preserving wildlife.
Photo by Julie Larsen Maher

People will soon be running wild at the Bronx Zoo as they race to save at-risk wildlife.

Presented by Con Edison, the 2015 Wildlife Conservation Society’s Run for the Wild is set for Saturday, April 25th from 7 until 11:30 a.m. at the Bronx Zoo.

Celebrating its 7th year, the event invites runners, walkers, and wildlife supporters to participate in the annual 5K run and family fun run/walk.

Check-in and registration opens at 7 a.m. and participants can select from either event. For individual runners, the 5K starts at 8 a.m. while the more casual family fun run/walk begins at 8:45 a.m.

The run’s course measures approximately 3.1 miles inside the Bronx Zoo.

According to John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president, over 5,000 people are expected to engage in this year’s edition of one of the borough’s largest fundraising runs.

WCS Run for the Wild is dedicated toward raising awareness of threats facing specific species while collecting money to aid WCS in their efforts of saving wildlife at the zoo and worldwide.

This year’s 5K run and family fun run/walk supports work to save gorillas and educate people on the issues plaguing these magnificent animals.

Calvelli explained that Great Apes are being evicted from their forest homes which are converted into palm oil plantations and are also being killed for their meat.

“This is poaching in different forms and all gorillas are potentially impacted by these issues. This forum helps us discuss and better educate people about these ongoing issues affecting our world’s wildlife while also being a fun family event,” he said.

After the run, everyone will converge inside the zoo where all will be better educated on these issues.

Run for the Wild has witnessed more than 35,000 participants since its 2009 inception.

Registration is open for this event and it is expected to sell fast so runners and walkers are encouraged to sign up early.

The run’s registration is $45 for adults, $35 for children ages three to 15-years old, and $35 for seniors ages 65 and over.

If interested in participating, donating or supporting a friend or team, visit www.wcsrunforthewild.org for more information.

Participants are encouraged in seeking individual sponsors for their run and all adult and senior participants must raise a $30 minimum prior to this event.

For children participants, the fundraising requirement is waived.

Price of registration incorporates parking and general admission following Run for the Wild. In addition, a Total Experience Ticket upgrade is available online.

Participants for the 5K run are asked to use the Gate C parking lot located at 182nd Street and Southern Boulevard.

Family fun run/walk participants must arrive via the Bronx River entrance, however they will be directed to an alternate lot should this one be filled upon their arrival. Parking fees are waived prior to 8:45 a.m.

Following the event, all are welcome to stay and enjoy the wildlife at such exhibits as Tiger Mountain, Congo Gorilla Forest, Madagascar!, and JungleWorld.

Prizes are up for grabs for those who reach various fundraising goals. For $30 in pledges, runners will earn a WCS Run for the Wild T-shirt, $60 receives a plush gorilla, $125 will obtain a water bottle, $275 earns a blanket, $500 will acquire a beach towel, and $1,500 secures a fleece jacket plus a VIP breakfast.

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