Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by John Loughlin/Woodland Park Zoo
In the company of wolves and grizzlies, Castle actor Jon Huertas came to Woodland Park Zoo today to announce his new role as Celebrity Ambassador for Wildlands Network, advocating for carnivore conservation. Jon spoke to a crowd of carnivore enthusiasts made up of zoo visitors, ZooCorps teen volunteers, a local boy scout troop and more than a few starstruck zoo staff!
Jon spoke about his passion for all things wild, but especially his enthusiasm for protecting large carnivores in North America. He had a special message for the young audience, “Please educate your parents, your grandparents and your friends. If we lose carnivores, we lose our habitat.” The actor and animal lover told the teens that he is passionate about educating others on the importance of nature corridors and protecting wild spaces. Huertas reiterated that living in harmony with carnivores is possible, a message he hopes will spread through his partnership with Wildlands Network and social media campaigns.
The teens had a chance to listen to Woodland Park Zoo's Director of Conservation, Fred Koontz and Wildlands Network's Executive Director Greg Costello who both spoke about the importance of collaboration in creating wildlife corridors in the Northwest and beyond. The teens then had a chance to ask their own questions about big carnivores and how they can help. Huertas told them that the key to making these conservation projects successful is their passion and love for animals. He emphasized that speaking organically about conservation is the easiest way to spread empathy and understanding for endangered carnivores.