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City Events Newsroom

Zoo Gets Special Issue License Plate

Thursday August 9, 2007

Start your engines…
support the Louisville Zoo while on the roadways

Let others know you support the State Zoo of Kentucky—the Louisville Zoo—by proudly displaying the new Zoo special issue license plate. The beautiful, unique plate, which boldly proclaims “Go Wild! Support Our Zoo,” features a stunning polar bear and is an easy way to show your support every time you start your engine.

“The Louisville Zoo is involved in critical conservation programs through its management of wildlife and botanical collections,” Zoo Director John Walczak said. “All funds raised through the license plates will provide ongoing support to conservation activities locally and worldwide, as well as the Zoo’s statewide conservation education programs.”

Programs the Zoo contributes to include Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Polar Bear International, Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program, the International Elephant Foundation, American Chestnut Tree Conservation, Cuban Crocodile Project, Butterfly Initiative, Kentucky’s Blanton Forest and more.

The cost to purchase the new plate, which is now on sale, is $44; and annual registration renewal is $31. When you purchase your new plates at your local County Clerk’s office, $10 from the cost of the plate and $10 from the annual registration renewal fee will go to support the Zoo and is tax deductible. If you are converting from a regular plate, you must turn in your old plate.

The plate is valid for five years from the first issue in 2007. All plates issued in 2007 will need to be replaced at the end of five years (2012), regardless of the year they are purchased.

“Our Zoo is a trailblazer in its field, nationally recognized for excellence. We’re adding new exhibits, caring for new babies, and expanding our research in order to enrich the experience for the thousands of families who visit the Zoo every year,” Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “Buying a Zoo plate is an easy and inexpensive way for families to support the continuing growth at the Louisville Zoo.”

As a special promotion designed to increase the awareness of the new plate, the Louisville Zoo is providing 200 pre-paid Zoo plates to Sam Swope Auto Group.

“The Louisville Zoo is an important resource for conservation education, is a draw for tourism, and a great place for family entertainment. The Sam Swope Auto Group is proud to be a partner with the Zoo in increasing awareness through the Zoo license plate,” said Patti Swope, Executive Vice President of Sam Swope Auto Group, LLC.

Beginning August 10, the first 200 people to purchase a new vehicle through any Sam Swope Auto Group Dealership will be offered an opportunity to receive a Zoo plate.

“Since being designated as the State Zoo of Kentucky in 1980, we have found numerous ways to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Walczak said.

Walczak noted that through the Kids & Conservation program the Zoo has distributed more than 1.3 million Backyard Action Hero Activity Books to students and teachers statewide. More than 85,000 children visit the Zoo annually for field trips, overnight programs and family workshops. And the Zoo goes on the road to more than 10,000 children annually through outreach programs.

Besides funds generated through license plate sales, the Zoo is also using 15 cents from every admission to go straight to supporting conservation efforts.

“The Louisville Zoo is committed to bettering the bond between the people and our planet. We have always been a strong supporter of conservation, but there has never been a more critical global need than there is today,” Walczak said.

For more information on the license plates, and a listing of County Clerks’ offices statewide, visit

And even though the plate is only available to Kentucky residents, Walczak noted that Indiana residents are also very important to the Zoo and said: “if we could, we would provide it to Southern Indiana residents, too!”

About the Louisville Zoo
The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).