SOURCE: Denver Zoo

July 17, 2015 15:57 ET

Aspen the Dog Joins Denver Zoo's Wildlife Show

8-month-old Terrier Mix Arrives From Foothills Animal Shelter

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - July 17, 2015) - Denver Zoo’s Wildlife Show has a new star, an 8-month-old terrier mix named Aspen. The energetic, female puppy was cared for by Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, CO and was recently adopted by the Zoo. Aspen is settling in well and has just cleared all the usual health requirements to enter the Zoo. It may be some time before she hits the stage as a full member of the show, although guests may now have a chance to see her if they swing by the Conoco Wildlife Theatre for a meet-and-greet after the performance. As she adjusts, Aspen will also be walked around the Zoo for demos and to meet visitors.

Aspen, who weighs a mere 28 pounds, was a stray dog who was never claimed by an owner. She was originally found running with another dog in Westminster and was taken to the Shelter for safe-keeping. Foothills Animal Shelter had been looking for a dog to join the Zoo’s Wildlife Show and knew she would be a great fit. Zookeepers say she is a “bundle of energy and love,” and greatly enjoys being around people. Aspen also appears to be a quick learner; she already knows a variety of behaviors, including how to sit, spin around and shake hands.

Foothills Animal Shelter’s Executive Director, Heather Cameron, says, “We are excited to see a former homeless pet from our Shelter be in such a visible role at the Denver Zoo. With her outgoing, ‘look at me’ personality, Aspen is a fantastic representative for all shelter pets.”

Although her role in the show is still to be determined, she will eventually replace Bodie the Wonder Dog, a collie-mix who has delighted crowds for the past 12 years and is naturally slowing down. Bodie was adopted from the Colorado Humane Society in 2003 and has played various roles in the show since 2004. Like Bodie, Aspen will help to connect guests with wild animals to ones they have at home, and encourage them to discover connections with nature and animals around the world.

Denver Zoo’s Wildlife Show occurs daily, all summer long at 10:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Conoco Wildlife Theatre. Guests of all ages can pick up a “Photo Buddy” card at each performance and are encouraged to take photos with it when interacting in nature throughout the summer. They can share their photos and stories through Denver Zoo’s Wildlife Show Photo Buddy Contest before September 15 at and be entered to win a behind-the-scenes tour for four.

About Denver Zoo: Denver Zoo brings education alive, providing a unique learning experience that sparks an interest in the natural world for visitors and program participants alike. Home to 4,300 animals representing more than 600 species, the Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which assures the highest standards of animal care.

A leader in green action, Denver Zoo is the greenest zoo in the country and is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species by attaining the highest environmental standards. Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in about 600 animal conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents.

About Foothills Animal Shelter: The organization is a true resource for the pet community -- including adoptions, pet licensing, lost and found, affordable spaying and neutering, vaccinations and microchipping. The open-admissions facility (that never turns any animal away) cares for over 9,300 orphaned pets each year. Visit for more information or in person seven days a week at 580 McIntyre Street in Golden, 80401 (on the northwest corner of the Jefferson County Fairgrounds near 6th Avenue & Indiana).

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    Tiffany Barnhart

    Sean Andersen-Vie