-- Be a part of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s BIGGEST project ever with our collectible elephant banks! --

January 27, 2012, Colorado Springs, CO - This spring, in a new twist on the traditional piggy bank, the Colorado Springs community can be a part of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s biggest project ever. Getting a special elephant bank through the zoo’s Bank on It program means you’ll be leaving your mark on the spectacular new Encounter Africa exhibit, featuring new homes for Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s elephant herd, African lion pride, and meerkats. We’re also bringing the critically endangered black rhinoceros back to Colorado Springs. Photos of each bank will be featured in a permanent art installation in the exhibit. Banks will be available for a $50 donation through April 1, 2012.

Here’s how to be a part of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Encounter Africa:

Step 1: Visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo,, or one of 17 U.S. Bank branches in Southern Colorado to get a collectible elephant bank for a $50 donation. The banks will only be available through April 1, 2012, and all proceeds benefit Encounter Africa.

Step 2: Channel your inner Picasso. The bank is yours to keep, so make it your own by decorating it. Don’t forget to email a photo of your bank to for inclusion in a one-of-a-kind art installation in Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Encounter Africa exhibit (all photos must be received by April 1, 2012).

Step 3: Fill ‘er up! Make an elephant-sized impact by adding to your donation. We’ll gladly accept any additional money saved in your bank at the front gates of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

For more information on Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Bank on It program, visit Bank on It is proudly supported by U.S. Bank, Current, Lamar, KVOR 740AM, KLITE 106.3, and The Gazette.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, and donations to run.

Encounter Africa Construction Update

Phase 1: Complete

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s herd of four female elephants moved into their brand new barn in the fall of 2011. Because the area surrounding the new barn is a construction zone, the elephants are currently off exhibit to the general public until the second phase is complete.

Phase 2: Fall 2012

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s old elephant barn was demolished in the fall of 2011 and crews are now gearing up to begin construction on the outdoor elephant and meerkat exhibits, including mud wallows, a waterfall, and a bush plane cantilevered from the top of the exhibit for guest viewing. The critically endangered black rhinoceros will also be added to the collection.

Phase 3: Summer 2013

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s pride of African lions will move across the street from their current home to a larger exhibit in Encounter Africa.

Click here for more information about Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Encounter Africa exhibit.

Click here for photos of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Encounter Africa exhibit.

Click here for b-roll of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s elephants in their new barn.