Thursday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Toast to Conservation is an exciting new event generating awareness and funding for the Jacksonville Zoo
and Gardens and global conservation programs supported by the Zoo. This year’s event includes
speakers from around the globe.

 Your journey begins with a sparkling libation and a stroll through our African Loop to visit with our special
guests and our endangered, striped friends. From there take a short walk through the gardens to our
award-winning Range of the Jaguar where you will be greeted by Zoo ambassadors and a cocktail reception followed by a gourmet sit-down dinner under the stars. Following dinner, our guest speakers will inspire you with conservation messages both globally and locally, and have you uplifted in support of these important programs. The evening ends with a paddles up auction for conservation and live music for your listening enjoyment.

370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32218

Copyright © 2017 Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Visit for Toast To Conservation event details
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

2017 Speakers

Dr. Richard Leakey - Paleoanthropologist and Conservationist
Turkana Basin Institute

Richard Erskine Frere Leakey, second son of Louis and Mary, was born on December 19, 1944.
He participated in his parent’s field expeditions from an early age and was therefore well-placed to inherit their legacy. His efforts with paleoanthropology involved not only field research and discoveries but also many years serving as the director of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). Work at Koobi Fora began after a chance landing in the area led Richard to believe that the area held a wealth of fossil deposits. Together with a team from the NMK, Richard led the first expedition to Koobi Fora in 1968. Between 1968 and 1989 he coordinated the NMK field expeditions to the eastern and western shores of Lake Turkana. With the team of talented and experienced fossil hunters led by Mr. Kamoya Kimeu, many important finds were made, including early stone age tools dating to around 1.9 million years old, evidence of early members of the genus Homo, including skulls of Homo habilis and Homo erectus, and remains of robust australopithecines A. boisei and A. aethiopicus. The extraordinary discovery of the nearly complete 1.6 million-year-old skeleton of the “Nariokotome Boy” (or “Turkana Boy”), a Homo erectus youth, was undoubtedly the most important.

Belinda Low-Mackey - Executive Director, Grevy's Zebra Trust
Grevys Zebra Trust

Belinda Low Mackey is co-founder and executive director of the Grevy’s Zebra Trust. Belinda was born and raised in Kenya. She has over a decade of experience working with communities on Grevy’s zebra conservation since starting the Grevy’s Zebra Scout Program in 2003 while working for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and, later, the Northern Rangelands Trust. This grassroots approach engaged pastoral communities in Grevy’s zebra conservation and led to co-founding the Grevy’s Zebra Trust in 2007.

John Lukas - President, Okapi Conservation Project
Conservation and Science Manager, 
 Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens 
Okapi Conservation Project
John’s holistic approach to wildlife conservation is espoused by his involvement in field conservation programs around the world in varying capacities including president of the Okapi Conservation Project, founding member and president of the International Rhino Foundation, founding board member and vice president of Wildlife Conservation Network among many others. John is currently leading the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens efforts in developing a strategic conservation program that will help advance their current partnerships and forge new alliances for the benefit of wildlife and wild places. The zoo is supporting John’s involvement in managing the Okapi Conservation Project in DR Congo and his leadership
roles with partner organizations such as the International Rhino Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Network.


Event Attire: Business

Please call 904.757.4463, Janet Wesley, ext. 210 or Lucas Meers, ext. 396,
for further information.