About Us


Mission Statement

Children with Bearded DragonThe mission of the Jackson Zoo is to provide visitors with a quality recreational and educational environment dedicated to wildlife care and conservation.

Zoo Facts

  • The Zoo serves up to 112,000 visitors annually, with 47% from the Jackson metro area, 43% from other Mississippi counties and 10% from other states. The Zoo serves every segment of the population, creating a wonderfully diverse audience.
  • The Zoo is a living classroom. More than 25,000 school children visit the Zoo each year with their teachers. There were more than 17,000 participants in last year’s education programs. Zoo programs provide teachers with exciting curriculum-based lessons for their students.
  • The Zoo is a remarkable interactive family facility, with more than 90% of its visitors being families with children under 12 with their accompanying parents or grandparents.
  • The Zoo has a strong, active volunteer force who works hard, giving many hours of their time and energy to the Zoo. The Jackson Zoo maintains an annual membership of over 2,500, with volunteers made up of the Zoo Crew, Zoo Teens, and dozens of local businesses and organizations that donate their time, efforts and services regularly.
  • The Zoo is located on 110 acres of land acquired by the City of Jackson from Samuel Livingston. Approximately 54 acres are developed.
  • Thirty-five full time staff members are employed at the Jackson Zoo. An additional 15 part-time staff members are hired during the peak seasons of spring and summer.
  • The Zoo’s annual operating budget is $2.3 million.
  • The Zoo opened in 1919 and moved to Livingston Park in 1921, operated by the City until 1986. Through an operating agreement with the City of Jackson, Jackson Zoological Society, Inc. has managed the Zoo for the past 29 years. It is currently operating under an 8 year agreement to be renewed 2018.
  • Number of Species at The Zoo: 200
  • Number of Animals: 375
  • 11 Endangered Species: Amur Leopard, Brown-headed Spider Monkey, Chimpanzee, Cotton Top Tamarin, Fishing Cat, Grevy’s Zebra, Pygmy Hippo, Red Ruffed Lemur, Sumatran Tiger, White-handed Gibbon, Reticulated Giraffe.
  • Blue & Gold MacawActive Species Survival Programs: Amur Leopard, Black and White Colobus Monkey, Black-necked Stilt, Blue-bellied Roller, Brown-headed Spider Monkey, Chimpanzee, Cougar, Cotton Top Tamarin, Diana Guenon, Fishing Cat, Grevy’s Zebra, Hawk-headed Parrot, Kinkajou, Klipspringer, Kookaburra, Marabou Stork, Nicobar Pigeon, North American River Otter, Red Panda, Red River Hog, Red Ruffed Lemur, Red Wolf, Reticulated Giraffe, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Sable Antelope, Schmidt’s Monkey, Sumatran Tiger, Tawny frogmouth, Wattled Crane, White Handed Gibbon, White Naped Crane, White Rhinoceros.

Completed Projects

  • Rhino Exhibit Renovations (2016)
  • Amphitheater Seating (2016)
  • Red Panda Exhibit (2015)
  • Splash Pad Lounge (2015)
  • Fishing Cat Exhibit (2015)
  • Amur Leopard Exhibit (2014)
  • Gibbon Exhibit (2014)
  • Tiger Exhibit (2010)
  • Gertrude C. Ford Education Center (2009)
  • Wilderness Mississippi (2006)

The Ten Year Plan

With the park’s centennial approaching, a plan to renovate and restructure the Jackson Zoo to more modern standards was developed through many sessions between licensed zoo consultants and architects, the Jackson Zoo Board of Directors, and the Jackson Zoo staff. It was designed with both the international zoo community and the local, state and regional communities in mind, combining present and future needs of animal care, guest services, sustainability, education, and entertainment specifically for Mississippi residents, neighbors, and visitors. 

This plan was approved in 2015, and is not only feasible and affordable, but also culminates in a world class zoo experience.  

  • Discovery Zoo Renovations (including larger Contact Yard and Lorikeet feeding)
  • Chimp Moat Renovations 
  • South America exhibit (with expanded free flight aviary, and adding popular animals like the capybara, tapir, ocelot, and new world monkeys)
  • African Expansion (expanded giraffe space & giraffe feeding area, new lion exhibit, and possibility of the return of elephants at plan completion)
  • Adventure Zone (Splash Pad would be expanded, zipline and climbing walls added) 
  • Tropical Rain Forest Building 
  • Renovations for gibbons, leopards, fishing cats, macaques
  • Elephant House Cafe renovations, including climate controlled indoor seating
  • Improved event space, parking, admissions, gift shop

Complete report can be found by downloading the Ten Year Plan 2015