"Travel Night" previews exceptional wildlife-focused vacation.
The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) presents a free "Travel Night," open to the public, to preview a unique GLAZA-sponsored vacation to Botswana accompanied by LA Zoo director John Lewis on Thursday, November 7, 2013, 7 p.m., at the Los Angeles Zoo. The evening features a detailed presentation about the May/June 2014 trip, which is led by professional guides as well as Lewis and focuses on exploration of exceptional wildlife, plant life and ecosystems. "Travel Night" also includes refreshments and a Q&A. The Botswana vacation is operated by Classic Escapes, a travel company specializing in nature and cultural journeys around the world that combine travel with the joy of learning about the planet. In keeping with its mission to provide experiences that nurture and directly support wildlife and cultures, the firm's Classic Escapes Conservation Fund provides a percentage of all profits to support conservation and wildlife researchers performing critical work in the field. By traveling with Classic Escapes, guests support travel as a tool for building the mutual respect, awareness, and understanding that are vital to preserving the planet for future generations. Travel programs are among many offerings presented by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, founded in 1963. For five decades, GLAZA has funded plant and animal exhibits, species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. GLAZA also builds and invests endowment funds and operates seven essential departments on behalf of the L.A. Zoo: development, special events, marketing, publications, membership, volunteers, and oversight of the food and retail concessions. There are 73,000 member households in GLAZA representing more than 300,000 adults and children, the largest membership base of a cultural organization in Los Angeles. GLAZA additionally boasts a volunteer corps of more than 800 individuals. The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, attracting 1.6 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 133 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Among its most popular habitats are the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), Elephants of Asia, and Campo Gorilla Reserve, with the eagerly awaited Rainforest of the Americas habitat scheduled to open soon. The Zoo's location in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways ideally positions it as a convenient destination enjoyed by locals and vacationers of all ages who can visit every day of the year except Christmas Day.