Letter from Zoo Director John Lewis

Celebrate as Longer Nights Bring Spectacular Lights
November 3, 2017

Let there be light! And churros, and warm drinks, and smiling faces, and everyone at the Zoo. Yes, it is time again for L.A. Zoo Lights. ’Tis the season as we present the fourth year of this ever-growing extravaganza. Look forward to seeing many of your favorite features, along with some new displays that will excite your imagination. There is also a new food venue appropriately called “Fork in the Road” as it is literally at the fork where you decide to go up to the Carousel or down to the LAIR. Fork in the Road will offer pizza and Golden Road brews along with nonalcoholic drinks and other ready-to-eat foods. We hope you enjoy this new addition.

November 2017 closes out our yearlong celebration of the Zoo’s 50th Anniversary. Thank you for supporting the Zoo and being engaged in the year’s ZooLAbration! But now it is time to look forward to the next 50 years. Toward that aim, we are in the throes of developing a new master plan for the Zoo’s development. Some of you may have attended one of the public forums we hosted to share ideas and get input from attendees. The plan will try to facilitate easier wayfinding around the Zoo, provide more area for many of the animal residents, and utilize more of the Zoo’s area for animals and visitors, all the while further supporting the Zoo’s efforts in conservation and education. The plan will provide for “zoo” experiences near the front entry. Technologies that support animal welfare, interpretation, and visitor service will be incorporated wherever appropriate. Likewise green technologies to reduce our impact and model how we can all live while using fewer natural resources. Please stay tuned for more information about the plan in the coming year.

One of the things that we are so proud of about the Los Angeles Zoo is how our visitors are a reflection of the diversity and richness of the greater Los Angeles area. This is so important as a public facility and in achieving our goal to save animals from extinction. To be successful in conservation and saving species will require as many of us as possible to be engaged: engaged in our consumption of natural resources; engaged in living among urban wildlife; and engaged with the challenges facing wildlife world-wide.

I hope your visits to the Los Angeles Zoo recharge your spirit and fulfill your inner biophilia. I hope L.A. Zoo Lights sparks your imagination and determination to reside in a living and healthy world. And I hope you find a way to illuminate those around you on how they can help save animals from extinction, too.

A figurative haiku (it is fire season after all) from the sage Dolly (the scribe, not the condor):

Alone the dark comes
Many fires light the way.
Strike a match tonight.