Rendezvous at the Zoo plans to host a roaring evening


Attendants of the 2018 Rendezvous at the Zoo gather around a speaker during the festivities. Image provided by Ventura County Community College District.

By Christine Hernandez

The Exotic Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College are preparing for the 8th annual Rendezvous at the Zoo. America’s Teaching Zoo relies on this event, as it is their largest fundraiser of the year. Guests can expect animal encounters, student presentations, surprise appearances from iconic alumni and a silent auction. The event will be paired with a selection of wine from Malibu Family Wines and hors d’oeuvres.

Paige VanOordt, public relations manager for the event, voiced her hopes for the fundraiser.

“Our goal is to encourage our community and support to come and grow with us through this fun and exciting change of implementing our Master Plan,” stated VanOordt. “This plan is the layout of the zoo we are striving to grow and transform into, while continuing to keep our behind the scenes front and center for a unique guest experience as well as further excel in providing the best for our animal family.”

With profits from fundraising, the zoo plans to begin its expansion in varied phases. The first phase will begin in early 2020 with Ira’s Kingdom, a new home for Ira the African Lion. The zoo’s master plan entails giving the animals more of a variety along with opportunities for new habitats that will have larger spaces and more natural items in their environment.

This year’s Rendezvous at the Zoo will be held on Saturday, November 9 from 5-9 p.m. at America’s Teaching Zoo. Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $60 or at the door for $75. All proceeds will benefit America’s Teaching Zoo master plan and the EATM program. Guests must be 21 years of age or older.

“I think this year we have worked hard to create a bigger and better event,” said VanOordt. “We are always striving to grow and with the community support that will never stop.”

For more information and ticket purchasing visit their website or call (805) 378-1441.