PRESS ROOM

Support the Grizzlies Who Call the Detroit Zoo Home This Giving Zoo Day

November 23, 2022

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

Campaign to Fund Training Wall for Bears Mike, Thor and Boo

This Giving Zoo Day, the Detroit Zoo is for the bears.

Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is dedicating Giving Zoo Day — its annual Giving Tuesday celebration — to grizzly bears Mike, Thor and Boo. The DZS is encouraging animal lovers to donate to the bears’ ongoing care on its website and social media. Guests can also donate in-person at the Detroit Zoo.

This year, donors can see their gift go twice as far, thanks to a generous offer from longtime Zoo patrons Patricia and Jerry Wagner, who will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000.

Brother bears Mike, Thor and Boo found sanctuary at the Zoo in 2011 after their mother was killed by a poacher. Because they were only a year old at the time of her death, they could not survive on their own in the wild. Since arriving at the Zoo more than a decade ago, the grizzlies have thrived, and countless visitors have found great delight in watching them grow over the years.

Proceeds from this year’s Giving Zoo Day fundraiser will support the brothers’ welfare by purchasing a bear-proof, mesh training wall that will allow Zoo staff to safely provide the bears with the care they need. This care includes eye, teeth and ear exams, blood draws and medication administration. Additionally, the mesh wall will allow Zoo veterinarians to perform medical procedures without anesthetizing the bears – a preferred practice that is better for their overall health.

The animal care team will also use the wall to encourage enrichment by teaching the bears cues so they can voluntarily participate in their healthcare. For example, when the bears follow a cue to open their mouths for examination of their teeth, they receive graham crackers as a reward. When they present their paws for blood draws or injections, they receive extra-special foods like marshmallows and honey.

“We are so pleased to celebrate Mike, Thor and Boo this Giving Zoo Day,” said Elizabeth Arbaugh, curator of mammals for the DZS. “Each donation will add to the health and enrichment for these special bears. Please be a wildlife champion and give your best gift today!”

Individuals, families and organizations can donate to the cause at detroitzoo.org/giving-tuesday.

Click here to meet Mike, Thor and Boo and learn more about how your gift can support the bears who call the Detroit Zoo home.

All