Expeditions - 2022 - Q4

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Inside this issue:
Debut • Meet Demi • GloWild • Polar Bears International 2022 – Q4 A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE KANSAS CITY ZOO

Hello and happy holidays to you from the Zoo! I hope that you were able to enjoy some of the many fall activities that we've had happening and, if not, I invite you to come and see the GloWild lantern festival. This new event has been so popular that we have decided to extend it through December 30 and set up some additional Christmas-themed lanterns for the holiday season.

It is hard to believe that 2023 is nearly upon us already! In January, we will be starting to fill some of the aquarium exhibits with water and by March, we will be welcoming the first animal residents that will call those habitats home! We will also welcome our sea lions back to their renovated home in the spring and look forward to more accessibility for guests and an improved behind-the-scenes area for the sea lions.

In this edition of Expeditions, we have some amazing stories from Zoo staff that really show the passion that our team puts into their work. We have partnered with Polar Bears International for more than a decade, but Kelsey Dougherty recently got to take her first trip to their headquarters in the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” She is one of the dedicated animal care specialists caring for polar bears at the Zoo and is also learning how to help us better educate guests about polar bear conservation. There are also incredible success stories in this issue pertaining to our red panda cubs, the staff’s tremendous care of an infant black mangabey, and the pregnancy of our black rhino.

Lastly, I would like to comment on a couple of memorials you will see in the coming pages. Over the past month, we lost Curtis gorilla and Teetoo chimpanzee. Both were animals beloved by Zoo employees and many of you probably formed connections with them during your visits here. As is the case with animals that you may have at home, it is always difficult to lose those that are close to you. Many become part of the family. Though we all know that everything that is born or hatched eventually will pass away, that knowledge does not make it any easier when the moment comes. I want to applaud all the Zoo animal care and veterinary health staff for the time that is spent ensuring that every animal receives the best care possible. I appreciate the work that they do daily and grieve with them when they experience the pain of loss. And we appreciate the support that our Friends of the Zoo members provide in both the exciting times such as a birth as well as during the difficult times.

There is much to look forward to in the coming months, so I hope to be celebrating those milestones with you soon at the Zoo!

I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!


2022-23 Friends of the Zoo BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Wesley Fields, Chairperson

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Tony Reinhart, Secretary

Ford Motor Company

David Sanchez Jr., Treasurer PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Stephanie Ayers, CMX

David Barr, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc.

Brad Bodamer, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Dr. Yolanda Cargile, Center School District

Chris Cotten, KC Parks and Recreation

Jeff Dillon, VanTrust Real Estate LLC

Ana Nubia Duin, La Mega Spanish Radio

Jan Francis, Community Volunteer

Sandra Garcia, Metropolitan Community Colleges

Hayley Hanson, Husch Blackwell LLP

Audrey Hill, Saint Luke’s Health System

Julius Lai, Community Volunteer

Kate Lambert, Dixon Family Foundation

Jill Marchant, Hallmark

Katie McDonald, Evergy

Yvette Miceli, Construction Brokers, Inc.

Janet Miles-Bartee, Local Investment Commission (LINC)

Joe Prenger, ECCO Select

Terry Riley, Transformation Consultants, LLC

John Russ, UMB Bank

Representing the City of Kansas City

Heather Hall, City Council, 1st District

Kevin McManus, Mayor Pro Tem

Ryana Parks-Shaw, City Council, 5th District

Brian Platt, City Manager

Zoological District Commissioners

Greg Canuteson, Chair, Clay County

Carol Hallquist, Vice Chair & Treasurer, Jackson County

Jerry Nolte, Clay County

Alex Perez, KC Parks and Recreation Representative Dan Tarwater III, Jackson County

Kansas City Zoo

Sean Putney, Executive Director/ CEO

Kansas City Zoo Foundation

Randy Wisthoff, Executive Director

The Kansas

a private, non-profit organization is operated in agreement with the Kansas City, MO Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, partially funded by the Zoological District in Jackson and Clay Counties in MO, and is accredited by the Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums.

