The Tanganyika Wildlife Foundation is a 501(c)(3) with the purpose of supporting exotic and endangered animal conservation and education efforts locally (via Tanganyika Wildlife Park) and around the world.
The Tanganyika Wildlife Foundation (TWF) was originally created by Jim and Sherri Fouts to increase awareness and educate potential visitors about the various rare and endangered species housed at their facility. In 2006, the Fouts’ decided to dramatically increase the amenities available to visitors and the number of species at their facility. In other words, they chose to build an entirely new zoo. This ultimately required that they create a for-profit entity for the purpose of securing financing to build Tanganyika Wildlife Park. Tanganyika Wildlife Park had a significant opportunity to enhance TWF's mission by allowing more people access to these amazing animals and by providing a Wildly Different Experience.
Since Tanganyika's opening in 2008, the TWF has hosted several events to raise money for the animals at Tanganyika as well as to support conservation around the world. Starting in 2007, TWF held an annual charity concert to benefit Tanganyika. The first year was to raise money to import African penguins and was called "Pickin' for Penguins". The next two years featured Ty Herndon (2008) and Kenny Loggins (2009) and benefited the Indian Rhinos that arrived at about that time. Those events were called "Rockin' for Rhinos". The TWF also hosted two charity dinners at Tanganyika with Jack Hanna as the guest of honor. Jack has been a big supporter of the Tanganyika Wildlife Foundation and Tanganyika Wildlife Park. He frequently uses the animals from Tanganyika in his conservation shows around the country.
While we love the four seasons of our park’s home on the Kansas plains, caring for animals during the winter when the park is closed is our biggest financial challenge each year. Our annual cost to provide for our hundreds of animals is nearly $600,000, with not a penny coming from government funding.
This figure grew when we rushed to the aid of another zoo destroyed by a flood in 2011, adopting their entire big cat collection into our family literally overnight, including two lions, two Amur leopards, a Bengal tiger and an Amur tiger, with the exception of the lions (and only by a thread), all endangered in the wild. With them came three reticulated giraffes, as we were one of the only zoos in the country able to offer the unique type of habitat they need.
This stretched our young zoo’s budget past its limits, prompting us to set aside a special Tanganyika Winter Fund as part of our 501(c)(3) efforts. With the help of donations from the community and our growing fundraising events, the many endangered and at-risk animals in our care, including our newest family members, will continue to thrive, furthering our bigger mission of preserving these magnificent animals in the wild for generations to come.
Check out the video below about the TWF Winter Fund!