The 100 Women Who Care of Greater Saint John have contributed $21,500 to the Cherry Brook Zoo.
Executive Director Martha McDevitt says the first thing that came to her mind were the animals.
She says the money comes at a critical time and calls it "an answer to prayer".
McDevitt was very emotional when she found out the zoo had been chosen and says the funding will help the animals get through the rest of the winter.
She says the other staff members at the zoo did not know about the possibility of funding because she did not want to get their hopes up.
The three groups who presented to the 100 Women Who Care in hopes of funding were the Cherry Brook Zoo, KV Oasis Youth Centre and Second Stage Housing.
Co-founder Debbie Rathwell says it was the closest vote they have ever had.
Rathwell says all three presentations were very passionate and says it was a hard decision to make.
She says the zoo has had a bad rap and hopes this is the beginning for some good things for the Cherry Brook Zoo.
The 100 Women Who Care of Greater Saint John will be contributing $21,500 to the Cherry Brook Zoo #SaintJohn#Sjnews pic.twitter.com/BTvzoGEkUf
— Matt Mabee (@mattmabee7) February 28, 2017