Choose amount Payment Information Payment
A donor account is created automatically for recurring donations. Account setup info will be emailed to you.
You can log in to edit your recurring donation any time

Choose a payment option:


Please fix the errors above.
By using Apple Pay, you will provide your name, e-mail and address.
By using Google Pay, you will provide your name, e-mail and address.

When Super Typhoon Mawar made landfall as a category 4 storm on May 25, the founders of the island’s only zoo were riding it out in their home with many of their smaller animals, including Mariana fruit bats, birds, and turtles.

After the storm passed her husband, Jimmy, went out at first daylight to survey the damage. He was grateful to find the carabao (a type of water buffalo), wild boar, sea turtles, and other animals that sheltered in their habitats in good shape. But the zoo’s grounds were littered with downed trees, broken fencing, splintered lumber, and other rubble. 

Adding to the psychological toll, the super typhoon blew through on the Cushings’ 49th anniversary.

The Cushings established their zoo in 1977 to provide a home for wildlife, and to create a botanical garden that includes myriad endangered plant species. The animals they tend include more than 40 species of wildlife, many of which are endemic to the region. Some of these species are endangered, and are specially permitted by federal agencies to be maintained at the zoo. The zoo is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which most recently inspected the site in January 2023. 

Many of the animals in their care are geriatric or have special needs. Many arrived with injuries and were rehabilitated, but cannot be released back to the wild because they would not survive. Some of the zoo’s residents were surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them, or had to move off the island; others were placed at the zoo by Guam’s government. “We take care of them because they can’t take care of themselves,” says Barbara.

Until Mawar denuded their trees, the zoo was a colorful sanctuary of tropical foliage in the shadow of high-rise hotels. Thanks to community volunteers who love their zoo, the Cushings know they can rebuild. But when your home and your life’s work are in shambles, it is hard to sort out next steps.

Click on image for more photos