Why are Zoos Important?

For the Staff of the Washington Park Zoo, we believe Zoos matter because, we help advance culture and knowledge as living museums, providing an opportunity for visitors to experience the wonders of our natural world. We know that Zoos are uniquely capable of bringing families together and inspire all ages with educational information. Visitors become engaged in the discussions of conservation and hopefully want to do their part to help save wildlife and wild spaces.

The wild world around us is changing fast and our wildlife is facing global extinction on a massive scale. About 21% of the world’s mammal species, about 12% of the bird species and about 33% of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction, mostly from human made threats. Tigers and toads, rhinos and vultures and so many more are in real trouble. We feel that Zoos are in a unique position to make a difference with the help of those that we teach.

Education runs through every area of the Zoo, connecting visitors with our conservation messages through a variety of fun, engaging programs, creating stewards of wildlife. Our Staff is committed to developing programs that are accessible, purposeful, relevant, and that meet the needs of our diverse audiences and high educational standards. Some of our programs include special events, summer camps, outreach programs, in house programs, tours and scout programs.

The Washington Park Zoo also has a real focus on being a rescue for exotic animals in need of a safe home. Some of the zoo’s residents have been misplaced pets that proved to be too wild or were confiscated as illegally owned, some have suffered injuries that would make life in the wild impossible and others were removed by the DNR, but all the residents are given the best environments that our staff can provide for their health and mental enrichment needs.

The Washington Park Zoo is dedicated to the health and welfare of the animals in our care and their relatives in the wild. With your help we can achieve our goals. Please consider getting involved with the Zoo, a conservation group or even just with making environmental friendly choice and make a difference for us all.

How You can Support the Washington Park Zoo:

The Adopt-An-Animal program directly benefits the animals at the WPZoo. For more information, click here.

Your gifts make a difference. For more information, click here.

Become a Zoo Member:
Join us as a Zoo Member to receive amazing benefits and special opportunities. For more information, click here.

Are you interested in volunteering at the Washington Park Zoo? To learn how you can become a volunteer, click here.

Promote your company’s brand with a Zoo’s corporate sponsorship. Opportunities may be tailored to meet your company’s needs. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your Zoo participation allows continue growth and development of new habitats and construction, conservation efforts, education programs and specialized care of the animals, so we thank you.