Zoo’s Emergency Fund reaches $100k and now donations are doubled

Since the Virginia Zoo launched its Emergency Operating Fund in April, nearly 1,000 donors have contributed $117,000. And now a generous donor has pledged to meet any new donations since May 20th, dollar for dollar, to reach an additional $100,000 to help aid the financial impact of COVID-19.

Though the Zoo is now open to 25 percent occupancy, attendance, which would normally be at its peak, is restricted out of concern for the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and animals. As the result of this limitation, the Zoo’s operating revenues are not at the typical levels experienced during peak season. The Zoo continues to provide the same level of exceptional service and care to its animals and to all who visit, and to do so, still need support from the generous public. Donations help the Zoo’s general operations in many ways, including staff coverage for areas that are essential to maintain new safety protocols due to COVID-19.

“Zoo Education staff are helping where other staff have been furloughed, providing guest services, such as wayfinding or sanitizing, in addition to creating content for schools and summer camp,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “It’s been spectacular to see the community – near and far – come to our aid with their generous donations. Not to mention, the staff who have gone above and beyond to enhance the Zoo virtually and in-person through a safe and fun experience,” Bockheim added.

Other generous donors include Capital Group, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and several other local companies and organizations and record-breaking first-time donors. Donations can be made at virginiazoo.org/emergency-fund.

The Zoo is open Thursday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm and for Zoo Members only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Everyone is required to purchase and reserve tickets in advance. For the latest updates, opening of amenities and to purchase or reserve tickets, visit virginiazoo.org/reopen.