Contact: Laura Stegman, (310) 470-6321
Month-long Betty White birthday celebrations conclude as TV Land partners with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and names the Zoo's baby orangutan after her "Hot in Cleveland" character "Elka"
TV Land, which airs the "Hot In Cleveland" television series starring Betty White, has made an arrangement with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) and named the Los Angeles Zoo's new baby orangutan after White's character "Elka," it was announced by GLAZA President Connie Morgan and TV Land President Larry W. Jones. The gift concludes a spectacular string of events celebrating the 90th birthday of GLAZA Co-Chairman White, known for her 50 years of devotion to the Los Angeles Zoo and her life-long commitment to animals.
"How appropriate that the most beautiful baby orangutan ever is named for my 'Hot in Cleveland' character Elka Ostrovsky," said White, tongue-in-cheek. "I'm truly thrilled that TV Land's generous contribution is supporting my beloved Los Angeles Zoo."
"TV Land's generous birthday gift to Betty superbly acknowledges her work as a tireless animal advocate by supporting the GLAZA’s mission of nurturing wildlife and enriching the human experience," says Morgan. "We are deeply grateful."
Says Jones, “TV Land chose to name this baby orangutan after Betty White’s character, “Elka,” because they are both so adorable and cuddly! We know animals, and the important work of the Los Angeles Zoo is so important to Betty so we are thrilled to present her with this gift."
GLAZA's vital Animal Naming conservation program allows groups and individuals an opportunity to develop a deeper connection with a Los Angeles Zoo resident while supporting the Zoo's work to promote wildlife preservation and breeding projects at the Zoo and around the world. Many animals are available for naming with donations ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 commensurate with the animal species chosen.
Elka, a Bornean orangutan, is the second baby for the Zoo’s female Bornean orangutan, Kalim and father Minyak, one of two orangutan males at the Zoo. Orangutans are native to the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In the Malay language orang means person and utan means forest. Decked out in long, shaggy, orange-red hair, orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling mammals. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered. In the last 60 years, it’s estimated that there has been more than a 50 percent decline in the orangutan population. This decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss.
For nearly five decades, the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, founded in 1963, has funded exhibits, plant and animal species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs at the Los Angeles Zoo, an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. GLAZA also builds and invests endowment funds and operates five essential departments on behalf of the Zoo, including development, publications, membership, volunteers and oversight of the Zoo's food/retail concessions. There are currently 72,000 GLAZA member households representing more than 300,000 adults and children, the largest membership base of a cultural organization in Los Angeles, and a volunteer corps of over 700.
The cast of “Hot in Cleveland” has been honored with several awards and accolades including Betty White’s second Screen Actors Guild Award® win for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role as “Elka.” White was also nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The series was awarded a Creative Arts Emmy® Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series (Michael Andrew Hynes and Maralee Zediker) and recently won a People’s Choice Award for “Cable TV Comedy.” “Hot in Cleveland airs on Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/PT on TV Land and can also be seen around the world in over 165 countries.
For information about the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Animal Naming Program, call (323) 644-4781.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.
For general information, call (323) 644-4200.