The final speaker at the 2013 CAZG meeting

Official role today as the last speaker for the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens 2013 meeting.

I was co-hosted by CAZG itself and by Animals Asia, an animal welfare organization. Animals Asia focuses on a number of areas, including rescue of bears that have been used in the gruesome bear bile trade (more on that later) and collaboration with CAZG to improve animal care in Chinese zoos.

I spoke extensively about our evolving animal trail system, which was what attracted attention for this meeting in the first place, while also talking more generally about how good exhibit design can support good animal well-being. I also wanted to share that the trail system, while driven by our goal to reinvent how animals experience a zoo, is also creating exciting guest experiences. We've had some great comments on third-party travel websites. I had some engaged questions from the audience of 80 Chinese zoo directors and other officials. The need to pause for translation after each sentence took some getting used to, but Bailey Liu of Animals Asia did a great job.

CAZG presentation

09/14/2013 : Forest reserves near Hong Kong

Last full day in China, spent at one of the forest reserves near Hong Kong. Hong Kong has quite a bit of green space, both inside and outside the main urban area. And with Hong Kong subtropicalcloser to the equator than Havanathe forest is luxuriant.

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09/13/2013 : Ocean Park Hong Kong

Arrived in Hong Kong from Chengdu last night local time. Spent most of today at Ocean Park, a zoo and aquarium here that is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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09/12/2013 : The Moon Bear Rescue Center

After speaking on the Zoo's trail system yesterday morning, I went with the rest of the conference attendees to the Moon Bear Rescue Center outside Chengdu.

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09/11/2013 : The final speaker at the 2013 CAZG meeting

Official role today as the last speaker for the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens 2013 meeting.

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09/10/2013 : Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens Dinner

 There's also a very appealing protocol in China at dinners or gatherings like this of repeated toasts to each other's health. One can make one at your own table, or wander over to another table to toast an individual or the entire table. Results in a very congenial and interactive atmosphere, and opportunities to be introduced to and exchange cards with Chinese colleagues.

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09/09/2013 : Arriving in Chengdu

Arrived in Chengdu today. Chengdu is the 2000-year-old capital of Sichuan Province, in south central China. Sichuan Province is home to most of the world's remaining giant pandas, and tomorrow is likely to be all about pandas, with plans to visit the Chengdu Panda Base, one of the leading organizations in giant panda conservation. 

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09/08/2013 : Beijing

Spent a good part of the day at the Beijing Zoo. The zoo reports more than 6 million visitors a yeareasy to believe with the crowds on this Sunday.

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09/06/2013 : Traveling to China

I've been asked to speak about our animal trail system at meetings of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, which are in Chengdu next week. Currently in the O'Hare Airport in Chicago, waiting for flight to Beijing.

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