Over the years, the Friends of Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo has proudly funded numerous improvement projects at the JMZ. New exhibits as well as redesign of previous exhibits have enabled the JMZ to better meet the needs of its visitors. Through the generosity of our donors, and working closely with JMZ, the Friends hope to ensure an ongoing commitment to serving our constituents.

Weaverbird House Exhibit, completed 2013

Weaverbird House is staged as the African home of a child living among and fascinated by weaverbirds. These finches gather in groups to weave complex ball-shaped nests to hide their babies and to fool their predators. Visiting children may climb into the cabinets and up to a loft where they will be next to the weaving birds. The Weaverbird House is designed as a place for children to dwell in a world of nest makers. Project cost: $20,000

weaverbird house exhibit

Weaverbird House

Photo Credit: Veronica Weber

Tortoise Hill, completed 2013

Tortoise Hill is the home to our beloved African Spurred Tortoise Edward. When the raccoons were moved to their new home “Raccoon Creek” in 2011, the area was reconstructed with a concrete moat and a hill by burying night-houses which were too small for Edward. Grass, ferns, and a large heated shed in the back now enhance the exhibit landscope. When the weather is mild, Edward can choose to be in the shed and under the heater or out in the sunny yard. Children have an almost magical attraction to Edward. He enjoys walking and during warm weather, can be seen with his handler Lori Lee strolling through the Zoo. Project cost: $5,000

tortoise hill exhibit

Tortoise Hill

Photo Credit: Luiza Naslausky

Raccoon Creek, completed 2012

Raccoon Creek has set the stage for increased interaction and discovery for these intelligent creatures. This renovation provides children with remarkable viewing and interaction with the raccoons. Children also provide consistent behavioral enrichment for our two rescued raccoons, Aigon and Loki. Thank you to The Brin Wojcicki Foundation for funding this renovation, which includes a stream, pond and viewing bubble windows in the Discovery Tree! Project cost: $20,000

raccoon creek exhibit

Raccoon Creek

Photo Credit: Luiza Naslausky

Buzzzz, completed 2011

The "Buzzzz" exhibit lets kids explore the beauty of bugs and their fascinating life stories through hands-on exhibits and by observing living and pinned insects and spiders. "Buzzzz" encompasses various developmentally appropriate activities for children aged 0 to 9. The Friends contributed $50,000 to help bring this exhibit to life.

buzzzz! exhibit


Photo Credit: Veronica Weber

Bobcat Ridge , completed 2010

Bobcat Ridge is the new home for bobcats Tule and Rufus. The new warm colored concrete with animal tracks and a rubber safety surface at the foot of bridge are a delightful change. The glass casing allows visitors to enjoy up close experiences with the bobcats in a safe setting. The state-of-the-art exhibit includes an animal care area for feeding and health checks. Staff and volunteers constructed the new duck pond fence and installed new landscaping to enhance Bobcat Ridge. The Friends funded $500,000 to build this wonderful habitat.

bobcat ridge exhibit

Bobcat Ridge

Africa's Bat Habitat, completed 2010

Africa’s Bat Habitat features panoramic views of an African cave and tropical rain forest. The size and layout of the cave allow the bats to fly about the cave and to climb along the vines and rocks as they groom each other and feed. Special effects such as special cave lighting, elaborate murals, and handcrafted fruit bowls are designed to create an authentic African bat cave experience. The African Bat Cave lets children explore a rain forest and watch fruit bats in their natural habitat. Project cost: $25,000

bat exhibit

Africa’s Bat Habitat