Conservation Programs

American Bison
Baby Bongo
Barred Tiger Salamander1
marginatedturtle
panamaniangoldenfrog
“We are very proud of our Conservation initiatives here at the Zoo,” Doctor Alexander Ernst.

Laramie Foothills Bison Restoration Program
The Cape May County Zoo is proud to partner with Colorado State University on this important project. Bison DNA from a wild, but Brucella positive, herd in Yellowstone National Park is collected, cleaned and used in a surrogate herd, to produce disease free Bison suitable for release into protected lands in Colorado and Wyoming. The Cape May County Zoo donated a young female Bison in 2015 to serve as a surrogate and produce disease-free Bison for release. And since our herd is considered 100% pure genetic Bison then our female may one day too be re-released into the wild. We have plans to donate more animals from our Bison herd next year for this project.

Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy

Cape May County Zoo has a relationship with the Mt Kenya Wildlife Conservancy dating back to 2001. Our facility was amongst one of the first in the country to donate a young female Bongo to this cause. We donated our first born female Bongo in 2001 as part of an international re-patriation effort in Kenya. ‘Mara’ was flown to a preserve in Kenya where she has produced several calves. Those calves serve as the genetic base for future generations that will eventually be re-released.

Eastern Tiger Salamander Headstart Program
Partnering with The NJ State Department of Wildlife, and Montclair State University the Cape May County Zoo plays a vital role in this 3 pronged effort to help boost this species. The Eastern Tiger Salamander is State Endangered, with the only known population of this amphibian in Cape May County. The program focuses on collecting eggs from known ponds, hatching them on the grounds at the Cape May County Zoo, head starting the larvae and releasing the young salamanders into ponds to establish populations.

Croc Encounters
The Cape May County Zoo Reptile Staff organizes and executes a regional unwanted pet crocodilian rescue and relocation effort. Unwanted, and confiscated pet crocodilians are collected and housed at the Reptile House and eventually relocated to Croc Encounters, a wildlife center in Tampa Florida. The animals and a monetary gift are donated annually to this effort.

Marginated Turtle

In 2005, our 0.0.4 yellow Marginated box turtles (C. flavomarginata) were sent to Ray Farrell of the Turtle Survival Alliance for breeding. We received 0.0.4 C. flavomarginata hatchlings at that time that are part of a growth study being conducted by Mr. Farrell. Growth measurements are sent every six months along with diet and enclosure information. In 2007 we received 0.4 additional C. flavomarginata hatchlings also included in the study.
The zoo is currently submitting paperwork to become an institutional member of the Turtle Survival Alliance to allow us to play a more active role in their conservation conducted by Mr. Farrell. Growth measurements are sent every six months along with diet and enclosure information. In 2007 we received 0.4 additional C. flavomarginata hatchlings also included in the study. The zoo is currently submitting paperwork to become an institutional member of the Turtle Survival Alliance to allow us to play a more active role in their conservation projects. We have in the past given homes to confiscated Southeast Asian turtles (P. megacepalum, C. flavomarginata, P. mouhotii).

Panamanian Golden Frog
The Cape May County Zoo supports Project Golden Frog, a conservation initiative with the primary goal of preventing the extinction of the Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki), an endangered and culturally significant Bufonidae found in the montane rainforests of Panama. The wild population is threatened most notably by the fungal epizootic Chytridiomycosis which has contributed to the loss of the Costa Rican Golden toad (Bufo perigienes) and the endangerment of other amphibians throughout Central and South America.

The zoo houses 1.1.9 A. zeteki on loan from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore who, while not genetically viable at this time, provide an educational opportunity for our visitors. In 2003, former Reptile and Amphibian Curator Jonnie Gove traveled with a team of AZA zoologists to Panama to study the wild population of A. zeteki, including the collection of wild specimens for the managed breeding program