Prague Zoo wins innovation award

The zoo’s new kiosks allow people to donate to endangered species on the spot

Prague Zoo was among the winners in the eight edition of the Visionary 2018 project, which honors those responsible for interesting innovations and new developments in the Czech Republic during the past year. The Prague Zoo won the title for its touch-screen kiosks with an integrated payment function, which made their debut in the summer.

The special payment kiosks are located at five locations in the upper and lower parts of the Prague Zoo, and visitors can contribute to the rescue of four endangered species: Przewalski's horse, the lowland gorilla, the Indian gavel and the Laotian rock rat. The devices were made to order for Prague Zoo and are the first in the world used for donation purposes.

“The jury appreciated the zoo’s long-term activity in introducing new technical solutions to meet its conservation objectives and help endangered species. It also took into account its long-term excellence in animal husbandry and education,” jury vice-chairman Petr Hladík from the Technology Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences said.

Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said he appreciates the award. “It is all the more important that we received it for a project aimed at helping endangered species. Special information and payment kiosks have moved our efforts a little further. My thanks, therefore, include not only the professional jury members but also MasterCard for helping with the development, production and installation of the kiosks,” he said.

Visitors can learn about Prague Zoo’s projects via touch screens and, on the basis of this information, they can immediately contribute Kč 50, 100, 200, 300 or 499 to one of the four projects aimed at specific endangered species.

Payment can be made in two ways, by contactless payment card or Masterpass digital payment service when scanning a QR code. Both methods of payment are simple, safe and fast, according to the zoo.

The new City Hall administration also recently announced increased support for endangered species.

Prague has been involved in an international support system for projects to rescue endangered species in the wild for more than a decade through the Prague Zoo. So far, the Prague Zoo donated Kč 2 from each paid admission fee for these projects. This year, it will increase to Kč 3 per admission.

This year the zoo has had over 1,400,000 entries, so the contribution to endangered species will be more than Kč 4 million.

The supported projects cover as wide range of animals and habitats.

Prague Zoo last year was named the fifth-best zoo in the world by travel website TripAdvisor. The ranking is based on visitor reviews. The zoo took fourth place in 2015 and seventh place in 2014; no ranking was published in 2016.

Last year saw the birth of 1,261 youngsters of 219 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.

The zoo has had more than 60 million visitors since it opened on Sept. 28, 1931.

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