ING DIRECT and the Calgary Zoo "Save a Hopper"

    A creative writing contest for kids provides the chance to win a
    behind-the-scenes tour at the Calgary Zoo

    CALGARY, July 22 /CNW/ - 2008 is the World Conservation Union's Year of
the Frog and zoos and aquariums worldwide are joining in a public awareness
campaign to raise attention to the resources required to protect these
endangered species.
    To support this campaign, ING DIRECT, in partnership with the Calgary
Zoo, has launched the Save a Hopper contest for children aged 9 to 12 years.
Children are encouraged to write a creative story, essay or dear diary entry
about why frogs are important to our planet. The top 10 winners will win a
behind-the-scenes tour to meet the tallest animal in the world, the giraffe!
    "One third to one half of the world's amphibians are in danger of
becoming extinct in our lifetime because of environmental issues, habitat
loss, global warming and a disease called chytrid fungus," says Laurie Herron,
Coordinator Communications for Calgary Zoo. "Our hope is that the Save a
Hopper contest will encourage independent learning about frogs and their
environment so that this future generation will gain an appreciation for the
importance that frogs and other amphibians play in the balance of nature."
    "Conservation and savings work well together," says Wendy Ryman, Business
Manager for ING DIRECT Calgary. "We are proud of our relationship with the
Calgary Zoo. It allows us to become involved in important initiatives like
frog conservation while helping to raise awareness of the need for
environmental change."
    Many summer programs in Calgary are promoting the Save a Hopper contest
to their camp kids including the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Urban Youth Worx,
Southland Leisure Centre, Village Square Leisure Centre, City of Calgary Parks
and Play Program and Hull Family Services.

    WHAT:     Save a Hopper contest - A creative writing contest about why
              frogs are important to the planet; chance to win behind-the-
              scenes tour with the giraffes at the Calgary Zoo

    WHY:      2008 is the World Conservation Union's Year of the Frog; one
              third to one half of the world's amphibians are in danger of

    WHO:      Children aged 9 - 12 years

    WHEN:     Deadline for story entries is August 13, 2008

    HOW:      Send story entries in an envelope marked "Save a Hopper".
              Include child's name, address, telephone number and age on
              story to either:

              ING DIRECT Calgary
              600 - 6th Avenue SW
              Calgary, AB T2P 0S5

              Calgary Zoo Administration Office
              1300 Zoo Road
              Calgary, AB T2E 7V6

    About the Calgary Zoo

    The Calgary Zoo is part of a professional, accredited association and
member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Canadian
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) comprised of caring, trusted experts
committed to ensuring that many endangered and threatened species are part of
the world's future. AZA and CAZA advocate on behalf of animals with a unified
and consistent voice, and collaborate with others committed to their long-term
survival. The Calgary Zoo participates in many Species Survival Plans (SSP), a
network among accredited institutions designed to breed endangered species in
captivity to ensure the best possible genetic diversity and maintain healthy
populations in human care. Through our conservation, education and research
programs, many animals in our care play an essential role in the survival of
their species in the wild.
    The Calgary Zoological Society is a charitable organization. Charitable
Registration No. 118824192 RR0001

    About ING DIRECT

    ING DIRECT is Canada's largest direct bank with over 1.5 million Clients
and more than $23 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT is giving the power of
saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high
interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges and low rates on
mortgages. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and since that
time Clients have earned more than $3 billion in interest. Clients can bank
with ING DIRECT 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at or by
calling 1-800 ING DIRECT.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Wendy Ryman, ING
DIRECT Calgary, (403) 539-5520 (work), (403) 835-6600 (cell),; Laurie Herron, Calgary Zoo, (403) 232-9388,

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