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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Charity Navigator's Top Best Zoos & Aquariums

Each week Charity Navigator features ten highly-rated charities working on a particular cause or issue. This week we’re featuring the ten highest rated charities in our Zoos and Aquariums sub-category.

As you’re looking ahead to summer, consider a trip to one of these great zoos or aquariums to learn more about the rare or unique animals you probably can’t find in your backyard. All of these organizations have been recognized for their exceptional work to protect and conserve wildlife, and connect hundreds of thousands of visitors to one-of-a-kind visits each year.

Is your favorite zoo on this list? Keep reading to find out... 

(Plus, we've included lots of cute animals gifs!)

Zoo Miami Foundation
Our mission is to encourage an appreciation for the world’s wildlife and to help conserve it for future generations

Zoo Miami Foundation is the non-profit support organization for Zoo Miami. Zoo Miami Foundation was founded in 1956 when the Zoo was located in Crandon Park at Key Biscayne. Starting in the mid-sixties, Zoo members spearheaded a campaign to include plans for a bigger, better zoo on the Miami-Dade County "Decade of Progress" bond issue. Voters approved the bond in 1972 and nine years later Zoo Miami opened its gates at its current location.

Today, Zoo Miami Foundation is one of the largest membership organizations in South Florida. Its Board of Directors includes community leaders in Miami-Dade and Broward counties who are committed to the education, conservation and recreation goals of Zoo Miami. While Miami-Dade County operates and maintains the Zoo, Zoo Miami Foundation, backed by its strong membership, supports Zoo Miami's programs and enhancements.

The Toledo Zoo
Caring for animals and conserving the natural world

In 1900, a single woodchuck was donated to the City of Toledo's Parks Board. From that small act of generosity, The Toledo Zoo emerged. The Toledo Zoo is now widely regarded as one the finest zoological institutions in the nation. Our mission is to inspire others to join us in caring for animals and conserving the natural world. The Zoo's animal collection consists of more than 6,000 animals representing over 760 species. The popularity of the Zoo has increased dramatically over the last twenty years. Restored facilities, new exhibits and a concerted effort to address the needs of the visitor have resulted in an average attendance of 875,000 people each year.

Nashville Zoo
Where animals, nature & fun converge

Nashville Zoo's mission is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Restoring and preserving our marine environment

Founded in 1972, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) works to restore and protect our marine environment. We accomplish our mission through preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release. 

Today, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is an internationally respected center for animal care, public education and marine research. Yet, in spite of tremendous growth and a global presence, we also remain a neighborhood aquarium, a place where children and adults alike can visit anytime to wonder at the unending diversity, grace and beauty of the creatures of the sea. We invite everyone to visit often and soon to share in the environmental excellence and caring of our waters and marine life, no matter where you may live.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Inspiring conservation of the oceans

Opened in 1984, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans. We know that bringing people face-to-face with living marine animals is a powerful way to move them to care about the oceans and ocean life. From the beginning, we planned our permanent exhibits as a walk through Monterey Bay's beautiful natural communities. In 1996, we almost doubled our exhibit space with the opening of the Outer Bay Wing, devoted to the open ocean and deep sea. The main feature is the Outer Bay Waters exhibit, the one-million-gallon tank containing tuna, sharks and sea turtles. The aquarium has an active research program. We have groups working on sea otter conservation and tuna conservation biology. About 1.8 million people visit us each year.

The Living Desert
Desert conservation through preservation, education, and appreciation

The Living Desert was established in March 1970 as a 360 acre wilderness preserve. Today it is one of the most unique institutions in the country and stands out as the only American zoo and garden dedicated solely to interpreting and conserving the deserts of the world and is the only zoological and botanical park specializing in just one entire ecosystem. The Living Desert has set aside 1,000 acres of natural desert habitat. We foster, through interpretive exhibits, programs and publication, an awareness of and an appreciation for, the variety of plants and animals in worldwide desert ecosystems.

North Carolina Zoological Society
Saving a piece of the world for its wildlife

The North Carolina Zoological Society (NCZS) supports the North Carolina Zoological Park. The NCZS supports Zoo programs that receive no funding or only partial funding from the State of North Carolina. The NCZS provides significant or total funding for the following: animals purchased by the Zoo; exhibit plants; endangered plant species programs; the Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Learning Center; a veterinary residency program in zoological medicine; training and equipment for the Zoo's animal enrichment programs; wildlife rehabilitation programs; education/conservation web sites; an elephant conservation program in Cameroon; Sylvan Heights Waterfowl; conservation field programs; visiting artist programs and artwork; capital development projects; and the Pisgah Covered Bridge and surrounding park and recreation area.

Houston Zoo
Connecting communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife

Houston Zoo connects communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife. We have over 6,000 permanent residents (our animals) for whom we provide housing, meals, medical care and, yes, even education! There are over 2 million guests each year who come to experience our incredible variety of animals and ecosystems, as well as attend special private and public events and entertainment. Our dedicated staff works around the clock to ensure that the Zoo is always running smoothly for the safety and well-being of our residents and guests.

Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association
Nurturing wildlife and enriching the human experience

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) was created to support the Los Angeles Zoo in its mission to nurture wildlife and enrich the human experience. GLAZA's primary responsibility is to seek and provide financial support for the Zoo's programs and capital projects. GLAZA provides support through fundraising, membership, organizing special events and travel programs, producing award-winning publications, coordinating one of the largest zoo volunteer programs in the country, administering the contract for visitor services concessions within the Zoo, and supporting community relations, and public relations.

Birmingham Zoo
Inspiring passion to conserve the natural world

Opened in 1955, the Birmingham Zoo is Alabama's most popular attraction, drawing more than 644,000 visitors annually. Approximately 1,000 animals of 250 species call the 122-acre Birmingham Zoo home, including sea lions, African elephants and other endangered species from six continents. The mission of the Birmingham Zoo is to inspire passion to conserve the natural world through emphasizing conservation, education, scientific study and recreation in all aspects of the Birmingham Zoo's exhibits, programs, facilities and activities. The Zoo's vision is to be the leading zoological and botanical conservation, education and scientific study resource within the U.S. and the family attraction of choice throughout the entire region.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool and Discover feature to find even more highly-rated zoos and aquariums.

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MagicMomma said...

You need to have a look at The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. So awesome for a community of this size.

MagicMomma said...

You should check out Fort Wayne Childrenc Zoo. Such an awesome amenity for a community this size.