Founded in 1927, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Zoo) gained international recognition and stature with the 1956 birth of Colo, the world’s first captive-born gorilla. Today, the Zoo is a nationally and internationally acclaimed conservation center, housing more than 700 species, including 37 endangered and threatened species. Annually, the Zoo supports more than 70 wildlife conservation projects around the world through its Conservation Fund and Partners in Conservation.
In addition to its role as a global conservation leader, the Zoo is a renowned year-round education and recreation facility for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Each year, the Zoo attracts 1.5 million visitors, educates more than 250,000 children and adults, and serves as a field trip destination for more than 130,000 students each year. The Zoo resides on 580 acres, making it one of the fastest growing zoos in the world and the third largest municipally-affiliated zoo in North America.
Animals, conservation, and education are the three main tenets of the Zoo’s mission. It accomplishes this mission through programs that promote the health and welfare of the animals; practice and advance conservation efforts; and educate the public, both children and adults, about wildlife.