CONNECTING YOU TO NATURE

Dedicated to education and conservation, we are home to many rescued, donated, and orphaned animals. The mission of the Greater Vancouver Zoo is to inspire appreciation of our ecosystems and support conservation efforts by engaging the community. Established in 1970, the Greater Vancouver Zoo has grown from a small drive-through to one of Canada’s premier zoological destinations and a dedicated contributor to species conservation.

Discover the sights and sounds of 140 species on 120 acres in the heart of the Fraser Valley.


Why zoos are important

Wild spaces are shrinking and disappearing at an alarming rate and the creatures that inhabit them need our help to survive. Zoos and aquariums are a threatened species’ best hope at making enough of a recovery that hopefully in the future when there are more protected lands, they can be reintroduced to their native habitats. This is accomplished through many specialized programs such as the Species Survival Plan, Scientific Advisory Groups, and collaborative husbandry guidelines. Programs like these work internationally to maintain genetic diversity, create action plans for conservation work, and ensure the animals are properly cared for with all their physical and cognitive needs.

Over the past two decades, Canadian zoos and aquariums have shifted their focus to become places not only of education and inspiration but of action. Conservation action both internationally and locally is paramount, second only to animal health and welfare. This is another area that has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past two decades. Health and welfare are now viewed through a holistic lens. An animal’s emotional health is now just as important as its physical health.

National and international accreditation play a big role in keeping zoos and aquariums connected and accountable. Strict requirements and guidelines keep zoos and aquariums focused squarely on their objectives of excellent animal care, public education, and local, national, and international conservation efforts.

The future of our zoo

"I often say I am a visionary. I don’t look at five years ago; I look at five years from now. This is how we can innovate: we need to look to the future. And we need to create what becomes exemplary. I’ve been around the world. We’re losing the wild everywhere. Our animals need to be ambassadors for their species, let’s realize we need to protect the environment. Everyone who comes to the zoo must realize the importance of nature and of species that we’re losing out there, it’s as simple as one word: awareness. It is so very important."

Serge Lussier, General Manager