Apr 04

Tampa: Join Our Animal Keepers as We Bowl for Rhinos!

by Staff

If you live in the Tampa area and you love animals as much as we do, your support of AAZK’s Bowling For Rhinos program can make a difference in worldwide conservation. Bowling for Rhinos is a family friendly event that is organized by your local zookeepers.


WHEN: May 31, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: PinChasers (4847 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL)

About Bowling for Rhinos:

  • The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) sponsors an annual fundraiser called Bowling for Rhinos (BFR). Nationally, they have raised $4 million since 1990 to support three conservation projects. BFR funds support Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia, and Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks in Sumatra.
  • These sanctuaries not only save rhinos but also the entire ecosystems! 100 percent of all funds raised goes directly to these conservation projects. These funds help in many ways: to construct fences within the parks, to purchase planes and off road vehicles to curtail poaching, to move rhinos into the sanctuaries, to purchase motion sensing cameras for censuring, to pay salaries for anti-poaching security guards and much more.
  • More than 65 AAZK chapters participated throughout the US and Canada last year and raised over $300,000. Tampa Bay AAZK Chapter’s 2012 BFR was a record-breaking success last year because of the zoo keepers and the community’s commitment to conserving rhinos and their habitat – we raised $5,726, which brings our total funds raised to date to $55,570.
  • We have cool t-shirts for you to purchase and many awesome raffle and silent auction items to try to win, including autographed sports memorabilia from the Rays, Lightning and Bucs, painted ostrich eggs, animal paintings (that is, paintings made by zoo animals!), gift cards to local restaurants and shops, and tickets to local attractions like Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Sea World, Dinosaur World, MOSI, and more.

Join Busch Gardens Animal Keepers as they Bowl for Rhinos

Why Save the Rhinos?

  • Rhinos are only endangered because of illegal poaching for their horns! Rhinos have lived on earth for over 50 million years but whether they survive even 50 more years is open to speculation.
  • Only five species of rhino exist today when once there were over 100 species. Four of the five species are endangered; the Black, the Greater One-horned, the Sumatran and the Javan. Only the White rhino, with a population of ~20,405, has been moved off the Endangered Species List and onto the Threatened List.
  • In 1960, 60,000 Black rhinos roamed Africa. Today, only 5,055 remain in isolated populations.
  • On the Asian continent, the Greater One-horned rhino population remains at 3,333; Sumatran number ~100; and there are only ~44 Javan rhinos left in the world.
  • Rhinos need our help! In all of 2010, 333 rhinos were poached in South Africa. As of May 2013, 273 rhinos have been poached. Experts predict close to 800 rhinos will be poached this year!

For more information on this event, please visit the Tampa Bay AAZK Chapter’s website Please watch our Bowling for Rhino’s video created by Jennifer MacNaughton, our very own Tampa Bay AAZK Chapter member!

Recently as a form of enrichment, our animal care had the rhinos "bowl" on the lawn here at Busch Gardens!

Photos and story by BGT team members Sara Wunder and Jennifer McNaughton