May 13, 2021

Window Into Our World

Members and Guests Are Now Able to Witness First-Hand the Zoo’s Outstanding Veterinary Care at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital


The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital has been operational and treating animals since last fall. Now the time has come for you—our valued members and guests—to see our expert veterinary medical team in action. The new, state-of-the-art facility is now open to the public! We invite you to stop by the hospital on your next visit for a chance to watch real-time animal procedures, and learn more about the spectrum of care we provide to our more than 3,000 animals. Read on to learn about the hospital and what you can expect when visiting:

An Immersive Look Behind the Scenes

Guest in Animal Hospital Lobby

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital is the Schlessman Family Foundation Visitor and Education Center, which will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On any given day, you will be able to witness the medical care that is critical to the wellbeing of our more than 3,000 animals, from our tiniest residents up to animals weighing more than 800 lbs. If the treatment rooms are not in use, interactive video displays and staff facilitators will educate guests on the many procedures, treatments and surgeries we perform each year to ensure our animals thrive.

Note: Due to the unpredictable nature of the work being conducted in the hospital, we are unable to provide advance notice of upcoming procedures, or guarantee that you will see a live procedure during the time of your visit.

Building the Future of Exceptional Animal Care  

Animal Hospital Exterior


At 22,000 square feet, the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital houses two fully-equipped treatment rooms, a high-performance diagnostic laboratory, critical care units, indoor and outdoor animal wards, and a cutting-edge surgical suite. The facility is supported by the most technologically advanced equipment in the industry, with one of only a few zoo animal hospital CT scanners in the countryThe building includes considerations for noise, views and daylight to ensure animal comfort, and is built to LEED Gold standards. From the tiniest tree frog to a full-grown grizzly bear, the hospital is able to accommodate the vast majority of the Zoo’s more than 3,000 animals, while larger animals, such as elephants and giraffes, continue to receive the medical care they need within their habitats. 

Made Possible by You and Generous Donors  

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock Joins Denver President/CEO Bert Vescolani (right) and Denver Zoological Foundation Board of Governors Chair Rob Kaufmann


Designed by Stantec and built by Haselden Construction, the hospital was largely funded by the Elevate Denver Bond Program, which Denver voters passed in 2017, as well as the generosity of many donors, including the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation, and the Schlessman Family Foundation. At the hospital’s groundbreaking in 2018, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said, “The community continues to support the Zoo and all that it endeavors today, and we're here because the people of Denver said yes to the largest general obligation bond issuance to date when they approved the Elevate Denver Bond. The residents spoke loud and clear and said yes, and also said culture matters to us here in Denver. The Zoo matters to Denver." 


For more information about the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital, visit DenverZoo.org/Hospital and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube for more stories! 


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