SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance came back home with an award for its float from the 2023 Rose Parade, according to a press release.
SDZWA won the “Animation Award” for the most outstanding use of animation, the organization said. The float’s theme was “Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation,” which showed animated rhinos, animated giraffes and the Safari Park’s wildlife safari experience.
The animated rhinos turned their heads while giraffes moved their long necks, bending down for a drink of water as a waterfall was flowing.
“We are humbled and honored to receive the Animation Award, but more importantly, we are grateful the Rose Parade gave San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and our Safari Park an opportunity to bring our conservation message to a global audience,” said Paul A. Baribault, president and chief executive officer, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
The float also featured two southern white rhinos, a 4-month-old named Neville and his mother Livia, SDZWA said, adding that Neville is the third rhino born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Two northern white rhinos are left on the planet, according to SDZWA.
Also featured on the float was an 11-month-old giraffe named Msituni, who was born at the Safari Park, as well as a pair of African-crowned cranes. The float riders were wildlife care specialists, veterinarians and conservation scientists from the Safari Park, said SDZWA.
Lisa Patterson, the executive director of the Safari Park, and four young children representing the next generation of conservationists were also aboard the float.