Zoo Boise connects our visitors with animals to inspire and involve our community in the conservation of wildlife worldwide.
Take a moment to think about zoos and animals. When you hear the word “zoo,” what do you think of? Elephants? Tigers? Rhinos? Gorillas? Many of our favorite wild animals are in serious trouble. Elephant populations in the wild have dropped from 1.2 million in 1980 to 420,000 today. The number of lions in Africa has fallen from 400,000 twenty years ago to 30,000 today. There are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Only 25,000 rhinos. 1,200 giant pandas. If you take the combined wild population of elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, polar bears, giant pandas, hippos, and giraffe, the total is less than the population of the State of Idaho. If you remove elephants from that list, the total is less than the number of people living in the Treasure Valley. As human populations continue to grow, the pressure on wildlife does as well, to the point where animal populations need our help if they are ever going to recover.
While we all care about animals and want to protect them in the wild, knowing how to help can be a challenge. Six years ago, Zoo Boise became the first zoo in the country to create a conservation fee. The 50¢ fee, charged in addition to the admission price, was designed to fund conservation projects taking place in Idaho and around the world. More importantly it changed the purpose of a zoo visit—empowering visitors to help save the very creatures they were seeing. Attractions like the Giraffe Encounter, Sloth Bear Encounter, Zoo Farm and Conservation Cruise were added, with all proceeds going to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund. To date, our visitors have raised nearly $1.5 million for the conservation of animals around the world. Zoo Boise is still a zoo, we just changed the reason why. Now when asked, “why do we have animals at Zoo Boise?” the answer is simple, “because they generate hundreds of thousands of dollars on an annual basis to help protect their counterparts in the wild.” These efforts have made Zoo Boise a leader in wildlife conservation among zoos across the country.
In honor of the 100 year anniversary of Zoo Boise, the zoo has launched the Zoo with a New View Capital Campaign. Phase 1 of the Capital Campaign begins this year with new and renovated South American exhibits and new spaces for our Education Programs and Zootique gift shop to improve traffic flow around the zoo. The new South American Exhibits will feature:
- Capybara - the world's largest rodent! (Think of a 100 pound guinea pig - awesome!) They'll be in a multi-species exhibit with the Patagonian cavies.
- Renovated Magellanic penguin exhibit with a the addition of Inca terns (a bird that looks like it has a moustache!)
- New exhibit for the zoo's coatis allowing for more climbing and playing.
- Nine-banded armadillo
- Red-capped cardinals
- Blue-grey tanager
Construction is underway now and we need your help to finish the exhibits for these incredible creatures. The exhibits are scheduled to open at Zoo Daze on Sunday, June 14th.
10% of every gift goes to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund to protect endangered species in Idaho and around the world. Zoo Boise has formed a long term partnership with Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique to protect elephants, lions, zebras, and hundreds of other animal species. Phase 2 of the Zoo with a New View Capital Campaign will create a Gorongosa National Park Exhibit at Zoo Boise in 2018!
Thank you, in advance, for your support of this project and for helping to keep your world wild!
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