Gratitude for Rhinos in a Changing World By Tim L. Tetzlaff, Naples Zoo's Director of Conservation
Growing up reading books about Africa printed in the early 1900s, I felt like I held the yellow pages of history itself. But those authors saw only a slice of time. Later I learned their tales of an unpeopled Serengeti were skewed observations caused by a disease accidentally unleashed in 1887 that drove a famine that killed an estimated two-thirds of the Maasai people in Tanzania alone – what has “always been” may be a recent anomaly.
Above: Tetzlaff's first black rhino sighting in Ngorongoro Crater.
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When Serengeti’s first people left footprints in the fossil record, a volcano rivaling the famed Mount Kilimanjaro dominated the landscape. But that giant vanished from Tanzania’s horizon as it erupted and collapsed in on itself some 2.5 million years ago. What remained was Earth’s largest unbroken, unflooded caldera that we now call Ngorongoro Crater. Over the eons, the 100-square-mile crater attracted a wealth of wildlife residing within its 2,000-foothigh walls.
It was in our charmed era of Ngorongoro’s history that I first saw its wonders in the 1972 photos and films of my late father, Lawrence “Jungle Larry” Tetzlaff. Growing up marveling at the abundance of its wildlife, what happened over the 20 following years is still hard to fathom. With relentless poaching fueled by high prices for rhino horn to concoct useless medicines, Tanzania’s 22,000 black rhinos suffered a terrifying free fall – stopped short with just 25 surviving by 1990.
New at Naples Zoo: Babies & More One of the many perks of being a Naples Zoo Member is being able to visit as much as you'd like. You're able to see updates the Zoo makes as they happen, as well as watch baby animals grow up.
As we’ve learned this last year especially, things can change dramatically. A none too subtle reminder to appreciate what we have today. Kilimanjaro has not always towered over the plains, but we live in the age where we can witness the paradox of snow on the equator. Africa’s rhinos nearly went extinct in our lifetime - nearly. In 2019, I met with the rangers who allow us to still say “nearly.” It’s sobering to meet with them. About 1,000 of the world’s park rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past 10 years. As we discussed their needs, the first answer was easy: tents so rangers could camp in the bush and keep close tabs on the rhinos. And at less than $10,000 that seemed possible for the Zoo’s conservation fund. The second need did not. The Crater stretches over 10 miles across. To monitor the rhinos, rangers need high-powered, tripod-mounted binoculars. They only had a couple. The quote for equipment and import taxes could reach over a quarter million dollars which exceeded their resources – and ours. But having successfully negotiated for equipment before, I told them I’d look into it. No promises. Upon my return to the States, I eventually sourced a manufacturer who could provide the specifications needed at a greatly reduced price. Arrangements through the Tanzanian government relieved the tax situation. As most of the Zoo’s core conservation budget is committed to our ten field staff and existing long-term commitments, the majority of funding for these two projects was generously donated by travelers who had been to Ngorongoro Crater on a Naples Zoo safari – at a combined cost of less than $30,000. The tents are already in use and a sample telescope has been successfully field tested. The rangers eagerly await the full order of telescopes by this summer. I look forward to gazing through one on my next visit – and pausing to reflect that I am blessed to live in a moment Above: A ranger in Ngorongoro Crater finds a curious black rhino very close. when Africa’s rhinos still wander her light-soaked The telescope will be able to identify individuals from miles away. plains. You are, too.
We Need YOU to be a Zoo Guardian! Zoo Guardians are important friends who support Naples Zoo with a monthly gift of any size. This ongoing support is incredibly important – it helps the zoo plan and prepare for the unexpected (like a pandemic!). It can also make giving less stressful for you, too! For example, giving a smaller amount like $10 a month can be a lot easier on your budget than giving one gift of $120. And, once you set up your recurring gift with a credit card, it happens automatically each month for as long as you choose. You set it and forget it! Plus, you will receive special messages from our animal friends by email from time to time. In just one year or less, your monthly gift of: $5 can feed Athena the Florida panther for a week. $20 can fund a ZOOMobile visit. $50 can help keep our hospital stocked with supplies. $100 can feed all the giraffes for two weeks.
