Donor Focus: Sunset Safari

Volunteer Vista: Bonnie’s Garden
August 2, 2017
Member POV: Matt Carey
August 2, 2017

Sunset Safari guests are delighted to meet the yellow-footed rock wallaby joey tended by Animal Keeper Jill Werner. Photo by Jamie Pham

As dusk fell over the Zoo on a warm Saturday in July, more than 400 guests enjoyed an enchanting evening of exploration and adventure at this year’s Sunset Safari. In celebration of the Safari Society, GLAZA’s premier annual giving group, the event featured an after-hours stroll through the LAIR and Australia sections, where guests had the opportunity to speak with keepers about the animals in their care. The event culminated at the Elephants of Asia complex with a summer feast, lively music, games, activities, and more animal experiences. Guests met rare reptiles, birds, marsupials, apes, and, finally, Shaunzi, the newest member of the Zoo’s Asian elephant herd. The Zoo is grateful for the support the Safari Society provides; it is the involvement of this group that helps sustain the Zoo as a vibrant, living oasis in the middle of Los Angeles.

“Being at the Zoo after hours is just a thrill.”

“My family and I have been attending Sunset Safari for over ten years and we love this event,” comments Ilyse Frieder. “The number-one reason we come is for the animal encounters. They are always the highlight of the night—so personal we feel they are there just for us. We get to see the animals up close and the keepers are so generous with answering questions. This year, we loved seeing California condor Dolly, Asian elephant Billy splashing in the water, and the adorable wallaby in his baby pouch training to be an ambassador animal was so cute! Also being at the Zoo after hours is just a thrill. All the staff and volunteers are wonderful. I hope this event continues always.”

GLAZA’s Safari Society offers patrons a deeper connection to the Zoo through a number of special benefits, including the annual Sunset Safari, other VIP events and lectures, docent-led cart tours, behind-the-scenes opportunities, and a dedicated Access Line for all things L.A. Zoo. For annual gifts at levels starting at $1,500, Safari Society donors help advance the education and conservation mission of the Zoo, providing funds to help maintain various programs across the park and beyond. If you are interested in becoming more involved in the life of the Zoo, call the Safari Society Access Line at 323/644-4717 or email Robin Savoian for more information.