The American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc. began in 1967 in San Diego, CA  with the purpose of promoting professionalism in zoo keeping through education of zoological staff members in the most modern and current techniques of captive exotic animal care. AAZK is a nonprofit volunteer organization (U.S. 501C3) made up of professional zoo keepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. Local chapters of AAZK are found throughout the entire nation with approximately 96 chapters in total. National membership is currently about 2,800 and includes individuals at all levels of zoo staff from directors, curators and veterinarians to zoo keepers, animal health technicians, volunteers and students. Members are from 48 of the 50 States, 5 Canadian Provinces and 24 foreign countries and represent nearly 250 animal-related facilities.

AAZK publications, conferences, and chapter activities at local zoos provide keepers with a means to exchange ideas and discuss new methods of professional care, observations on animal behavior and other information. Animal Keepers’ Forum, the monthly journal of AAZK, is the principal vehicle for communication among keepers.

AAZK’s Mission Statement is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life. AAZK’s Vision Statement is AAZK will be the leader in the zoo and aquarium industry fostering professional development and personal connections that advance animal care, animal welfare and conservation.

 To learn more about the national organization, please visit www.AAZK.org.