Henry Vilas Zoo says someone broke in and stole from donation boxes

Vilas Zoo Donation Box Theft
Courtesy: Henry Vilas Zoo

MADISON, Wis. — Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo says someone broke into the zoo over the weekend and stole from one of its donation boxes.

The zoo posted the update on its Facebook page Tuesday morning.

No one was hurt in the break-in and the zoo’s animals were not affected.

The zoo says it relies on donations to keep running, and like many organizations, struggled through 2020 as its operations were closed or scaled back for much of the year. Attendance at the Henry Vilas Zoo was down by more than 40% in 2020.

“We are very lucky to have such a supportive community and would like to thank everyone who was able to come visit us over the last year,” the zoo said in its Facebook post. “As we look ahead to a post-COVID world, we are committed to making sure that Henry Vilas Zoo remains a place to inspire guests to learn more about the natural world.”

The zoo says it has already replaced the broken donation box, but says if anyone wants to donate to help replace the lost money, they can do so online on the zoo’s website. Officials at the zoo says they have already seen more than 300 online donations since posting about the break-in.