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Open daily, year round. www.KansasCityZoo.org 816.595.1234
City Zoo,
Hello, FOTZ Members!
Sean with Fox 4 News at Jazzoo 2022

Make your holidays merry and bright with a visit to GloWild! We are thrilled to announce that this spectacular lantern festival will be extended through December 30. Along with the silk and steel sculptures featuring such themes as animals, botanicals, and Asian culture, the illuminated path will now include a Christmas village located at the sheep station in Australia. The jolly old man himself, Santa, will also be making visits for photo opportunities on select evenings! The holiday lanterns handcrafted by Zigong Lantern Group will create unforgettable family memories starting November 21.

GloWild will be open Tuesday through Sunday, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, though the Zoo will remain closed during the day on those holidays as usual.

Reserved time slots are available starting at 5pm. Be sure to secure your tickets now before they sell out!

3 www.kansascityzoo.org Thank You to our sponsors
Photo by Carla
scan to view calendar

Polar Bears International

Marine animals have always been a huge passion of mine. Even living in the middle of the United States, far from the marine life, I have always found ways to feel connected to oceans and their conservation. Being a part of the Water’s Edge Team has provided an opportunity to be a part of the daily care of some of the marine animals I have been fascinated with my whole life. Our polar bears, Berlin and Nuniq, were so easy to fall in love with – making that personal connection with them furthered the drive to want to help be a part of conservation efforts of their species.

The Zoo's conservation grant program has allowed us to partner with Polar Bears International (PBI) and gives staff the opportunity to be a part of the efforts through direct learning experiences in Churchill, Manitoba. I have always enjoyed reading books and watching videos about oceans and marine conservation, but getting the chance to witness it in person was a whole new experience that made me even more passionate about polar bears and climate change than I was before.

Part of the partnership between PBI and the Zoo includes sending staff members to participate in the Climate Alliance Program. For the 2022 program, we did preparation and coursework from April through the time we left in October. The coursework took about 45 hours to complete and started with information about natural history of polar bears and the work being done by PBI. The second half was all about how to communicate effectively with other people about climate change. The work was intensive but provided invaluable training. I now feel much more confident when it comes to talking with my community about what we can do to help wild polar bears and the sea ice.

Our in-person summit took place in Churchill, Manitoba in Canada, also known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. We got to participate in engaging activities and hear from several impactful speakers. A few of them were indigenous peoples that talked about the history of their culture in the Churchill area. In Manitoba, there are a lot of organizations and leaders that are working toward reconciliation between the foreign settlers and the indigenous groups that were displaced and mistreated by settling colonies. Hearing about the reconciliation process was an incredibly inspiring part of the trip!

Another group we heard from was the conservation officers stationed in Churchill. Since Churchill sits directly in the path of polar bears moving to and from the sea ice, there has been a long history of human-bear conflict. The conservation officers have worked hard at forming a system that keeps people safe and prevents bears from being killed because of a negative interaction with humans. The program has been very successful and has significantly reduced the number of injuries to people and the loss of bears because of these conflicts.

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Being on the Tundra Buggy was a life-changing experience. I will never forget seeing a wild polar bear for the first time. Getting to fully experience the natural wonders of the tundra habitat while staying at the lodge pushed the trip to the next level. We even had a polar bear come right up to the lodge at breakfast one day!

We listened to the field researchers that work with PBI about the information and advances they have made with wild polar bear research. As a partner to PBI, the Kansas City Zoo helps with various research projects. Hearing about the importance of the information we collect was validation that I have never experienced before. As an animal care specialist, we take care of animals every day and hope that we are making a difference, but to personally hear that we are having an impact from the scientists themselves is an entirely new feeling.

I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to participate in this grant project. I never imagined getting to see polar bears in the wild. Not only did I get to observe wild bears, I also learned about topics in polar bear research, indigenous cultures, and even developed skills in climate conversations. The whole experience was incredible, and I can’t wait to use it to help inspire others about polar bears and the Arctic environment.

Polar Bears International (PBI) is the only organization solely dedicated to the conservation of wild polar bears. Their mission is to conserve polar bears and the sea ice on which they depend. They use media, science, and advocacy to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats it faces, and how it connects to our global climate. One aspect of their mission includes partnering with accredited zoos and aquariums that house polar bears. By partnering with zoos and aquariums, like the Kansas City Zoo, we can help them advocate for polar bears and the Arctic to our own community. Having polar bears here in Kansas City gives many people the only opportunity they will ever have to see a bear in person. Caring for polar bears allows for research opportunities that field scientists can’t get with wild polar bears.