Zoo Babies: 2021 has already been an exciting year. On January 17, our first female mountain bongo calf was born. She was named Amali, which is Swahili for “hope”. It's also a perfect complement to her mom's name - Amara. On March 8, we celebrated the birth of a male slender-horned gazelle calf (pictured above) to first time mother Evita. He was named Mac-n-Cheese, but is affectionately called "Mac" by his keepers. Since his half-brother's name is Colby-Jack, the keepers wanted to make sure this little one also had a cheese name. Amali and Mac are on exhibit for guests to see. They share the exhibit across from our tortoises and next to our cotton-top tamarins. Primate Moves: Next time you take a ride on the Primate Expedition Cruise, you may notice some new residents! Red-ruffed lemur boys Chip, Pico, and Jalapeno, who were born May 2019, have moved out of the exhibit next to the fosa and onto their very own island. Ring-tailed lemurs Nick and PJ have moved into the old red-ruffed lemur exhibit. PJ recently came to Naples Zoo from the Duke Lemur Center to be paired with Nick as part of the AZA Species Survival Plan ®.
Also, remember that for this tax year 2021, even folks that do not itemize will be able to take an “above the line” deduction of up to $300 for an individual or $600 for a joint return. Your monthly gifts can count toward that deduction! If you have any questions, contact Savannah Perry at (239) 262-5409 ext 145 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Savannah manages the Zoo Guardian program and would love to speak with you. If you are ready to become a Zoo Guardian, you can contact Savannah or set up your recurring gift online at napleszoo.org/donate.
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Searle Brothers Tropical Plant Sale
Naples Zoo is excited to bring back our Safari Squad family programs this year. Our mission is to inspire people of all ages to respect, value, and help conserve wildlife and our natural world. Through Safari Squad, we hope to instill that respect and teach young children about the wonders of the nature.
Naples Zoo Board of Directors Denny Glass Chairman
Safari Squad is designed for children three to five years old, and an adult to share their learning with. New this year, we have designated this program as an exclusive benefit for Naples Zoo members. Safari Squad classes feature an animal encounter, storybook reading, creative art, and free-choice play stations such as sensory play and nature-based activities.
Otto Immel Vice Chairman Terry Edwards Secretary
Each month features a new theme, and occurs in a series format. Classes begin at 9 a.m. and last one hour.
Dan Lavender Treasurer Juan Bendeck Carol Dinardo Jamie Dockweiler Nikkie Dvorchak John Fisher Todd Gates Jeanne Guglielmi Nancy Hamill John Hannsz Jay Hartington David Hoffmann Teri Kuhn Kathy Marinello Jennifer McCurry Charlie Mueller Mike Neal David Parsons David Ruben Ann Scott Carlo Zampogna Jack Mulvena President and CEO Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road Naples, Florida 34102 website: www.napleszoo.org email: email@example.com Naples Zoo News is published two times a year. © 2021 Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Monthly Themes and Dates June: Aquatic Adventures Wednesday Series - June 2, 9, 16, 23 Saturday Series - June 5, 12, 19, 26 Naples Zoo is happy to once again be hosting Searle Brothers Nursery and The Rainforest Collection for an exotic palm and tropical plant sale this May. The plant sale will take place Saturday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Searle Brothers will have a diverse collection of palm species for sale, along with aroids, bromeliads, crotons, and many other exotic plant species. The plant sale will be located on the lawn area outside the Zoo Gift Shop entrance. All forms of payment will be accepted. Arrive early for the best selection, as certain plants have limited quantities. Bring your wagons and carts for hauling plants to your vehicle. For specific plant availability, contact Jeff Searle at (954) 658-4317.
3 Important Things to Know about Charitable Giving in 2021
Connecting Kids to Nature through Safari Squad
July: Nursery Rhymes Wednesday Series – July 7, 14, 21, 28 Saturday Series – July 10, 17, 24, 31
August: Be the Animal Wednesday Series – August 4, 11, 18, 25 Saturday Series – August 7, 14, 21, 28
The cost is $36 for a four-class series for a member child and adult pair. This nature-based program is designed to provide engaging experiences for children with animals and nature, and to share those experiences with a caring adult in their life. The adult will assist in facilitating play and sharing positive experiences with the natural world. Additionally, this program promotes social development opportunities and encouraging those behaviors by interacting with children of similar ages. To register for Safari Squad, visit napleszoo.org/safarisquad. Once there, read over the registration information, including our COVID-19 precautions. At this time, face masks are required for all participants for the duration of the program. For information about other education programs, visit napleszoo.org/education.
