Drop Off Your Christmas Lights at Audubon Zoo - Save the Lions!

Lights for Lions

November 27, 2023


Tis the season for pulling out the holiday lights and decorating with all those colorful twinkling bulbs. If anyone has old lights that don’t work or they don't want anymore, a special recycling project at Audubon Zoo can put those old strands of lights to good use.

Audubon’s "Lights for Lions" conservation campaign encourages people to donate their old holiday lights rather than tossing them into the trash.

From now through January 13, 2024, Audubon Zoo is collecting string lights for recycling. There is a large donation box at the Zoo’s front entrance to contribute your unwanted lights for Audubon to recycle.

All proceeds from Audubon’s "Lights for Lions" recycling program help support the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund. Every donated string of lights makes a difference and raises funds for this important project that strives to increase the number of lions in the wild by protecting them, their prey and their habitat.

Audubon Zoo’s lions Arnold, Kali, Nia and Zuri are always favorites of Zoo visitors. Sadly, the number of lions in the wild is declining at an alarming rate. In just a quarter century, the population of wild African lions dropped by half. The main threats to African lions are poaching, conflicts with humans, the decline of their natural prey, as well as habitat loss, climate change and the illegal wildlife trade. With just 23,000 African lions left in the wild, they are now officially classified as 'vulnerable'. Their loss signals the critical loss of the wild in Africa.


Now through January 13th


Audubon Zoo Front Entrance

Participating is as easy as bringing your old lights to the Zoo and tossing them in the donation box.

Please do not add bags or boxes in the recycle box—only string lights!

"Helping lions through the ‘Lights for Lions’ conservation project is easy to do and really makes a difference. Not only does it keep old strings of lights out of the landfill which protects animals here at home, but also raises money to help these beautiful but disappearing animals in the wild," said Daine Appleberry, Senior Vice President and Director of Operations at Audubon Zoo & Park.

Most string lights are not bio-degradable and are dangerous to animals if they get tangled in the strands, so recycling through the "Lights for Lions" project helps protect other animals from harm too.