Thursday, September 6, 2012


A well camouflaged gray treefrog in my Brandon Township (Michigan) meadow.
photo by Jonathan Schechter
 ROYAL OAK, Mich. – One Newt has long been out of the race for President of the United States in 2012 … but the newts, frogs and toads at the Detroit Zoo are looking for a leader of their own. Amphibiville, a 2-acre wetland village that is home to the National Amphibian Conservation Center, is seeking a new mayor for a two-year term.

To join the race, candidates 7-12 years old who live in Michigan must submit an essay of 100 words or less on why they should be Mayor of Amphibiville. All entries must be submitted by October 5, 2012, to or to Mayor of Amphibiville, Detroit Zoological Society, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, MI 48067. Entries must include the candidate’s name, age, address and daytime telephone number. The winner will be announced in November.

The new Mayor of Amphibiville will be officially sworn in and receive a plaque inscribed with his/her name displayed in the National Amphibian Conservation Center, a certificate acknowledging his/her position as Mayor of Amphibiville, a plush frog and a one-year family membership to the Detroit Zoo.

Amphibiville’s outgoing mayor is Claire Kozal, 10, of Whitmore Lake, Mich. Sworn into office in November of 2009, Mayor Kozal built her own home nature center when she was just 3 years old and says she loves all animals, “even the slimy ones.”
Amphibiville opened in 2000 featuring the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center, a state-of-the-art facility that boasts a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians.
The Wall Street Journal dubbed the attraction “Disneyland for Toads”.

The Detroit Zoological Society is a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. Situated on 125 acres of naturalistic habitats, the Detroit Zoo is located at the intersection of 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, just off I-696, in Royal Oak, Mich. The Detroit Zoo is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day after Labor Day through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March. Admission is $14 for adults 15 to 61, $12 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $9 for children 2 to 14 (children under 2 are free). The Belle Isle Nature Zoo is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit



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