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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Pueblo Zoo Offers Endless Opportunities

The Pueblo Zoo entrance at 3455 Nuckolls Ave, Pueblo, CO 81005. Photo by Holly Ward.
A peacock strolls freely within the Pueblo Zoo pathways. Photo by Holly Ward.
The “Man of Names” lion sculpture is mounted to the wall supporting the Pueblo Zoo development fund. Photo by Holly Ward.

The Pueblo Zoo was founded in 1934 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since part of the facilities was constructed during the Great Depression through the Works Progress Administration.

Located in City Park on Nuckolls Avenue, the facilities are owned by the city of Pueblo. Since 1992, the Pueblo Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization, has managed the zoo. Therefore, the zoo must fundraise constantly as a nonprofit.

“Animals are very expensive to care for, feed, and clean up after,” said Sandy Morrison, the associate director of resource development for the Pueblo Zoo. 

Morrison has worked at the Pueblo Zoo for a year and a half and leads her development team in fundraising, events, marketing and public relations.

“This is a small, walkable zoo that is family-friendly and very affordable. To have something like this in such a small community is just something that really helps to promote the education and conservation of animals,” Morrison said.

Despite its offerings, many people remain unaware that Pueblo has a zoo, including the opportunities and events it provides for the community.

A popular event the zoo puts on is its annual ElectriCritters. It is a different type of atmosphere that allows guests to see the zoo in a different light. The event begins after Thanksgiving and runs up until Christmas. Guests can visit the zoo lit with Christmas lights shaped like animals and enjoy hot chocolate. 

This will be the Pueblo Zoo’s 31st year of ElectriCritters. Morrison said it has become a tradition for many families. It is an excellent opportunity to bring extended friends and family visiting Pueblo to the zoo.

What makes the Pueblo Zoo different from other zoos in Colorado is its smaller layout, but also flat, walkable grounds that allow visitors to see the animals up close.

“We don’t have the big animals like you’re going to find at Cheyenne Mountain or at Denver, but we have a lot of small, unique animals that you’re not going to find. For example, we are the only zoo in the state that has red pandas,” Morrison said.

The Pueblo Zoo is always in search of volunteers. Anyone interested in signing up to volunteer and choose what they would like to do to help can do so through the zoo’s website.

“I think we just have a lot of really great opportunities for our community and for students, and we really just try and promote that education and that conservation,” Morrison said.

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