I’m writing to you from a train between Amiens and Paris during a cool and rainy European spring. The Normandy and Picardy countryside is gorgeous, and it’s been wonderful to see the French commitment to living sustainably with nature through highly visible recycling and conservation programs. I had the privilege of visiting the small but impressive Zoo Amiens Métropole, where their adjacent habitats of Visayan warty pigs and Visayan deer reminded me of our own Zoo’s long-term partnership for warty pig conservation in the Philippines. And I got homesick for a Southern California spring.
As the weather in Los Angeles warms up and the days grow longer, our nights are shorter but a lot more fun. At the Los Angeles Zoo, we’re celebrating the season with more evening events than ever, including some popular festivities we haven’t hosted since before the pandemic.
Zoo Friday Nights, which debuted last summer, proved so popular we’re expanding the number of nights the Zoo is open late for this special opportunity. Most Fridays July through August, come and see many animals on view during the cooler evening hours. And music makes any night more fun, so musical offerings will be a big part of several special summer events, thanks to a generous grant from the Ray and Vera Coniff Foundation; come for high-energy cover band Flashback Heart Attack performing live during fan favorite Roaring ‘80s Night on June 16 and for GEC DJ and Street Teams and DJ Johnny Hawkes at Brew at the L.A. Zoo.
If you’re looking for that memorable date night, our Sustainable Wine+Dinner series, sponsored by City National Bank, also returns this year, running from May through August. As we make responsible choices to preserve our planet, we’re proud to partner with wineries that practice sustainability, demonstrating ways to enjoy and live in harmony with nature. These dinners always sell out, so get your tickets soon!
The most important celebration for us this summer will be the Beastly Ball on June 3. We’re excited this year to honor GLAZA Trustee Diann Kim and the late Councilmember Tom LaBonge, both leaders in wildlife conservation and in making our city a place that fosters a personal relationship with the natural world. Emceed once again by actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale, the Beastly Ball highlights the Zoo’s leadership in saving species from extinction—and happens to be the best party in town (so yes, there will be plenty of music and dancing). If you can’t make it out for the party, you can still partner in the Zoo’s worldwide efforts on behalf of animals and be a conservation leader like this year’s beloved Betty White Conservation Hero, Tom LaBonge! We hope to see you at the Zoo many evenings in the coming months.