Animal Care & Welfare

Supporting the health and welfare of our animal residents is our top priority. It is ingrained in our mission and carries through our daily operations.

Together with other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), we ensure that healthy, sustainable animal populations exist in human care, safe from the threats faced in the wild. AZA institutions are animal arks – not only maintaining genetically diverse insurance populations but also promoting natural behaviors that would be critical for survival should these animals be reintroduced into the wild.

The L.A. Zoo is regarded as a best-in-class animal care institution, meeting or exceeding the AZA’s rigorous and comprehensive standards for excellence in animal management, welfare, safety, conservation, and public education. Just 240 of the 2,800 wildlife exhibitors licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act meet AZA accreditation standards.

The AZA accreditation process is overseen by a task force of experts in operations, animal welfare and husbandry, and veterinary medicine – all sworn to maintain complete impartiality and to thoroughly and objectively evaluate each applicant. After receiving accreditation, institutions like ours are evaluated every five years to ensure that they are continuing to uphold AZA standards and employ the best animal care practices.

Elephants at the L.A. Zoo
Elephants at the L.A. Zoo

Learn about our elephant program, our approach to animal care, and our commitment to conserving and protecting endangered Asian elephants.