Stand together for wildlife

...and start a movement for conservation



Strategic Priority: Animal Care

We will lead by example with the highest quality of animal care, establishing innovative and ethically balanced approaches that invite our community to more deeply understand and connect with animals at our zoo and around the world.


Why It Matters

Today, all animals and habitats are inextricably influenced by our decisions and actions and the resulting changes to the environment. At the same time, communities like ours care deeply about the welfare of animals, and expect animal care to be a high priority at Woodland Park Zoo. We embrace our community’s concern for animal welfare—and we believe that doing so furthers our conservation mission, setting an example of our values in action while promoting understanding, compassion, and a sense of responsibility.



What we’ll do


Our passionate and experienced professionals will treat every individual animal with the highest level of expert care.

  • Continue to set a high standard for animal care at zoos, while also providing examples that inspire our community to care more deeply about wild animals.
  • Assess animal welfare and identify opportunities for progress in the science of animal care and for sharing best practices with other zoos.
  • Develop qualitative measures to demonstrate that the animals in our care are living physically and behaviorally healthy lives.


We will engage in balanced and open discussion about the ethics of maintaining animals in human care.

  • Regularly review the balance between species survival programs and the individual welfare of animals in our care to ensure our goals for wildlife conservation and animal welfare are met.
  • Bring our community into the conversation about the animals in human care at Woodland Park Zoo and how they help advance a global conservation agenda.


We will provide a new level of transparency and understanding around animal welfare at the zoo, inviting deeper empathy and compassion for all animals.

  • Provide clear opportunities for our visitors to see and experience the “behind the scenes” components of animal care, leveraging leading-edge innovation in exhibit design and technology.
  • Develop measurements to assess visitor perceptions of animal welfare and use this data to continue creating experiences that support healthy animals, build empathy, and drive conservation outcomes.
  • Develop and share information regarding our approach to animal welfare, providing leadership to zoos throughout the world.


Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |

Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Seattle Parks & Recreation
Humane Certification