The Fort Worth Zoo is one of only 65 zoological facilities in the world to hold the distinction of being an American Humane Certified park. American Humane’s rigorous certification program helps ensure that when visitors see the Humane Certified™ seal, they know that the facility meets our high standards of animal care. With such an extensive evaluation process, it’s no wonder that Humane Certified parks are some of the most distinguished and celebrated zoological facilities in the world.
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the Fort Worth Zoo houses more than 500 species in its state-of-the-art facilities. This Humane Certified facility is home to many innovative conservation programs and is constantly growing. In just the last few months, the Zoo welcomed Bruno, their second-ever western lowland gorilla baby, and Sherlock and Watson, two male giraffes. In addition to exciting animal births, the Fort Worth Zoo is also expanding through its’ A Wilder Vision Campaign.
Launched in 2016, the Fort Worth Zoo’s A Wilder Vision campaign will invest $130 million into new habitat space, renovated habitats, special events space, multiple dining areas, restrooms, and new educational programming. The campaign will allow the Zoo to expand its conservation efforts and help vulnerable and endangered species. Phase one of the project, the African Savanna, opened in April 2018 and is now home to the Zoo’s black rhinos, a critically endangered species. Currently, there are less than 7,000 black rhinos left in the wild. The upgraded African Savanna habitat will allow the Fort Worth Zoo to expand its conservation efforts aimed at saving the black rhino.
Phase two of the project, the Elephant Springs Habitat, was completed in April 2021 and has already received global recognition. In 2022, the Zoo’s Elephant Springs habitat earned the coveted Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). This award recognizes excellence, innovation, and leadership in the creation of compelling places and experiences. The Fort Worth Zoo’s Elephant Springs habitat was one of 13 international honorees and one of only six facilities in the United States to be recognized. While the habitat houses the one-horned rhinos, it is primarily for the Zoo’s populations of Asian elephants. The Asian elephant is a critically endangered species. Data shows that the Asian elephant is one of the most poached animals, with one elephant being poached every fifteen minutes. The Elephant Springs habitat represents the Zoo’s commitment to Asian elephant conservation.
A unique element of the Elephant Springs habitat is the multiple water features, including a 400,000-gallon “river” and four waterfalls. The habitat uses a state-of-the-art water filtration system that allows all water features to be purified and reused. Additional features of the Elephant Springs include fifteen individual stalls to give the animals their own spaces, a climate-controlled environment, and portable floor scales so that keepers can be sure the animals are within a healthy weight range. The eleven stalls dedicated to elephants are interconnected and can open up into one larger space for the elephants to roam. When guests visit Elephant Springs, they can participate in interactive learning programs such as keeper chats and training demonstrations.
The third phase of the Fort Worth Zoo’s A Wilder Vision campaign focuses on African Hunters and Asian Predators and is currently under construction. A Wilder Vision is a massive undertaking by a park already considered to be one of the best zoos in the United States. The Fort Worth Zoo has been voted the top zoo in North America by USA Today, one of the “World’s Greatest” by BloombergTV, the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo Travel, and the No. 5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide.
If you visit the Fort Worth Zoo, you’ll be helping support groundbreaking conservation efforts and get to observe some of the world’s most unique species in state-of-the-art animal habitats. And you can rest easy knowing that Fort Worth Zoo, as a Humane Certified park, meets our high standards of animal care.