December 11, 2020

What’s New at the Zoo?

From Zoo Lights to Zoo Babies, Here are 5 Compelling Reasons to Visit Denver Zoo This Winter

With 3,000+ animals representing more than 400 
fascinating species—PLUS a variety of exciting changes across our 80-acre campus—there’s always something new happening at Denver Zoo. This winter is no exception! Here are six excellent reasons to inject some wildness into your winter.

1. Extended Dates for Zoo Lights!


It's official: Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories, and even marriages for 30 amazing years! Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, this illuminating annual event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado's WILDEST winter wonderland. We're close to SOLD OUT, but thanks to extended dates for Zoo Lights and our Holiday Safari, Okapi and Rhino Up-Close Looks, there's still time to see this year's historic celebration, with more than a million lights sparkling over 80 acres—plus a host of special measures to keep your family safe and healthy. Check out our night keepers tips on making the MOST of your Zoo Lights Experience.


*Please note: Ornaments are not available on our online store

Celebrate one of the year’s brightest moments AND support your zoo with one of our limited-edition Adopt-An-Animal Holiday Packages—featuring our beloved 2020 Zoo babies! Recipients will receive a gift box that includes an adoption certificate, a plush animal, and a special limited-edition ornament of greater one-horned rhino Joona, or lion cub sibs Oskar + Araali! Best of all, your purchase helps to ensure that our littlest residents continue to receive world-class care as they grow and thrive.

Our three 2020 limited-edition holiday ornaments—JoonaOskar + Araali or Zoo Lights 30th Anniversary—are also sold separately.*

We're also excited to partner with a variety of local heroes on co-branded merch from Meier Skis, Great Divide Brewing Co., Coda Coffee and more that are giving a portion of proceeds back to Denver Zoo. We’ve also added new items to our Online Shop!

3. New Faces

Cue the oohs and aahs—there’s an adorable crop of NEW zoo babies to see, plus a bunch of other new animals at Denver Zoo 

Jack (lesser kudu)



Jack joins the many offspring Joe has contributed to our herd in the past two years—including siblings and half-siblings Winifred, Eleanor, Crumpet and Lawnald. Fun fact: lesser kudu are known to "cache" their young, leaving them hidden in tall grass or other camouflaging flora while the herd grazes nearby. Here, you can see baby Jack safely cached away!

Betty (gerenuk)



Known as giraffe gazelle (and occasionally nicknamed "space deer" by certain staff members), gerenuk are famous for their long thin necks and ability to stand on their hind legs to get the tasty leaves up in the trees. Be sure to catch Betty, mom Soomi, and unrelated pal Yulee next time you visit.

Hagrid and Sprout (Bactrian camels) 

Sprout (L) and Hagrid (R)

Our six-month-old Bactrian camel babies, Hagrid and Sprout, have settled in wonderfully in their new home at Denver Zoo. Hagrid, the male, is outgoing and playful; Sprout, the girl, is sweet and shybut holds her ground when she needs to! We have been enjoying watching their unique (and hilarious) personalities develop as they interact with their keepers and enrichment items. But don't take our word for it; plan your next visit around an Up-Close Look with these beautiful babies. 

4. On-Campus Treats



From funnel cakes and walking tacos to boozy hot cocoa, we’re thrilled to offer lots of festive holiday fare for Zoo Lights—all compliant with government-mandated COVID-19 food and beverage safety procedures. Keep an eye out for these seasonal delights as soon as you enter the gates! Visit to browse our menus prior to your visit!

5. Winter Safari Camps Now Booking


Got a nature-lover who’s going stir crazy? Denver Zoo's Winter Safari Mini-Camps for grades K–5 will teach your hungry little learners all about warm- and cold-weather animals, specialized jungle species, animal adaptations and animal family dynamics. Camps include exclusive animal experiences, expeditionary learning and LOTS of science-based exploration to satisfy your cub’s natural curiosity. Can't visit us in person at the moment? 
Visit our Virtual Classroom or contact for more information on ways to learn with Denver Zoo. 

6. Up
-Close Looks 


We took our time to bring 
back our Animal Encounters in a new, safe and exclusive wayOur new Up-Close Look” experiences allow you to "buy out” a session for up to four people from your social distancing bubble to enjoy an exciting and intimate experience that keeps everyone, including our animals, safe. Choose between a giraffe feeding, a meet and greet with our porcupine, llamas, reptiles, or slothSign up today! 

We can't wait to see your face—well, 
your EYES, at least—on campus again. For complete information on our new safety measures and anything else you might be wondering about your next visit, click here

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