Conservation Efforts at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

Around the Globe

Helping to Save the Mountain Gorilla

In 2006 Happy Hollow Park & Zoo established a commitment to work with a group of Park Rangers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Park Rangers are the frontline of protection for the last remaining populations of Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park. Park Rangers are pitted against well-armed professional poachers hunting for ivory and bushmeat, and bands of rebel insurgents. Over the last several years, over 140 Rangers have died in the line of duty. When we first began working with the Rangers in 2006 they were poorly supplied and paid (sadly, they hadn't been paid a salary in over nine years) - yet they continued to do their best to defend the Virunga National Park, home to the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas.

There are approximately 800 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world, located in two separate locations: The Virunga range on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda, and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. 

Happy Hollow Staff, with our nonprofit partner Happy Hollow Foundation, is committed to providing support for these Rangers.

Over the last several years, through various fundraisers, we have:

  • Provided salaries for Rangers who had not been paid in almost 10 years, yet continued to perform their incredibly dangerous job
  • Purchased Ranger uniforms and boots for protection out on patrol
  • Improved the water sanitation system at Bukima patrol post in the gorilla sector, which houses 17 guards and uses a 20-year-old well in which the water was filthy.
  • Provided tents and rations for patrols
  • Restocked the pharmacy at the park headquarters, which serves the Rangers and their families.
  • We've sent funds to help toward the purchase of a surveillance plane. Surveillance is becoming increasingly important as the pressures on the park and on the Rangers increase. It's impossible to manage a park as big and as complicated as Virunga without adequate aerial support for surveillance, medical evacuations and for logistics. Of course, the primary purpose is to get law enforcement teams in place rapidly when poachers are located.
  • In 2012, we were asked by the Rangers to support the widows of the men who have lost their lives while serving. Although one might think a ranger’s biggest fear is death, what most rangers fear most is that their widows and orphaned children will be abandoned and left destitute in a society that cannot care for them.
  • Last years funds purchased much needed Land Rovers to help jump start tourism to the Park. 

To get an even better understanding of who the Rangers are, below are two links to videos they have sent us.
Congo Rangers message 2011
Congo Rangers message 2012


Cheetah Conservation Fund

The Cheetah Conservation Fund is internationally recognized center of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people. Learn More.

Belize Audubon SocietyBelize Audubon Society

We support the efforts of the Belize Audubon Society in protecting the habitats of jaguars in the wild through preservation of habitat and education of the local populations and surrounding communities.  Funds collected from the donation box located outside the Jaguar Exhibit are sent to Belize Audubon Society to help protect the habitats of jaguars in the wild. 

Help Save Orangutans by Donating Your Old Cell Phones

Happy Hollow has been collecting old cellular phones for over 8 years and has kept over 15,000 cellular phones out of landfills! Donate your old cell phone and pages, and help critically endangered Orangutans in Indonesia. Learn More

Drop-Off Locations for CFL's

Download List


In Your Own Backyard

Species Survival PlanSpecies Survival Plans

Zoos are responding to species decline and are leading the way in preserving animal populations. Captive breeding of threatened and endangered animals is conducted through the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The goal of each SSP is to maintain and enhance genetics in order to maintain healthy captive populations. SSPs are coordinated through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo participates in the following SSP’s:

  • Jaguar
  • Black & White Ruffed Lemur
  • Red Ruffed Lemur
  • Fossa
  • Ring-tailed Lemur

Learn more about Species Survival Plans at the
Association of Zoos & Aquariums' 

Seafood WatchSeafood Watch

Love seafood? So do we! And we like to know that it's caught or farmed in ways that support a healthy environment. Sadly, some of our favorite fish are disappearing, but other seafoods are doing fine. Your choice can make a difference to our oceans! The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Guide can help you choose seafood that's ocean friendly.

What is Seafood Watch? Seafood Watch is a Monterey Bay Aquarium program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. Based on research, they recommend which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers to become advocates for environmentally friendly seafood. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is proud to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in helping to protect and conserve our oceans and its resources. You can also call 408-794-6404 and request to have more cards mailed to you, for all your friends! Together we can make a difference for our oceans! 

Center for Ecosystem SurvivalCenter for Ecosystem Survival

Donations made via our Conservation Parking Meter, located in the lower Zoo by the parrots, go directly to in-situ conservation programs throughout the world. Visit to get involved. 

Backyard Buzz!

Without bees, there would be no strawberries, chocolate or almonds! Cotton would be hard to come by, as well as that morning cup of coffee. And medicines developed from flowering plants would be even harder to find.  Bees are having a hard time - from pesticides to ravaging diseases, bees need our help! Want to help the bees? Plant a garden. By planting your very own bee friendly garden – you can keep our friends buzzing happily along and pollinating the world’s crops. For more great facts on bees go to,

The Backyard habitat Garden in the lower Zoo has been planted to attract wildlife, in particular local bees and honey bees. Thanks to Steve Demkowski, fondly known as the “Bee Guy”, Happy Hollow now has an observation honeybee hive in the Backyard Habitat in the lower Zoo and a couple of active hives that will be producing honey soon. 

Want to plant to attract wildlife  to your yard - click here for the plant list that Happy Hollow used in the Backyard Habitat.

Backyard Habitat Backyard Habitat
View More Photos!

Planting For Wildlife

Over 79,000 new plants were added, in the renovation, to the already lush landscape of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. 

California native and drought tolerant species were chosen to compliment the local conditions and will provide habitats, shelter and food for the local wildlife, which ranges from raptors, songbirds, amphibians, bats, to beneficial insects. 

Visit the Backyard Habitat in the lower zoo for ideas on how to attract wildlife to your yard and visit our website for a list of plants that support local wildlife.

Students Create a Learning Garden



Virunga National Park  
Orangutan Conservancy  

 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan