Two prominent Colorado nonprofits introduced a mountain of a mascot on Sunday, July 27. Elbert, a 6-foot tall brown bear mascot, made his debut as the mascot of the Denver Zoo and Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Elbert is named for Colorado’s highest mountain. Distinguishable from any other bears that might be walking the pathways at the zoo, Elbert sports a huge smile, soft brown fur and a heart-shaped patch on his chest. He is a premier engaging species. The 300-pound mascot came down to a child’s level Sunday, as he lead the zoo’s first Teddy Bear Care Fair.
Jena Hausmann, Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Colorado, called the move an important milestone in her organization’s longstanding partnership with the Denver Zoo. “We look forward to the joy Elbert will bring our patients through regular visits each month,” Hausmann said.
At the event, Elbert pulled a wagon full of smaller plush bears at the zoo’s Explore the Shore play area. The first 1,000 children received the stuffed animals. Following his unveiling, the children were able to take their favorite stuffed animals around the zoo for “medical procedures” in the care fair.
Elbert is meant to be huggable role model. His favorite foods are fish, fruits and vegetables. Elbert’s favorite drink is fresh water. His profile lists his favorite activities as dancing, hiking and skiing. Along with an active lifestyle, adults say he promotes healthy eating, child safety and caring for animals. His favorite places are the Denver Zoo and Children’s Colorado.
“The Denver Zoo is proud to have Children’s Colorado as a sponsor of our Explore the Shore play area and a partner of several community programs,” said Shannon Block, president and CEO of the Denver Zoo. “Our partnership is such a natural fit. Our new mascot will enable us to continue to provide for children from the region.”