Seven-year-old Zander wished to be a zookeeper and was declared an honorary zookeeper by the Dallas Zoo at the Foundation’s signature fundraising gala on May 12, 2012. Minutes after receiving his official zookeeper outfit on stage, a breaking news report from WFAA’s Rebecca Lopez cut in on the event’s screens letting the audience know that an alligator was on the loose in Dallas. Lopez informed Zander that he was the only one certified to track the reptile and safely transport it to its new home at the Dallas Zoo.
Since Zander accepted the challenge of finding the alligator over a week ago, the Dallas-Fort Worth community, and beyond, has supported Zander’s search by interacting with the Foundation’s facebook page by continuously posting photos of alligator track sightings and encouraging his continued search for the alligator.
By hitting “like” on the facebook page, the community will help to unlock certain items Zander will need in his search for the reptile. In the first 48 hours of the challenge, over 1,150 “likes” unlocked a custom jeep, courtesy of Starwood Motors Custom Jeeps, but tools are still waiting to be unlocked. Additional tools include a GPS/compass for tracking, reptile handling equipment, ropes, binoculars, reptile snacks, etc.
As the campaign continues throughout this week, Make-A-Wish North Texas will prepare to host a 7,000th wish “live watch party” on May 26, 2012 at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Starting at 9:30am, fans are encouraged to gather to experience first hand the magic a wish provides a child battling a life-threatening medical condition. The viewing is designed to be fun for the entire family as attendees will play a pivotal role in Zander’s last clue.
After safely securing the alligator, Zander will make his way to the Dallas Zoo for an afternoon where he will be the guest of honor at a special luncheon with over 40 other Dallas Zookeepers and complete an afternoon shadowing some of Dallas’ finest herpetologists.