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Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.

About Woodland Park Zoo

Founded in 1899, Woodland Park Zoo has sparked delight, discovery and unforgettable memories for generations of Northwest families. People who experience the wonders of the natural world are inspired to protect it. That's why every year we lead more than 1 million people on a journey that inspires a lifelong love of animals, makes science come alive, and gives people the tools to take conservation action.

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The Mission at Work


Animal care professionals at Woodland Park Zoo are experts in their field and provide the highest quality care for animals every day. The zoo manages the largest live animal collection in Washington state, with 1,000 animals, representing more than 300 species. The zoo provides a home for 40 endangered and 17 threatened or vulnerable animal species. The zoo’s botanical collection includes more than 92,000 plants and trees representing more than 1,300 species.

Learn more about the animals

Field Conservation

Through funding provided by the zoo’s Partners for Wildlife, Living Northwest, Wildlife Survival Fund, and the contributions of zoo members and donors, the zoo is supporting conservation of wildlife, preserving fragile habitats, and increasing public awareness for wildlife and environmental issues. The zoo currently collaborates with 37 field conservation projects taking place in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. These include some of the smallest life forms—the endangered Oregon silverspot butterfly—to the largest mammals on land—the African elephant.

Explore our conservation efforts


From early learners to senior learners, and on and off grounds, the zoo’s developmental approach to lifelong learning is to foster empathy for nature, build conservation knowledge and skills, and increase people’s personal ownership for action that benefits wildlife and habitats. In 2013, more than 900,000 visitors participated in the zoo’s public programs and nearly 83,000 students, teachers and chaperones visited the zoo in school groups or received a zoo outreach program. The many educational elements at the zoo—classes, public programs, signage, and volunteer activities—serve to illustrate the importance that conservation plays in our mission.

Find an education program for you

Awards & Accreditation

Woodland Park Zoo is famed for creating revolutionary naturalistic exhibits that began a shift that changed the face of zoos worldwide. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has honored the zoo with seven major exhibit awards: Humboldt penguin, Jaguar Cove, Trail of Vines, Northern Trail, Tropical Rain Forest, Elephant Forest and African Savanna.

Other major awards by AZA include the top education award for the zoo's 4th- and 5th-grade Ready, Set, Discover program; top honors in the North American Conservation Award category for its collaborative Oregon Spotted Frog Reintroduction Project; and the Green Award for serving as an industry leader in sustainable operations.

The zoo’s work has also been recognized by peers in conservation. Our Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program is the recipient of a United Nations Equator Prize for its work in creating a sustainable landscape in Papua New Guinea’s first Conservation Area.

Woodland Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, which assesses that the highest standards in animal welfare, safety, education, conservation and business practices are met.

See a list of select awards


Woodland Park Zoo’s leadership team brings passion, expertise and a broad range of experiences to the zoo, from animal care to wildlife conservation and education. They inspire excellence from a staff of 275 employees, 100-150 temporary staff, and 750 volunteers dedicated to the zoo’s mission. Beyond the zoo, leadership team members play critical roles in an extended network of partners and allied organizations, both locally and internationally.

Meet the Executive Leadership Team


A 38-person, volunteer Board of Directors governs the Zoo Society with eight Board committees providing forums for information sharing between the Board and staff for various areas of zoo administration. The Board provides fiduciary oversight and strategic guidance to Woodland Park Zoo.

Learn more about the Board of Directors