America’s Teaching Zoo (ATZ) at Moorpark College has raised over $550,000 to build Ira’s Kingdom, a new enclosure for Ira, the Zoo’s African lion. The announcement was made Nov. 9 at Rendezvous at the Zoo, ATZ’s largest annual fundraiser.
The funds will be used to build a larger enclosure for ATZ’s 5-year-old lion to roam and play in. The project funding was made possible through the generosity of over 100 donors and a $200,000 donation from Moorpark College.
At the event, more than 270 attendees caught the first glimpse of the area where Ira’s Kingdom will be located. Attendees also enjoyed animal and student presentations, hors d’oeuvres and wine donated by Malibu Family Wines. A silent auction took place with prizes including an African safari. The event raised over $30,000, with all proceeds going toward ATZ’s Master Plan, which funds expansion projects.
“We are thankful to the community and all those who contributed to help give Ira a new home,” said Mara Rodriguez, Zoo staff at ATZ. “Ira’s Kingdom is just one of many facility improvements for our wildlife that we hope to make in the years to come.”
ATZ is home to over 130 animals and regularly acquires exotic and endangered animals as space allows. Ira’s Kingdom is just the first in a larger campaign to improve and expand accommodations for its animals. The campaign’s next project includes Rajah’s Retreat, a larger enclosure for the Zoo’s Bengal tigers.
The Zoo is open to the public from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for children and seniors. It is located on the Moorpark College campus, 7075 Campus Road, Moorpark. For additional information, call Mara Rodriguez at (805) 378-1441.
About Moorpark College
Moorpark College is one of three colleges in the Ventura County Community College District and annually serves more than 14,000 students. Founded in 1967, Moorpark College is fully accredited and has the highest six-year completion rate within the California Community College System. The Campaign for College Opportunity named Moorpark College a 2019 Champion of Higher Education for the Associate Degree for Transfer Pathway. It is also a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution. The college’s signature career/technical programs include nursing, radiologic technology, biotechnology and journalism. The college’s America’s Teaching Zoo is the only associate’s degree exotic animal training program in California. To learn more, visit MoorparkCollege.edu or follow @MoorparkCollege on social media.