2024 PreZooDent Candidates Announced

In preparation of the upcoming President’s Day, the Utica Zoo is announcing the 2024 candidates for their Pre-Zoo-Dential Election.

Five animals are taking their chances to become the Pre-zoo-dent of the Utica Zoo. This election will decide the zoo’s next animal-leader who will showcase the important role of animal ambassadors and the zoo is looking to the public to help them decide the winner. In 2023, the community voted for Mei Lin, the Red Panda, as the first-ever PreZooDent of the Utica Zoo.

Beginning on January 8, the general public can start supporting their favorite candidate’s attempt to win the title by making donations to their election campaigns online. For every $10 donated, their candidate will receive five extra votes. Official voting will take place in-person at the Utica Zoo from February 17-19, visitors will receive a voting ballot with admission. The winner will be decided on February 19 in recognition of President’s Day, and announced on February 20. All donations to the campaigns will be used to support the zoo’s animal care fund.

The five candidates who joined the campaign trail are:

  • Tate, the Pallas’s Cat: Representing the North Trek Trail, Tate may look grumpy, but this cat is ready to “Tate” one for the team! Tate would like more peace and quiet, especially from those noisy gibbons!
  • Furlow, the Bactrian Camel: Representing Asian Realm, Furlow would really prefer if everyone would slow it down, and stop being so wasteful. He encourages visitors and animals alike to go a few days without needing water, a task much easier for him. He may have been relaxing for a while, but Furlow is ready to get “Bactrain” the game!
  • Dooku, the White-Handed Gibbon: Representing Forever Forests, Dooku is the youngest candidate in the race, but he’s confident that he’s learned all he needs to know from his dad, Yoda, but he’s not afraid of going to the Dark Side to get what he wants.
  • Briar, the North American River Otter: Representing Backyards and Barnyards, Briar may be new to the scene, but she’s got a strong campaign partner supporting her. Lily, her counterpart, isn’t afraid to “weasel” her way into Briar’s campaign to win the support of the voters.
  • Boomer, the Ostrich: Representing African Ridge, “feather” you like him or not, Boomer is ready to stick his neck out for the Utica Zoo.

“We’re really excited to bring back the Pre-zoo-dent election at the Utica Zoo,” Allie Snyder, Director of Communication and Engagement at the Utica Zoo said. “It’s a great way for our community to get to know some of our animals a little better, as well as rally some support as we continue through the winter months.”

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The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 8/3 for BREWFEST and will reopen with normal hours on 8/4!