The Virginia Zoological Park is committed to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world.
This mission is accomplished in the following ways.
- By demonstrating leadership in wildlife conservation and animal welfare.
- Providing a broad audience with outstanding and unique educational opportunities that lead to the appreciation and stewardship of nature.
- Inspiring and serving our community with engaging, meaningful, safe and memorable experiences.
- Providing innovative zoological facilities for events and programs that contribute to the region’s economic vitality.
- By demonstrating organizational excellence consistent with a commitment to outstanding service, progressive resource management and environmental leadership.
Today, the Virginia Zoo spans 53 acres adjacent to Lafayette Park and is bordered by the Lafayette River. Zoo “residents” from around the world include more than 700 animals representing more than 150 different species. The Lafayette Zoological Park was accredited in 1974 and continues to adhere to the high standards set by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. In 1985, the park became the Virginia Zoological Park and is now called the Virginia Zoo. Here is a timeline of some of the significant milestones of the Virginia Zoo’s journey to become a world-class zoological institution.
Most visitors come to the Virginia Zoo with animals on their mind, but plants are the first thing they see! The horticulture at the Zoo sets the stage for guests and residents of the Zoo. We create naturalistic habitats for exotic and native animals. We design, grow and plant themed gardens, and provide fresh plant treats for animals.