June 11, 2020

Open Hearts Open Doors



Dear Denver Zoo Community,

It should go without saying that ALL the people who work here, including myself, love Denver Zoo. We love every single one of our 3,000 wild and wonderful animals, and all 80 acres of our beautiful campus. And of course, we love sharing our mission of Inspiring Communities to Save Wildlife for Future Generations. As it turns out, you love Denver Zoo, too.

And you shared that love, every single day that we were #closedbutstillcaring. It’s been a long and lonely 87 days—the longest closure in our 124-year history, in fact—but your support got us through. Each one of those days, we were astounded by your compassion and generosity. Now, as we reopen our doors, I want to express our deepest gratitude…and help you understand the difference you made.

YOU, the members of our dynamic, diverse and selfless community, came through for Denver Zoo during an unprecedented time of need; a need, I might add, that the entire world is experiencing together. You came together to raise $583,000 for our Emergency Support Fund, providing five days of world-class care for our beloved animal residents. You purchased and renewed memberships, without knowing when we’d be open again—providing further crucial support for the care of our animals.

And, though we missed seeing your smiling faces in person, you DID stay in touch, with our Virtual Safari. You contributed your Summer Safari Camp fees. You gave to our Animal Adoption Fund, and you donated to bless Joona, our greater one-horned rhino baby, with her name. You broke records on Giving Tuesday with $235,000 in donations. All in all, your gifts and memberships supported more than a week of our operations while we were closed. And finally, when our hearts were broken by our closed doors and empty campus, you lifted us up with an incredible outpouring of love and support. We heard you, and it helped. All in all, nearly 13,000 of you gave money, and thousands more gave the ultimate gift—your hearts.

We never stopped caring for our 3,000 animals, and you never stopped caring for Denver Zoo. Because of you, we’re here to celebrate 124 years of serving this amazing community. And, because you opened your hearts, we got to re-open our doors.

On behalf of everyone here at Denver Zoo, THANK YOU. We hope to see you soon.


Bert Vescolani

President & CEO

Denver Zoo


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