Why Zoos Matter
A Global Force for Animal Stewardship and Conservation
If you’ve spent time at the Calgary Zoo, or on this website, you know that the zoo is more than just a place to see animals. Like accredited zoos and aquariums across the world, we are a force for animal care research and conservation.
In North America, more people visit zoos and aquariums than attend professional sporting events, providing a unique opportunity to present conservation and environmental messages. Through education and exposure, we help our visitors understand and care about the natural world around us.
Approximately one in seven of the threatened species on earth are under the guardianship of zoos. As long as species still live in threat of extinction, we have a crucial role to play in protecting them. How? We support and drive conservation initiatives through fundraising, captive breeding, sharing their expertise and direct action. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums network contributes approximately $350 million annually to support conservation work in the wild.
At the Calgary Zoo, we partner with other conservation organizations to help reintroduce and recover endangered species including Vancouver Island marmots, whooping cranes, swift foxes, black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls and more, offering both expertise and captive-bred animals for release.
Black-footed ferrets were thought to be globally extinct until a small group was discovered in 1981 in Wyoming by a ranch dog named Shep.