What We Do

At Denver Zoo, our love for the animals under our care drives everything we do. Less than 10% of zoos in the U.S. meet the exacting accreditation standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)—and, as members of this exclusive group, we’re proud to be setting the gold standard for wild animal care and wellness in this country. Our ongoing mission: to enhance lives by maximizing daily choice, challenge and control for our animal family. Read on to learn more!

Partners in Protection

Through both the AZA and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Denver Zoo actively works with other zoos and aquariums around the world to promote awareness about threats to biodiversity worldwide through education. Many of our animal care staff members and volunteers are also members of the Rocky Mountain AAZK—the local American Association of Zoo Keepers chapter for the Denver area—which ensures that we maintain our industry leadership through lifelong learning. Learn more at www.rmaazk.org


Our thoughtfully crafted nutrition program helps to encourage natural behaviors, promote overall wellness and help our animals live longer, healthier lives. Our Nutrition Department works tirelessly to create daily diet plans for more the more than 450 species that make Denver Zoo home, including healthy, nutritive meals that are as close as possible to the foods they would consume in the wild. This dedicated team also caters to some of the most highly specialized diets on the planet—including a gibbon with diabetes, a clouded leopard with a meat allergy and other (necessarily) picky eaters.


Denver Zoo is one of only a handful of zoos in the country that employs a full-time animal care specialist wholly dedicated to animal enrichment programs. By encouraging natural and healthy behaviors like digging, tracking, swimming, dusting, climbing, foraging and play, we provide our animals with daily opportunities to explore and interact with their diverse environments—much as they would in the wild. From puzzle feeders to elephant art, these activities enhance both mental and physical well-being.

Veterinary Care

Denver Zoo’s veterinary program has led the industry since 1982, when our original animal hospital first opened its doors. Today, our expert team includes four of the only 275 certified zoological veterinarians in the world. In 2020, we opened the state-of-the-art Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital—a 22,000-square-foot facility providing us with dramatic diagnostic and treatment advances as well as countless opportunities to continue our quest for excellence in proactive and comprehensive animal care.

Support Denver Zoo Animal Care

From the tiniest gecko to the most robust rhino, our 3,000+ animals are our most precious resource. Your involvement ensures that the dedicated experts on our Animal Care team have the support they need to provide the best care in the industry, every single day—and that we continue to innovate and evolve with each passing year.