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Bring Bucky Home Merchandise

Bring Bucky Home!

Following a record-breaking year in 2015 with the opening of our highly anticipated Arctic Passage and welcoming nearly 1 million visitors, Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo is excited to announce a campaign to create a Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit. With your help, this exhibit will open in the fall of 2016 and will pay tribute to Wisconsin's proud history as a mining state, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the sandhill crane.

About the Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit

When completed, the Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit will honor Wisconsin's proud mining history and will include special story walls dedicated to the state's history, Bucky Badger and sandhill cranes. It will feature fun and educational opportunities such as a badger sett (den) crawl that will allow guests the opportunity to get up close to our badgers, Kaminsky and Dekker. This state of the art exhibit will give our guests, particularly children, the opportunity to connect with these animals and learn about them and their place in Badger State history.

The Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit will also feature another native Wisconsin species, the sandhill crane. Through a partnership with the International Crane Foundation, the exhibit will provide a home for cranes that cannot be returned to the wild and will tell a success story about the sandhill crane's fight for survival and how zoos work to save animals from extinction.

Help Make the Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit a Reality and Get Your Donation Matched!

To complete this new, state of the art exhibit, we need your help! To help raise the remainder of funds for the new Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit, Pam and George Hamel of Hamel Family Wines have offered to MATCH all donations to the Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit up to $125,000! Their generous offer can essentially DOUBLE your donation to this exciting new exhibit.

Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit Donor Wall Naming Opportunities

Information on all donor recognition and naming opportunities for the Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit is available by calling Friends of the Henry Vilas Zoo at (608) 258-9490. All donations at the $250 level and above will also be recognized on our Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit donor wall as spaces remain available. Donations currently being received will be added to the donor wall later in the year after the exhibit opens. For information on all naming opportunities, please click here. For questions and assistance about the donor wall, please contact Shelly Torkelson at or (608)258-9490 ext 12.

"Bring Bucky Home" T-Shirts

Special, limited-edition baseball tees featuring our mining badger logo are available for purchase here. 100% of your purchase goes back to helping us raise the remainder of funds for our new Heritage Exhibit!

*donations raised over the cost of the exhibit will go towards general zoo operations


Help us score the winning basket!

*amount raised as of September 16th, 2016

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