Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 29

Chehaw opened in 1937 as Chehaw State Park,
but by the 1970s, the Georgia Legislature created
an authority to take over operations. Local officials
turned to Fowler to enhance the nearly 800-acre
property by adding a wild animal park.
"It was a wonderful opportunity to connect
people with animals from all over the world so
that visitors can learn about them in their natural
habitats," Fowler said several years ago during an
interview. "To give these animals plenty of space
and put people in a vehicle to visit them, rather
than keeping the animals in cages, created a sense
of freedom and naturalness."
Although he died last year at age 87, Fowler's
contributions and his legacy live on at Chehaw.
"Jim was invaluable in the design and construction of the wild animal park and either loaned or
donated many of the animals we still have here today," Burnette says. "Over the years, we had worked
hand in hand with him and now continue a good
relationship with the Fowler Family Foundation,
based on his 2,000-acre farm nearby."
Other animals were moved from the former Tift
Park Zoo in Albany to Chehaw in the late 1970s. By
1977, the property became known as the Chehaw
Wild Animal Park. Expansion between
1997 and 2002 brought the addition of
the Creekside Center event space and the
BMX Racing Track. An animal quarantine
area and zoo veterinarian hospital, a reptile
house, the Beastro concession stand and
other attractions also have been added. Several
years ago, the name was changed to Chehaw
Park & Zoo.
Part of a zoo's mission is species preservation
and education. Chehaw is no different.
"The red wolf, native to the Southeastern U.S.,
is one of the most endangered members of the canid
family of dog-like carnivores," Burnette says. "Chehaw has one of the few active breeding programs in
the country, helping to restore this vital species."

RS BUREAU
AND VISITO
NVENTION

Last year, one of Chehaw's critically endangered
rhinos was selected by the global Southern Black
Rhino Sustainability Program for breeding.
"The program's goal is to maintain a genetically
diverse captive population and enhance conservation of the species in the wild," she says. "Our
zookeepers patiently trained [the rhino] Dubya to
voluntarily enter a specially designed crate so that he
could be easily and comfortably transported to his
new home in Kansas."
Other conservation programs promoted by Chehaw include the international Cheetah Conservation
Fund and the International Rhino Foundation. Both
address safeguarding the long-term survival of these
species. Project Heloderma's international campaign
helps protect the endangered Guatemalan beaded
lizard and its habitat in Central America. The
Seafood Watch program addresses
sustainable and healthy ocean
ecosystems.
MORE

Chehaw participates in conservation efforts,
including the global Southern Black Rhino
Sustainability Program. Experts estimate there
are fewer than 6,000 black rhinos left in the wild.

CHEHAW PARK & ZOO

Becoming a zoo

ALBANY CO

& ZOO

PAR
K

'The park was named after the Chiha, or Chehaw, a
tribe of Creek Indians who lived throughout the
property and befriended white settlers. Artifacts such
as arrowheads, spearheads, tomahawks, hoes, drills,
scrapers, clay pipes and stone celts were commonly
found during original park development. Variations in
artifact design show the land was used by distinctly
different tribes over several hundreds of years.'
-chehaw.org

www.georgiamagazine.org

28-30_Around_GA_B_1120.indd 29

29

10/13/20 9:53 AM

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http://www.chehaw.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover4
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