Annual Giving

Be a Miraculous Part of Our Zoo Family!


Dear Friend,


You may remember the excitement surrounding the birth of Zoya, a beautiful Amur tiger cub, born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to parents Helga and George. What might surprise you is that her birth took place over five years ago - isn't it incredible how time flies? Over the last five years, we have seen Zoya grow and change so much. She's a priceless part of the Zoo's collection and I wanted to give you an update on how she's doing.

You probably recall that Zoya was hand-raised after her mom wouldn't take care of her. After many bottle feedings and playful games of "stalk the human," Zoya thrived at the Zoo and grew to occupy a very special place in our hearts. We knew she needed a companion to teach her how to be a tiger, so Grom, a cub of similar age who was hand-raised at the Pittsburgh Zoo, came to live with her. They became instant playmates and companions, forming a strong bond. What you may not know is that, although they were brought together for companionship, as soon as they were old enough, the Species Survival Plan recommended the pair for breeding. This was exceptionally exciting because Amur tigers are an endangered species and captive breeding is critical to their future. In fact, there are less than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild. Because captive breeding can make a big difference for the future of wild tigers, we were thrilled that Grom would be staying at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to be Zoya's mate.

Because of the breeding recommendation, we had to make some changes to the way we managed Zoya and Grom's care. In the wild, Amur tigers are solitary animals, coming together only for breeding. This meant that Zoya and Grom would need to be separated, so they would begin to see each other as breeding partners, rather than just playful companions.

As much as we enjoyed seeing Zoya and Grom together, separating the two was the right decision. We quickly began to see a change in their behavior, as Zoya began marking trees in the exhibit to let Grom know that she was ready to breed. Because they're still young and have grown up as companions, they haven't quite mastered the breeding process yet. But, they're showing great progress. We're hopeful that, within the next few years, we can let you know about a new generation of this priceless species at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

As we've watched Grom and Zoya grow from tiny cubs to majestic adults, we've also seen some tremendous growth at the Zoo. As you know, this year we opened the brand-new Encounter Africa exhibit, to rave reviews. We've had the best-attended summer in Zoo history. We've also done some amazing conservation work, both locally and around the world, such as our work with black-footed ferrets, with the Amphibian crisis in Panama, our role in addressing the palm oil crisis to save orangutans and other species, and our Quarters for Conservation program, which lets guests vote on how to give funds directly to conservation work around the globe. The reason we're able to make so many incredible things happen is that there are priceless people like you who care passionately about the work that we do.

We know that everyone has different reasons for supporting the Zoo, whether it's because you love animals, you value our role in the community, or you see us as a valuable educational resource. Whatever your reason might be, thank you. Without you, we wouldn't be able to save endangered species, provide memories for a lifetime for kids of all ages through up-close personal experiences, or connect our guests with the importance of our role in protecting wildlife and wild places.

Your support is truly priceless. As you know, we are one of only ten accredited zoos in the country that operates without tax support, so your generous year-end gift is especially meaningful. Please consider continuing your support with a gift to our Annual Fund. Each dollar helps us to make a difference for animals, the community and nature.

 

Sincerely,


Bob Chastain
President & CEO

 


For more information

Contact Tracey Gazibara, Vice President at 719-424-7853
or email tgazibara@cmzoo.org.