Project Updates

Click here to view a master list of Holtzman Wildlife Foundation grantees and projects.



November 2019

Painted Dog Conservancy begins its second, and biggest, phase of reconstruction work supported by Holtzman Wildlife Foundation. The phase includes destroying the old buildings and making way for the new construction to improve infrastructure. This will enable the nonprofit to construct office, research lab and accommodation that will last for many, many years to come.

October 2019

Thanks to funding from the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation, Oceanic Preservation Society completes its film detailing the importance of preserving the indigenous wildlife habitat on the island of Sumatra.

Justice Alison Y. Tuitt of the Bronx Supreme Court grants the Nonhuman Rights Project’s request for a temporary restraining order that prevents the Bronx Zoo from moving their elephant client, Happy, out of New York State before an upcoming hearing in her historic elephant rights case.

September 2019

GRACE celebrates World Gorilla Day on September 24 with a pioneering project—a 24/7 gorilla livestream! The nonprofit also holds several celebratory community events in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo including tree planting, radio broadcasts and the region's first ever competitive race. Click here to read more.

GRACE is awarded Accredited status by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying excellence in animal sanctuaries. GRACE is the first great ape sanctuary in Africa to receive GFAS accreditation. Click here to read more.

August 2019

Thanks to funding from Holtzman Wildlife Foundation, Detroit Zoo staff are able to travel across the globe to participate in several activities to advance wildlife conservation and raise awareness about important issues affecting wildlife today.

Animal Defenders International rescues 27 lions from circuses in Peru and Columbia.

July 2019

A few weeks after Happy the elephant's plight went viral online—thanks to the Nonhuman Rights Project—NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson makes a public statement urging the Bronx Zoo to release Happy and Patty (a second elephant at the zoo) to a sanctuary. NhRC is now running both a digital and physical campaign for Happy, urging people to get involved in the #FreeHappy initiative. Click here to learn more.

June 2019

Nonhuman Rights Project holds a rally outside the Bronx Zoo in support of freedom for its client, Happy—a 48-year-old, wild-born Asian elephant who has been held captive for decades and forced to live alone. Click here to learn more.

April 2019

Centre ValBio greatly expands its 30-year conservation education efforts in Madagascar to include showings of the IMAX film, Island of the Lemurs. In the initial launch, over 5000 Malagasy children in 35 rural villages throughout the island nation viewed the film. In addition, it was shown on National Television (TVM) for wider viewership.

March 2019

Nonhuman Rights Project develops a digital resource, in partnership with Voiceless, that teaches nonhuman rights to high school students through video, infographic, fact sheet, quiz, podcast, activities, and lesson plans—everything educators might need to bring the global conversation surrounding nonhuman rights into their classroom. Click here to read more about the program.

The DRC team for GRACE is honored with a 2018 Disney Conservation Hero Award, which recognizes local citizens for their commitment to saving wildlife, protecting habitats and inspiring communities to take part in conservation efforts. Only 13 awardees were chosen for the honor. Click here to read more.

February 2019

Holtzman Wildlife Foundation renews grant to GRACE, giving them the opportunity to continue their important work in saving Grauer's gorillas.

December 2018

GRACE opens a new, 15-acre forest habitat for gorilla orphans, funded in part by Holtzman Wildlife Foundation. The habitat provides more room for the growing gorillas to practice critical rehabilitation skills such as foraging and nest building. Click here to read more about GRACE's new habitat.

GRACE releases a new, 20-minute documentary through GoPro that details the Center's process of saving Lulingu the baby gorilla. Click here to watch GRACE's documentary now.

On December 10, 2018, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is held at the Detroit Zoo to officially open the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest. Detroit Zoological Society CEO Ron Kagan introduced Jonathan Holtzman, who cut the ribbon after giving an inspiring speech about conservation. Click here to read more about the ceremony and exhibit.

November 2018

GRACE opens their Education & Community Center–their first facility dedicated to education and community initiatives. The space will function as a meeting place for onsite education activities, most notably their local visitor program. Read more here.

August 2018

Thanks to a grant from Holtzman Wildlife Foundation, GRACE Center was able to purchase a reliable vehicle to ensure the safety and security of staff on Congo's rough roads.

July 2018

GRACE Center partners with explore.org to set up cameras allowing people anywhere to watch their gorillas in real time. Check out the live cam here.

Red Panda Network organizes a four-day nature guide training–which includes trek leading, field safety, environmental education, birding and wildlife tracking and minimal impact practices–for 20 local youth in Gorkhe, Ilam.

The Jane Goodall Institute organizes their first ever World Chimpanzee Day on July 14. This global effort raises awareness to protect chimpanzees in the wild, and to improve their well-being in captive environments. Read Jane’s WCD message here:

Centre ValBio receives the Certificate of Recognition from Madagascar’s Minister of National Education during the country’s official Independence Day celebration in Ifanadiana.

June 2018

GRACE Center works on a plant survey of their new 15-acre forest enclosure, helping to catalog the foods available to the gorillas.

The Red Panda Network releases their Biannual Stewardship Update allowing people to see what their support has allowed the organization to achieve in the first half of 2018. Read it here.

Jane Goodall Institute VP of Conservation Science Lillian Pintea talks about tools and technology used by the organization to help save great apes and their habitats while working in collaboration with local people. Listen to the podcast here.

May 2018

The Red Panda Network organizes Roots and Shoots groups in schools throughout Nepal to educate people on red panda conservation and discuss solutions to local poverty and deforestation.

The Detroit Zoo expands their schedule of daily zookeeper talks, which give visitors a chance to interact with members of the animal care staff and learn about the animals that live at the zoo. Learn more here.