Mayor Garcetti Joins Senator Portantino to Celebrate $2.2M State Funding for Los Angeles Zoo

Friday, August 12 2022

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2022

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Mayor Garcetti Joins Senator Portantino to Celebrate $2.2M State Funding for Los Angeles Zoo


Glendale, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank), the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), and the Los Angeles Zoo were joined by Mayor Eric Garcetti today during a press conference to celebrate the allocation of $2.2 million from the 2022-2023 State Budget to support Los Angeles Zoo biodiversity and renovation projects.  The projects are set to benefit the protection of endangered species and the development of more accessible and inclusive facilities.  The funding was a result of a Portantino budget request on behalf of the Zoo.

“Thank you to everyone who joined us today - a great day for the LA Zoo, the City of Los Angeles, and the State of California, as we celebrate 2.2 million dollars that I am proud to have secured in this year’s state budget for one of our city’s most iconic institutions.  The funds being allocated represent a major step forward for the Zoo, marking the first time in its long history that it will receive budgetary funds from the State of California,” stated Senator Portantino.  “I would like to thank Mayor Garcetti for his commitment to the mission of the Zoo, as well as the Tom Jacobson with the Greater LA Zoo Association and Zoo Director Denise Verret for their partnership and leadership.  Animal welfare is at the heart of the Zoo’s guiding principles, so there is no project more important than making sure every necessary resource is available to support this effort.”

“The LA Zoo is a gateway to wonder, conservation, and connection with the animals and ecosystems that surround us,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These funds will serve to not only further projects in the zoo but improve inclusivity and accessibility for everyone in the city and beyond. Thank you to Senator Portantino for his support.”

The funds from the 2022-2023 Budget will be used for the Angela Collier Garden’s state-of-the-art design elements and drought-tolerant native plants, the creation of the Cape Vulture Exhibit for vulnerable species, the renovation of the Swan Lake Exhibit, and a study to develop design guidelines to construct more accessible and inclusive restrooms thought the Zoo.

"The generous inclusion of the L.A. Zoo in the state's budget will positively impact the animals in our care and our greater community," said Denise M. Verret, CEO & Zoo Director for the Los Angeles Zoo.  "This is the first time in our history that State budget funds have been provided to the Zoo.  Senator Portantino’s leadership and long-standing support of the Zoo, along with our partnership with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association has yielded the Zoo $2.2 Million in state funding to improve animal welfare with upgraded exhibits, enhance outdoor spaces for our guests and provide us with the tools to create an inclusive space for all Angelenos.  We look forward to creating a place where people and wildlife thrive together, and we cannot thank the Senator enough for this incredible support."

"With one of the highest annual attendances of all cultural organizations in our city, the Los Angeles Zoo is a flagship educational and conservation resource for our local community and all the people of California,” stated GLAZA President Tom Jacobson.  “We are deeply grateful for the $2.2 million allocation in the state budget that acknowledges the Zoo's leadership in saving the California condor and other iconic species from extinction. Our partnership with Senator Portantino and his advocacy on behalf of GLAZA and the Zoo mean the world to us, and to the Angelenos–of all species–that will benefit from these animal welfare and guest experience improvements supported by the State of California. We particularly look forward to celebrating with everyone in the Angela Collier Garden when this beautiful education and event space is completed.”

 The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens opened on November 28, 1966. The Zoo receives 1.8 million visitors per year and is home to more than 2,200 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. With over 270 different species, 58 of which are endangered, it also houses a botanical collection of planted gardens, as well as 800 different plant species with 7,000 individual plants.