By Leah Lerner & Gregg Rosenzweig
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:
Houston Zoo Ball»
This year's "Viva! Zoo Vegas!" stars showgirls, gaming and even a Flamingo Nightclub that may just have a flamingo at it. Friday, April 20, 2012.
Zoo Atlanta Beastly Feast »
Help keep their track record of raising $1 million for 15 years running. Saturday, May, 5, 2012.
Kansas City Zoo's JAZZOO »
The zoo's largest fundraiser designed to feed more than 1,000 hungry animals and a cash-starved zoo. Friday, June 1, 2012.
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.