Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. joined with the Zoological Society of New Jersey on Monday, December 13th to welcome NJIT as the newest exhibit sponsor at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. In recognition of the school’s mascot, the “Highlanders,” NJIT has adopted the Zoo’s Highland Cattle.
“We welcome NJIT to our family of sponsors at Turtle Back Zoo. Their contribution will help us maintain the Highland Cattle Exhibit and continue to provide our visitors with an educational and entertaining experience that raises their awareness and appreciation of animals and nature,” DiVincenzo said. “We look forward to this partnership strengthening our relationship with the university, expanding opportunities for students, and helping to build school spirit among students and faculty,” he added.
“I want to thank the County Executive for all he has done to make Turtle Back Zoo a better place and the rest of the Freeholder Board for being so supportive,” Freeholder Patricia Sebold said. “I’d also like to give a special commendation to NJIT and the Zoological Society for presenting this wonderful partnership that will help us continue to do great things at the Zoo,” she added.
“The Zoological Society is happy to welcome aboard this great university to our ever-growing list of universities and corporations sponsoring exhibits at Turtle Back Zoo. It is through partnerships with groups such as NJIT that we have been able to implement so many wonderful changes throughout the Zoo,” Zoological Society of New Jersey President Connie Williams said.
“NJIT welcomes the opportunity to support the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, and we are especially pleased to be associated with the Highland Cattle exhibit,” said NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch. “The connection between NJIT and Highland Cattle may not be obvious, but there is one. It’s rooted in the university’s long history in Newark and a humorous observation — perhaps strained — shared in the past by our athletics staff and student-athletes. The street that we still call home was once known as High Street. Today it is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Decades ago, our address suggested the colorful nickname Highlanders for NJIT’s athletes. The Highlanders name continues to be a source of pride for the young women and men who represent NJIT in athletic competition,” he noted.
NJIT will contribute $3,000 a year for the next three years, for a total of $9,000. The donation will be used to help support the upkeep of the animals and maintain the exhibit.
Highland Cattle are an ancient Scottish breed of beef cattle with long horns and long wavy coats which are colored black, brindled, red, yellow or dun. The breed developed in the Scottish Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland and has been exported to the rest of the world, especially Australia and North America, since the early 20th century. Mature male Highland Cattle can weigh as much as 1,800 pounds and mature females can weigh 1,100 pounds.