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

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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.

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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