Saturday's Feast with the Beasts at the Henry Vilas Zoo also feeds the zoo's major redevelopment.
Visitors to the fifth annual Feast enjoyed live music, caricature artists, and face-painting, while watching the animals.
Mark Schemmel, Executive Director of the Zoological Society, says about 1,400 people passed through the zoo's front gate the first hour. He says the zoo will turn 100 years old in less than ten years and says it's important for people to show their support for the city's free zoo.
The fundraiser has brought in more than $175,000 since it started for the Henry Vilas Zoo $27 million dollar redevelopment project.