Henry Vilas Zoological Society: Search is on for historic first visitors of Henry Vilas Zoo

(Madison, WI, March 15, 2011) To help celebrate Henry Vilas Zoo’s 100th birthday, Executive Director, Boris Frank, is looking for Madison-area residents who were the first visitors of the Zoo when it opened in 1911.

“There must be some centenarians still living in the Madison area who remember those earliest days when the most thrilling exhibit was five white tailed deer,” said Boris Frank, Executive Director of the Friends of the Zoo. “We would like to recognize them as Honorary Founding Members and record their memories of those historic times when the Vilas family established what has become one of the finest small zoos in the World, with over 725,000 visitors annually enjoying its animal exhibits in one of the few, no –admission, free parking, ADA accredited zoos nationwide.”

2011 will see the opening of the new Children’s Barn and ground breaking for the much-anticipated Arctic Passage, devoted to saving the polar bear from extinction. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, running through Labor Day weekend, 100 days will be devoted to celebrating the Zoo’s 100 years, with special events and activities every day, kicking off with an all-day free Zoo Century Birthday Party on May 28th.

Any interested Honorary Founding Members candidates should contact Boris at The Friends of the Zoo at (608) 258-9490 or [email protected].

The Friends of the Zoo’s purpose is to build community support and provide funding for Henry Vilas Zoo improvements. This includes the acquisition, conservation, and replacement of animals; refurbishing and creating new exhibits; supporting educational programs; and improving the overall educational and recreational value of the zoo.

For more information, please contact Anna Reynolds at 608.258.9490 or [email protected].