FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno Chaffee Zoo celebrated its “most successful Safari Night yet” bringing awareness to California’s state symbol, the California Grizzly Bear.

Safari Night is an annual benefit that the zoo says brought about 700 guests in total Friday night.

“It was a spectacular night where we celebrated all the Zoo has accomplished and built excitement for the first phase of our master plan, the California experience, Sierras to the Sea,” said Fresno Chaffee Zoo CEO and Director, Jon Forrest Dohlin.

As next year marks the 100 anniversary of the extinction of the California Grizzly, zoo officials state they are doing what they can to help encourage the public to find ways people and wildlife can thrive together.

“Our team is currently planning to collaborate with accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the state to create public awareness through events, lectures, social media, and legislation with the hopes that this anniversary will honor something lost but also start the effort of finding ways for people and wildlife to thrive together,” Dohlin explained.

The zoo also celebrated its Centennial Campaign, which commemorates the Chaffee Zoo’s 100 years of service to the Central Valley from 1929 to 2029.

“The Zoo remains a renowned and respected destination for learning and wonderment and a leader in conservation efforts for future generations,” said Kyle Kirkland, Fresno Chaffee Zoo Board Chair who chaired the campaign.

Anyone seeking to be a part of the Chaffee Zoo’s master plan and Centennial Campaign can reach out to for more information.