Doing Good

I’m challenging Wildlife Trading Company to make a positive difference in the world.

Last month was the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Mid-Year meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the home of our very first retail partnership at the Rio Grande Zoo.  Throughout the week, one thing was clear…

Now more than ever, our industry needs to make a positive difference in the world.

The passion for doing good encompasses three areas:

  • Saving endangered species
  • Sustainability
  • Helping people and cultures be more self-sufficient

Wildlife Trading Company is dedicated to be an industry leader in all three areas.  We were proud to present at the AZA Mid-Year Green Summit Reception, where attendees were interested in hearing about our green initiatives.  Our no single-use bag policy in all of our stores (plastic or paper) was a crowd pleaser.

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Wildlife Trading Company’s Retail Manager and BioPark Green Team member, Robin Purley, presenting our conservation efforts at the AZA Mid-Year Green Summit

Well before the AZA meeting, we decided it was time to take an even stronger stance on doing what is right. Overall, our values and value proposition have not changed, but our priorities have. We decided that, moving ahead, we are placing a greater emphasis on partnerships and practices that promote global stewardship; the care, consideration and conservation of culture and nature.

We’ve identified 5 areas of focus:

  1. Consistently improve upon our own environmentally friendly practices throughout the organization; in both our offices and stores.
  2. Become a more proactive collaborator with our partners on:
    • Instituting better conservation practices.
    • Increasing efforts to educate visitors about current challenges and how they can make a difference.
    • Developing more programs to help our partners make a positive change in the world through the conservation, cultural and ecological causes they champion.
  3. Continue to improve sourcing products from eco-friendly companies, using eco-friendly materials, practices and packaging.
  4. Collaborate directly with non-profit organizations to help move their efforts forward.
  5. Represent great art and crafts from “at risk” cultures and ones with a heritage of embracing nature.
    • Culture and conservation are intrinsically tied together.  If cultures can become less at risk, their openness to conservation becomes greater.
    • This initiative will help visitors and buyers better understand and appreciate the quality and artistry of other cultures, while learning of their challenges and supporting them at the same time.
    • We’ll be sharing more about this initiative in the near future.

We’ll be reaching out to many of you to discuss ways we can partner to do good.  Feel free to contact us directly with suggestions and propositions.

Based on current understanding of plastics and how they affect the environment and our food chain, I am challenging Wildlife Trading Company to develop a plan to significantly reduce the amount of plastic in our stores (products and packaging).

I know we are up to that challenge.

Let us know what you are up to.

~ James

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Photo of endangered African Painted Dogs at sunset I took last year.  We’re working to make sure that, in reality, the sun does not finally set on this species.

Success at the Oklahoma Aquarium

Congratulations to the team at our newly remodeled shop at the Oklahoma Aquarium (pictured above), which just had its most successful weekend ever last weekend!  This happened because Wildlife Trading Company approached its store remodel in a direct partnership with the Aquarium, coordinating efforts to also support the opening of the new Sea Turtle Island attraction.

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Oklahoma’s New Sea Turtle Island Exhibit

“The Oklahoma Aquarium and the city of Jenks have taken their aquarium to the next level with the addition of the Sea Turtle Island exhibit,” said Kathy Wagner, our SW Regional Manager.  “Our staff is proud to be a part of this exciting addition.  Visitors will be able to enjoy and appreciate just how wonderful this exhibit is.  We hope all will visit our Gift Shop and see our new selection of Sea Turtle products.”

“The Oklahoma Aquarium and the city of Jenks have taken their aquarium to the next level.”  ~ Kathy Wagner, SW Regional Manager

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We added a Turtle Corner to complement the new attraction. 

Like we do with all our shops, we customize the design and product mix to match the attraction’s experience and visitor needs.  When we succeed, it’s a win for both Wildlife Trading Company and our partners.