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June 30, 2015: The Friends of Santa Ana Zoo Receives $500,000 Gift from Local Resident
Longtime supporter and friend makes generous donation to the Santa Ana Zoo's conservation and education programs

The Friends of Santa Ana Zoo (FOSAZ), the non-profit support organization for the Zoo, today announced it has received a gift of more than $500,000 from one of its long-time Zoo members and supporters.

A resident of Orange County and Zoo member since 1997, this wonderful individual continually gave back to the Zoo by "adopting" animals and donating gifts to fund various animal care projects and education programs, and was a familiar face at the Zoo's annual fundraising gala Zoofari.

"We're honored to celebrate the life of a dear friend and wonderful advocate for the Santa Ana Zoo, and want to say thank you for sharing your heart and your success with the Zoo," says Cathi Decker, Executive Director, FOSAZ. "We are so appreciative to the local residents and FOSAZ members who continue to give to the community and commemorate their love for the Zoo through generous monetary donations, contributions and continued attendance."

To further support the Zoo's conservation and education programs, FOSAZ developed the Zoo Heritage Society endowment fund through the Orange County Community Foundation in 2014. A percentage of this gift will go to the Zoo's endowment program and help fund the Zoo's continued compliance with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' high standards for accredited zoos.

"The Santa Ana Zoo is so grateful for this gift," says David Exline, Board President, FOSAZ. "The home of the 50 monkeys has become a destination for thousands thanks to the support of our donors, as well as the continued contributions and advocacy of Orange County's leaders, the community, FOSAZ members, Zoo employees and guests."

The Santa Ana Zoo is home to more than 150 animals, including 50 of the most interesting and engaging monkeys and several endangered species, like the Golden Lion Tamarins. The gates open daily from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and children 3-12 years. Children under 3 are free. The Conservation Carrousel Rides are $3 each and Zoofari Express Train Rides are $4 each, and combo tickets are $6 each. Children under 2 are free to ride with paid adult on the Train and adults standing with children on the Carrousel are free.

Camel Enclosure at the Zoo built by Eagle Scout Candidate

The camels at the Santa Ana Zoo needed a rain and shade structure for their new camel exhibit. Mariah and Lou Lou are Dromedary (one hump) camels who have been at the Zoo since last summer. The camels are very popular with Zoo guests, but they needed an appropriate shelter for bad weather. During the rainy months, they can get very dirty and muddy.

Hayden Hall, Eagle Scout Candidate, took on the project with gusto! He grew up near the Zoo and has fond memories of his visits. When asked he said, "there was no doubt where I would do my Eagle Project" when this opportunity came up. He recruited, coordinated and organized volunteers to design and construct the 12-foot tall, 450-square-foot rain and shade structure that complies with the AZA and USDA requirements. Hayden was singularly responsible for all of the fundraising to cover the costs of the materials as well.

Hayden Hall is with Boy Scout Troop 36 and completed the project on Feb. 15, 2011 in hopes to qualify for the coveted Eagle Scout Status. The camels are currently enjoying their new "oasis," and can be seen during regular Zoo hours.

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