Zoo Update with Tom Jacobson, GLAZA President

Mountain yellow-legged frog
Frog Blog: A Year of Leaps and Bounds
January 1, 2021

Finding creative ways to bring the Zoo to you. Photo by Jamie Pham

With the Zoo closing three times in the last year, I'm reminded how wonderfully our Zoo family responded to the challenges of 2020. With vaccines on the way, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but during the short days and long nights of winter, that light may seem very far away. For me, for now, you are the light! Staff and I are always thinking about you, and devising new and creative ways to “bring the Zoo to you” while we’re closed. Here are just a couple that I want to share with you.

Building on the success of last year’s first-ever Virtual Beastly Ball, we're planning another star-studded virtual fundraising gala for all to attend this year, on June 5. With actor and comedian Joel McHale returning as host, the 2021 event promises to be as entertaining as it is inspiring. Mark your calendar now!

Joel McHale holding toilet paper.

The first-ever Virtual Beastly Ball, hosted by Joel McHale, was a smash! Photo by Jamie Pham

In addition to the Beastly Ball, we’re developing an all-new event – Walk for the Wild – where participants are invited to travel “around the world” virtually to explore the global conservation impact of the L.A. Zoo. Stay tuned for details on this exciting adventure, which will get underway soon.

These virtual events, along with special online programming, can connect us while the Zoo is closed. Still, we know that nothing can replace the Zoo, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon. We are so grateful for your enthusiasm and support.

Everyone I know is happy to see 2020 behind us. Together, we met the challenges of turbulent times. Our hearts go out to everyone whose life was touched by the tragedy of COVID-19 and we thank the heroes of 2020, caregivers and first responders, and everyone who kept us focused on the light ahead. What will 2021 bring? As we begin the year with hope, we know we have the resilience to face new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. Thank you for facing the future with us.

Francois langur with baby.

We're looking forward to a brighter future with you! Photo by Jamie Pham