Home / Blog / Zoo Update with Zoo Director and CEO Denise M. Verret – April 2024

Zoo Update with Zoo Director and CEO Denise M. Verret – April 2024

A group of small, black and white-striped fish float among green plants.
The Zoo just welcomed this new school of South American striped leporinus fish. Find them in the LAIR in the piranha tank. Photo by Jamie Pham

As we welcome the gentle embrace of spring, I find myself filled with a sense of rejuvenation and optimism. After enduring a winter of unprecedented rainfall and atmospheric rivers, the promise of spring’s rebirth feels particularly poignant this year. As the warmth of sunshine returns to Los Angeles, so too do we embrace the opportunity for renewal and regrowth.

I am thrilled to share with you some exciting developments for the season at the Los Angeles Zoo. This spring we will launch Project Pollinator, an endeavor by our Conservation Committee, community partners, dedicated staff, and passionate volunteers. Through this initiative, we are creating native gardens and restoring habitats in and around the Zoo to provide refuge for our cherished migratory birds, bees, butterflies, and other native wildlife. These vibrant micro-habitats not only enrich our surroundings, but also serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to conservation with an emphasis on local and migratory species in our region.

In alignment with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)’s Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) programs for North American songbirds and monarch butterflies, Project Pollinator embodies our belief that everyone can play a role in preserving our fragile ecosystems. We are excited to announce that activities introducing Project Pollinator to our members and guests will be part of our Wild for the Planet celebrations this April. We invite you all to join us in fostering a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come.

Spring also heralds the start of another California condor breeding season, a long-standing program that has become a cornerstone of our conservation efforts. I am delighted to share that the condors in our care have already produced 15 eggs this year, with the first chick having emerged on March 2. This remarkable achievement underscores the vital role that the Los Angeles Zoo and our partners play in safeguarding this and other endangered species and the continued work toward restoring populations in the wild.

Finally, a reminder to please enjoy the new programming by our Learning & Engagement team that we announced last month, aimed at enriching your Zoo experience. Curated programming includes long-standing favorites like the World of Birds Show and troop talks at the chimpanzee habitat with new activities like condor spotting, nature journaling, morning birding in the aviary, and more. The diverse array of activities is designed to captivate and engage visitors of all ages. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply seeking a fun day out with your family, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

As we embrace the spirit of spring, let us not only revel in the beauty of nature’s renewal, but also recommit ourselves to the stewardship of our planet. Together, we are achieving our mission of saving wildlife, enriching our communities, and creating connections to nature. Thank you for your continued support of the Los Angeles Zoo.

Denise M. Verret, Zoo Director and CEO