Meet our New Director of Education: Maggie Woosley!
Maggie shares her passion for education, interpretation, nature, and wildlife with learners of all ages as the Director of Education. She studied biology, physiology, and art at Aurora University, and has a master’s degree in biology from Miami University-Ohio. Maggie brings more than a decade of experience with the Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo. She served five years as a customer service trainer and three years as a trainer in early childhood professional development. Her commitment to zoo education and conservation stems from the multiple roles she has worked in, and affords her a strong background in nature-based early childhood programming, training, and inclusion. Maggie has been a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation since 2015, and more recently became a Certified Educator with National Geographic in 2020. While a Chicagoland native, her love for the ocean has helped her feel right at home in Naples. Maggie spends her free time exploring Florida’s diverse ecosystems by way of walking and kayaking.
By Marci Seamples, CFRE, CAP, Naples Zoo's Director of Development
Because of the CARES Act last year, we saw some charitable giving “rule changes” that, at the time, only applied to 2020. For 2021, some of those changes no longer apply, some have been extended and some have been modified.
1) A change that no longer applies: RMDs are back Last year, Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for eligible retirement accounts were suspended under the CARES Act. But for 2021, they resume. If you were 70 1/2 or older on December 31, 2019 OR will be 72 before December 31, 2021, you are of “RMD Age”.
With the return of the RMD, it may make sense for you to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). This means you make a distribution DIRECTLY from your IRA to a charity as a gift. Because the distribution is payable to the charity (instead of to you), it won’t be included as taxable income on your 2021 tax return. An individual over the age of 70 ½ can make QCD(s) of up to $100,000 a year.
The key thing here is that the gift MUST be made directly from the IRA to the charity. In other words, don’t make the distribution to your bank account and then write a check to the charity. If you make the distribution to yourself, it is now considered taxable income, even if you turn right around and give that money to a charity.
2) A change that has been extended: Deduct up to 100% of your AGI As in 2020, you will be able to deduct up to 100% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2021 using charitable gifts of cash. These gifts must be made to an “operating non-profit” – therefore, they cannot be made to a donor advised fund (DAF).
Remember, too, if you cannot use the entire deduction this year, it can be carried over, in most cases, up to 5 years. Taking advantage of the larger AGI limit may be used to offset taxes in subsequent years. This is something to discuss with your advisor(s) if you think it may make sense for your particular situation.
3) A change that has been modified: Charitable above the line deduction for non-itemizers In 2020, taxpayers could take an above the line charitable deduction of up to $300 per return, even if they didn’t itemize. In 2021, non-itemizers can take this same deduction, but up to $300 per individual or $600 per joint return.
4) A bonus idea: Gift highly appreciated stock and make a charitable swap When you donate appreciated assets, it creates two tax benefits. The tax deduction is the same size as a gift of cash AND you avoid paying capital gains (IMPORTANT: The assets must have been owned for a year or more).
If you add on a charitable swap, you contribute current shares of stock (that have been held more than a year) and immediately purchase new shares in the same company. Your portfolio doesn’t change, but you have reset your basis and the capital gain is removed. There is no waiting period, because this is gain property not loss property - the wash-sale rule doesn’t apply. (Never donate loss property, your advisor can explain why)
PLEASE REMEMBER, these are a few ideas to talk about with your advisors and may not apply in your situation – it is important to discuss any of these options with your professional advisors (accountant, financial planner, etc.) FIRST. If you need further information to share with your advisor, please contact me at (239) 262-5409 ext. 147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Advantage of the Affinity Program
Show your Naples Zoo membership card at these businesses, and you’ll receive a special discount (details at napleszoo.org/affinity): -Cariloha Bamboo -Coral Cay Adventure Golf
-Everglades 10,000 Islands Boat Tours -Flamingo Everglades -Less Taxing Services
-Mosquito Joe -Rainbow Springs -SWFL Dermatology
-Weeki Wachee Springs -Wintrust Banking Center