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Photos courtesy of Kelsey Dougherty

Aquarium Update

The Zoo is less than a year away from opening the new aquarium, and the excitement continues to grow! As you make your way between Helzberg Penguin Plaza and Elephant Expedition, you will notice much progress on the aquarium’s façade. While the public is not able to see the interior updates, we are thrilled to share some of the progress made by JE Dunn Construction and other contractors.

The biggest habitat in the 650,000-gallon aquarium, the Pacific Reef where sharks and other deep-sea creatures will reside, recently underwent the first round of waterproof testing, with a 100 percent success rate. These tests ensure that each habitat within the building is secure and will be ready for animal arrivals. The Zoo is expecting more than 8,000 animals in the aquarium, the first of which are scheduled to arrive in March.

The design and décor within the largest exhibits are taking shape, with concrete rockwork being crafted and installed. Along with the larger tanks’ preparation, the components of our smaller exhibits are now in their beginning stages. Stuart Clausen, aquatics curator for the Zoo, says that the staff is receiving shipments of these essential parts every day.

Top: Rockwork is being constructed in the Pacific Reef tank, the future home of sharks.

Bottom left: The beginning of the Temperate Reef habitat for moray eels and more.

Bottom right: Some of the 7.5 miles of pipes beneath the aquarium.

On the aquarium’s exterior, glass windows have been installed that have built-in dots to help protect migrating birds from flying into the glass. Guests will notice new tiled siding, as well as paved roads behind the aquarium for staff and deliveries.

As construction continues, we invite you to help us make waves! Please consider a donation that will help bring this world-class

The Zoo’s new aquarium will be a true treasure and asset for this community that will support the Zoo’s mission, and you can help bring it to life! Sponsorships begin at just $5,000 and are a wonderful way to help the Zoo give everyone a chance to experience the ocean here in the Midwest!


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Red Pandas

The red panda cubs are hitting their stride! Zhúzi and Sundara, who were born on May 23 to first-time mom Kashmir, are exploring the habitat more each day. Following the lead of Kashmir and their father, Randy, these two cubs can often be seen outside of their nest boxes and perfecting their climbing skills. The red pandas’ care specialists have reported that Zhúzi and Sundara are also both eating solids like biscuits and bamboo, marking a big milestone with their weaning.

Red pandas are native to the mountainous Himalayan regions of Myanmar and China. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified this species as endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, and the pet trade. The Kansas City Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for red pandas to help ensure diversity of the species.

This winter, you can visit Zhuzi and Sundara in their cold-weather habitat along Tiger Trail, where the langurs live during the rest of the year. Red pandas love the lower temperatures while langurs prefer warmer weather, so these two species swap habitats every fall and spring to keep everyone happy and healthy!.

Zuri Update

This summer, we announced that Eastern black rhinoceros Zuri, 15, is expecting a calf in December or January. This will be the first offspring for both Zuri and father Ruka, 11. As the arrival grows nearer, we wanted to share a few updates!

Zuri's animal care specialists and the veterinary health team have been carefully monitoring the mom and baby along the way. Each week, the Zoo's registered veterinary technicians obtain blood samples from Zuri to monitor the levels of reproductive hormones necessary to support the growth of the calf. Along with the bloodwork, our veterinarians perform ultrasounds weekly. The mom-to-be has been trained through positive reinforcement to voluntarily participate and patiently waits during these sessions.

The Eastern black rhinoceros is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. The rarest of the black rhino subspecies, it can be found in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. This impending arrival is exciting for not only the Zoo, but the species as a whole! Continue to watch our social media pages, where we’ll post updates as Zuri's due date approaches!

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Bottom: Randy and Kashmir Bottom: Zuri stands patiently for her sonogram and bloodwork.

June 1 was Demi’s first day in the world. This black crested mangabey was born via cesarean after her mother, Sunniva, was found in dystocia–an inability to give birth. An ultrasound and exam showed that Demi was lodged in the pelvic canal, and her head was too large to pass through. After emergency surgery was performed by the veterinary staff, Demi was resuscitated successfully. However, she had begun to suffer from brain seizures. A CT scan showed a lesion compatible with an intracranial hemorage. Antiseizure medications helped Demi, but the baby needed round-the-clock care from several departments including my own, Team Baobab.

