Image Credit: Brian Gratwicke
Today is the 5th annual Panamanian Golden Frog Day!
People across Panama and around the world are celebrating Golden Frog Day in honor of the beloved frog that’s a cultural and ecological symbol for the country. The golden frog is the national animal of Panama, and is believed to bring good luck. Many events are taking place today, including the Golden Frog Festival where 2,000 school kids dress like golden frogs and march through the streets!
Golden Frog is named after the Panamanian golden frog, so this day is near and dear to our hearts. Our Co-CEOs Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis stopped in Panama while traveling through Central America in 1970 after their Peace Corps service in Brazil, and while there they visited the Golden Frog Coffee Bar. When they returned to Panama for an Internet conference in 2008, they wondered if Golden Frog Coffee Bar was still around. The coffee bar was no longer in business, but they decided to name their newest Internet business after the golden frog of Panama.
This day isn’t only about fun – it also plays an important role in raising awareness about the golden frog’s critically endangered status.
The golden frog was last seen in the wild in 2008, and the population has been devastated by a disease that’s spread among the frogs. The Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project in Panama has been working to preserve the frog, and has bred 44 new golden frogs since 2009. They have many activities planned for Golden Frog Day, and there will also be exhibits in many US zoos and aquariums.
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is also working hard on conserving the Panamanian Golden Frog. Their efforts include breeding a population of golden frogs and working on finding a cure for the disease that’s wiping them out, with an end goal of reintroducing them into the wild. They also recently opened a new frog exhibit at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s (STRI) Punta Culebra Nature Center at the mouth of the Panama Canal.
To learn more about how you can support these initiatives to help the golden frog, visit their website.
You can show also your support for the golden frog on Twitter by following @AmphibianRescue.