Hollywood’s Golden Girl Betty White would have been 100 today and in honor of her birthday, fans are taking the #BettyWhite Challenge, and supporting animal rights activism and donating to animal rights charities and shelters.
The hashtag was trending on Twitter and many fans paid tribute to the legendary comedian and actress as they made donations. The Betty White Challenge encourages people to donate $5 in White’s name to a local animal shelter or rescue, in reference to her love of animals.
Betty was a well-known animal activist, often supporting both local charities as well as nationwide efforts.
When the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar, Calif., outside Los Angeles, received two baby porcupines, they named the female one after Betty. When they asked her to name the male counterpart, she chose the name Allen, after her beloved husband, Allen Ludden, who died in 1981 of stomach cancer. The local center recalled how Betty enjoyed visiting the porcupines and how spending quality time with animals was a big passion for her.
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Other zoos also participated in the challenge, choosing other ways to honor Betty. Cincinnati Zoo named their new penguin, Rose, in honor of Betty’s “Golden Girls” character.
Betty’s longtime patronage, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), the nonprofit partner of the Los Angeles Zoo also recognized her, saying what a special friend she was. She officially joined GLAZA’s Board of Trustees in 1974 and in her honor, the Zoo shared some of the special tributes they have in store for Betty.
“She was a long-time champion and friend of the L.A. Zoo who advocated for us and helped to amplify the work we are doing to conserve wildlife. She cared deeply for all living creatures – including us. Her loss leaves a great hole in our hearts. The L.A. Zoo cannot thank Betty enough for her decades of support, and we share in this grief with all of you. There truly will never be another person like her,” they said in a statement.
From Elka the orangutan, named for Betty’s character in Hot in Cleveland, to her contributions to exhibits like Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains and Campo Gorilla Reserve as well as her passionate support of Elephants of Asia, Betty’s presence will be felt on the Los Angeles Zoo campus for years to come.
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