Zoo Update with Tom Jacobson, GLAZA President

Rite of Spring
March 1, 2021

Jaguar walking. Photo by Jamie Pham

The pandemic has inspired many changes at our Zoo, including new ways to raise money in support of our wildlife conservation mission. On June 5, we will host the second Virtual Beastly Ball, a new take on our traditional fundraising event. In the coming weeks, we will also be announcing a new way for young adults to take a philanthropic leadership role in conservation. And for children and families—and anyone who wants to stay fit while saving species from extinction—we are delighted to inaugurate our new Walk for the Wild.

This virtual walk “around the world” will explore the global conservation impact of the L.A. Zoo. Along the way, walkers will learn about efforts to save threatened animal species in far-flung locations, from South Africa to India to Paraguay and beyond. Unlike a traditional walk/run/bike race, this virtual race employs technology and takes social distancing into account. You may participate on your own, with a friend, work mates, classmates, or family, showing your support whenever and wherever you are day or night, rain or shine, inside or outside.

Participants have from now to May 21, 2021 to register, set a fitness goal, rack up steps, and raise funds. You may register as an individual, create a team, or join a team from anywhere in the world. You will have your own fundraising page with a link to send to friends to encourage them to join your team or donate to your team’s efforts.

During the fitness challenge—Earth Day (April 22) through Endangered Species Day (May 21)—participants may walk, run, bike, or do any other type of fitness activities that get you moving, such as golf, swimming, spinning, working out, dancing, hiking, rowing, boxing, or even house or yard work. You choose when and where to do your fitness, tracking your real-world steps on an integrated virtual map highlighting the Zoo’s conservation projects around the globe. When the group cumulatively reaches each stop, special content is issued via email featuring information on conservation projects including those dedicated to California condors, Indian gharials, and Chacoan peccaries.

In order to stay healthy and keep moving while working from home, I’ve been taking several neighborhood walks every day. Now I can devote those walks in service of the Zoo’s wildlife conservation mission, and I hope you will join me!