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Mr. Mac is U.S. Bank Animal of Winter

The Oscars, the Emmys, the Heisman, Employee of the Year; there are lots of awards out there and now there’s one that recognizes the Zoo Boise animals! The animal residents at Zoo Boise do so much to help their counterparts in the wild and it’s time we honor them for the work they’re doing! We are excited to announce that we are teaming up with U.S. Bank and zoo guests like you to name this year’s Zoo Boise Animal of the Year.

We will nominate an animal each season and at the end of the year Zoo Boise guests will vote on which animal will win U.S. Bank Animal of the Year! Zoo Boise animals were nominated for various reasons: being an ambassador for their species, helping to raise conservation dollars, inspiring the next generation of animal protectors, participation in a Species Survival Plan, and being a vital part of their zoo family!

We’re excited to announce that the U.S. Bank Animal of Winter is Mr. Mac the Aldabra tortoise! Mr. Mac isn’t a young man, he’s roughly 100-years old! That means he’s been viewed by millions of Zoo Boise guests and has inspired many of them to take positive actions for wildlife conservation. Just because he’s a tortoise doesn’t mean he’s passive-he’s quite outgoing. He has met with countless school groups and zoo campers, comes out into the zoo and visits with guests during the zoo’s annual Zoobilee gala, and interacts with guests during behind-the-scenes tours. What do all those tours, visits, and experiences add up to? He’s helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund that supports wild animals and wild spaces. See the entire list of organizations supported by the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund at https://zooboise.org/conservation/conservation-grants/.

Mr. Mac isn’t just a local celebrity; he’s had his brush with international fame as well. He was featured on an episode of CNN’s “Great Big Story.” The video focuses on Aldabra tortoises and Mr. Mac was the star. You can check out the full video at https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/10/29/gbs-aldabra-tortoise.great-big-story.

Here are some quotes about Mr. Mac and why you might want to vote for him for U.S. Bank Animal of the Year:

Elaine, Zoo Boise Event Coordinator – “I have encountered several people who are now adults visiting the zoo with their own children but remember seeing Mr. Mac when they were children here with their parents. I remember specifically one father and son. The father was telling his son about his memories and hoping to create new ones with his children. It was very moving.”

Carson, Zoo Boise Vet Tech – “Mr. Mac is a living treasure, older than anyone I know. He seems to enjoy the simple pleasures of life: soaking in a warm tub, taking warm showers, and sunbathing. As an animal ambassador at Zoo Boise he has amazed and impressed countless people, including me, with his huge size, enthusiasm for eating salads, and grunts of pleasure from a little neck scratch. Maybe we can all live a little longer if we learn from Mr. Mac and slow down to enjoy the simple things in life.”

Mr. Mac recently got an upgrade to his exhibit! Next time you visit Zoo Boise, make sure to say hi to Zoo Boise’s oldest and most famous resident, Mr. Mac.

Be on the lookout for your chance to vote on the U.S. Bank Animal of the Year. Once again, it’s because of guests like you, sponsors like U.S. Bank, and the amazing zoo animals that Zoo Boise has become a leader in supporting wildlife conservation. #CommunityPossible