Mapping Zoo Standards

Though there are hundreds of zoos in the United States, only 167 zoos meet the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA’s) standards and practices for the welfare of exotic animals.  These are the zoos we looked into in depth by their location and the different kinds of exotic animals they have on-site for viewing.  The first map below shows the locations of the 167 zoos certified by AZA spread across the United States.  Currently there are 167 zoos located in 45 states including the District of Columbia.  These zoos vary from being located in museums to a private boarding school in the state of New York.  There are some parts of the United States that are without certified AZA zoos.  Five states do not have zoos certified by AZA.  Also several metropolitan areas such as Austin, Charlotte, and Las Vegas are without zoos certified by AZA.


The next four maps below reveal which zoos have a certain exotic animal.  We chose four exotic animals to map.  These four exotic animals are giant pandas, giraffes, elephants, and gorillas.  The first map below shows the location of giant pandas in the United States.  The National Zoological Park in Washington D.C., the San Diego Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, and the Memphis Zoo are the only four zoos in the United States that have giant pandas on display.

Click on the thumbnail images below to view larger images.



Goodman, Brenda. “Eats Shoots, Leaves and Much of Zoo’ Budgets” The New York Times. February 12, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2012.