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Seven things you might not know about the Zoo

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Have you ever wondered how we take care of 220 species on 40 acres just minutes from downtown Atlanta?

We’d like to share just a few insights into the ways our talented teammates make a difference every day.

1. It takes a village to care for more than 1,000 animals. Our Zoo family includes three full-time veterinarians, three veterinary technicians, a hospital animal care specialist, and a veterinary resident who devote tireless energy to the well-being of the individuals in our care. Without your support, we might not be able to fully utilize the expertise of such a dedicated team.

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2. Zoo animals get regular doctor’s visits too! Just like your annual visit to your doctor, it is very important that zoo animals have a regularly scheduled doctors visit with our specially trained veterinarians. Animals in human care are living longer and healthier lives because of advances in 

veterinary medicine and nutrition. Cataracts, arthritis, diabetes and other geriatric issues are treated, monitored, and managed daily by our animal care team, but costs are rising.

3. Our lush landscapes are there for an important reason! Veterinary care isn’t just about checkups and exams. Veterinarians work closely with our Animal Nutrition Team to formulate the specialized diets needed by many of our animals. We also utilize every available resource by working with our Horticulture Team to grow plant material that can be harvested as browse for animal diets.

gorilla charlie kong ZA 3557 54. The items you see in our habitats are more than toys. Animal enrichment, which may take the form of objects, foods, scents, feeder puzzles and more, stimulates animals’ natural behaviors and adaptations while promoting their well-being. Enrichment is a vital component of superior animal care. Zoo Atlanta has a robust enrichment program in place year-round for all species, but we could do more with your help!

5. Research and conservation happen here every day! You may be familiar with our giant panda program, but you might not know the people behind it. Dr. Sam Rivera, Senior Director of Veterinary Services at Zoo Atlanta, has been a vital part of the Zoo’s giant panda program for many years. His areas of interest include clinical medicine and research for the giant pandas in our care and around the world . Just ask 2-year-old twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun, who benefited from Dr. Rivera’s expertise.

6. We make habitats feel like home. We go the extra mile to make sure that the animals enjoy natural environments. You may have noticed construction fencing in the Zoo as we create a new African savanna for elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs and ostriches. We’ve collaborated with architects, designers and animal experts to ensure that these new environments are dynamic, enriching and full of opportunity. With your help, we can celebrate these animals’ transition to their new homes in 2019.

panda yangyang ZA 8561 17. We don’t receive as much monetary help as you might think. Without operating support, Zoo Atlanta would not be able to maintain our status as a world-class zoological institution and source of pride for our region. Zoo Atlanta is a private 501(c)(3) organization and receives no government operating funds. We rely on the generosity of Atlanta’s philanthropic community to fulfill our mission, and you can be a champion for Zoo Atlanta this holiday season.

It takes a lot of people with a wide range of skills to keep a zoo running, more than most people would imagine. We are thankful for the hard work that our Zoo Atlanta team puts in every day. If you also believe in Zoo Atlanta, please consider making a donation to support our important work.


Your support is vital to us, and we are grateful for every dollar. Thank you for playing an integral role in lives of Zoo Atlanta’s animals and their counterparts in the wild.

Warmest wishes,

Raymond B. King                                                                                                                  
President & CEO                                                                                                                      
Zoo Atlanta                                                                                                                               

Hayley Murphy, DVM
Vice President of Animal Divisions
Zoo Atlanta


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