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2021 Annual Report

Past Annual Reports

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125 Years of Evolution in Action

If we’ve learned anything from our beloved wild residents over the past 125 years, it’s that evolution isn’t always comfortable—but it is always essential. With this in mind, Denver Zoo welcomed growth in a Bert Vescolani Portraitmultitude of ways in 2021, with milestones of celebrating 125 Years of Love, implementing our Strategic Plan and even reorganizing, as we restructured our Conservation and Education departments to better align with our mission.

We continued to enhance both animal welfare and guest experience with three significant new offerings, including an industry-leading animal hospital and authentic new habitats for our African penguins and Linne’s two-toed sloths. And, with the approval of the RISE Denver GO Bond, we began to chart a course for critical ADA improvements to our pathways and lighting.

All this while enchanting more than 1 million guests during a year of worldwide recovery, and while refocusing our energies on the central passion of everyone in this organization: a duty to protect wildlife and wild places. Here’s where our ongoing evolution took us in 2021.

Bert Vescolani Signature

Bert Vescolani | President and CEO

Conservation Connection

Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in more than 600 conservation projects in 62 countries spanning six continents—including efforts to protect iconic Colorado species and their habitats.

Mouse over the map points to learn more about key milestones in 2021.

Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in more than 600 conservation projects in 62 countries spanning six continents—including efforts to protect iconic Colorado species and their habitats.

Field conservation efforts for Denver Zoo.


Denver Zoo received 96 additional locally endangered boreal toads from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for our ongoing conservation breed-and-release partnership.

Why Babies Matter

Oohs and aahs aside—every one of our beautiful Zoo babies is part of a worldwide conservation partnership with our AZA colleagues. As the planet’s wild places disappear, zoo-based breeding efforts like the Species Survival Program (SSP) represent many species’ best chance for survival.

Tap or roll over to learn more about each Zoo baby!

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Clover + Felix

Eastern Bongos

Baby bongo plays with the herd

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Akili

Mandrill

Akili the Mandrill is Growing Up!

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Reggie + Cindy

Humboldt Penguins

Wild Milestone: Watch Humboldt Penguin Cindy Grow Up!

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Winnie

Asian Elephant

The first Asian elephant to be conceived and born via AI at Houston Zoo, Winnie is the result of SSP efforts using sperm from our very own bachelor, Bodhi.

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Denver, Diamond + Jonas

Chilean Flamingos

Happy #InternationalFlamingoDay from the five youngest members of our fabulous flock!

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Ingot, Ducat + Friends

Panamanian Golden Frog

Extinct in the wild, Panamanian golden frogs exist today only because of conservation breeding programs like ours. In 2021, we successfully bred 63 froglets.

Grand Openings

In 2021, we welcomed some amazing improvements across our 84-acre campus—
representing meaningful milestones in both animal care and guest experience.

Use the dots above to view all 2021 openings.

Donor Profile: Becky Sloan

Becky Sloan has been supporting Denver Zoo for more than two decades and has been a loyal volunteer since 2009. We're so grateful to count her as part of of our family.

Click below to learn more of her story—and why she's so passionate about her Zoo!

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The Mane Event

Denver Zoo 2021 Milestones

2021
January 1, 2021

Denver Zoo kicks off 125 Years of Love celebrations


April 16, 2021


The Denver Zoo airs on Rocky Mountain PBS

April 25, 2021

Dia del Niño celebrates all children with SCFD Partners

May 29, 2021

Black Birders Event honors conservationists of color

June 26, 2021

Flock Party raises $287K for our beloved flamingo flock

July 13, 2021

Mexican Cultural Center performances wow Zoo crowds

July 22, 2021

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance performs “Yemanja”

August 14, 2021

Augustana Arts Orchestra performs
“Splish, Splash, Stomp + Soar”

August 20, 2021

Colorado Ballet enchants guests with original modern works

September 18, 2021


A Force of Nature Gala raises $511,000 for Denver Zoo’s future

October 1, 2021

Denver Zoo launches new Wild Fall seasonal offerings

December 31, 2021


Bert dresses to krill for annual Donor Thank-You video

Pie for Dessert

Everybody loves pie—especially a good pie chart! Denver Zoo is all about transparency, so here's a sweet serving of financial data to chew on.