The mission of the Elmwood Park Zoo is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conservation.
Elmwood Park Zoo was established in 1924 when a local farmer transferred 16 acres and a small menagerie to the Borough of Norristown. Today, the zoo is owned and operated by the Norristown Zoological Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conservation. Under the Society’s careful management, Elmwood Park Zoo has attained the elite status as one of only 230 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Zoo’s accreditation was renewed in September, 2016.
Elmwood Park Zoo currently maintains a collection of over 100 species that hail from all over the globe. Highlights of the collection include giraffes, zebras, bald and golden eagles, jaguars, and red pandas. A number of species in the collection are managed pursuant to an international SSP (Species Survival Plan) These programs aim to maintain and increase the size of animal populations that are under the largest threat of extinction. Other species in the collection represent significant wildlife conservation success stories, such as the American bison, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and American alligator. About two-thirds of the animal collection is on exhibit; many others are maintained separately for use in education programs.