December 9, 2021

The Gift of Gratitude


2021 was an exciting year filled with bright beginnings and major milestones. Thank you for supporting our animals, improving our 84-acre campus and for sharing your stories of admiration for our 125-year-old establishment. Above all, thank you for being a part of our LOVE story!


Guest in Animal Hospital Lobby

Cutting Edge Care

On May 21, we hosted the grand opening of the new 22,000 square-foot Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital. This state-of-the-art facility offers two treatment rooms, critical care units and a cutting-edge surgical suite—all supported by the most technologically advanced equipment in the industry. In addition, the Schlessman Family Foundation Visitor and Education Center allows Denver Zoo guests to witness first-hand our incredible veterinary care. Now, every one of our animals is able to receive the critical care they need.

New Penguin Habitat

Waddle This Way

This past September, Pinnacol African Penguin Point became the new home for Denver Zoo’s 18 African penguins. The new habitat, which is more than three-times the size of their old enclosure, offers design elements that encourage the birds to display their natural charismatic behaviors and improve their wellbeing. This includes a 10,000-gallon pool for swimming, multiple burrows and nest boxes and a variety of hardscape and natural substrates that mimic their Cape of Good Hope origins.

flamingos with guests at flock party


Party Animals

Nearly 2,000 of our wildest donors supported Denver Zoo by attending one (or both!) of our large-scale fundraising events this year. Flock Party featured festive food + drink, live entertainment and exclusive animal experiences while our Force of Nature Gala invited guests to dress to impress and celebrate 125 years of love in style. Collectively these two events raised over $800,000 to support Denver Zoo. For that, we are flocking grateful!

Clover + Felix </br>Eastern Bongos

Expanding Our Animal Kingdom

Several sweet new faces joined our Denver Zoo family throughout the past year. We welcomed two new babies, Clover and Felix, to our bongo herd; our Mandrill troop grew with the birth of baby girl, Akili; we welcomed our newest Humboldt penguin chick, Cindy in September and most recently, our flamingos hatched three small feathered friends (who have yet to be named!).



Bighorn Sheep, Boreal Toads + Beyond

This year, Denver Zoo worked tirelessly to protect and rehabilitate the species and ecosystems in our own backyard. We provided intervention for wild bighorn sheep affected by a deadly pneumonia epidemic. We worked with other local agencies to reintroduce the Northern redbelly dace in Northern Colorado- a conservation accomplishment years in the making. And finally, this November, a team of experts acquired 95 boreal toads that will serve as an additional breeding population for their species, with the hope to raise and release as many as 20,000 toadlets into the Colorado wilderness next summer.


We are so grateful for our community of donors – thank you for 125 years of generosity, passion and of course LOVE. From our animals and our staff, be safe and have the happiest of holidays!


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