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Whoa “Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are announcing the dissolution of our partnership.”


via FONZ

Thanks to all who passed on the news from FONZ:

“Today, Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are announcing the dissolution of our partnership.

For nearly 63 years, FONZ has been a valued partner of the Zoo, with a team dedicated to providing educational and fun experiences, such as Boo at the Zoo and summer camps, and managing a number of services, from greeting guests to running the retail stores. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had continued financial impacts on both FONZ and the National Zoo, which required a re-assessment of the longstanding relationship.

Your support–whether you’ve attended an event like Brew at the Zoo, signed up for a camp, or donated money–has been vital to our success over the past six decades.

Please know that this was not a decision that we made lightly. We recognize that you may have questions; we’ve prepared a set of FAQs that discuss the big questions, as well as questions regarding education programs, events, and membership.

We will be leaving the Zoo, but we’re not dissolving. We’re reinventing. We remain so committed to our vision and mission, and we will continue our work–in a new way–to help protect endangered wildlife and to provide inspiring educational opportunities. We don’t know what form that will take, but we’re actively exploring our options now.

We hope you’ll join us in the future. As always, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ll share more about FONZ’s next steps soon.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

All my best,

Lynn Mento
Executive Director, Friends of the National Zoo”

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“Have you heard the buzz? FONZ Memberships are transitioning to Smithsonian’s National Zoo Memberships! As a member of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, you form the backbone of our institution through your partnership and support. Join today and help us in our mission to save species through science, education and global conservation work.”

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