Gratitude Report 2019 – 2020

oregon zoo foundation

Home is where the herd is.

their world, our impact

Animals are often stronger in packs, and we work together with our pack to fight for our cause. At Oregon Zoo Foundation, we don’t take giving for granted. Donations don’t just feed us, they keep us strong. They represent more than a dollar amount, they are a connection with our donors. It’s a connection that stems from a shared goal: to make an impact in the lives of animals.

Gratitude Report 2019 – 2020
— in support of the oregon zoo —

Our annual Gratitude Report gives an inside look at the collaborative impact of the Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Zoo Foundation and the community. We can’t do this work alone — it takes a herd.

forward

Every herd needs a home.

What makes a home?

Simmering pots of soup and fresh baked bread in the kitchen? Ample room for celebrations and gatherings? For humans and animals alike, answers vary, but for most, it’s the time spent together and caring that make a place feel like home.

Asian elephants like to walk on sand and soft earth. They need to forage for hay and their favorite fruits and veggies, and enjoy a freshwater pool for keeping cool in the summer.

forward

Every herd needs a home.

What makes a home?

Simmering pots of soup and fresh baked bread in the kitchen? Ample room for celebrations and gatherings? For humans and animals alike, answers vary, but for most, it’s the time spent together and caring that make a place feel like home.

Asian elephants like to walk on sand and soft earth. They need to forage for hay and their favorite fruits and veggies, and enjoy a freshwater pool for keeping cool in the summer.

responding to covid-19

Together, a part.

Care during closure.

When we closed the zoo gates in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we weren’t sure what the future held. In an instant, the zoo lost $8.5 million in revenue — funds normally earned through admissions, events and sales. We had planned for the future. We had reserves in place, but nobody was prepared for this level of catastrophic effect.

celebrating california condors

Scarcity sparks conservation.

Condor recovery efforts soar forward.

We talk about condors … a lot. When an egg successfully hatches, we write news releases and share footage on social media with clever puns about our egg-ceptional news. If we could pop a celebratory cork and shower our zoo family with confetti, we would!

When working to save a species from extinction, tiny victories feel monumental. Each egg is a precious step in an ambitious journey to bring California condors back from the brink.

celebrating california condors

Scarcity sparks conservation.

Condor recovery efforts soar forward.

We talk about condors … a lot. When an egg successfully hatches, we write news releases and share footage on social media with clever puns about our egg-ceptional news. If we could pop a celebratory cork and shower our zoo family with confetti, we would!

When working to save a species from extinction, tiny victories feel monumental. Each egg is a precious step in an ambitious journey to bring California condors back from the brink.

Animal care in action.

Accredited institutions across North America work together to find homes for injured or orphaned animals that are unable to survive in the wild. Oregon Zoo keeper Michelle Schireman is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ species coordinator for cougars. She has found homes for more than 150 cougar cubs in zoos around the country. Most of the cougars currently living in U.S. zoos are orphans she has placed.

Cougars — also known as pumas, mountain lions, or panthers (in Florida) — once ranged across most of North America, and from southern Argentina and Chile to southeastern Alaska. With the exception of the Florida panthers, cougars are not listed as endangered, but they do face many challenges due to human encroachment and habitat destruction.

a letter for you

Thank you to our pack.

Dear zoo friends,

You amaze us with your steadfast support of the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Zoo Foundation, and we are grateful that you’re part of this extraordinary family. You are vitally important to the zoo and to its future.

Around the world, we have experienced loss, trauma and drastic change in response to a global pandemic – but also innovation and inspiring helpfulness. When the zoo closed to slow the spread of COVID19, thousands of donors and zoo members rallied to help, giving a combined $1 million in just three weeks. The Oregon Zoo Foundation board of trustees matched these gifts with additional relief from a reserve fund held for unforeseen zoo emergencies  for a total infusion of $2 million to meet the zoo’s emergency operating needs.

Though the zoo was quiet during its 117day closure, fresh fruit was still carefully measured and cut to serve bats and chimps each day; Asian elephant Samudra’s penchant for plunging into a 60,000-gallon swimming pool continued unabated; African lion Zawadi guarded his pride as fiercely as ever; and the zoo’s Veterinary Medical Center provided outstanding care for all the animals. You were there for your zoo through it all.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of our supporters, the Oregon Zoo Foundation was well on the way to completing its largest fundraising campaign ever, the $8.5 million Heart of the Oregon Zoo campaign. This effort coincides with the anticipated completion of three new habitats — Polar Passage, Primate Forest and Rhino Ridge — the last of eight major projects made possible by a community-supported bond measure passed in 2008.

Even with the emergency funding needs, our ambitious campaign was approaching 90% of its goal by June 2020. Because of you and all our generous friends and supporters, we believe we can achieve our $8.5 million goal by June 30, 2021. And, we’re working hand-in-hand with the Oregon Zoo to weather what promises to be another year of managing through adversity, including additional temporary zoo closures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we’ll get through this.

As the zoo prepares to open expansive new habitats for polar bears, black rhinos and chimpanzees, we look forward to sharing the excitement with you. We’ll marvel with you as these exceptional new homes come to life for the animals and for our zoo visitors, animal-care staff, educators and conservation scientists. There’s a lot happening at the zoo, and that is in large part thanks to you: our pack.

In gratitude,

Julie Fitzgerald, Executive Director
Oregon Zoo Foundation

Sharla Settlemier, Chair
Oregon Zoo Foundation Board of Trustees

great impact

All the stories we love.

it takes a pack

Your financial impact.

The zoo is relying on the foundation to support important aspects of animal care. Funds raised this year and next will support the zoo’s multi-year recovery through the pandemic and beyond.

Oregon Zoo
revenue model.

Oregon Zoo revenue model.

* does not include bond capital project support

* does not include bond capital project support

What do donations support
during the COVID-19 pandemic?