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Friday, Oct 21, 2016
City of Little Rock Public Relations
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Zoo: Halloween candy can support conservation
Consumers should choose brands with sustainably harvested palm oil
LITTLE ROCK (Oct. 14, 2016) – The National Retail Federation reports that Americans will spend an estimated $2.1 billion on Halloween candy this year. Many consumers don’t realize that their everyday actions can impact conservation.
The palm oil industry has wreaked havoc on rain forests that some of our endangered species call home. So it’s important that when buying candy for trick-or-treaters, consumers choose brands that employ sustainable practices that don’t harm the environment.
Bandar the Little Rock Zoo’s Bornean orangutan would eat a big bag of candy if given the chance, but that’s not the only connection he has to Halloween and human children. Forests in Borneo have been decimated by the palm oil industry leaving Bornean orangutans critically endangered in the wild.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, in Colorado Springs, Colo., has compiled a list of candy manufacturers rating them ‘Excellent,’ ‘Good,’ or ‘Needs Improvement,’ that conservation-minded consumers can use when shopping to fill their candy bowls.
Among those candy makers in the ‘Excellent’ category are Hershey’s Mars and Kraft, while Nestle and Ghirardelli were ranked ‘Good’ and Haribo gummy candies ranked ‘Needs Improvement.’
“The Little Rock Zoo buys hundreds of pounds of candy each year for Boo at the Zoo and we only purchase those brands that use sustainable practices,” said Susan Altrui, the Zoo’s assistant director.
“Our mission is to inspire people to value and conserve our natural world. One way we inspire people is by taking care of animals that are in danger of extinction so guests can see them close up and come to love them,” Altrui said. “But we also practice what we preach. When Boo at the Zoo started 25 years ago, we were unaware of how the wide-ranging use of palm oil impacted the animals we work to save.”
Kids and adults alike can sample some of the palm-oil free candy during Boo at the Zoo, which runs from Oct. 21 (adults-only night) to Oct. 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly. Visit littlerockzoo.com/boo to purchase advance tickets at discounted rates. The event attracts 20,000 people annually.
About the Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit www.aza.org.