CONTACT: L.A. Zoo Press

January 8, 2021

The Los Angeles Zoo was deeply saddened to learn the news of the passing of former Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge last night. Tom was more than just our representative of the Fourth Council District for 14 years. Tom was a champion of the Zoo and one of our biggest advocates at City Hall and in the community. While Tom left office in 2015, he remained a beloved part of the Zoo family, routinely visiting the Zoo and continuing to provide incredible support and advocate for our mission, our animals, and our staff and volunteers. Like us, Tom believed in the Zoo as an oasis for recreation and discovery, a place where children can experience nature and wildlife up close and right in their own community. Tom himself frequented the Zoo often, and he was quick to tell anyone he came across about the wonderful work being done to save animals from extinction at their Los Angeles Zoo.

“While the entire community knows Tom LaBonge as ‘Mr. Los Angeles,’ a title deeply representative of his love for the City and its people, the Los Angeles Zoo is lucky to forever call him a most precious friend and eternal member of the Zoo family,” said Denise M. Verret, CEO & zoo director of the Los Angeles Zoo.

About the Los Angeles Zoo

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing more than 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,400 animals representing 270 different species, 58 of which are endangered. Its lush grounds on 133 acres feature various plant species from around the world and California including many rare and endangered species. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $22 for adults and $17 for children ages 2 to 12. The L.A. Zoo is closed until further notice in conformance with the Governor’s Regional Stay Home Order to help slow the spread of coronavirus. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo website at www.lazoo.org.