Dear Zoo Friend,
During these uncertain times, we draw strength from our families, friends and communities. I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. I think of you as a member of our zoo family, and I want you to be well informed. We know you may have made a recent gift, but we wanted to share the severity of our current situation so you can be fully involved in our recovery.
The zoo’s animal population is doing well. Lions, tigers, bears and all the creatures in our care continue to thrive. Our caregivers tend to the everyday needs of around 2,500 animals representing more than 200 species, and they have not let COVID-19 slow down their important work. Our staff’s ever-present passion and respect for these animals is even more apparent in times of crisis. But the zoo’s future is tenuous.
Since closing to the public on March 17, we’ve lost our ability to generate revenue through admissions, events and sales, and were forced to make drastic financial decisions, which included laying off more than half our staff. We are focused on using our resources to provide the best possible care for the animals, for as long as we can.
We planned for the future. We had reserves in place — but nobody was prepared for this level of catastrophic effect. In an instant, we lost 60% of our revenue. Until we open for business, the zoo will continue to rapidly deplete its emergency funds. We will soon drain our reserves, making this a time of extraordinary need. We need you to donate generously, as you have in the past, and stand with us. We can weather this storm, but only with the support of our community.
The Oregon Zoo Foundation has established an Emergency Recovery Fund to reinforce zoo operations during this unprecedented time with a goal to provide a critically needed infusion of $1,000,000. Please give today!
If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I look forward to speaking with you. The zoo is a cherished part of our community, and we are ever grateful for your support. Our gates may be closed, but we know your heart is still wide open for all the animals you love at the Oregon Zoo.
Director, Oregon Zoo
How the zoo is funded
The Oregon Zoo Foundation’s Emergency Recovery Fund will provide a critical infusion of $1 million to the zoo’s areas of greatest need during the COVID-19 crisis. Donations above and beyond our fundraising goal will be applied to other priorty zoo needs for the next year.