Our Mission & Who we are
The Sacramento Zoo inspires appreciation, respect and a connection with wildlife and nature through education, recreation and conservation.
The nonprofit 501(c)(3) Sacramento Zoological Society, formed in 1957, assumed financial and daily management of the zoo (from the City of Sacramento) in July 1997. Since its inception, the society has served as the fund-raising organization for the zoo, providing funds for animal care, education and conservation programs. We design our nationally recognized education programs for children and adults of all ages. Zoo sponsored school programs reach an average of 60,000 to 80,000 students per year—both at the zoo and off-site at area schools and community venues. More than 10,500 local and regional households are members of the Sacramento Zoo.
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1975, look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums is building North America’s largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring our 143 million annual visitors and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife. Visit the AZA website for more information.
As an educational institution, the Sacramento Zoo follows the California State Board of Education science content standards through a variety of programs. Each year there are approximately 70,000 school children from a 24-county region that visit the zoo on organized school field trips. A few of the programs we offer are: summer camp, family and group overnights, ZooMobile, wildlife stage shows, keeper chats, zoo previews, animal encounters and much more.
At the Sacramento Zoo, we lead with animal welfare. More than 500 native, rare and endangered animals represent over 120 unique species at the Sacramento Zoo. Staff strive daily to not only provide uncompromising care for the animals, but also work to conserve species and habitats around the world. Our staff are active leaders in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), an organization that establishes standards for the well-being of zoo animals. We also make sure to listen to you and be active in addressing your questions.
Learn about how we care for our animals and work with outside organizations to giving uncompromising care by visiting the Animal Care & Welfare page.
The Maagizo is a newsletter for Sacramento Zoo members and supporters. Check out unique cover stories and recurring columns such as the Director’s Den, Animal Chatter or Ask the Vet!
Annual Reports & Audits
The Sacramento Zoological Society achieves its mission to inspire appreciation, understanding and respect for all living things through stimulating education, wholesome recreation and innovative species management by working with the community and reaching out beyond its physical boundaries.
We are Proud Members of the Following
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of accredited zoos and aquariums in the areas of animal care, wildlife conservation, education and science. The Sacramento Zoo has been an AZA accredited zoo since 1979. AZA accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science.
California Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The Sacramento Zoo is a member of the California Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA). The California Association of Zoos and Aquariums began in 1986 and was incorporated as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization in 1992. CAZA was formed to help its members speak out collectively on statewide issues that impact the zoo and aquarium professions. Today, the California Association of Zoos and Aquariums continues to take a proactive stance in the legislative and regulatory arenas.
Sacramento Association of Museums
The Sacramento Association or Museums (SAM) is comprised of more than 25 Sacramento area museums, including the Sacramento Zoo. SAM encourages interest in California’s fine art, history, wildlife, and cultural treasures through increased awareness of local museums.
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The Sacramento Zoo is one of 200 plus zoos and aquariums that are institutional members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). WAZA is the “umbrella” organization for the world zoo and aquarium community. Its members include leading zoos and aquariums, and regional and national Associations of Zoos and Aquariums, from all around the world. WAZA’s mission is to guide, encourage, and support zoos and aquariums, and like-minded organizations of the world in animal care and welfare, environmental education, and global conservation. Together the members of WAZA are “United for Conservation”.