Wine For Wildlife 2019  Fund-A-Need Illegal Wildlife Trade

Horns for medicine, fins for status, shells for fashion—it’s a 20-billion-dollar industry, driven by the demand for trophies, trinkets, exotic food, outdated practices, and pets. The illegal wildlife trade is the second largest threat to animals after habitat destruction. This lucrative industry is causing an alarming decline in populations worldwide, pushing what were once sustainable numbers towards extinction. This is a global issue—animals on every continent are suffering from this trade.

Pygmy Slow loris

Social media created a booming demand for the pygmy loris as an exotic pet. Taken from their homes and confined to crates in illegal markets, lorises are kept in horrendous conditions and have their teeth painfully removed to keep them from biting the buyers. While many loris videos feature what seem to be cute behaviors actually show animals that are distressed, sick, and exposed to unnatural conditions.


Fins make up 5% of a shark's body weight and yet this is the only part required for the Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup, a status symbol of wealth. Sharks are definned alive and then the still-living animals are discarded into the ocean. Every year, humans kill over 100 million sharks, replacing them as the ocean’s top predator.


In 2018, poachers killed 26 rhinos in Zimbabwe, 32 in Namibia, and 1,028 rhinos in South Africa. More rhinos are being killed than are being born. Rhino horns are incorrectly believed to cure everything from hangovers to cancers and yet rhino they’re made of keratin — just like a human fingernail.

An industry built on greed, the illegal wildlife trade is expanding at an alarming rate. This trade can feel overwhelming, but there are people on

the ground fighting to end the cruelty, working to save endangered species and inspiring communities to change minds. We are the hope for these animals’ survival. Humans have a relationship with the natural world; we have admired animals’ strength, emulated their courage, and come to understand just how similar we really are. Nature is on this planet, around our cities, and even in our homes—we are not separated from it; therefore, we have a responsibility to protect it!

Uplifting video, photos, sounds

In 2018 the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium gave over $900,000 toward conservation efforts around the world! More than $100,000 of that goes to aid animals affected by the illegal wildlife trade. This would not have been possible without your support. We are working to stop the supply and end the demand all over the world.

You put feet on the ground in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Nigeria, funding anti-poaching units to protect rhinos and elephants.

Your support helped declare Golfo Dulce a scalloped hammerhead shark sanctuary—Costa Rica’s first marine sanctuary!

When a crisis struck, and more than 10,000 radiated tortoises were found crammed in a tiny house, you helped us send our own experts to Madagascar to aid in their care.

In Indonesia, you helped fund projects that teach young minds about the wonders of the natural world, the importance of all species to their ecosystem, and why they’re worth protecting.

In Vietnam, you helped bring to justice a notorious wildlife trafficking kingpin.

The illegal wildlife trade is a huge issue, but we believe that these animals are worth fighting for. To work toward ending the illegal wildlife trade is to abolish cruelty, to stand up for our morals, and to prevent extinction!

Your support tonight makes a difference for the future of these species. Together, we are the hope; join us in standing up for wildlife.

Wine For Wildlife 2022  Fund-A-Need Rhinos

Africa and Asia are home to some of the world’s most iconic species. These continents have seen many changes over the centuries, and as human populations expand, develop, and grow—we have pushed many species toward extinction. For millennia, rhinos roamed their native ranges in abundance; however, their numbers have plummeted to dangerous lows. Their threats are human-caused—poached for their horns, driven out of their historical range, and habitat fragmentation as we build cities and roads, dividing rhino populations. Today few rhinos survive outside of national parks and reserves.

Akagera National Park is central Africa’s largest protected wetland. The park is 695 square miles of rolling highlands, vast plains, and swamp fringed lakes – an oasis for a multitude of species. More than 50 eastern black rhinos once thrived in Akagera until wide-scale poaching eradicated them from the park in 2007.

To the east, the greater one-horned rhino once inhabited many areas ranging from Pakistan to Myanmar. After being driven from parts of their native range, these rhinos now only survive in small pockets in India and Nepal. Nearly 85 percent of the world’s population of greater one-horned rhinos live in Assam, India, where more than half of this surviving population is found in Kaziranga National Park. This concentrated population could be decimated by a single disease outbreak or natural disaster.

Chitwan National Park in Nepal holds the second largest population of greater one-horned rhinos. This fragile population has experienced an increase in mortalities from poaching and electrocution, to ingesting pesticides. They lost 165 rhinos in just over six years alone.

Rhinos face many challenges with a simple solution – Humans. We are the cause of their decline and the key to their future. Humans and wildlife are interconnected, and their survival depends on our actions. We have a responsibility to help and protect these species, and all of us can play an important role in making a difference —that starts with empowering communities that live alongside rhinos.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds are committed to ensuring the survival of these rhinos. We have been involved in rhino conservation for 30 years. Currently, we support three rhino field projects, providing $30,000 to each program to assist in achieving rhino conservation goals. These organizations are working hard to educate and uplift communities, monitor growing rhino populations, and use a multitude of resources to protect rhinos from all threats.

TEXT: Akagera Management Company

In 2017, 18 eastern black rhinos were reintroduced to Akagera National Park! The Akagera Management Company’s dedicated tracking teams work tirelessly to ensure the safety of this critically endangered species, and they have achieved a zero-poaching record since the reintroduction. Welcoming the rhinos to the park reestablished it as a Big Five Park, elevating tourism which helps the community. The park employs nearly 300 local community members!

TEXT: International Rhino Foundation

In India, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) funds the greater one-horned rhino translocation program, which has reestablished a population in Manas National Park. As a result, 46 rhinos are thriving! IRF is also working with local communities to communicate the importance of conserving the population. Additionally, thanks to the law enforcement and intelligence program, there has been a 95% decrease in poaching since 2013!

TEXT: Trust for Nature Conservation

In Nepal, the Trust for Nature Conservation has developed programs to help find solutions to human-caused threats. These efforts include educating farmers about the effects of pesticides and electric fences, and conducting wildlife disease research and population monitoring. In 2020, they established Nepal’s first wildlife hospital. This will help rescue and rehabilitate orphaned rhinos and treat all native wildlife!

TEXT (in Last five year has they have rescued 47 rhinos, 17 tigers, and 19 common leopards)

These three projects are dedicated to the rhinos, ecosystems, and local communities. To help wildlife, we must help people, too. We cannot rewrite the mistakes of the past, but nature can heal if we help it. By working together and moving forward, we can create a better future for the rhinos and ensure that they will be around for generations to come. Your support tonight ensures that these communities can continue to protect these species. Tonight we ask you to join us in standing up for rhinos.