Zoo Update with Tom Jacobson

New in the Zoo
May 20, 2020

Pronghorn seem curious about infrequent human visitors while the Zoo is closed to the public. Photo by Jake Owens

As we adjust to the ever-changing realities of the COVID-19 crisis, I hope you are all adapting to telecommuting while balancing domestic duties. GLAZA staff have been working hard from home since March—and we really miss the Zoo! I have much good news to report, which is reassuring when we're inundated with frightening statistics all day.

First is the phenomenal success of our spring appeal. We doubled the original goal, with just over $138,000 in gifts. This speaks volumes about the devotion, enthusiasm, and generosity of our donors. Thank you so much to everyone who's contributed and for the warm personal notes we've received!

The first-ever Virtual Beastly Ball hosted by actor and comedian Joel McHale took place on May 15 and succeeded beyond our wildest dreams! Attendance was fantastic, with more than 12,000 people participating over the course of the evening, twelve times our record attendance for a "real" Beastly Ball. Since then, an additional 3,000 people have viewed the show, which included a special musical performance by none other than Dave Matthews. In the end, the Beastly Ball raised $1 million, far exceeding our goal. We’re so grateful for the extraordinary support from so many people.

If you haven’t viewed the Beastly Ball show yet, you can do so here. And, even though auction bidding is over, please consider donating to our ongoing emergency fund. Every day that we’re closed means a loss of critical revenue to care for our animals and support our mission.

Keeping the Zoo alive in the hearts of Angelenos is no small task when the entire world is worried about health and safety. But the closure has inspired many new and innovative ways for us to connect with our community and this presents an amazing opportunity to emphasize the Zoo's leadership in wildlife conservation. Although GLAZA staff continue to work from home, our Zoo colleagues who care for the animals and those who maintain our facilities are at the Zoo every day, ensuring our high standards of animal care. With no visitors, some of the animals seem to be feeling the absence of our guests and now come to investigate any humans they see. We all look forward to welcoming you back to the Zoo when it's safe!