Dane County Henry Vilas Zoo Invites Public to Celebrate Community Night and Catapalooza

May 13, 2019
Joseph Darcangelo 608-266-4732
County Executive

Community Night Taking Place on May 15, Followed by Catapalooza on May 18; Zoo Run Wild Registration Now Open

The Dane County Henry Vilas Zoo is hosting two events this week to celebrate its community and raise awareness for its feline family members. On Wednesday, May 15 zoo buildings will remain open until 7:30pm and zoo grounds will remain open until 8:00pm to celebrate Community Night and allow visitors more time to enjoy the zoo’s offerings. Community Night will be followed by Catapalooza, taking place on Saturday, May 18, to highlight conservation efforts for the zoo’s feline friends.

Community Night is a revamping of Member Night and is a chance for the public to have some magical evening hours at the zoo. The carousel, Glacier Grille, and gift shop will all remain open until 7:30pm. Highlights of the night will include keeper talks at many of the zoo’s exhibits—including bears, otters, and seals.

“We couldn’t be more thankful for the love and support given by our community,” said Ronda Schwetz, Director of Dane County’s Henry Vilas Zoo. “We wish to share our appreciation by giving the community a night to enjoy the zoo, our animals, and meet some of our amazing staff by having a later close on Community Night.”

Following its community celebration, Dane County’s Henry Vilas Zoo will host Catapalooza. During this big cat conservation day on May 18, visitors will be able to admire the zoo’s African lions, Amur tiger, and learn more about how the keepers takes care of them at the zoo. A full list of scheduled activities can be found below:

Time                            Event

12:00-3:30pm              Conservation Table (Near the Amur Tiber Exhibit)
                                    Enrichment Crafting (Near the North American Porcupine Exhibit)
                                    Thumbprint Pledge (Near the Viewing Glass at the Tiger and Lion Exhibits)

12:30pm                      Amur Tiger Keeper Chat and Training

1:00pm                        Story Time (Near the North American Porcupine Exhibit)

1:30pm                        Amur Tiger Enrichment

2:30pm                        African Lion Keeper Chat and Training

3:00pm                        Story Time (Near the North American Porcupine Exhibit)

Henry Vilas Zoo enthusiasts can also begin registering for Zoo Run Wild. Taking place on September 29, members of the public will be able to run 10K or 5K distances at the zoo, and children can participate in the Wild Child Fun Run. This year’s Zoo Run Wild theme is all about community, and participants will be able write down why they are running in the race—whether it be for animal conservation, the future of a certain species, or a favorite zoo animal. Those interested in running can now register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/WI/Madison/TheMadisonZooRun.