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Saturday, June 25, 2022
henry vilas zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo's newest animals will come thanks to the support of donors, whose gifts will be matched up to $10,000. The fundraising effort is part of Giving Tuesday efforts nationwide. 

Vilas Zoo will add two new animals in 2016

The Henry Vilas Zoo plans to add two new animals in 2016—a young male harbor seal and an adult female orangutan—with the help of donations from the community, according to a press release.

A Friends of the Henry Vilas Zoo donor made a $10,000 matching gift that will double contributions from the community throughout Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“The community has generously supported the zoo on past Giving Tuesdays and the arrival of new animals at the zoo each year would not be possible without it,” the zoo said.

The harbor seal is native to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Orangutans, conversely, are found exclusively on islands off of southeast Asia; according to the zoo, the species faces crises that may cause their extinction.

The addition of the female orangutan reaffirms the zoo’s commitment to educating the community about preservation and the orangutan’s status as an endangered species. As a mother, she will help rear current and future infant orangutans at the zoo, helping preserve the population.

“Our future female joining [the zoo] in 2016 helps maintain a healthy population in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos,” the zoo said in the release.

The zoo’s addition of the orangutan reflects its ongoing goal to educate the community about conservation of endangered species.

“Conservation is a very important part of the zoo’s mission and these animals represent our most recent involvement in those efforts,” Ronda Schwetz, the zoo’s director, said in the release.

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