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

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

Three Grevy’s zebras stand side by side in profile.
Showing their true colors! Zebras are black with white stripes. Their skin is dark, while their hair is both dark and light, with the light hair being more plentiful. Photo by Jamie Pham.

As the summer season unfolds, I find myself reflecting on the vibrant energy that fills our Zoo during this time of year. It is a joyous occasion as families and friends come together in the warm, sunny Southern California climate to experience the wonders of wildlife and nature, and it is with great pleasure that I share the strides we are making toward our organizational mission in this season.

First and foremost, our commitment to saving wildlife remains unwavering. Through dedicated conservation efforts and partnerships, we continue to make significant strides in protecting endangered species and their habitats and in bolstering native wildlife. The 2024 season has already been an astounding success for our California condor program with a record year for egg production. Our 11 breeding pairs have produced 19 fertile eggs, and each of those that have hatched so far have produced a healthy chick that will be a candidate for release to the wild. The southern mountain yellow-legged frog program is also having a banner year of egg production, far greater than what we commonly see. The potential for a large release of mature frogs into the mountains is a distinct possibility for later this year. And the Zoo’s Project Pollinator program launched with resounding success, planting native flora that is already drawing more native fauna to our grounds. These programs and our collective efforts are contributing to the preservation of biodiversity and the safeguarding of precious ecosystems right here in our own backyards.

As we work to enrich our communities, we continue to expand and reinvent our educational programs and outreach initiatives. By engaging with schools and diverse communities and partnering with other organizations and City departments like the Los Angeles Public Library and Los Angeles Unified School District, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world through equitable access to learning opportunities. The Teen Conservation Council is in its second year; we are about to embark on another year of partnership with the LAUSD on the Migrant Education Program designed to provide learning opportunities to the families of California’s migrant farm workers; and our outreach through the L.A. Public Library system is continuing to grow.

Furthermore, creating connections to nature remains at the forefront of everything we do. We remain committed to the highest standard of animal care and wellbeing in order to facilitate a sense of awe and wonder that translates into reverence for the natural world. We also create that connection by providing enriching experiences through exhibitry and programming, engaging our audiences with the wonders of wildlife. The Zoo has expanded its onsite offerings with a menu of activities that our guests can participate in on every visit.

As I look ahead, I am filled with hope and excitement for the future. With your continued support and dedication, I am confident that we will achieve even greater milestones in our mission to save wildlife, enrich our communities, and create connections to nature. Thank you for being an integral part of our journey and for your unwavering commitment to your Los Angeles Zoo, our work, and our mission.

Denise M. Verret, Zoo Director
Denise M. Verret, Zoo Director and CEO