The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St., has launched an emergency fund to help Ukrainian zoos.
The Denver Zoo’s Wildlife Emergency Fund will provide emergency assistance to the zoos in Ukraine that have been impacted by the Russian invasion. Funds raised will support the organizations, zookeepers and other personnel working in Ukraine and bordering nations that are providing food, transportation, veterinary care and evacuation for the animals.
The Wildlife Emergency Fund will support Ukrainian zoos immediately, and other global wildlife emergencies in the future.
Denver Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). WAZA and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) will ensure the assistance will reach the people, animals and organizations most in need. Funds raised will be distributed in accordance with a plan developed by WAZA and EAZA that will first provide immediate needs for animals and staff at Ukrainian zoos, and then will provide recovery assistance for zoos and other wildlife organizations when the time comes.
“We’ve all watched in horror as this crisis has unfolded in Ukraine, and our hearts go out to the Ukrainian people,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Denver Zoo who also serves as a WAZA councilmember, in a news release. “Our zoo professional colleagues in Ukraine have inspired us with their courage and dedication as they work to care for the animals, and we must do what we can to support them as a member of the global zoo and wildlife conservation community.”
To donate to the Denver Zoo’s Wildlife Emergency Fund, visit denverzoo.org/WildlifeERFund.
“So much of what we do is giving the animals in our care everything they need to thrive and create a stress-free environment, and I can’t begin to imagine how you do that in a warzone,” said Maura Davis, assistant curator of pachyderms at Denver Zoo.
“I’ve seen the reports that many of the zookeepers in Ukraine are sleeping at their zoos to care for their animals, but I’m sure they’re wondering where they’re going to get their next load of hay, vegetables and other supplies.”
For more information, visit DenverZoo.org.