This is a paid piece from the Great Plains Zoo

Simplified: The Great Plains Zoo supports animal conservation far outside the walls of its Sioux Falls facility. And you can learn more about this work and an upcoming effort to help the critically endangered snow leopard population at an event next week featuring Biologist Dr. Jeff Muntifering.

Why it matters

  • Conservation is a cornerstone of the zoo's mission, and they've been working with Muntifering on a community-based initiative to save black rhinos in Namibia.
  • Muntifering will share his findings and successes from this initiative during a Conservation Conversation hosted by the zoo at Fernson brewery. This family-friendly event will also showcase the zoo's global conservation efforts.
  • During the event, Muntifering also talk about how he'll use his successes in Namibia to develop a similar conservation program in service of the critically endangered snow leopard population in Nepal.
"The things that we learn from Jeff's work can help us share knowledge with other zoos at conferences or even compile a scientific research paper," said Stephanie Arne, interim director of conservation. "It'll really help put us on the map."

Tell me more about the conservation work

Muntifering has spent 20 years working with black rhinos in Namibia – the last three of which he's been partnered with the Great Plains Zoo, as well.

  • His work emphasizes community buy-in and engagement, as well as education to help improve monitoring of the rhinos.

The hope is that Muntifering can take a similar approach to conserving snow leopards in Nepal, work funded largely by the Great Plains Zoo, Arne said.

Tell me more about the upcoming event

The Conservation Conversation will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Fernson Brewery at 1400 E. Robur Drive.

Muntifering will speak for about 45 minutes to an hour, with time for some Q&A afterward.

Admission is $10, and seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased online here.