BuffaLoveFest, the Buffalo Zoo’s celebration of “Everything Buffalo” takes place on Friday, May 18, kicking off the start of the Zoo’s busy summer season.
The event offers the over-21 crowd the chance to stroll the Buffalo Zoo’s grounds on a spring evening, listen to live music and sample food and drinks from a selection of local vendors.
Pop-up stages will be set up throughout the zoo where some of our town’s popular cover bands will entertain. A variety of regional beers and wines will be available and food trucks from the growing Buffalo food truck scene will serve up local favorites. In addition, artisans who specialize in Buffalo-themed items will be exhibiting, offering a wide variety of craft-made artwork including mugs, T-shirts and lawn ornaments.
Tickets, in advance, cost $25 and include all entertainment as well as two free drink tickets. The event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
BuffaLoveFest is one of four major fundraisers the Zoo organizes each year. “All the proceeds from this event go to support the care and maintenance of the wildlife here,” says Christian Dobosiewicz, manager of communications. “Funds are also used to purchase enrichment items for the animals.”
Founded more than 140 years ago, the Buffalo Zoo houses some of the world’s most exotic and endangered wildlife. Animals are housed in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats with trees, streams, pools and other features.
As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Buffalo is one of more than 200 zoos across the country dedicated to meeting the highest standards in animal care. “The AZA sets the standards that we have to follow to be accredited every five years,” says Dobosiewicz.
At present, the Buffalo Zoo is engaged in a variety of critical conservation efforts including taking part in breeding programs for endangered species. Last year, the zoo welcomed the birth of a male ocelot. The cat used to be found throughout Texas and east to Arkansas and Louisiana, but now, because of hunting and habitat loss, is rarely found in this country. Researchers have estimated that its numbers may have dropped as low as 100 living in the U.S. today.
Two years ago, the zoo helped raise 3,100 Puerto Rican crested tadpoles, a toad species that nearly went extinct in 1980 because of habit destruction. The tadpoles were shipped back to the wild in Puerto Rico.
In the future, plans are in the works to breed the zoo’s male and female polar bear, to help boost the diminishing numbers of polar bears in the wild.
“By coming to events like this, people are directly contributing to crucial conservation efforts,” says Dobociewicz. “At the end of the year, all monies we raise will be used for support of the animals at our zoo or for donation to other conservation organizations.”
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to celebrate Buffalo and help support the animals as well. Free parking is available inside of Delaware Park. Parking in the Buffalo Zoo lot for the event will be $5 per car. Purchase BuffaLoveFest tickets online here. BuffaLoveFest is presented by Try-It Distributing with support from the Independent Health Foundation.