Laura Wang from Manhattan – First woman to cross the finish line (18:01)
Birger Ohlsson from Mt. Vernon, NY – First man to cross the finish line (15:29)

Gauthier family from Los Angeles, Calif. earns top fundraiser honors raising more than $11,000

Bronx, N.Y. – April 27, 2013 – More than 5,200 ran, jogged, and walked through the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in support of elephant conservation at the fifth annual WCS Run for the Wild – a 5K event to raise money to save elephants, their habitats, and other wildlife.

The first in the herd to cross the finish line was Birger Ohlsson of Mt. Vernon, NY who finished with a time of 15:29. The top three men and top three women finishers were:

Laura Wang of Manhattan (18:01)
Melissa Weiner of The Bronx (18:13)
Sarah Rodriguez of Ossining, NY (18:30)

Birger Ohlsson of Mt. Vernon, NY (15:29)
Diego Vanegas of Manhattan (16:16)
Jonathan Kline of Manhattan (16:44)

“The WCS Run for the Wild has become a favorite of New Yorkers, and many have been participating annually since the beginning,” said John F. Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “We are excited by another tremendous turn-out of runners, walkers, families, and wildlife enthusiasts – all of which are doing their part to help save elephants and other wildlife.”

This year’s top fundraisers were the Gauthier/Kaufman family from Los Angeles, Calif. who raised more than $11,000 to help WCS save elephants. Michelina Gauthier, a first time WCS Run for the Wild participant, said she is heartbroken to think these majestic creatures are slaughtered to make trinkets.

The illegal wildlife trade is now a multi-billion dollar industry that threatens thousands of species around the world. Elephants have been particularly hard hit with 2011 considered the worst year since 1989 for the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory.

Both Asian and African elephants are threatened by habitat loss and poaching. The Wildlife Conservation Society works in Africa and Asia and across the elephant’s native range to save wildlife and wild places. WCS has a proven track record of keeping elephants safe in countries across Asia and Africa and has been instrumental in many of the places where elephants thrive. Conservationists work in partnership with governments to establish parklands, enforce anti-poaching laws, and monitor and track elephant populations. The Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, the Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bukit Barisan Seletan National Park in Indonesia, and Nagarahole National Park in India are a few of the places where WCS is working with elephants.

Participants who sought donations received prizes for their efforts. The prizes were awarded to those who meet various fundraising goals. For $30 in pledges, runners earned a WCS Run for the Wild T-shirt; $60 earned a Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who pop-up book; $125 earned a plush elephant; $275 earned a Jackrabbit Sports gift card ($20); $600 earned an elephant-themed tote bag; $1,500 earned a VIP breakfast and a guided ride on the Bronx Zoo’s Wild Asia Monorail; $3,000 earned a special Bronx Zoo animal experience. Each incentive level achieved included all prizes from the levels below.

For more information or to help WCS save elephants and other wildlife, visit .

WCS Run for the Wild is made possible by these generous sponsors:

Presenting Sponsors: Amarula Cream Liqueur; Con Edison

Featured Sponsors: Benjamin Moore Paints; Montefiore

Supporting Sponsors: Hard Rock Cafe; Monroe College; UBS

Media Partner: ABC7; Daily News; Z-100

Promotional Partners: Aviator Sports and Events Center; Brooklyn Cyclones; JackRabbit Sports; The Belmont Business Improvement District

Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182;
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189;

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $16.95, children (3-12 years old) $11.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14.95. Parking is $14 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on earth.