(Salt Lake City, UT) – A key part of
Hogle Zoo’s mission statement is promoting conservation through education, and
bettering the natural world. Now two Utah teens are helping save polar bears
with local conservation efforts through Utah’s Hogle Zoo by reaching the
semi-finals of Polar Bears International’s (PBI) Project Polar Bear
Cottonwood High School students Abrianna Peto, a Hogle Zoo
volunteer who went to Canada for polar bear research last year, and Max McLeod
represented Utah with their Operation Polar Bear: Biodegradable Styrofoam
project in an international competition to better the planet. In late February,
the pair advanced through the competition to the semi-final round.


their award-winning project, Peto and McLeod set about finding ways to lower
their community’s carbon footprint, first through reduced use of
non-biodegradable Styrofoam, then through all types of green initiatives. Since
the summer of 2008, the duo estimates that their efforts have reduced over
21000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by talking to over 1500 people.
Additionally, they obtained sponsorship funds that allowed them to develop
reusable tote bags and buttons to help spread the word about the critical
situation surrounding polar bears and the Arctic.


part of the Year of the Polar Bear, PBI started Project Polar Bear as a chance
for teens all over the globe to make a difference in the dwindling polar bear
population by first affecting change in their local communities. It is PBI’s
hope that these student projects will reduce greenhouse gasses in the
atmosphere and ultimately slow Arctic warming.

For more information on Operation
Polar Bear: Biodegradable Styrofoam,
visit their Web site at www.opbbs.org, or visit Hogle Zoo online at www.hoglezoo.org. For additional Hogle Zoo
information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email
at hbraithwaite@hoglezoo.org or
call (801) 584-1729.


About the Association
of Zoos & Aquariums:
Hogle Zoo is one of only 218 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos
& Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA
logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are
supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a
great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  AZA is a leader in global wildlife
conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For
more information visit www.aza.org.


# #