The Great Plains Zoo’s annual Jungle Jubilee fundraiser is always a wild time, but this year’s event was even more fun-filled and successful than ever before!

A big congratulations to Zoo President and CEO Elizabeth Whealy, Kylee Breems, and all the Great Plains zoo team of employees and volunteers!

On Thursday (August 2) more than 300 people gathered to eat, drink and bid for a great cause, the Zoo’s upcoming new Great Plains Zoo Lion Exhibit! The crowd bid on unique experiences, like Name a Baby Squirrel Monkey or treat your kids to a Buggy Breakfast complete with a peek at the Zoo’s diet kitchen, a sampling of edible buggy delights, meeting some of the Zoo’s bug eaters (birds, lizards and who knows what else!), with a grand finale of actually feeding the Giant Anteater!

Jungle Jubilee Great Plains Zoo
Ben Davis

The best news is that the event raised more than $140,000 for the Zoo and its mission to connect kids with animals and to save important species.

One of the most interesting parts of the evening was hearing about the Zoo’s work to save species here at home, like healing injured raptors, and around the world.

Janelle Brandt, the Zoo’s Veterinary Technician, told the crowd about her recent trip to Madagascar to help save almost 11,000 endangered Radiated Tortoises that were confiscated from an illegal trade operation in Madagascar. With the support of the Zoo, Janelle spent about two weeks there, providing medical care to these animals and bringing them back to good health.

Janelle Brandt / Great Plains Zoo
Janelle Brandt / Great Plains Zoo

Patty and I have been ravenous supporters of our Great Plains Zoo and Jungle Jubilee for years, and we are very excited in anticipation of Sioux Falls welcoming a whole pride of Lions!

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