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CRYSTAL PEPSI FOSTER PARENTING OF SNOW LEOPARD CUBS INAUGURATES L.A. ZOO CORPORATE FOSTER PARENTS PROGRAM

 Beverage Giant Uses Occasion of Crystal Pepsi Launch


to Issue Animal Foster Parent Challenge to Area Companies, Groups
 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Two endangered snow leopard cubs are the first benefactors of a new customized adoption program aimed at increasing participation and financial support of animals at the Los Angeles Zoo by area companies, groups and individuals.
 In welcoming participants, Zoo Director Mark Goldstein, D.V.M., noted, "Corporate support for conservation is demonstrated by Crystal Pepsi's generosity toward these representatives of one of the world's most endangered cats."
 The program, entitled the "Los Angeles Zoo Corporate Foster Parents Program," was unveiled today by officials from the Los Angeles Zoo and Pepsi-Cola West. The beverage giant became the program's first corporate participant by signing a short-term foster parenting agreement for the leopard cubs in conjunction with the much-heralded launch of its clear cola Crystal Pepsi. Pepsi-Cola also challenged other Los Angeles-area companies to participate in the new program.
 "Our goal is to give all Los Angeles-area companies and groups -- both large and small -- the chance to experience the joy of becoming an animal foster parent," explained Dr. Susan F. Rice, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. "We congratulate Crystal Pepsi for helping us to kick-off the program in style."
 According to Rice, Crystal Pepsi's adoption of the rare, six- month-old snow leopard cubs underscores the customized nature of the new program. She said the program gives the zoo exceedingly more flexibility in negotiating short- and long-term foster parenting agreements with companies and groups. She also said Pepsi's involvement provides an indication of the creative ways in which companies can use the foster parenting program to meet their charitable and community goals.
 "A lighter-tasting clear cola with 100 percent natural ingredients and no preservatives, Crystal Pepsi is a unique product demanding an equally unique launch," said Don Skeoch, marketing manager for Pepsi-Cola West. "Pepsi's long-term relationship with the Los Angeles Zoo, as well as our desire to create a meaningful' product debut, makes today's event a natural. We challenge other companies and groups to support animal species at the zoo by becoming a corporate foster parent."
 In honor of the foster parenting agreement, Skeoch said the female snow leopard cub was named "Crystal" and the male cub "Pepsi." Signs proclaiming the cubs' new identities are being installed in front of the zoo's glass-enclosed China Pavilion.
 Born at the Los Angeles Zoo on July 24, 1992, the two cubs were the first snow leopard cubs born at the zoo since 1987. The cats are native to the highlands of Central Asia, and can weigh as much as 160 pounds as adults. Snow leopards have become one of the world's most endangered cats because of extensive habitat destruction and a human appeal for their fur.
 Set to officially debut on Jan. 18, 1993, Crystal Pepsi will be rolled out nationally in clear 16-oz. and 2-liter bottles with blue and red graphic design and in silver 12-oz. cans. The beverage will be distributed in grocery, convenience and retail stores.
 "Crystal" and "Pepsi" will be on display with their mother, 11-year-old "Ida," daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Golden State and Ventura freeways.
 -0- 1/13/93
 /CONTACT: Lora LaMarca or Deborah Ullman Pollack of Los Angeles Zoo, 213-666-3507; or Lynne Gray or Bob Ochsner, Hill and Knowlton, 213-937-7460/


CO: Pepsi-Cola West; Los Angeles Zoo ST: California IN: FOD SU:

BP-JL -- LA005 -- 4460 01/13/93 13:42 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1993
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