I spent Demi's first 28 hours with her, close at hand and documenting as much as possible while making sure she could sleep, eat, and take bathroom breaks. She was so tiny that first day, only just over a pound. As a whole, zoos try to avoid hand-rearing primates whenever possible. It is very difficult to successfully reintroduce them back into their family group and avoid imprinting on them – or making them think they have a human mom and not a monkey mom. In this case, we had no choice.

The whole zoo pulled together to help keep this baby growing. She had round-the-clock care and daily veterinarian visits for a long while, and we tried our best to teach her how to be a monkey. This process included having her latch on to a vest, which mimicked the appearance of a mom. A typical day with Demi included suiting up in a faux fur vest, gloves, and a mask to begin medicating, feeding, napping (her, not us), feeding, engaging in playtime, napping, more feeding, more napping, more feeding, more feeding, and a lot of clean-up.

We began to encourage her to venture a few feet away on her own to explore, climb, and jump. The office basically turned into a tiny playground, where she could parkour off the desk, onto the box, run up a mesh ladder, swing off a rope, and launch herself at whichever person was on duty at that time.

Demi received a CT scan to diagnose early neurological issues.


At about 3 months, we began introductions with Sunniva, who is an amazing mother and would have cared for her if a natural birth had occurred. We arranged the “Demi Condo," which was a location with smaller mesh and baby proofing that would allow her to be near her family but not have physical contact.

We were nervous to see if Sunniva would want to spend time with her baby after Demi had bonded with her human caregivers. Would Sunniva recognize Demi as her own or would she just be another tiny monkey sharing the same space? Demi and Sunniva both vocalized the first time they saw each other. We breathed a sigh of relief. Demi began to venture closer to Sunniva and farther from her foster parent. We were ecstatic. This was exactly what we were hoping for.

Now, the next step was getting Demi in physical contact with her mom. What would Sunniva think about this tiny monkey being in her home? Would she want to care for her? Sure enough, supermom Sunniva came straight over to Demi to investigate. Demi was nervous at first, as the only “moms” she had known were human. She had spent time watching her mom and dad cruise around their habitat but only at a distance. Demi carefully approached Sunniva, and they had their first interaction – granted, the baby jumped upside down on Sunniva, making it hard for her to see while cruising around with a tail in her face.

After just a couple of days of introductions, Demi was fully integrated with Sunniva. About a week later, we introduced Demi’s father, Zingo.

After almost 4 months of round-the-clock care, Demi was where she belonged. She loves life with her mangabey family. She spends time playing on the structures, sleeping in hammocks with Sunniva, and trying to steal Zingo's food. We still closely watch her growth and make sure she is continuing to flourish with the family, but now we watch at a distance. We are so proud of Sunniva and Zingo, and of course, Demi. We are so thankful for our amazing veterinary team, the people that supported our sleepless nights, and those who helped us to keep going. I am also very appreciative of the carpet cleaner that was loaned to me. My office still smells like monkey. This has been an amazing experience and seeing Demi with her family has been incredibly rewarding.

Photos by Becca VanBeek, Deanna DeRosa & Amy Attaway

Your Holiday Gift Guide

Give the Gift of the Zoo!

This year, we have the perfect gift to create memories year-round! Purchase a 2023 Premier Family Membership as a gift and receive a free plush in an adorable bag that is ready to go under the tree. Your friends and family will be able to enjoy the Zoo throughout the year, partake in unlimited rides, and receive discounts on retail and concessions. Bring smiles throughout every season with the gift that keeps on giving!

The cost for shipping is $15. Gift memberships may also be purchased in-person at Guest Relations. An additional plush can be purchased for $15, plus shipping. To ensure delivery by Christmas Day, we recommend ordering by Dec. 18.

Adopt a Wild Child

Warm a loved-one’s heart this Christmas by adopting red panda Kashmir – like Santa, she is ready for the season with her red and white fur coat! What a wonderful year it has been with the twin births of Kashmir’s cubs, Sundara and Zhúzi. This Christmas, make a symbolic adoption, which is a unique and fun way to help us feed and care for our more than 1,700 animals, including Kashmir and her family! This unique $75 adoption gift includes a red panda plush, two Zoo tickets, adoption certificate, animal fact sheet, and framed photo of Kashmir! To ensure delivery by Christmas Day, we recommend ordering by Dec. 15.

Scan the QR code or visit www.kansascityzoo.org/aawc to adopt today!

