Niabi Zoo will welcome back to the Quad Cities Dr. Greg Rasmussen from the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) in his fourth appearance in Niabi’s Conservation & Science Speaker Series.

As a conservation partner with Niabi Zoo, Dr. Rasmussen and his team lead field conservation efforts to help protect the endangered African Painted Dog. Niabi will host him for multiple speaking engagements at local universities as he presents “Challenges and Triumphs: Protecting the endangered Painted Dog in a human dominated landscape.”

As part of their conservation partnership, Niabi has assisted PDRT in the development of their field education programs. Niabi provided strategic-planning material to support hosting bush camp for local children at PDRT’s Sizinda Conservation Ecology Center and leading education outreach programs in to the surrounding communities of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Niabi staff also helped prepare and launch PDRT’s new website at   

African Painted Dogs are among many animals that get caught and killed in snare wires. Poachers often use wire snares to kill wildlife in the African bush, a news release says.

PDRT works with local communities in Zimbabwe to remove this wire to protect animals. To prevent the wire from ending up back in the hands of poachers, the snare wire is shaped into artistic pieces of wire sculpture. Wire snare art shaped like painted dogs and giraffes will be available at the upcoming speaker events. Every purchase helps support painted dogs and the communities working to protect them.

During his visit from April 27-29, Rasmussen will be giving presentations at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Western Illinois University’s Quad Cities, Riverfront Hall, Room 111 (open to the public)
  • Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at St. Ambrose University, McCarthy Hall, Room 013 (open to the public)
  • Friday, April 29, at Augustana College, Conservation Biology course (staff and enrolled students only.)

To register and attend, visit here. RSVP is required by April 26 for all attending. While the event is free to attend, donations are encouraged to support the important work to help save painted dogs. For more information, contact Curator of Conservation & Education Joel Vanderbush at 309-799-3482 ext. 222 or

About Niabi Zoo

Niabi Zoo, which is operated by the Forest Preserve District of Rock Island County, offers an opportunity to explore more than 40 acres in Coal Valley, Illinois that encompass 200 animal species. This exploration guides guests through the discovery of more than 800 animals from around the world. Niabi Zoo strives to instill a sense of care and understanding for wild animals in each and every visitor as they work in the community. For more information about the Zoo, visit here.

Tickets ordered online by 9 a.m. the day of your visit will be discounted while tickets purchased at the zoo admission booth will be a few dollars more. The new process will allow the zoo to staff more effectively for expected attendance, a news release says.