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Zoo News

Zoo News

Make-A-Wish® North Texas Celebrates 30 Years and 7,000 Wishes
May 24, 2012

Make-A-Wish North Texas, in partnership with the Dallas Zoo, is looking to Share the Power of a Wish® by asking for the community’s involvement in granting their 7,000th wish. Seven-year-old Zander has wished to be a zookeeper and was declared an honorary zookeeper by the Dallas Zoo at the Foundation’s signature fundraising gala on May 12, 2012. Minutes after receiving his official zookeeper outfit on stage, a breaking news report from WFAA’s Rebecca Lopez cut in on the event’s screens letting the audience know that an alligator was on the loose in Dallas. Lopez informed Zander that he was the only one certified to track the reptile and safely transport it to its new home at the Dallas Zoo.

Since Zander accepted the challenge of finding the alligator over a week ago, the Dallas-Fort Worth community, and beyond, has supported Zander’s search by interacting with the Foundation’s facebook page by continuously posting photos of alligator track sightings and encouraging his continued search for the alligator.

By hitting “like” on the facebook page, the community will help to unlock certain items Zander will need in his search for the reptile. In the first 48 hours of the challenge, over 1,150 “likes” unlocked a custom jeep, courtesy of Starwood Motors Custom Jeeps, but tools are still waiting to be unlocked. Additional tools include a GPS/compass for tracking, reptile handling equipment, ropes, binoculars, reptile snacks, etc.

As the campaign continues throughout this week, Make-A-Wish North Texas will prepare to host a 7,000th wish “live watch party” on May 26, 2012 at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Starting at 9:30am, fans are encouraged to gather to experience first hand the magic a wish provides a child battling a life-threatening medical condition. The viewing is designed to be fun for the entire family as attendees will play a pivotal role in Zander’s last clue.

After safely securing the alligator, Zander will make his way to the Dallas Zoo for an afternoon where he will be the guest of honor at a special luncheon with over 40 other Dallas Zookeepers and complete an afternoon shadowing some of Dallas’ finest herpetologists.

To learn more about how you can get involved in granting the 7,000th wish, please visit or

About the Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is the largest zoological experience in Texas featuring a 106-acre park, thousands of animals, and an education department that offers programs for all ages. The official airline of the Dallas Zoo is American Airlines. The Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis). Admission is $15 for ages 12-64, $12 for ages 3-11 and 65+, and free for ages 2 and younger and Dallas Zoological Society (DZS) members. The Zoo is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, download the free iPhone app, visit, or call 469 554 7500.

About Make-A-Wish North Texas
Make-A-Wish North Texas grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In celebrating our 30th year, we have granted more than 6,900 wishes since our inception in 1982. Our goal is to be a unique part of the treatment process. With doctors providing the medicine, and Make-A-Wish supplying the magic, we strive to create miracles in the lives of some very extraordinary children. For more information about Make-A-Wish North Texas, please visit