Charlie Hustle Bundle

Your friends and family will love showing off their Kansas City pride and vintage coolness with Charlie Hustle apparel! Limited-edition Zoo designs add the perfect touch that will delight all ages. The Charlie Hustle adult gift package includes a shirt, koozie, and sticker for $50. We also offer a child gift package, which includes a youth shirt and sticker for $30.

Not interested in a multi-item gift package? The Charlie Hustle products are also available as stand-alone purchases. These unique Kansas City-themed gifts will sell fast, so be sure to order one for that special someone today!

Expeditions – 2022 - Q4
Photo by Julia Jacobs

Animal Plaques

Create a lasting memory by purchasing an animal plaque from the Kansas City Zoo Foundation. These elegant plaques are placed permanently at the Zoo near the appropriate habitat: penguin, polar bear, orangutan, stingray, or Tropics. Show that special someone you care, honor the memory of a loved one, or proclaim your family’s love of the Zoo with these unique gifts. Your purchase supports Zoo operations. www.kansascityzoo.org/donate/giving-plaques

Visit Deja Zoo Gift Shop!

We are WILD over the latest holiday gifts available at Deja Zoo! Snuggling has never been as fun than with our adorable Ty plush animals. Cuddly and cute, our plush selection will be treasured this holiday season.

Treat yourself or someone special to a taste of the season with our dedicant fudge! We’ve got new fall flavors including apple cider donut and caramel apple pie along classics such as chocolate, cookies & cream, salted caramel, and many, many more!

Hopping Through History with UMKC

Since its earliest days, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has made a connection with the community – and most notably – the Kansas City Zoo. In 1936, the school had only been open three years and was seeking a mascot for the debate team. Anticipation was building for the Zoo’s pregnant kangaroo and the excitement solidified the school’s choice for a new mascot: The Roo.

Continuing that connection, we are proud to have UMKC as the sponsor for the Zoo's kangaroo habitat for the next five years. Soon, there will be new signage installed at Bluey’s viewing deck in Australia, including a cutout of the original mascot artwork created by Walt Disney. This classic illustration was drawn by Disney in 1938 after a student reached out to him to develop the Roo’s iconic appearance.

UMKC has also been involved in the Zoo's veterinary health program. For 27 years, the Zoo has worked with the UMKC School of Dental Hygiene in a dental hygiene practicum. Students in this program work with our veterinary staff providing dental care for our animal residents once a week. This exemplary program is the longest-running program of its kind in the country.

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Top left: Red kangaroos Top right and bottom: renderings of UMKC sponsorship signage coming soon

Events Calendar

Scan the code for more information on each event.

Interested in being a vendor or sponsor at one of these events?

Email askthezoo@fotzkc.org



Now - Friday, December 30

Light up your night with GloWild, an immersive and illuminating lantern festival that will be the largest of its kind in the Midwest. The not-to-be missed event features massive steel and silk works of art that include animals, botanicals, and Asian cultural creations. In partnership with Zigong Lantern Group (www.zigonglanterngroup.com), GloWild will illuminate the topside of Kansas City Zoo with custom handmade lighted sculptures through December 30. Starting November 21, it will include Christmas Village.

Guests experience a one-mile path with opportunities to stop and enjoy photo ops, concessions, shopping, and entertainment. This evening event requires a separate timed ticket from daily Zoo admission.


Meet Santa at the Zoo

Saturday, December 3 - Sunday, December 4

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making a special stop at the Zoo 10am-3pm. Kids can write letters to Santa and then meet the jolly ol' guy in person. Be sure to bring your camera to capture those candid moments. You can also catch our cold weather penguins as they take a walk in the chilly outdoor air during our Penguin March at 11am.

FOTZ Bring A Friend Free Weekend

Friday, November 25 - Sunday, November 27

The more, the merrier, on Thanksgiving weekend at the Zoo! Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) members are invited to bring up to FOUR guests per membership to receive complimentary admission Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Santa Delivers

Saturday, December 17 - Sunday, December 18

Santa is back one last time before the big day and this time, he is visiting some extra special animals! All weekend long, guests can catch a glimpse of Santa as he is delivering gifts to some of our animal residents that have made the top of the nice list this year.

