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Youth art aids Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.

Roger Williams Park Zoo, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Art Education Association, recently hosted the 3rd Annual Papua New Guinea Youth Art Exchange exhibit from 6 March through 31 April. The exhibit featured artwork and letters shared through the Papua New Guinea Art Exchange, a program facilitated by Rhode Island art teachers in conjunction with the Zoo's Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (TKCP), which is based in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Through the Exchange, local Rhode Island students and students from PNG learned about the similarities and differences in the culture, lifestyle, wildlife and conservation issues of the US and PNG. In beautiful postcards and drawings, Rhode Island children shared a slice of local life and PNG students responded with their versions of the same--stories of their "tsing-tsings" (culturally symbolic dances), descriptions of the mountains and rainforests, and pictures of tree kangaroos.

The goal of the exchange, according to Zoo Education Curator Robbie Fearn, is to create a universal understanding of environmental stewardship and respect for neighbors in faraway lands. "Science does not save species, people do," says Fearn. "The exchange of art and ideas between students in the US and in Papua New Guinea creates this caring connection that will translate into protection of wild places."

The TKCP is an award-winning conservation program based at Roger Williams Park Zoo that is dedicated to saving the Matschie's tree kangaroo from extinction. To date, the program is responsible for establishing more than 75,000 acres of PNG rainforest as a conservation area.
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Title Annotation:News from Zoos
Publication:Endangered Species Update
Geographic Code:1U1RI
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:251
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