In 1859, Philadelphia became home to America’s first zoo. Now celebrating over 150 years of innovation and achievement, Philadelphia Zoo is a key part of our region’s life and culture, a compelling living classroom, and a conservation leader.
Commitment to our core purpose—connecting people with wildlife and inspiring action for animals and habitats—energizes our staff and volunteers and challenges us to set increasingly high expectations for our performance and impact. Philadelphia Zoo works to fulfill our mission as an animal care organization, as a resource to schools and families, and as an ark and advocate for endangered animals around the world.
By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats.
is the leader in establishing and maintaining high standards for zoos and aquariums through an accreditation process. Accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of an institution's operation including the animal collection; veterinary care; physical facilities; safety; security; finance; staff; governing authority; support organization; involvement in education, conservation, and research; and adherence to AZA policies. To be accredited, an institution must be a permanent cultural facility which owns and maintains wildlife, is open to the public on a regular basis and is under the direction of a professional staff. Accreditation takes place every five years and is required for zoos and aquariums to be members of AZA.