4/8/14 Aquarium of the Bay Teams up with Cheetah Conservation Fund for Earth Day Fundraiser

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – April 08, 2014 – This coming Earth Day, April 22, Aquarium of the Bay is teaming up with the Cheetah Conservation Fund to host Predators Misunderstood—a fundraising event to bring awareness to two of the wild’s most misunderstood and most hunted predators—cheetahs and sharks. Proceeds from this event will benefit Aquarium of the Bay and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Both species are top predators in their respective ecosystems, but are facing man-made and environmental threats causing massive declines in their populations. Predators Misunderstood will shed light on the similarities and issues these two iconic species share, and how both organizations are working hard to conserve these animals.

Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and widely considered the world’s leading expert on the cheetah, will talk about the rapid decline of the cheetah – over 90% of the world’s population lost in the last 100 years. Marker has built a world-renowned International Research and Education Centre, and developed conservation programs that address all aspects of the cheetah’s ecosystem, including humans. In addition to making the case for saving the cheetah, Dr. Marker will bring an ambassador cheetah with her, giving guests a chance to view and appreciate this stunning animal.

Michael Grassmann, Marine Biologist at Aquarium of the Bay will share his expertise on sharks, and why these vastly vilified animals need our help. Despite the fact that many shark species are threatened or near-threatened, tens of thousands of sharks are killed every day for their fins—it is estimated that up to 100 million sharks are killed every year. Grassmann has over a decade of experience working with more than 30 species of sharks. During his time at Aquarium of the Bay, Grassmann has presented and published multiple papers on the care of and behavioral conditioning of sharks.

Starting at 6 pm with a VIP reception in the Aquarium's Bay Theater, guests will enjoy hors d'oeuvres and drinks provided by Fog Harbor Fish House. At 7 pm, the theater will open to all guests for presentations from Dr. Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and Michael Grassmann of Aquarium of the Bay. Following the presentations, guests can explore the Aquarium and view over 20,000 aquatic animals, including sharks, river otters, bat rays, giant Pacific octopuses, and more.

General Admission tickets are $65 per person ($55 for members); VIP tickets are $125 per person ($100 for members). Proceeds from this event will benefit Aquarium of the Bay and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

For more information and to purchase tickets for Predators Misunderstood, visit www.aquariumofthebay.org/sharks-and-cheetahs.
About Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
Founded in Namibia (Africa) in 1990, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, an American biologist, is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on cheetah biology, ecology, and conservation and has developed CCF’s conservation strategy, which has contributed to increasing the wild cheetah population in Namibia by ~50%. CCF’s long-term studies analyze and monitor the factors affecting the cheetah’s survival in the wild, and results are used to develop conservation policies and education programs that have reached over 300,000 people in Namibia alone. CCF is a registered non-profit in Namibia, Canada, UK and the US, where it is listed as a “Four Star Charity” by Charity Navigator, which recognizes sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. People can learn more about CCF or make a donation to the organization by visiting www.cheetah.org.

About Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nature center affiliated with The Bay Institute, with a combined mission to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed-from the Sierra to the sea. Located next to the beautiful San Francisco Bay and on the world famous PIER 39, Aquarium of the Bay welcomes and educates over 600,000 guests every year. Dedicated to the diverse marine life and ecosystems of the Bay, Aquarium of the Bay is home to approximately 20,000 animals found in the San Francisco Bay and along the California coast. Aquarium of the Bay is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco.
Open daily (excluding Christmas day), admission fees help fund animal care and conservation projects, and provide FREE education programs to over 15,000 Bay Area schoolchildren annually. Learn more, book a visit or make a donation at www.aquariumofthebay.org.

Media Contact:
Mallory Johnson | Public Relations Manager | Aquarium of the Bay | mallory@bay.org | 415.623.5340