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Zoo receives $4 million challenge grant for ‘More Wonder More Wild’ campaign

March 10th, 2011 · No Comments

The Woodland Park Zoo today raised more than $300,000 during its annual Thrive fundraiser of civic, business, conservation and education leaders. That is the first money raised as part of an anonymous $4 million challenge grant to help build new tiger and Asian bear exhibits. It is the largest challenge grant in the zoo’s history.

The new exhibit complex, known as the Asian Tropical Forest, is the centerpiece initiative of the zoo’s $80 million More Wonder More Wild comprehensive campaign. With this recent gift announcement, the zoo has successfully raised $59 million—or 74% of its campaign goal—to date through the campaign’s private phase…The zoo hopes to complete the campaign in 2012 and open the first phase of the new exhibit in 2013.

The Asian Tropical Forest initiative is expected to cost $21 million and will replace the 60-year-old infrastructure that critically endangered tigers and Asian bears currently inhabit at the zoo. Currently in conceptual design phase, the new exhibit complex will transform an outdated area of the zoo into a dynamic, naturalistic destination connecting more than 1 million zoo visitors each year to the diverse animals of tropical Asia and the work the zoo and its partners do to protect them.

Modeled on the theme “Sharing the Forest: People are the Conservation Solution,” Asian Tropical Forest will empower and inspire visitors with up-close animal encounters, hands-on learning and links to meaningful conservation actions visitors can take to build a better future for wildlife. Using sustainable design, the exhibits will provide tigers, Asian bears and other species representing the biodiversity of the region with a naturalistic, enriching environment that evokes the lush forests of tropical Asia and encourages natural behaviors such as stalking prey, foraging for food and caring for young.

 Artist’s concept rendering by Scott Taylor.

Asian Tropical Forest represents one of the eight initiatives that make up More Wonder More Wild, the zoo’s most ambitious, forward-looking comprehensive campaign to date. The eight programmatic and capital initiatives of the campaign integrate visitor experiences, naturalistic exhibits, animal care, field conservation, educational opportunities, environmental sustainability and technical innovation.

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