Denver Zoological Foundation

Denver Zoo Mission:
Secure a better world for animals through human understanding.

Organizational Overview

Denver Zoological Foundation
2300 Steele Street
Denver, CO 80205
Denver Zoo
Secure a better world for animals through human understanding.


Background Statement

Founded in 1896, Denver Zoo was part of the City of Denver Parks & Recreation Department until July 1956 when the city and Denver Zoological Foundation established a public/private partnership giving operation, management, and fundraising responsibilities to the non-profit Foundation that is governed by an elected board of trustees.

Denver Zoo reaches approximately 2 million people through on-grounds attendance and outreach programs. In addition, we have over 65,000 member households.

Denver Zoo was awarded The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' inaugural Green Award, ranking the zoo as the greenest zoo in the country for its outstanding sustainability practices. The zoo was recognized for leading efforts in sustainability through its Sustainable Management System, which provides an institutional-wide framework to identify, implement, measure, report, and improve operations to reduce the zoo's environmental impact.

Impact Statement

Denver Zoo is committed to enriching the lives of animals and wildlife around the world. An integral part of achieving this is maintaining our role within the community as a leader and resource in wildlife education and conservation. With the opening of Toyota Elephant Passage in June 2012, our largest and most innovative exhibit yet, we've invested heavily in community leadership. Toyota Elephant Passage not only features breathtaking new habitats for animals like our Asian elephants and greater one-horned rhinos but also highlights the on-the-ground conservation work Denver Zoo and our colleagues do in Asia with their wild counterparts. The stories our exhibits and facilities tell empower our visitors to make decisions in their own lives that benefit wildlife. By continuously finding new ways to connect people to animals and communities around the world, Denver Zoo engenders the support we need to implement our mission of securing a better world for animals through human understanding.

Needs Statement

Denver Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country because of your support. Gifts made to the Zoo support our operating budget and provide support for:

1) Animal Care provides food and medical care for our 3,500 animals;
2) Animal Enrichment provides experiences and objects for our animals that allow them to explore a range of natural behaviors;
3) Education and Outreach insures that communities across the state have the opportunity to visit or be visited by the zoo;
4) Conservation Projects work in the field to protect wildlife around the world;
5) Small Capital Projects allow us to improve facilities for our animals and visitors.

Executive Director Statement

Denver Zoo is home to nearly 4,000 animals representing 675 different species. With the help of 2 million visitors a year, our 65,000 member households and the entire Denver metro community, we're able to provide world-class care for all of our animals. In 2012, we opened our new exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage, a facility like no other in the world for our largest residents-Asian elephants and greater one-horned rhinos-but we're also continuously making improvements throughout the zoo to benefit all of our animals. Beyond updates to our physical facilities, our education and sustainability efforts are continuously growing and adapting not only to help keep our own animals healthy and engaged, but also to better serve our conservation efforts around the world. Your support helps us to secure a better world for animals through human understanding.

Shannon Block
President and CEO

Board Chair/President Statement

Denver Zoo is far more than just a place to go to see wild animals in exhibits. It is a major community institution, serving over 2 million visitors a year, the most of any cultural institution in the state. It is a gathering place for friends and families, where relationships are nurtured. It is a place where people are educated about how humans can make the world a better place for animals by respecting their needs. It is a place from which worldwide research and conservation efforts originate to help humans and animals live together in greater harmony to mutual advantage. Above all, the zoo is a place where our community comes together to have fun in the outdoors, surrounded by beautiful creatures of nature. Our Zoo is a treasure for all to enjoy.

Denny O'Malley
Chairman Denver Zoological Foundation

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.

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