In the Community – The Phoenix Zoo

The Thunderbirds and Thunderbirds Charities has reached out to our amazing charity partners to help spread their messages to the local communities they serve, rally support and secure vital resources so they may continue to help as much as they can. They are on the front lines doing everything in their power to brighten the lives of so many facing overwhelming obstacles during these trying times.

As part of their “In the Community Conversations,” Waste Management Phoenix Open 2021 Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins caught up with Bert Castro, Executive Director of The Phoenix Zoo, to discuss current challenges and how the community can help.

“Obviously, with the zoo being closed for business, it’s been a really tough time,” Castro said. “I know we’re not the only ones that have gone through this. We have about 3,000 animals we have to take care of and we make about 5,000 meals a day for those animals. It’s a very, very large infrastructure and facility, so it takes a whole lot to keep the zoo going.”

With the park closed, The Phoenix Zoo has incorporated digital and virtual tools to bring the animals and learning environment to children and parents who want to learn.

“We’re currently doing a Digital Safari at the zoo,” said Castro. “We do a live safari and we take people [virtually] to areas of the zoo they may not normally ever get an opportunity to go. There’s also a lot of activities for kids on our website, educational activities, you can keep your kids busy with and so it’s just a great way to keep in touch with the zoo.”

Castro touched on the incredible learning aspect provided by The Phoenix Zoo and how their community outreach has touched so many young learners in Arizona.

“We actually go to kids [who can’t come to the zoo],” said Castro. “We have a Zoo Mobile, several vans that go throughout the state of Arizona and visit schools – mostly in rural Arizona. And we bring our science programs to kids there. So, we have a very large reach here at The Phoenix Zoo and we try to reach every corner of the state through that program.”

How you can help The Phoenix Zoo right now:

“We have an animal relief fund where people can go to our website and donate to the zoo,” said Castro. “We’ve also got adopt an animal programs where people can adopt an animal for a year and help feed that animal for a year. Becoming a volunteer at The Phoenix Zoo is also something that would be really cool. There’s quite a bit that people can do to hep out the zoo.” Visit The Phoenix Zoo’s website | Donate to The Phoenix Zoo

Wildlife Champions program – The Zoo’s adopt/sponsor an animal program is a great way to support the Zoo during this time. Choosing from a wide variety of animals to support such as lion and eagle to elephant and stingray, Wildlife Champion packages vary in price from $25 to $1,000 with specific offerings as well. Adopt/Sponsor an Animal

Tune in to the Zoo’s Digital Safari! We are committed to upholding our mission of providing experiences that inspire and motivate people to care for the natural world. In order to do this, stay close to our website and social channels for updates about our status as well as LIVE educational programming, virtual safaris and an abundance of cute photos and videos of animals, behind-the-scenes caretaking by our keepers, and in-depth stories of the Zoo and our amazing residents!