KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Last month, the Trump Administration proposed ending protections for threatened animals and plant species under the Endangered Species Act.
The proposal would make it harder for animals to be put on the list and easier to be taken off. Republicans said they are trying to modernize the act while Democrats believe this could speed up the extinction of some animals.
There are more than 1,000 endangered animals in the United States and thousands more around the world. The Kansas City Zoo is hoping to lower that number each and every day.
We hear about animals being endangered all the time, but what is being done to help save them? The Kansas City Zoo may have the answer.
"We participate in some SSPs, species survival program, to ensure these animals will be around for a long time. Outside of that, we have a huge conservation program where we are working on projects locally, nationally and globally," said Stacia Pieroni, Kansas City Zoo Conservation Manager.
Projects locally include breeding swans.
"We have a pair of breeding trumpeter swans. At one point, they were almost extinct in the United States. Our pair breeds every year and hatches out a few baby swans. Then, we take them up to Iowa to be released," said Pieroni.
The zoo said each animal is special, even the Wyoming Toad.
"The last remaining toads were brought into human care. Since then, from a handful of toads, they have managed to have a sustainable population that are at zoos and aquariums that we can take some of those offsprings from those and release them back into the wild," said Sean Putney, Senior Director of Zoological Operations.
And the zoo said no matter what its conservation efforts will continue.
"We are going to keep saving animals no matter what," Pieroni said. "I mean anything that protects animals is a benefit. So, of course, we would love for it to continue. But, that's not going to stop KC Zoo or any other conversation organization."
To learn more about the zoo's conservation efforts visit https://www.kansascityzoo.org/conservation/