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Recreation, Education and Conservation: A Zoo’s Purpose

Zoos are more than a place for children to learn about and be exposed to animals they might not otherwise encounter. For many zoos, promoting conservation on behalf of wildlife is a key reason for their existence. Here are four zoos the Murdock Trust is proud to support in their missions to help endangered animals and educate and engage the public in the conservation of wildlife.

Alaska Zoo

The Alaska Zoo provides a home to orphaned, injured and endangered animals from Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. The Anchorage-based Zoo works closely with state and federal agencies to find permanent homes for orphaned and injured animals, and it participates in endangered species conservation programs. Murdock staff had the opportunity to visit the Zoo on our annual retreat a few years ago, getting a behind-the-scenes look at its wolf conservation program.

Alaska Zoo

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

While the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is known as an educational resource in Tacoma, Washington, its primary purpose is to engage visitors in the conservation of wildlife and their habitats. PDZA provides the opportunity for an urban society to connect to animals and wildlife in ways they otherwise couldn’t, helping people develop a sense of responsibility toward natural resources, animal habitats and animals.

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoo Boise

Idaho’s Zoo Boise provides education programs for children that focus on biological sciences, conservation and the importance of responsible stewardship. Zoo Boise empowers visitors to help save the very creatures they are seeing through a small conservation fee of 50 cents, which funds conservation projects in the wild. This has generated more than $2 million for the conservation of animals around the world since it was implemented 11 years ago.

Zoo Boise

Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle works to save animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging educational opportunities, focusing especially on its youngest visitors to inspire them to become conservation stewards. WPZ supports 36 conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world, which are reflected through its major exhibits, and it collaborates with accredited zoos to preserve some of the world’s most endangered species.

Woodland Park Zoo, photo by Ryan Hawk

[Caption: Woodland Park Zoo, photo by Ryan Hawk] The Murdock Trust has funded capital projects for these zoos to help them expand their educational, conservation and research missions. Take a look at these and other zoos we have supported by browsing the Grants Awarded page on our website.