Denver Zoo entices children to raise $7 million for its new elephant exhibit, Asian Tropics

The Denver Zoo is $7 million short of the $50 million it needs to complete its biggest project ever: Asian Tropics, a new exhibit that will house up to twelve endangered Asian elephants. And to reach its goal, the zoo has zeroed in on a category of philanthropists who are equal parts adorable and persuasive, and are also known to occasionally pee their pants: little children.

Starting on March 13, which just so happens to be National Elephant Day, the zoo will kick off its Kid's Campaign. Zoo-folk (along with Young Americans Bank, 3550 East 1st Avenue) will hand out "ele" banks to all adorable/persuasive children and encourage them to collect/panhandle for coins to fill it up.

All children who return their banks by September 1 will receive a poster of the two elephants who currently live at the zoo, Mimi and Dolly. While supplies last, that is.

The adorable/pants-peeing children routine works. Take Girl Scout cookies, for example. Sure, Tagalongs are delicious -- but even if they weren't, how could you say no to the gap-toothed, badge-earning niece of the step-brother of the lady who works in sales?

The zoo knows this first-hand. As Craig Piper, zoo CEO, explained last month on a tour of the half-completed Asian Tropics, children helped the zoo acquire its first elephant, Cookie, in 1950 using many of the same persuasive/begging techniques.

Denver Zoo entices children to raise $7 million for its new elephant exhibit, Asian Tropics
Denver Zoo

Here's hoping the elephants who live in Asian Tropics are less depressed than Cookie, who looks like she may break into a rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues" any second.

Make, make that money, kids!

More from our News archive: "Denver Zoo: Which baby animal is the cutest?!?"

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