City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo


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The idiom, “as dead as a dodo” is used loosely in the English language, it refers to a thing of the past. This minute, as we witness the butchering of rhinos, elephants and thousands of species in nature, one cannot wonder in horror, if soon, we’ll be nostalgically using the phrase “as extinct as an elephant”… The harsh reality, we’re losing our animals and fast.

Human beings are the root cause of this imbalance in nature, where many species face a greater rate of extinction due to senseless killings, climate change, deforestation, urbanisation and reduction of plant and animal habitat.

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ), the custodians of nature conservation and greening champions in the City of Joburg, continues to spearhead a number of breeding programmes, aimed at increasing and preserving endangered species. The rare Wattled Crane is one of the rarest of crane species in the world. This elegant yet curious bird, with its hasash-grey wings and famed red beak, is the largest of the crane species.

The breeding programme by Joburg Zoo has successfully puppet-reared just under 10 wattled crane, avoiding any human imprinting during this process. Abandoned eggs collected from the wild are incubated, the chicks are reared into adulthood.

Costumed caretakers introduce the young cranes to life in the wild and teach them to forage which provides the bird with a sense of life outside their care. Once the breeding flock produces a significant number of chicks, their offspring and those reared through abandonment, the birds are released into an existing Wattled Crane population in the wild. These efforts aim to bolster the population in its natural environment.

The recent success story of Joburg Zoo’s Amphibian Conservation breeding Project of the Pickersgill Reed Frog which is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Species, was successfully bred.

Approximately 400 captive-bred offspring of this rare amphibian were released into their natural habitat in Kwa-Zulu Natal since September 2018.

The Joburg Zoo boasts a number of endangered species in its care, recently a giraffe calf, a second litter of four cubs of the Siberian tiger, the bullfrogs, the Ground Hornbill but to name a few.

This global call to action is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them.

During the month of May, zoos, aquariums, schools, community centers, conservation groups and other organizations throughout the world host exhibitions, children’s activities and much more. “Joburg Zoo’s breeding and conservation programmes have seen a notable increase in the population of some of the endangered species housed here, bringing hope to what we’re passionate about,” stated Bryne Maduka, Managing Director, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo.

Extinction cannot be reversed and as global citizens, each one of us has a responsibility to collectively take care of nature.


Issued on behalf of
Bryne Maduka
Managing Director
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Media Enquiries
Noeleen Mattera

Stakeholder, PR & Media Relations
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo
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