Less than two weeks after her death, and just days ahead of what would’ve been her 100th birthday, the Los Angeles Zoo announced plans Wednesday to honor beloved actor Betty White.
The star of TV’s “Golden Girls” was a well-known animal lover and advocate who championed their causes. She was described by the L.A. Zoo as “one of its most ardent supporters and longtime friends,” a news release from the zoo stated.
“Betty was an integral part of our Zoo family for over fifty years, and we are so thankful for her generosity, humility, and of course, humor,” Tom Jacobson, the president of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), said in the release.
The zoo began its tribute to the American icon with a special white rose memorial garden where fans can remember White with messages and drawings they can leave on cards, which will be strung around the area. The memorial garden is located in Allen Ludden Plaza, which is named after her late husband, the actor and game show host who died in 1981.
“After her passing, there has been an outpouring of love for Betty with tributes from around the globe, so we think honoring her at Ludden Plaza, a place very special to her, would serve as the perfect backdrop to this public memorial,” Jacobson said.
There will also be a self-guided “Betty’s L.A. Zoo Tour” featuring 16 stops where guests can learn about her contributions. The walking tour will be available through the end of the month, but those who can’t visit before then can experience it online by going to www.lazoo.org/betty-white.
Fans can also donate to GLAZA’s “Betty White Tribute Fund,” with funds being matched until Jan. 31, according to the release. White had served as a trustee on the board of the non-profit organization, which is a partner to the zoo.
Betty White died at her Brentwood home on New Year’s Eve at the age of 99, 17 days before her 100th birthday.
The cause of death was listed as a stroke that she had on Christmas Day, according to an L.A. County coroner’s autopsy report obtained by the Associated Press.