I’ve written on several occasions that Amphibian Ark needs corporate sponsors to make the amphibian rescue plan fully operational. So it mildly steamed me this morning to read an editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that mocked my local zoo for featuring an exhibit sponsored by an insurance company. I’ve pasted the editorial below, complete with all the “circle Rs” to point out the commercial ties that a modern day zoo makes. So seeing sponsor names in a zoo is bad, right? Wrong. It just means that the zoo is getting creative to find the money to execute its mission. The St. Louis Zoo is a leading force in saving the endangered hellbender salamander, and its CEO, Jeffrey Bonner, is a founding member of Amphibian Ark. Hey, now you’re messing with family!

So, bring on more corporate sponsorships, and let’s embrace their help to avert what could be the most significant mass extinction since the dinosaur. Here’s that editorial:

Giddy for geckoes
It’s tough making ends meet at the St. Louis Zoo®, what with that free
admission thing and all those international wildlife conservation programs.
That’s why the Zoo® has all those extra attractions you have to pay for, and
fundraising drives and expensive parking, not to mention lots and lots of
souvenir stands and concession counters.

Now comes the traveling GEICO® Gecko® exhibit, sponsored by the Association of
Zoos and Aquariums®. The insurance company, a unit of Warren Buffett’s
Berkshire Hathaway® group, has sent its popular TV lizard to the Emerson®
Children’s Zoo®, along with a collection of “giant day geckos,” a species
native to Madagascar and other Indian Ocean® islands.

(A day gecko differs slightly from a night gecko, sometimes known as a “lounge

The GEICO Gecko® will appear at the Children’s Zoo® (make that the Emerson®
Children’s Zoo) on Saturdays between now and Dec. 30. (Hint: It’s really a guy
in a lizard suit.) The day geckos (or is that “gecki?”) will be hanging out, of
course, daily.

GEICO® will make a contribution to wildlife conservation at each zoo® where its
geckos® stop in the next three years.

Next: Take the kids to the AFLAC® duck pond.