If you haven’t been to Zoo Atlanta in a while, you really should make the trip. It’s a phenomenal zoo and, as I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the CEO, Raymond King, I’ve learned from him that the most important aspect of Zoo Atlanta is their focus on saving and protecting animals. The work they do in this area is incredibly impressive and something I wasn’t aware of. So more than ever, I’m encouraging my friends to make a trip!
Some facts that I pulled on Zoo Atlanta:
- Zoo Atlanta is the oldest cultural destination in Atlanta, serving the city since 1889.
- Zoo Atlanta is one of only four zoos in the nation housing giant pandas. Five cubs have been born at Zoo Atlanta and it currently has the only giant panda twins in the U.S.
- In 2012, Zoo Atlanta received the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) prestigious International Conservation Award in recognition of the long-term achievements of its giant panda program.
- Zoo Atlanta also remains home to offspring of its best-known gorilla, Willie B. (ca. 1959-2000). The zoo is also home to Willie B.’s three grandchildren, Macy Baby (December 2005) and Merry Leigh (May 2011), born to Kudzoo, and Gunther (July 2006), born to Sukari.
- Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest zoological collections of gorillas and orangutans and is widely respected as a leader in the behavioral and social study and care of great apes. The Great Ape Heart Project, headquartered at Zoo Atlanta, is the world’s first collaborative effort to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular disease in great apes living in zoological settings.
- In 2011, Zoo Atlanta received the AZA Edward H. Bean Award for Significant Achievement in honor of the long-term commitment of its gorilla program.
- Zoo Atlanta’s herpetology collection is one of the foremost in the country and includes hundreds of animals. The Zoo is home to the world’s only zoological collection of Guatemalan beaded lizards, a rare species believed to number fewer than 200 in the wild, and has been successful in reproducing these lizards.
- Zoo Atlanta’s conservation collaborations affect the preservation of endangered species in Asia, Africa, Central America and North America, and visionary leadership by Zoo staff continues to be instrumental in combating global issues such as amphibian decline and the Asian Turtle Crisis.
- Zoo Atlanta was one of only nine zoos in the world to be included in Frommer’s “500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up.” anniversary in 2014.