By Leah Lerner
Cuddly animals are a universal language. But zoos are for more than cooing over fuzzy-wuzzies. They rescue injured animals, educate the public and help preserve endangered species.
How Can You Help?
Donate to your favorite species or zoo. Volunteer to be a docent. "Adopt" an animal, name it, or even donate your car for a tax deduction.
Every little bit can add up to massive movements that could literally save a species from extinction. Some of the biggest zoo fundraisers and cool programs:
LA Zoo Beastly Ball » Celebs like Slash and Betty White draw cash with star wattage.
Zoo Atlanta Beastly Feast » Help keep their track record of raising $1 million for 15 years running.
Houston Zoo Feast with the Beasts » Big acts like the B-52s help support 6,000 animals.
San Diego Zoo Wish List » Purchase much-needed items from $5-5,000. 95% goes directly to the item.
Shedd Aquarium Matching Program » Maximize your impact with a double or triple donation match.
Zoo Atlanta Bamboo Donation » Help the zoo feed their giant pandas' 220-pound-a-day habit.