While we love the four seasons of our park’s home on the Kansas plains, caring for animals during the winter when the park is closed is our biggest financial challenge each year. Our annual cost to provide for our hundreds of animals is nearly $600,000, with not a penny coming from government funding.
This figure grew when we rushed to the aid of another zoo destroyed by a flood in 2011, adopting their entire big cat collection into our family literally overnight, including two lions, two Amur leopards, a Bengal tiger and an Amur tiger, with the exception of the lions (and only by a thread), all endangered in the wild. With them came three reticulated giraffes, as we were one of the only zoos in the country able to offer the unique type of habitat they need.
This stretched our young zoo’s budget past its limits, prompting us to set aside a special Tanganyika Winter Fund as part of our 501(c)(3) efforts. With the help of donations from the community and our growing fundraising events, the many endangered and at-risk animals in our care, including our newest family members, will continue to thrive, furthering our bigger mission of preserving these magnificent animals in the wild for generations to come.