Sporting Orbit shirts, four zookeepers from the Ivory Coast posed with the Albuquerque Isotopes’ mascot himself and took in a ‘Topes game earlier this week. They are visiting the ABQ BioPark as part of an ongoing conservation partnership and cultural exchange.
They are shadowing BioPark staff, taking facility tours and participating in cultural events, including attending an Isotopes baseball game and a Zoo Music concert, officials said in a news release.
“We are ecstatic to have our friends from the Zoo National d’Abidjan here,” said Matt Eschenbrenner, ABQ BioPark supervisor of herpetology and Abidjan project lead, in a statement. “I truly believe that the knowledge they gain from this visit will be valuable to them as they continue their careers in the zoo field.”
Visiting zookeeper Berte Mamadou called Albuquerque the “most beautiful city” he’s ever seen, while another, Andre Zoh, said he was impressed by the diversity of animals and plants at the ABQ BioPark.
A dozen members of the BioPark staff have visited ZNA for the past four years, assisting in the breeding of and care for the critically endangered West African slender-snouted crocodile.
ABQ BioPark officials said they also have been contributing in other areas, including veterinary care, animal diet recommendations and gifting essential items, such as work boots.
The partnership is funded by contributions from the New Mexico BioPark Society and is part of the ABQ BioPark’s in-situ conservation program.
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