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This powerful collaboration is called SAFE—Saving Animals From Extinction—and it brings together for the first time the entire AZA-accredited community in one global conservation effort for species that have been identified as being in the greatest danger of extinction.

Working together, zoo and aquarium staff members, scientists, field researchers, and rescue and rehabilitation organizations are identifying the threats to at-risk species’ survival, developing action plans, raising new resources and, equally important, engaging the 200 million people who attend AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums every year.

Public involvement is critical. And surprisingly easy. Every Shedd visit is an act of conservation because your ticket purchase or membership fee directly supports Shedd’s contributions to SAFE. In addition, by making informed choices in your everyday activities, from the kind of seafood you eat to what you plant in your garden to how you get to work, you can make a big difference for threatened and endangered wildlife.


SAFE at Shedd

Green sea turtle Nickel has powerful front flippers that she uses to travel quickly around her Caribbean Reef habitat.

Green sea turtle, Caribbean Reef

All seven sea turtle species are included in the AZA SAFE collaboration. Sea turtles’ survival in oceans around the world has been put at risk from decades of overhunting, development of their nesting beaches, drownings in commercial fishing nets, pollution-caused diseases and boat collisions. Nickel, above, was rescued and rehabilitated after a serious motorboat injury and has become a conservation ambassador at Shedd.

Green sawfish, Wild Reef

Ginsu, our 14-foot green sawfish, would be a rare sight in the wild. These critically endangered relatives of sharks move between freshwater and saltwater habitats, often crossing commercial fishing grounds where they can get entangled in trawls and gillnets. Sharks and their relatives are an AZA SAFE priority.

Green sawfish Ginsu is most notable for her six-foot long rostrum with short, "saw-like" protrusions.

Sharks are vital to maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems, but these magnificent predators are under threat of extinction from overfishing and other human impacts. Within and beyond the aquarium's walls, Shedd leads efforts to study and save these important animals. Join us to #KeepSharksSwimming!