San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Wins Animation Award in 2023 Rose Parade presented by Honda 

| January 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance—an international conservation organization with “two front doors”: the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park—participated in the 134th Rose Parade® presented by Honda, with a float celebrating the Safari Park’s 50th anniversary. With its theme “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation,” the float depicted rhinos, giraffes and the Safari Park’s iconic Wildlife Safari experience, and brought to life the Safari Park’s ability to connect guests with wildlife and create life-changing moments. The float earned the Animation Award for its unique ability to bring the animals to life.

The “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation” float featured special residents of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo.

The “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation” float featured four-month-old Neville, and his mother Livia, two southern white rhinos who bring enormous hope to the cutting-edge efforts to save the distantly related northern white rhino. Neville was the third rhino born as part of a revolutionary program at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park—joining Edward and Future, who also made history as the first southern white rhinos born through artificial insemination in North America.

Secured on her four-foot legs, is Msituni (pronounced see tune neee), an 11-month-old giraffe born at the Safari Park. Born unable to walk, a condition in which she would not have survived in her native habitat, she required months of critical around-the-clock care, along with several pairs of custom giraffe-sized orthotic leg braces, to support her while she gained the necessary strength to walk. Today, after making a full recovery, Msituni runs alongside dozens of giraffes, wildebeest, impalas, rhinos, and Cape buffalo in the Safari Park’s African savannas.

A pair of African crowned cranes meandered through lush landscapes, as Msituni’s parents peek with curiosity into an open-air safari truck filled with guests. The riders were wildlife care specialists, veterinarians and conservation scientists from the Safari Park who have dedicated their lives to caring for Neville, Msituni and countless other species in San Diego and around the globe. They were joined by the Safari Park’s Executive Director, Lisa Peterson, and expert wildlife guides from the Safari Park. Representing how a moment at the Safari Park can change a lifetime, are four young children who aspire to be the next generation of conservationists, surrounded by the wonders of wildlife and intricate beauty of nature.

The floral array on the float illustrated that both the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo are accredited botanical gardens that feature over 2 million plants—and serve as a reminder of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s dedication to plant conservation through its many efforts, including the Wildlife Biodiversity Bank.

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