Rosamond Gifford Zoo to Hold Family Fun Run

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The Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will hold a Family Fun Run on September 28 to help raise funds for a new Amur leopard habitat at the zoo.

The first Syracuse Zoo Family Fun Run will be held 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday, September 28, said Friends of the Zoo President Janet Agostini.

“We have been wanting to hold a run/walk for the zoo for quite a while, and we hope this initial event will grow into a bigger race going forward,” Agostini said. “This first race will benefit our capital project to create a new habitat for our pair of critically endangered Amur leopards.”

Families are encouraged to participate in the 2.5-K (1.5 miles) child-friendly run/walk through a portion of Burnet Park and the zoo’s Wildlife Trail. The course will bring participants past animal exhibits and end in the zoo courtyard with cider and donuts, music and giveaways – including free zoo admission for the day. Wear an animal print on race day to be entered in a raffle for a special animal experience!

Registration is $20 for adults, $15 for children 4-12 and free for 3 and under. Paid registration includes a free race T-shirt, access to the post-race party and free zoo admission. Participants are able to choose their T-shirt size upon registering online at by September 1.

The Frienss of the Zoo will dedicate proceeds toward its project to build a new Amur leopard habitat in the zoo’s former African lion exhibit.  Last year the zoo last acquired a male and a female Amur leopard who are residing in temporary quarters in the Social Animals wing.

Zoo Director Ted Fox said Tria and Rafferty came from the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina and the San Diego Zoo respectively as part of the Species Survival Plan for Amur leopards overseen by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Amur leopards are among the world’s rarest big cats. It is estimated that only 84 individuals remain in the wild in their native habitat, the Amur River Basin in Far East Russia.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is among the AZA zoos working to breed a healthy population of Amur leopards in human care. Fox said Amur leopards are excellent climbers, so the new habitat will need trees, climbing structures and a high mesh ceiling to meet their needs, as well as indoor amenities including a nursery for future cubs.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is Syracuse’s accredited member of the AZA, the gold standard for animal care, conservation education and guest experience. The Friends of the Zoo exists to support the zoo in its missions of conservation, education and saving species.

For more information on the Family Fun Run or other zoo events, please visit


Post Date

Jun 19th 2019