ZAA Awards

2022 Award Applications
Application deadline: July 31, 2022

2021 ZAA Award Winners

Educational Award of Excellence


The Zoo in Forest Park
Kids Go Wild Program

The ZAA Educational Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding achievement and innovation in education program design and implementation.

The Kids Go Wild program provides a fun, interactive way for school-aged children to learn about various animal species while expoliring diets, habitats, adaptations, daily zoo life and more through crosshatched science, literacy, and art lessons. 


Excellence in Breeding

Virginia Safari Park
Ruppells Griffon Vulture

The ZAA Excellence in Breeding Award recognizes a truly momentous captive propagation achievement that enhances the conservation of the species, whether common or endangered, in captivity. 

Virginia Safari Park has successfully hatched four chicks, which represents 45% of the chicks successfully hatched in the regional population.


Significant Propagation and Long Term Commitment to a Single Species

This award recognizes institutions that have reached significant propagation goals and have dedicated outstanding commitment to a single species.

Metro Richmond Zoo
African  Black-Footed Penguin,
Spheniscus demersus

Metro Richmond Zoo's commitment to the African penguin since 1996 has lead to a successful breeding program that has hatched over 270 chicks.


Tanganyika Wildlife Park
Snow Leopard,
Panthera uncia

In the early 2000's, Tanganyika Wildlife Park saw the increasing need to preserve the snow leopard.  Through the zoo's dedication, its breeding program has seen 84 cubs born at the zoo.


Animal Exhibit Award of Excellence

Safari North Wildlife Park
"Leopards of the Himalayas"

The ZAA Animal Exhibit Award of Excellence recognizes excellence in the area of new and unique live animal display, exhibit design and construction. 

The habitat was updated to be species specific and includes rocks, cliffs, trees, shrubs, and a water feature.  In addition, the majority of the materials used were repurposed materials.


Comprehensive Immersion Exhibit

ZooWorld
"Wanyama Pori African Airstrip Adventure"

The comprehensive immersion includes multiple quality animal exhibits supported with restaurants, gift shops, walkways or more that all support a thematic design. This expanded design theme connects the visitor to the animal and human inhabitants within a biogeographical area through a unique mixture of presenting the culture, landscaping, history and life within a biogeographical area.

ZooWorld was transformed into an abandoned airstrip in the heart of Kenya's Maasai region, including an airplane hanger, park ranger living headquarters, and a research station.  Guest journey into a savannah that has been overrun by lions and hyenas with additional habitats for African crest porcupine, bat-eared foxes, and spot nosed guenon.



In Situ Conservation

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Antelope Conservation in the Ouadi Achim Reserve, Chad, Africa

The ZAA In-Situ Conservation Award recognizes significant contributions to enhancing the conservation of an animal species in nature.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center has been involved with antelope conservation in the Ouadi Rime-Ouadi Achim Reserve in Chad, Africa, since 2012 through staff involvement, financial contributions, and contributing scimiatr-horned oryx to the World Herd.  Addtional speices supported are addax and dama gazelle.  Fossil Rim also play a role in experimenting with radio collars for scimitar-horned oryx and addax.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Mickey Ollson

The ZAA Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest ZAA honor for professional excellence and contribution to the zoo industry. The award recognizes the improvements made to the craft of zookeeping and zoo management by an individual.

In the early 1980's Mickey Ollson began raising exotic birds for other zoological collections while he was a school teacher. Starting with the ideas of a young boy and a hand drawn map of a zoo, Mickey began building his dream of his own zoo - Wildlife World Zoo, in Litchfield, Arizona, which opened to the public in 1984.  Over 40 years later, under Mickey's direction, Wildlife World Zoo has grown to 100 acres and houses over 6,000 animals.  In addition to his knowledge in the field of aviculture, Mickey is known for many contributions as industry-firsts, including the first zoo with overhead jaguar viewing and the first public exotic bird feeding.


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