Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Surpasses $5 Million Raised for Conservation through its Quarters for Conservation Program

February 15, 2024

COMMUNITY EVENT – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Guests and members who visit the Zoo on Sun., March 3 can visit five conservation education booths with a Conservation Explorer Card to learn all about the Zoo’s conservation partners. Guests who visit all five booths earn a free feeding with a giraffe, budgie, chicken or goat! Animal keepers will have special conservation-themed presentations with their animals throughout the day. Advance tickets are required and available at Event details available at

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and its guests and members are celebrating a huge milestone, having raised $5 million for wildlife and wild places, since the Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation (Q4C) program launched in 2008.

Every visitor to the Zoo receives three “quarter” tokens representing the 75¢ Q4C allocation from their admission fee. They can then show support for the legacy projects they love by placing their tokens in the corresponding slots in the Q4C kiosks in the Zoo’s admissions plaza.

Before launching Q4C in 2008, CMZoo was supporting conservation, but at a fraction of what is possible now. As more people visit the Zoo each year, the Zoo can contribute more money to conservation. In the past few years, thanks to community support and the growing number of annual visitors, CMZoo collects about a million dollars every eighteen months through Q4C. The Zoo’s membership and EdVenture program participants also contribute to conservation. CMZoo’s current conservation species include giraffe, Panama frogs, orangutans, black-footed ferrets, African elephants and rhinos, Wyoming toads and Amur tigers.

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Q4C Legacy Projects
Q4C beneficiary species truly run the gamut, from 18-foot-tall giraffe in Africa to tiny toads in Wyoming.

Q4C supports Giraffe Conservation Foundation and their efforts to protect, relocate and grow wild giraffe populations. While CMZoo staff help raise awareness of giraffes’ silent extinction by inspiring guests at the Zoo, Q4C funds on-the-ground efforts and sends staff to assist with wild giraffe relocations in Africa, supporting anesthesia and moving the giraffe from threatened habitats to safer locations. Ongoing Q4C funding supports the teams who continue to monitor and protect these newly established wild populations.

Q4C also funds CMZoo’s on-site breeding programs for black-footed ferrets and Wyoming toads. These endangered prairie species were declared extinct in the wild in the 1980s and early 1990s, and are only around today because of decades of recovery efforts from zoos and partner organizations.

Wyoming toads are symbolic of so many amphibian species in decline all over the world, including Panamanian frogs, which also receive support thanks to Q4C funds and CMZoo staff support in the field. CMZoo staff members assist the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project by sharing important lessons learned from successful Wyoming toad breed-and-release efforts, and travel to Panama to help study the endangered amphibians in the wild.

CMZoo’s work to save habitats for orangutans through advocacy for sustainable palm oil production is also largely supported by Q4C. Thanks to that financial support, CMZoo’s sustainable palm oil team consults staff at other conservation organizations on starting their own palm oil programs. The CMZoo sustainable palm oil team continues to focus on international work through the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). The team was instrumental in the creation of the WAZA PalmOil Scan – a global free sustainable palm oil shopping app, which allows shoppers to scan the barcodes of items to learn whether producers have committed to using sustainable palm oil.

Through Q4C, CMZoo also supports Tsavo Trust – a conservation organization in Kenya that works to protect the last of the big tuskers, which are African elephants with tusks weighing more than 100 pounds, and Eastern black rhinos. CMZoo’s funds helped Tsavo Trust build permanent housing that allowed staff to live on the land where these critically endangered giants live. It also paid for a vehicle maintenance shop, community outreach and pilot hours for frontline aerial surveillance that protects rhinos and elephants from poachers.

The seventh Q4C legacy partner is Wildlife Conservation Society, whose dedicated staff works to protect and define secure habitats for wild Amur tigers in Eastern Russia. Amur tigers, previously known as Siberian tigers, are critically endangered. Their numbers in the wild continue to be treacherously low at around 500. CMZoo supports efforts to prevent human-wildlife conflicts as well as anti-poaching efforts and staff funding for field conservationists to study this species in the wild.

For more information about these projects and Quarters for Conservation, visit

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2023, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #4 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Since 2008, CMZoo’s Quarters for Conservation program has raised $5 million dedicated to frontline conservation efforts around the world. Of the 238 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.