Audubon Recycling Holiday Lights for Lions

NEW ORLEANS — From the Audubon Institute:

Twinkling holiday lights bring smiles for everyone while they light up the night. But when their twinkle ends, they can also help save animals through a recycling project underway at Audubon Zoo. Audubon’s “Lights for Lions” conservation campaign encourages people to donate their old holiday lights rather than throwing them into the trash.

The Zoo is collecting string lights for recycling now through January 9, 2023. Participating is as easy as bringing your old lights to the Zoo and tossing them in a donation box at the front entrance.  

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Lions are a favorite animal of Zoo visitors, and sadly their numbers in the wild are declining at an alarming rate. In just a quarter century, the wild African lion population has dropped by half.  The main threats to African lions are conflicts with humans, poaching, and the decline of their natural prey as well as habitat loss, climate change and illegal wildlife trade. With around 23,000 African lions left in the wild, they are now officially classified as ‘vulnerable’. Their loss signals the loss of the wild in Africa.

All proceeds from Audubon’s “Lights for Lions” recycling program will support the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund. Every string of lights donated makes a difference.  The Lion Recovery Fund hopes to increase the numbers of wild lions by protecting them, their prey and their habitat.

“The ‘Lights for Lions’ project is a conservation project that benefits wild lions and our local community,” said Daine Appleberry, senior vice president and director of operations at Audubon Zoo & Park. “It provides a way to recycle old, unused, or faulty lights instead of them ending up in the landfill, and our community members know they are helping save animals in the wild.” 

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Most string lights are not bio-degradable and are dangerous to animals if they get tangled in the strands. The drop box for the “Lights for Lions” project is at the front entrance at Audubon Zoo.

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