Bronx Zoo sponsors race to save lions

Bronxites need to get their running shoes ready and prepare to unleash their wild side in preparation for the 2nd Annual Wildlife Conservation Society Bronx Zoo’s “Run for the Wild.”

In its second year, the “Run for the Wild” was started to raise funding for the benefit one of the many animals in need of assistance, and possibly even facing extinction.This year funds raised will help the endangered tigers.

According to the WCS, their estimates indicate that there may be as few as 3,000 tigers left in the wild today, with roughly half of those living in India, and possibly only about 1,000 breeding females.

The 5K run/walk, held on Saturday, April 24, begins at the Bronx River parking lot entrance and finishes at the Fountain Circle.The runners will get a chance to enjoy the scenery as they stride by nearly all of the zoo’s areas and attractions.

Competitive runners can choose to enter the race as an individual runner, which will begin at 8:30 a.m.More casual runners, walkers or families can participate in the Family Fun Run/Walk, which will begin at 9 a.m.

Prizes will be awarded to those who raise the most money for the cause.The top individual fundraiser will receive the “Tiger Breakfast,” a chance to bring a party of 10 on a personalized tour of Tiger Mountain and meet with tiger experts to learn about the magnificent cats.The party will also enjoy breakfast.

The first prize for the top fundraising team will receive a “Giraffe Breakfast.”The winners will be taken up to the 20-foot feeding station to be on eye-level with the giraffes, while they have the chance to enjoy their own breakfast and take turns feeding the tall animals.

Second prize for team fundraising will win an animal meet and greet, giving up to a party of ten the chance to meet with a fennec fox, a tortoise, a hornbill, or a porcupine.

Each prize package includes free passes to enjoy the day at the zoo.

All participants in the race will have the opportunity to enjoy a meet and greet with Tiki Barber, formed Pro Bowl running back, who will be leading the race and talking with fans at Astor Court Lawn.

Additionally, the Yankee 27th World Series Trophy will be on display from noon to 3 p.m. in the Zoo Center.

“This is an event for everyone from competitive runners who will enjoy the challenging course, to families that can participate by walking the course,” John Calvelli, executive vice president of public affairs said.“Even for those that cannot participate, we encourage people to sponsor a runner or team, and come out to enjoy great spring day at the zoo.”

Last year the run had 3,602 participants, and roughly $105,000 was raised to benefit gorillas.

“We are so proud of how the community stepped up last year and participated in the first ‘Run for the Wild’ to help WCS raise money to help save gorillas,” said Calvelli.

Online registration is $30 for adults.For more information, register for the run, make a donation, or to sponsor a participant or team, please visit

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