Zoo Year's Eve

Saturday, December 31

Roar in the New Year at the Kansas City Zoo! Why wait until midnight to celebrate the New Year? We are kicking off the party early with a countdown to noon! Join in the fun, make your own party hat, or play your favorite party games. We'll have limbo, corn hole, giant Connect 4, and a dance party. 10am-3pm

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Education Programs

Day Camps

Explore nature and the wonderful world of animals at the Kansas City Zoo. During day camps, your children will have adventures in a safe and fun environment that is sure to get a ROAR of approval! www.kansascityzoo.org/day-camps

School’s Out Camp

School’s out? No problem! Spend the day at the Zoo! School’s Out Safari Day Camps are one-day camps that are a fun and educational option when school is closed. 8:30 am-3:30 pm | $65 per camp / $58.50 FOTZ www.kansascityzoo.org/camp/schools-out-camp


Join us for the Kansas City Zoo’s hands-on homeschool class for this school year. Students PreK-12th Grade can explore the world of science through animals and nature in a fun and interactive way! Registration for 2022-2023 When Science Attacks classes is now open. www.kansascityzoo.org/homeschool


Spend the night at the Kansas City Zoo! It is the WILDEST place in town for an overnight adventure! Want an experience and memories that will last a lifetime? We are now booking private overnights for family groups. Stay in Helzberg Penguin Plaza or Polar Bear Passage, take a night hike through the Zoo, and enjoy a movie. Feeling more adventurous? Pitch your tent for one-of-a-kind camping! Overnights are scheduled for Friday or Saturday nights only. www.kansascityzoo.org/overnights


Birthday Parties

A birthday party at the Kansas City Zoo guarantees a wild time for all your guests! Join us for a celebration like no other! All parties are on Saturdays 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm and Sundays 2pm-4pm. www.kansascityzoo.org/birthdays

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For more information, call 816.595.1765 or email education@fotzkc.org. you to for sponsoring our overnights!.

Charitable Stock Giving

Giving the gift of stock to support the Zoo takes your impact to the next level. Your gift of stock will support… the new 650,000 gallon aquarium, which will bring the ocean to Kansas City, where many might not have the opportunity to experience it firsthand the feeding, care, and enrichment of the 1,700 animals that call the Kansas City Zoo home the education of tens of thousands of children across the metro with field trips, Zoomobiles, and ZooEd curriculum

How it works

With FreeWill’s stock giving tool, you can learn more about stock giving, provide information about the stock you wish to transfer, and finalize your forms—all within 10 minutes.

Give before the end of the year to save on two types of taxes while making a difference for residents of Kansas City and beyond.

To make your donation, scan the QR code to be directed to FreeWill, our stock giving site! Or you can visit www.FreeWill.com/Stocks/KansasCityZoo

Lion’s Pride Society

The Lion's Pride Society was founded in 2011 to recognize and honor the valuable contributions of Zoo friends who express their commitment to our mission by including the Zoo in their estate plans. Over the years, the "pride" has grown strong. We invite you to join us!

Our benefits include:

Introduction at the Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) Annual Meeting

Invitations to sneak previews and exhibit openings

Invitations to estate-planning seminars

Frequent mention in the FOTZ newsletter

Create your legacy

With a little planning, you have the opportunity to ensure that future generations are able to experience the adventure and wonder of the Kansas City Zoo. By including a charitable gift within your overall estate and financial plans, you can provide your support far into the future.

Why Kentucky is giving...

"My wife and I joined Lion’s Pride to help ensure that future generations would have these beautiful creatures to share with their families. The Zoo is my happy place and staff is like family.”

– Kentucky McDaniel, Lion’s Pride Society member

About FreeWill

FreeWill is one of the fastest-growing charitable giving platforms in the world. Today, more than 800 nonprofits raise more than $10M per day using FreeWill’s tools.

Increasingly, many of Kansas City Zoo’s donors are turning to stock donations to support the mission but are unsure of how to get started. FreeWill makes it simple and secure for supporters to find and complete the necessary forms to support charities with their stock and other securities.

Thank you to all of our 1909 Lion’s Pride Society members for their continued support.

