The Jacksonville Zoo is dedicated to providing a thriving environment for our residents and has always strived to maintain strict standards of excellence in the care of our wildlife. As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Jacksonville Zoo is required to meet international standards created by AZA in order to maintain status as a member organization. In order to qualify for membership, organizations must meet or exceed standards related to:
To learn more about the AZA accreditation process, visit AZA’s website.
Wellness begins with a deep understanding of the preferences and needs of each species in the zoo. Optimal wellness is obtained when each animal thrives. The more the animal's behavior resembles free-living wild animals, the more likely that wellness has been achieved.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens wellness department is one of the world’s most productive animal welfare programs, with students, staff and faculty partners publishing many high-quality research papers annually. The Jacksonville Zoo’s Wildlife Wellness team currently includes:
Our commitment to wildlife wellness would not be possible without the work of Dr. Terry Maple. Dr. Maple is the Founding Editor of the journal Zoo Biology and is an internationally recognized expert on the behavior, welfare, and conservation of various animal species.
His work has impacted the conservation efforts of award-winning zoos around the world, and his work has served as a guideline for animal wellness for zookeepers, researchers, and conservation activists around the globe. His publications include:
Our ability to learn more about the behavior of our collection of animals while rendering services and conducting behavioral interventions is enhanced by our working relationship to university partners at the University of North Florida and the University of Florida respectively. A unique feature of these partnerships is the provision of funding to several visiting professors and their students.