The Virginia Zoological Park seeks to increase understanding of the world’s flora and fauna and to add to the growing body of knowledge about them; to display animals respectfully, in a way that encourages their natural behavior; to conserve animals and their habitats; and to offer opportunities for learning and enjoyment to the public. It will strive to fulfill this mission through education, conservation, research and recreation.
The mission of Virginia Zoological Society is to ensure that the Virginia Zoo thrives as a superior zoological institution, reaching its fullest potential to serve people, animals and the environment through programs that emphasize education, recreation and conservation.
Together, these missions are embodied in the Zoo’s slogan, “education – recreation – conservation.”
A Hybrid Organization
The Virginia Zoo functions as a true hybrid operation through the joint efforts and constant communication between the staffs of the Virginia Zoological Park (VZP) and the Virginia Zoological Society (VZS). VZP staff maintains all animal exhibits and provides animal care and husbandry, maintains the lush grounds and gardens, oversees most building repair and maintenance, and manages the Zoo’s ticket booth.
VZS staff operates the Zoo’s gift shop, restaurant and concessions, educational programs, special events and parties, membership program, marketing and promotions, and fundraising and grant writing through the private sector.
The staffs of both organizations work side-by-side on a daily basis and the operation of the two organizations are not only closely related and complementary, but are mostly indistinguishable.