Our esteemed panel of judges will select our grand prize winner and two runners-up. Judges include Laura Turner Seydel, Chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation, Jack Hanna, TV’s Wildlife Advocate and Director Emeritus Columbus Zoo, Shana Tischler, Sr. Wildlife Program Officer, Vulcan, Aidan Gallagher, actor and star of Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn; and Dan Ashe, President and CEO, Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Laura Turner Seydel 
Chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation

“For over 2 decades through my involvement with Captain Planet Foundation, I have bore witness to the amazing capacity that kids have to understand and empathize with the plight of animals at risk. Kids not only put their creativity to work imagining great solutions, but they put their energy into implementing their ideas. I am excited to see what they can do to help solve the African elephant crisis! “

Collin O’Mara 
President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

“African elephants–the world’s largest land mammals–require big solutions if we are going to ensure their survival for generations to come.  We simply cannot allow these invaluable species to vanish on our watch. As a father of two young girls, I am so excited to see what creative ideas students from around the nation will come up with to save African Elephants. Every elephant counts and every idea counts, too!”

Jack Hanna 
TV’s Wildlife Advocate and Director Emeritus Columbus Zoo

“I grew-up loving animals and wanting to learn as much as possible about wildlife. I understand the passion young people have for animals. Africa is like a second home to us; and the brutal poaching of African elephants for their ivory tusks and loss of habitat is something that must stop. Education is essential and I am hopeful the ‘Every Elephant Counts Contest’ will help this generation understand what is really at stake and realize the power they hold to do something about it.”

Aidan Gallagher 

“Elephants are not only beautiful, but we must protect them as a vital part of their ecosystem. Elephants maintain the biodiversity of their habitats by digging water troughs and creating pathways in vegetation where new plants can grow and that other animals can use. Trees also rely on elephants for seed dispersal. Elephants are disappearing because of climate change drought conditions and being poached for their ivory. Please help me bring awareness to the critical survival of these beloved animals.”

Shana Tischler 
Sr. Wildlife Program Officer, Vulcan

“The decimation of elephant populations from poaching and habitat loss is not just a symbol of the devastation of wildlife across the planet; it is forcing us to make a difficult choice of how we will live in harmony with wildlife. Your generation will be responsible for developing solutions to protecting elephants and other wildlife and the time to act is now.”

Dan Ashe 
President and CEO, Association of Zoos & Aquariums

We are losing 96 elephants every day. They are being killed for their ivory tusks. We must inform and inspire the next generation of conservationists to help address this crisis. The Every Elephant Counts contest encourages innovative solutions that will help save African elephants. Elephants at AZA-accredited zoos are ambassadors for their species that help to educate visitors and inspire life-long conservationists, and I’m looking forward to seeing what young minds come up with to address these issues.