Jan Armstrong

Sandra & Donald Breckon

Kenneth Campbell

Dorothy & Joe Carlisle Marlee Carroll

Teri Chandler

Debbie & James Eads Billie Harrison

Jeanne Hays

Betty & Leonard Hershman

Louise & Gary Hicks

Sarah Hopkins Harold Hudson

Joanna Ioannidis

Richard Jensen

Audrey Keairnes

Patricia Keairnes

Gayle & Bruce Krigel Judith Layton

Kay Lippincott

Leslie & John Martin Kentucky McDaniel & Carol Murphy

Patrick & Amy McHenry Mary & Michael McNiel

Glynda Miller

Anne & Sam Mollet

Debra Myers

Elizabeth Norton Richard Ong Pamela Ratliff

Brad Redburn

Marjorie Roberts

Debra & Michael Ryder Dianne Schmidt

Don Shanks

Barb Sherer

Kathy Smith

Linda & Harlan Smith

Juston Taylor

Grace Thornton

Sandie & John Valentine

Frank & Gerry Victor Jean & Don Wagner

Richard Wells

Barb & Randy Wisthoff

Contact Carlos Corredor, donor relations manager, at 816-595-1216 or carloscorredor@fotzkc.org to explore the many ways you can extend your legacy at the Kansas City Zoo for years to come.

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• • • • • • •

Thank You to Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the continued generosity of our exhibit sponsors. Thank you for your steadfast support that helps make our world-class Zoo possible.

If your company would be interested in sponsoring an animal or area of the Zoo, please contact lisafickenscher@fotzkc.org.

Kansas City Zoo sponsorship is a great way to increase visibility for your business and support the incredible work that our Zoo does year-round.

In Memoriam


Kansas City Zoo Railroad

Sumatran Tiger


Gunter Construction Company

Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. CJ Industries LLC Mark One Electric Co., Inc.

Curtis, a 28-year-old Western lowland gorilla, was euthanized on Oct. 1 due to congestive heart failure. This sad news comes after a long health journey, which included the removal of a kidney and two blood transfusions from brother Charlie. Throughout Curtis’ ordeal, he was under the dedicated care of the Zoo’s veterinary health team as well as the gorilla troop’s animal care specialists. In addition, local, national, and international medical and veterinary doctors consulted on the case, providing expertise, loaning medical equipment, and even helping to perform surgery. Curtis won the hearts of everyone that met him with his easy-going and inquisitive nature. We take comfort knowing the groundbreaking care Curtis received will help many other animals.


Chimpanzee Teetoo, age 26, passed away on Oct. 20 from acute cardiopulmonary arrest due to a blocked main artery to the brain. Beloved Teetoo arrived at the Kansas City Zoo in 2003 with her twin sister, Teeoni, and mother, Rachel. She became a mother in 2018 to Gracie, and her caregivers have described Teetoo as a magnificent mom who took great care of her daughter. Teetoo was intelligent and loved showing how smart she was with her training. She was a pro at “fishing” with sticks for tasty snacks and often showed the younger chimps how it is done. Teetoo will be dearly missed by all her Zoo family.

Cha Cha

Cha Cha, an amazing animal ambassador, passed away on August 31 at the age of 9. This beloved East African crowned crane was raised by Zoo staff and even learned how to fly from this caring team of individuals. Cha Cha’s best flight sessions took place in Deramus Auditorium, where he would run to the top of the stairs and fly down to build his muscles. Once he mastered flying, he became a star in the Wings of Wonder Bird Show and was known for his low flights that often knocked off guests’ sunglasses and hats. It was said to be lucky if you were graced by Cha Cha’s feet while he was in flight. When Cha Cha was no longer able to fly, he still made appearances in the auditorium, but he was more often found walking Zoo grounds and visiting with guests. A social bird with lots of personality, Cha Cha will be dearly missed by staff and guests alike.

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California Sea Lion
Polar Bear
Red Kangaroo

Work at the Zoo!

If you would like to work in a fun, unique environment and help families create lasting memories, you’ll feel right at home as a part of our Guest Services team. In this role, you’ll be providing customer service in retail, rides, or admissions.

The Zoo is an equal opportunity employer that offers a starting rate of $13.75. Flexible, weekend and/or weekday shifts are available!

Visit www.kansascityzoo.org/careers to apply.

6800 Zoo Drive | Kansas City, MO 64132 816.595.1234 | www.KansasCityZoo.org
NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID KANSAS CITY, MO #4831 Let’s Get Social! LOOK INSIDE! ZOO MISSION: The Kansas City Zoo connects people to each other and the natural world to promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation. OPEN DAILY!
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November-February 9:30am – 4pm
CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day & Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Red Panda Cubs!