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Zoo Boise Conservation Fund

Zoo Boise turns the act of visiting a zoo into a conservation action.  Part of every admission and proceeds from our most popular attractions go to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund which supports the protection of wild animals in Idaho and around the world.  Helping endangered species is easy and fun at Zoo Boise.

Take a moment to think about zoos and animals.  When you hear the word “zoo,” what do you think of?  Elephants?  Tigers?  Rhinos?  Gorillas?  Many of our favorite wild animals are in serious trouble.  Elephant populations in the wild have dropped from 1.2 million in 1980 to 420,000 today.  The number of lions in Africa has fallen from 400,000 twenty years ago to 30,000 today.  There are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild.  Only 25,000 rhinos.  Only 1,200 giant pandas.  If you take the combined wild population of elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, polar bears, giant pandas, hippos, and giraffe, the total is less than the population of the State of Idaho.  If you remove elephants from that list, the total is less than the number of people living in the Treasure Valley.  As human populations continue to grow, the pressure on wildlife does as well, to the point where animal populations need our help if they are ever going to recover.

While we all care about animals and want to protect them in the wild, knowing how to help can be a challenge.  So Zoo Boise has redefined itself as a vehicle to help our visitors save endangered species.  Now, when families in the Treasure Valley visit the zoo, they just don’t see animals, they help save animals as well.

In 2007, Zoo Boise became the first zoo in the country to create a conservation fee.  The 50¢ fee, charged in addition to the admission price, was designed to fund conservation projects taking place in Idaho and around the world.  More importantly it changed the purpose of a zoo visit—empowering visitors to help save the very creatures they were seeing.  Additional mechanisms were created, including a conservation fee on memberships, the chance to feed a giraffe or a bear in exchange for a small fee, the opportunity to take a conservation cruise to see monkeys or feed goats and sheep in our Zoo Farm.   All these little conservation fees, multiplied by our hundreds of thousands of visitors, have now generated more than $1.5 million to date for the conservation of animals around the world.

When you visit Zoo Boise, there are a number of ways you can help save endangered species: