LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A non-profit affiliated with the city-owned Los Angeles Zoo announced Monday that it will spend $2 million in order to market the zoo’s programs, exhibits, and wildlife conservation efforts.

“In an era of declining city funding, this expanded partnership will greatly assist the Zoo in reaching new audiences,” said Connie Morgan, president of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.

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“GLAZA will invest in raising the Zoo’s visibility in the competitive Los Angeles marketplace, bringing more people to the Zoo and helping to guarantee it continues to flourish over the long-term,” Morgan said.

“This agreement will nearly triple the annual resources available for marketing the Zoo, thereby exposing many more people to the Zoo’s mission and programs,” Los Angeles Zoo Director John Lewis said.

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GLAZA was originally founded in 1963 with the intention of raising funds for exhibits, capital projects, and outreach programs. The city’s budget cuts resulted in talks last year for the group to take over management of the zoo to mitigate the financial impacts.

The group was approaching an agreement last year, but ended up dropping it’s bid in September, citing resistance by city officials to disclose why they felt a private organization was unable to assume management of the zoo while the city still retains ownership of the property, as well as the animals.

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