Summary of Zoo Update with CEO and Director Denise M. Verret – December 2023:
The content describes the festive atmosphere and activities at the L.A. Zoo during the holiday season. Key highlights include the ninth year of the “L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow” event, with over a mile of pathways featuring more than 3,000 lanterns illuminated with LED lights showcasing the biodiversity and conservation efforts at the Zoo. The Zoo has also welcomed a new cohort of teens to participate in its Teen Council for Conservation, which engages them in local conservation projects, helping them develop leadership skills.
Additionally, the Zoo celebrates its involvement in the California Condor Recovery Program, mentioning the recent release of fully vaccinated condors into the wild. The Zoo Director expresses pride in the Zoo’s work and its impact on wildlife conservation and community enrichment. He looks forward to the new year with gratitude for the support received from members. A photograph of the Zoo Director in front of giraffes accompanies the message, wishing everyone a joyous holiday season.
– The Los Angeles Zoo welcomes the festive season with its ninth annual L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow event, featuring over 3,000 lanterns and a new winter-themed section.
– A new cohort of teens joins the Zoo’s Teen Council for Conservation, embarking on local conservation initiatives and developing leadership skills.
– The L.A. Zoo celebrates a milestone in the California Condor Recovery Program, releasing the first fully vaccinated condors into the wild in partnership with the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department.
– CEO and Director Denise M. Verret reflects on the Zoo’s progress, its impact over the past year, and the importance of community support in achieving conservation goals.
As the days grow shorter and the air carries the crisp scent of winter, a certain magic begins to sparkle at the Los Angeles Zoo. As the end of the year approaches, the Zoo transforms into a beacon of light, hope, and celebration—not just for the holiday revelers who visit but for the broader mission that pulses at its heart.
This year, the L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow illuminates the holiday nights with a collection of lanterns bathed in the gentle glow of LED lights. The pathways meander through over a mile of wildlife scenes, an experience that is more than just a delight for the eyes. It’s a reflective journey through the magnificent tapestry of life that the Zoo is deeply committed to preserving. As visitors wander among these ethereal creatures sculpted by light and shadow, there’s an undeniable connection, a shared thread between us and the silhouettes that dance in the night.
The sheer number of lanterns—3,000, as dazzling as the display they create—signifies more than holiday cheer. Each one is a beacon of awareness for our planet’s biodiversity; each flickers a symbol of the vitality we strive to protect. Introducing a winter-themed section, born of thoughtful visitor feedback, envelops guests in a multisensory expression of the season. This is where joy becomes tangible, and the spirit of conservation is as bright as the lights themselves.
Though the lights may be a visual anchor, the Zoo’s commitment to fostering a new generation of conservationists is equally luminous. The Teen Council for Conservation is a crucible for youth empowerment, drawing together a diverse group of bright young minds. These teenagers from across Los Angeles are not only introduced to conservation projects but actively engaging in them within their neighborhoods, transforming their newfound knowledge into tangible action. Their projects span the vast realm of possibility, each budding initiative a seed planted for a future harvest of environmental stewardship.
As these teens navigate their projects, they are sculpting more than just the future of conservation. They are chiseling away at their potential, forging leadership skills and a sense of agency that will transcend the bounds of the program. The Zoo isn’t just raising awareness; it’s raising leaders.
On the conservation frontline, a different milestone casts an inspiring light on the Zoo’s efforts. The California Condor Recovery Program, a testament to the resilience of species and the determination of those who fight for them, has reached a pivotal success. The program’s latest triumph—vaccinated condors, nurtured and tended within the Zoo, taking wing in the wild—is a soaring affirmation of hope. Released in Northern California by the synergistic partnership between the Zoo and the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department, these birds are not only survivors of a species once teetering on the brink. They symbolize a future reclaimed, a testament to what can be achieved when we unite in a common cause.
Behind the scenes, nurturing the vision that propels the Los Angeles Zoo forward, is Denise M. Verret, the Zoo Director and CEO. Under her stewardship, the Zoo is more than just a collection of exhibits; it’s an evolving narrative of community, conservation, and the interconnectedness of all living things. Her reflection on the year’s progress melds with a forward gaze on the horizon of what is yet to come. The Zoo stands not just as a menagerie of the world’s wonders but as a force for good—a place where the bonds between humanity and nature are recognized, celebrated, and strengthened.
Verret’s message, steeped in gratitude for the unwavering support from members and the community, resonates beyond the confines of the Zoo’s gates. It’s an invitation to partake in the joy of this festive season and a reminder of the collective journey ahead. The Zoo’s mission—crafting a world where wildlife and people thrive together—is a clarion call to action, a call that is answered daily by the work of its passionate teams.
As the Los Angeles Zoo wraps up another year of growth and conservation milestones, the holiday season becomes not just a time for celebration but for heartfelt thanks. Thanks to those who visit, those who support, and the wildlife that graces our world with their presence. As Verret looks forward to the promise of a new year, there’s an unshakable sense of anticipation for the wonders yet to unfold.
The Los Angeles Zoo’s holiday spirit, exemplified by the L.A. Zoo Lights, the commitment to future conservationists, and the victories in species recovery, is more than just seasonal cheer. It reflects an enduring dedication to creating a more just and sustainable world, punctuated by the joy and hope of this special time of year. This holiday season, let the lights captivate your senses and inspire a renewed passion for the precious world we call home.