Zoological Association of America

ZAA promotes responsible ownership, management, conservation, and propagation of animals in both privately funded and publicly funded facilities through professional standards in husbandry, animal care, safety and ethics.


  • As a trade organization to serve the needs of our members.
  • Protect and defend the right to own exotic and domestic animals, in both privately funded and publicly funded facilities, under proper professional care, husbandry and safety standards which are rigorously observed and maintained.
  • Defend our accredited facilities against false allegations, those with political agendas, and mischaracterizations.
  • Promote legal and ethical methods for sustaining captive wildlife.
  • Encourage responsible conservation of genetics through cooperative breeding programs including both privately funded and publicly funded facilities.
  • Promote high standards and ethics through accreditation programs.
  • Educate the media, policy-makers and the public through advocacy and adherence to best practices.


  • Establish professional standards for husbandry, animal care, and safety.
  • Ensure accurate animal and medical records by our members.
  • Enhance the survival of species by the use of professional methods.
  • Ensure an appropriate, safe, and quality existence for animals in captive environments.

ZAA Members are ethically bound to support and implement the mission, purpose, and objectives of ZAA and to:

  • Promote wildlife conservation to our visitors and society at large.
  • Cooperate with colleagues and the broader conservation community to assist in animal propagation, husbandry, care and conservation in both the managed and wild populations.
  • Possess and abide by all required federal, state, city, county, local, international and any other related permits.
  • Act in accordance with all federal, state, city, county, local and international laws and regulations.
  • Conduct all affairs ethically and legally with a high degree of professionalism, honesty, integrity and fairness to all concerned.

ZAA accredited facilities make significant contributions to global conservation

Beyond NGO support, ZAA members are also heavily involved in reintroduction programs, and rescue and rehabilitation work. Some of the species our members work with include Eastern or mountain bongo, Attwater’s prairie chicken, Texas horned lizard, Anegada ground iguana, Kemps Ridley sea turtle, and San Joaquin kit fox.

Sadly, modern-day conservation of threatened or endangered species cannot simply be limited to protecting or reintroducing animals in their native ranges. For many, the “wild” is disappearing as humans encroach on their natural habitats. To ensure a species’ long-term survival, captive propagation of wildlife has become an essential part of the conversation and the only insulation against a potential collapse of wild populations. Our managed breeding program at ZAA is named the Animal Management Program (AMP). Through the ZAA AMP, our members are also involved with cheetah, Southern white rhinoceros, mandrill, Schmidt’s guenon, lowland tapir, African black-footed penguin, and siamang. Our AMP species management program is coordinated across the family of ZAA accredited members to ensure the greatest genetic variability

For more information about the ZAA please visit their website.